Book Nerd Guest Post
Greatest thing I learned in school.
Defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer.
I won a state-wide award in sixth grade in a program called the Young Author's Forum. We couldn't find my manuscript on the display tables at the event and I though they had lost it. Turned out it was one that had been one of the winners. In the auditorium, they read an excerpt out loud and then invited me down to get my award as hundreds of kids and adults applauded. I was hooked.
What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on Jack Templar: Monster Hunter?
I grew up reading both JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Tolkien was the master of creating a world down to the smallest detail, while CS Lewis was special in his ability to take kids and insert them into a fantasy world, navigating the fish-out-of-water part of the story. Both of them used an entertaining story to convey a larger philosophy of good versus evil and humanity's role in this battle. Jack Templar, like most fantasy novels written, owes a debt to these masters.
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Read, read, read. Of course, you will start with mimicry of authors you like, but over time, if you continue to read, read, read, you'll settle into a style of your own. When it comes to story, just like the painting masters, you must learn the rules before you break them. I found my years of training as a screenwriter gave me a stronger grasp of plot, timing and pace. To all aspiring writers, I recommend reading Stephen King's book, On Writing. You don't need to be a King fan to enjoy it and benefit from it. If you want to write better and create winning writing habits, allow this book to guide you. It will be a transformative experience.
As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.