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Tom Deady

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Impact Theory

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William L. Myers Jr.


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E.J. Mellow


Sara Fujimura


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Zachary Hagen Interview - Eternity’s Well

Photo Content from Zachary Hagen 

Zachary Hagen is a New Mexico based fantasy author and teacher. He lives there with his wife, Claudia, and their dog, Flynn. When he isn't busy writing his next book or teaching, you can often find him walking around his neighbor hood or up hiking.

From a young age he was enthralled with the world of story. From the stories his parents read to him from his blue bedtime story books (if you know, you know) to the first two series that he read, The Chronicles of Narnia and A Series of Unfortunate Events, Zachary's tastes continued to develop throughout his years of reading.

The influences for his first series, The Eternal Chronicles, include Christopher Paolini, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
I think the most rewarding thing I’ve done since being published is getting to interact with the reading and writing community in a brand new way. I’ve gotten to talk to people I otherwise would never have met. 

Greatest thing you learned in school? 
It wasn’t in a class, but I learned that boundaries and knowing where yours are are the single most important thing you can do for your success and overall health. 

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us? 
Currently, I’m writing the third book of The Eternal Chronicles and the second one is being edited by my editor, Carrie Jones. Eternal Chronicles will have 5 books. After that, I’d like to do a spin off series set before the events of Eternity’s Well. 

Why is storytelling so important for all of us? 
Stories are how we connect with the world. They are how we learn great lessons and learn how to connect with the world around us. They’re also just really fun! 

Can you tell us when you started ETERNITY’S WELL, how that came about? 
I started Eternity’s Well for an advanced creative writing class in college. I took elements from a lot of the stories I’d enjoyed and put them together. The story changed a lot from the first conception to now. Initially, the main character was going to be trying to be the most powerful sorcerer in Lux Terra, but that felt a little too villainous, so it evolved into what it is now.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel? 
I hope that readers find a character or a couple characters they can identify with and grow with them. I hope that they learn that there is so much beyond what they see and think about and that they are capable of great things by rising above adversity. 

What part of your characters did you enjoy writing the most? 
I loved getting to know my characters through their interactions. It’s amazing to me how unique the became over the course of the first book, and that trend has continued as I’ve continued writing. 

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 
Honestly, life just got in the way. I took a big break and there was always something more important to do until there wasn’t. When I had the time and nothing else to do, the book became a priority and the other 55k words that needed to be written were written. I don’t think distractions are distractions when you prioritize writing. 

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
I would love to introduce Katniss Everdeen to Elior BarVidania. They are so different and I think watching them interact would be hilarious. It probably would only be hilarious to me, but they would be just the most awkward match up. 

What was the last text message you received? 
My mother sent me a picture of some waffles she made for breakfast that tasted like eggos. My family shares a lot of recipes back and forth. We all LOVE food. 

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? 
Quit a job. It is so liberating to do that. If you can find an alternative career or job and you’re at all uncomfortable or unhappy, quit. 

Best date you've ever had? 
My wife and I went to the mall and a movie and dinner shortly before we got engaged. Truthfully, anything I do with her could be the best date ever. 

What was the first job you had? 
I briefly tutored geometry in high school. 

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
My best friend ended our friendship when his fiancé asked him to. It broke my heart and totally changed my life and approach to relationships from then on. 

First Heartbreak? 
I was in middle school. A girl I asked out told everyone about it and made fun of me for asking her out. 

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before? 
I think it’s better to have loved. 

  • 1. I came up with the beginnings of the idea while working as a summer camp counselor at Camp Kulaqua in High Springs, Florida 
  • 2. A few of the original inspirations for the story are The Last Airbender series, the Secret Circle, and the works of C. S. Lewis. 
  • 3. I used Passion Planners to plot out the initial character sketches and events of the first few chapters I wrote 
  • 4. I wrote two versions of the first chapter and sent them to friends and family to find out which direction was the best direction. They didn’t agree with what I wanted, but they were absolutely right, and I’m so glad I took their advice. 
  • 5. The Well of Eternity was not in the original idea for the story. It was added to turn the book from an anticlimactic stand-alone into a five book arc. 
  • 6. I based Nyx Cascata off Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus because I love Rick Riordan’s work with mythology, and Leo was an awesome character. It doesn’t surprise me that people love Nyx. 
  • 7. Elior is a twin missing his brother because that has been my experience. I was conceived as a twin, but my mother lost the other baby in utero. That always stuck with me. 
  • 8. Opal Stronghand is based loosely off Princess Eleanor from E!’s The Royals. She evolved a lot from her original conception, though. 
  • 9. There is a clear dichotomy between fire and water in the books, and that is a direct choice to symbolize motivations. Uncontrolled fire destroyed while water generally brings life and helps things grow. 
  • 10. I stopped writing this book for a long time, but after a huge trauma, I lost my job and the book was all I had to work on, so I finished it. Now that I’ve done it once, it has been easier to keep writing up. 
Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from ETERNITY’S WELL  
There is a phenomenal moment in the last half of the book where Michael, the sort of wide professor/wizard, has a heart to heart with all the other main characters. When he has his conversation with Elior, he says “We don’t always have to be comfortable to be on the right path, and you need to learn that. An absence of pain is not the presence of goodness. Neither is the presence of pleasure an absence of evil. In fact, some of the best things involve a lot of pain, and many things that bring pleasure will kill you in the end.” 

I was grieving a loss when I wrote this. My best friend had decided he no longer wanted to be friends with me because his now wife didn’t like me. I had no idea why, and it was devastating. My wife and I lost our whole community and we had to move because of it. I got to put a lot of my frustration and hurt on the page, and it was so healing for me. 

That quote was something I wished I could say to him. I don’t know if he’ll ever read my book, but those words were for him. I didn’t write them out of anger but out of a heartfelt desire for him to grow and for healing to come to our friendship someday. 

In the context of the book, these conversations with Michael are fortifications for my characters. These are moments of raw emotion and growth, and I love the openness and vulnerability that the characters have in that chapter.

When you lose family, friends, and country, how far is too far?

Elior watched as his twin brother, the only real family he had left run into a building as it disappeared.

Nyx, a cursed merman, watched as his father and best friend were killed in front of him.

Opal’s father died leaving her with a legacy to live up to and a throne to protect.

When they join forces with a wise professor to find the Well of Eternity, can they find answers to their problems? Can the ancient evil lurking in the shadows of society be stopped before it’s too late, or will blood be spilled killing their hope and dooming Lux Terra forever?

Eternity’s Well will hook you from the very beginning and take you on a spellbinding, breathtaking journey through a new world where anything is possible.

You can purchase Eternity’s Well at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CREATIVE EDGE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Rich Davis Interview - Cult of Dracula

Photo Content from Rich Davis

Rich Davis is the writer and creator of the underground horror sensation "Cult of Dracula" from Source Point Press. In a short period of time, he's built a reputation in the comic book industry as an innovator with a tireless work ethic. His first comic "Cult of Dracula" has sold more than 50,000 units and has been optioned by Sure Pictures for film development. 

Source Point Press has exercised its option to publish his full, three volume Dracula saga. Rich also has upcoming comic book projects "Prometheus In Chains", "Shooter" and an untitled, depression era circus tale in development. 

Rich has led an eclectic life. He founded a performing arts theatre, worked as a concert booker and a film producer. He's radio personality, an actor and a screenwriter. He even served as a campaign staffer for two Presidential campaigns! Now he gets to tell scary stories for a living. 

Some might wonder at such an eclectic background, but he prefers to see it as an adventure!"


Greatest thing you learned at school.
That I didn't know everything...but it was possible to learn anything!

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I think I've always been a dreamer, but I didn't accept it until much later in life. You get into the mindset that you have to perdue a sensible and stable career. It's sometimes discouraging. There's a pressure to "succeed" and that can crush your dreams. It took me a long time to acknowledge that. I'm so happy that I did.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The main cover for Cult of Dracula #1 was the official badge art for New York Conicon. I was also a guest there. I decided to walk around the convention asking people if 8 could sign their badge. It was such a fun, silly thing to do. It was also very rewarding to see how many people loved and appreciated my comic. Such a cool experience. I met a lot of great people.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I'm currently wrapping up the final scripts for Rise of Dracula. Issue #1 hits comic shops in December. It's a direct sequel to Cult of Dracula. I hope readers enjoy it just as much. It's a dramatic shift in tone. Cult of Dracula is inspired by Tobe Hooper films. Very Southern Gothic. Rise draws from John Carpenter. It's a dystopian, urban fantasy. After that is Reign of Dracula. It's the finale 8f the trilogy. It'll be like a George Miller, post-apocalyptic, insane story!

There's also the Cult of Dracula television show. I can't say much about it right now other than to acknowledge that it exists. Hope to be able to share more soon.

I have some other unnanounced comic projects on tap for 2022/2023.

If you could work for anyone you choose, who would it be?
Myself. I've never been much of a follower. I like to go my own way. My philosophy is not to wait for someone to open a door for you. Kick it down yourself!

Your Journey to Publication
Cult of Dracula is the definition of an underground hit. Its success belongs as much to the awesome retailers and incredible fans who early on embraced it as their own as it does to me or anyone on the creative team. We made it a point to build relationships through phone calls, emails and social media. People became invested in Cult of Dracula. They wanted it to succeed and they willed that success into reality.

Behind the Scenes
I believe that if you set yourself up for success, you'll succeed. For example, I set "office hours" for myself. Even if I don't really have an idea to write, I put myself in my office ready to write. More often than not inspiration comes.

What is the first job you have had?
I worked at Subway for about two hours in high school. I learned very quickly that I was as talented a sandwich artist as I was an actual artist...which is not very!

Best date you've ever had?
My wife passed away last year, so I'd like to pass on this question and others that are similar.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
My dogs. I have four. All rescues. Two seniirs. They're my reason for getting up in the morning. I love that I'm fortunate enough to be in a position to give them amazing lives, especially the seniors. They give do much love. They deserve infinitely more in return.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
I was a little kid just starting kindergarten. I was excitedly rushing to the front doors of West Sparta Elementary School. I knew we were going to talk about dinosaurs that day. I couldn't wait! There was a little physically challenged boy also making his way in. I was going to just rush by him, but my Mom put her hand on my shoulder. She made me wait while she opened the door for the other boy. She smiled and told him good morning and wished for him to have a great day. I asked her why I had to wait even though I'd gotten to the door first. My Mom taught me that I was very fortunate to have my health and do many opportunities in my life. She taught me that others aren't so lucky. She taught me that people who struggle deserve respect. What was a small inconvenience for me may have been a wonderful moment for that little boy. Kindness goes such a long way. I've never forgotten that day.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I think I'd choose the decade immediately following World War II. There were clearly some very serious social deficiencies in that era. Sadly, those exist in every era in our history. They still exist today unfortunately. There was such an optimism during that decade. Humanity had just defeated a truly evil force. We were naively innocent about the potential for nuclear power. The economy was booming, especially in America. We had hope. We thought there was nothing we couldn't do. Plus, we were right on the cusp of introducing most of the greatest comic book superheroes ever created. Can you imagine being a kid right then? For the young, it was a golden age of innocence.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
I'd love to say something cool and inspiring here, but the truth is I just hope I'm going to be able to sleep through the night. I'm not a good sleeper. I have terribly vivid nightmares. They're great for inspiring horror comics. Not so much for a good night's rest!

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
Slavery. It's the Western world's original sin and the root of so much evil and suffering in our world. If I could change history so that it never happened, I would. Hopefully it would make our world better.

It’s witchy. It’s wyrd. It’s Helter Skelter within a hippie cult dedicated to an ancient blood goddess. You know Bram Stoker’s genre defining classic by heart, but you have no idea where this story is going.

Special Agent Malcom Bram arrives at the House of the Rising Sun. This secluded compound is the home of the secretive Ordo Dracul and the scene of a horrendous crime coined, "The Cult of Dracula Mass Suicides." Mina Murray leads a documentary film crew to uncover the secrets of the mysterious cult by interviewing its enigmatic leader, Robert Renfield. Neither investigator is prepared for the gravity of the truths they will uncover.

You can purchase Cult of Dracula at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you RICH DAVIS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Sara B. Fraser Interview - Just River

Photo Content from Sara B. Fraser

Sara B. Fraser is the author of LONG DIVISION, a novel published by Black Rose Writing in March, 2019. JUST RIVER is her sophomore novel. Her short fiction has appeared in Carve, Wilderness House Literary Review, Salamander, the Jabberwock Review, the Forge, Stonecrop, and more.


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
So many! Connecting with other writers, getting good reviews—which is validating—learning the whole marketing side of being an author, challenging myself to work at that, which I’m not good at.

Greatest thing you learned in school?
Graduate school? The value of education in promoting social justice
Elementary-High school? The value of doodling and looking out the window

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
My latest novel is about a mother and son from New Hampshire who move to Spain.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
because real life doesn’t have satisfying endings

Can you tell us when you started JUST RIVER, how that came about?
It was based on a short story I published in Carve way back I think in 2005.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope they’re enjoying themselves, mostly.

What part of your characters did you enjoy writing the most?
Scenes! Also, I liked describing their fashion choices.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Work? Ha! It keeps me from so much!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’m stuck on this one. Maybe I’d introduce Sam to Harry Potter. That would be fun. He’d like that. He’d believe Harry about all the magic stuff. But he’d have a hard time keeping his secrets

What was the last text message you received?
“Where are you?”

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Try surfing

Best date you've ever had?
Surfing and then out to a seaside fish place for fish and chips and a beer

What was the first job you had?
Washing dishes in a restaurant. I was 15.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Living in a foreign country, a small village, surrounded by the most authentic, generous people on the planet.

First Heartbreak?
My eighth-grade English teacher. Mr. Braunstein.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Definitely the former

10. Should not have had bangs, 9. I should have joined a club, 8. I should have played a sport, 7. I shouldn’t have done all those jello shots, 6. I wish I’d signed up for harder classes, 5. I wish I’d put in some effort in those harder classes, 4. Should never have worn that homemade lavender flannel poofy skirt, 3. Should’ve sat in the front. 2. Should’ve spoken more in class, and 1. Should definitely not have worn blue eyeliner.

Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from JUST RIVER
Favorite scenes: 1) Inside Va Va Voom with Tina, 2) At the Wagon Wheel when Carol throws out her back, 3.) Sex scene with Ronaldo and Sam, 4.) In the bathroom with Tommy and Camille

Sara B. Fraser paints for readers how life in a nothing upstate New York town in the ’90s might look: bleak and gritty. Wattsville was a booming manufacturing town on the Otis River. But now, the mills are closed. The windows boarded up. The same people frequent the same bars every day without fail. What once was a prosperous place is now somewhere riddled with substance abuse, poverty, violence, and hush-hush secrets. But only the river bears witness to all these secrets — and only the river can divulge the truth.

At the heart of these secrets is one family. When Carol’s daughter, Garnet, is caught in the crosshairs of justice and her former boyfriend’s deceit, Carol and her best friend Sam plot to prove Garnet's innocence. Told with beauty and tenderness against the landscape of forgotten everyday America, Fraser’s JUST RIVER connects the complexity and danger we all contain.

You can purchase Just River at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SARA B. FRASER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Just River by Sara B. Fraser.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Friday, November 19, 2021

Destroyer of Light by Jennifer Marie Brissett

ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08QGJ2G5C
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tor Books (October 12, 2021)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 12, 2021
Language ‏ : ‎ English
File size ‏ : ‎ 3854 KB


A 2021 Kirkus Best of the Year Book
A 2021 Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book

"[A] dark, poetic tale of struggling human colonists and ambiguously motivated aliens on a distant planet. Brissett uses the alien setting to explore contemporary issues, including racism, the complexities of allyship, and the trauma experienced by child soldiers. The author’s updated take on a classic myth is both clever and entertaining...Richly developed and profound" —Kirkus, Starred Review

“Destroyer of Light is proof positive that we're living in a new golden age of science fiction.” ―Charlie Jane Anders, Hugo Award-winning author

“Destroyer of Light grapples with themes of both the human and post-human experience in a way that is wholly original and seductively engaging. Brissett builds a richly layered and imaginative world that reflects much of our own―the good, the brutal, and the truly monstrous―while daring us to dream of something more. This is a tale not only of becoming and transformation, but about the choices we make that bring us to our destinations. In a time of new, meaningful, and thrilling science fiction, Destroyer of Light is a must read.” ―P. Djèlí Clark, Hugo Finalist and author of The Haunting of Tram Car 015

“A saga that combines many of sf’s most beloved tropes―a remnant of humanity struggling to survive on a far away world, aliens whose goals are dangerously unknowable, alien/human hybrids with unpredictable abilities, suspense, plot twists, and that good old sense of wonder. Hugely ambitious, impressively accomplished.” ―Karen Joy Fowler

“Destroyer of Light confirms Brissett as one of our finest and most ambitious novelists. A world-spanning epic that explores and explodes what it's like to be both human and post-human. Gorgeously written and heartfelt, it's quite simply one of the best books I've read in a very long time.” ―Elizabeth Hand, author of The Book of Lamps and Banners and Curious Toys

Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the four habitable areas of the planet—Day, Dusk, Dawn, and Night—the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories:

*A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving.
*Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes.
*A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night.

Their stories, often containing disturbing physical and sexual violence, skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge.

You can purchase Destroyer of Light at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: Bradley Lau

JENNIFER MARIE BRISSETT has been a software engineer, web developer, and the proprietor of Indigo Café & Books in Brooklyn. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast MFA Program. Her stories can be found in Lightspeed Magazine, Motherboard/VICE, Uncanny Magazine, and FIYAH Magazine amongst other publications. Her debut novel, Elysium (Aqueduct 2014) received the Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation and has been a finalist for the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the Tiptree Award.

DECEMBER 8th WEDNESDAY #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog EXCERPT

DECEMBER 17th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW

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