What started you off writing?
I’ve always had stories and characters and worlds bouncing around in my head. I won the ‘Storyteller’ award in second grade. Although I’m not sure if that was for creativity or creative lying.
Which writer do you feel inspired you the most to yourself become an author?
Frank Peretti probably takes the cake—I stayed up one too many late nights reading his scary novels. But I also loved Ted Dekker, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My co-author, Angela Castillo, is my biggest inspiration. She has 4 kids, is an amazingly successful indie author, and brings me enchiladas every time I get sick. I have no idea how she does it.
Do you have a favourite book which you couldn’t put down or have reread several times?
That’s a tough one! I have so many favorites that it’s honestly hard to choose. But my most recent favorite series is An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.
What is your writing process like?
I’m a ‘plotter’ instead of a ‘pantser,’ which means I meticulously plan out my books before I write them. I first do a skeleton plot, then an outline, then a detailed outline for each chapter, and finally pre-writing before I actually write (these phases are explained in my non-fiction book, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing, which comes out on March 30, 2018).
My favorite part of the writing process is probably tied between worldbuilding and pre-writing funny dialogue. My least favorite part of the writing process is–surprise!–editing, but I have the best alpha readers, beta readers, editors, and proofers ever.
Tell us a little bit about your most recent book?
Sage is book 3 in The Sentinel Trilogy, which wraps up the crazy urban fantasy shenanigans with a bang. It’s really hard to talk about it by itself without giving away spoilers! 🙂 So here’s a blurb about the first book, Sentinel, from Amazon:
Blood-bonds with angels. Surreal mental abilities. Elemental gods. Star Wars meets The Mortal Instruments in this adrenaline-laced urban fantasy.
The meteor storm wasn’t such a big deal until a comet landed in the middle of the road. Now Darien’s car is wrecked, his sister is bleeding out, and the only medical aid is at the reclusive Serran Academy.
Jet sees Darien for what he is: a lost teen who doesn’t deserve to know about the aether gifts. And his sister’s rare future-seeing ability is exactly what the enemy is after.
As fractured governments and shadow organizations vie for control of a dying world, the Serran Academy students–and their angelic secrets–are targeted for harvesting.
What did you find the most challenging aspect of writing your latest book?
Sage was difficult just because it was so long—about 30,000 words longer than other books in the series. I had to make sure everyone got their happily ever after, you know.
Other than that, Jet was so stubborn. He was always the biggest pain in the butt to write about, because when I’d be writing, he’d decide that he wanted to do something different than I’d planned. He didn’t care about my outline. I had to change major parts of The Sentinel Trilogy because of him. *grumble*
What five books would you say everyone should have in their personal libraries?
That’s really tough to answer, because everyone loves different genres. But my personal recommendations would be The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti, Blink by Ted Dekker, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Where do you write and do you have any idiosyncrasies or specific writing area that has to be just so?
Oh yes, I’m super OCD about my writing space(s). My favorite places to write are in the local state park, as alone as possible. I’ll find old ruins with park benches in them or lookout areas that oversee the whole forest.
But when weather doesn’t permit me to write outside, my home office must have a candle lit, my water fountain on, and my huge camouflage water bottle full of ice-cold water.
If you could yourself climb into any book and take on the mantle of a character which book and which character would it be?
Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia! Magical bow and Turkish delights, please.
What upcoming works can we expect from you and do you have a timeframe for them?
I’m working on 2 new fantasy series–both will be epic fantasy. One is called Emberhawk, which is planned to be a 3-book series that will happen a couple thousand years before Sentinel. It will be heavier on the romantic suspense side of things, involving elementals and tribes on the brink of war. I’m not sure about the release date for this because I have been pursued by agents and publishers for it, and honestly I’m not sure if I want to sell it or indie publish it yet. If I decide to indie it, you’ll see it on bookshelves much sooner.
The other upcoming series is called Runes of Kona. It’s planned as a 6-book series on another planet called Kona, but still within the same universe as The Sentinel Trilogy. As you might have guessed, it involves rune magic. And royal bloodlines. And talking trees. And void dragons. hehe. That one I will indie publish, but since it’s so long, it will take me at least a couple of years to write.
But since it will take me a while to get these new series out, I’m going to write a short story for The Sentinel Trilogy to tell Zekk’s backstory–it will be available for free for my newsletter subscribers only (sign up at http://www.jamiesfoley.com/newsletter). That will come out in fall 2018.
I’m also planning a follow-up book to The Sentinel Trilogy called Sifter, which will tell the story of the children of the heroes 18 years after book 3: Sage. That’s planned for release in 2019. 🙂
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