My most recent book is entitled Mayhem’s Fountain. The novel is an action adventure story that caters to the adult fantasy fan. The book presents a seventeenth-century tale of romance, mythology, piracy, and fortune hunting.
Tell us something about yourself.
Although this is my first published novel, I’m no stranger to creativity. I’m also a musician. I sing and play guitar for my group, Koncrete Kite. We’ve recorded 3 CD’s and are currently working on our fourth. I take the time between projects to work on my novels. Between my two passions, I’ve been writing for well over twenty years. ‘Mayhem’s Fountain’ is the second in a trilogy surrounding Atlantis. I was born and raised in the NY/NJ area but I currently reside in Florida.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book because I’ve always had a fascination with the myth of Atlantis. Unfortunately, most stories you read about don’t take you into the city itself. They tend to be stories more in the nature of discovering the lost city to prove it existed, or in finding the lost treasures of Atlantis, but no one takes you there as they live and breath. I do. I let you meet the inhabitants and experience life as an Atlantean.
How did you choose the title?
I chose the title ‘Mayhem’s Fountain’, because I wanted to use a little word play. Mayhem, is actually the main protagonist of the story, and the fountain in the title refers to the mythical Fountain of Youth. I did my best to try and entice the fantasy reader.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
The biggest I obstacle I faced, and still do, is that I’m an unknown in the publishing world. This is not an easy industry to break into … that aside, I felt I had a story to tell. I decided to self-publish my novel through i-Universe. Although the process itself took much longer than originally expected, and cost far more than anticipated, I feltas though I’veproduced a book that’s as professional as anything you’ll see currently available. It’s been quite the eye opening experience.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when the subjects I wanted to read about weren’t available. I thought if I had an interest in reading about it, then maybe someone else out there did as well. Since there tends to be a lot of time between making CD’s, I decided to do something that would keep my creative juices flowing. That’s when I decided to be a writer.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Believe it or not, the names just sort of flowed out during the course of writing the story. I would get to a new character in the story, and without putting too much thought into it, a name would instantly come to me. I’d put it down on paper and it just felt right. It actually became quite fun creating the names of the Atlanteans. Imagine combining the names of fish with traditional Greek names.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned why it takes so long to release a book. I had no idea how many steps there were in the process. Editors alone, you need to go through a developmental editor, a content editor, a proofreader, etc. I think I learned about every specific department there is in publishing. I had no idea.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Well, let’s put it this way … I do have another book in this trilogy ready to publish now. Although I loved the freedom I enjoyed, I certainly wouldn’t object the financial help that comes by signing with a professional publisher. It takes a lot of money to publish a book. That’s not even touching the marketing.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I love reading anything fantasy related. My favorite authors, to name a few, are what I call the initial authors: J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, & J. K. Rowling. These people knew how to create worlds. I love to escape.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I’m completing the final in my Atlantis trilogy. The first one introduced you to Atlantis and the Atlanteans. The second one incorporated the story with a little more mythology including the Fountain of Youth and Sasquatch. The final one will be centered around the Bermuda triangle.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Have a unique idea and faith in your story. The publishing world may not accept you with open arms, but that doesn’t mean the outside world won’t. Stay true to your dream and keep writing. If you decide to self publish be ready for a long, expensive journey. Don’t get discouraged, it’s very satisfying seeing your book in print.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Anyone who truly enjoys fantasy/sci-fi adventures, I think would enjoy my story. I’m a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. What I liked most about those stories were the worlds they created. I did my best to create a new spin on Atlantis. For anyone who’s grow a little tired of vampires and wizards, come and give the world of mermaids a try.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
They can visit my blog, www.jabove.wordpress.com.