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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
I didn’t start out life as a writer, although I’ve always known it was something I wanted to do. I’ve always been an avid reader and recall the first moment I realized that books were the entryway into vast new worlds. The setting was at our family cabin in a remote part of Iowa. A sand-bottom river runs by my dad’s property and we’d just come in from an afternoon of playing and had received the obligatory cold-shower from Mom by the water-pump. We didn’t have indoor plumbing, but as a I kid I neither knew or cared. Having swum, and now with chattering teeth I wrapped up in a blanket and wondered what next could I could do. It was then that Mom handed me the first Tarzan of the Apes book by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I was instantly enthralled and read through the entire serial while on that vacation in the woods.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
As it turns out I have an older sister who is an even more avid reader and was working through a life change where she suddenly found herself with a master’s degree and no job. Oddly enough, she happened to be living at that same cabin in the woods, where I discovered my love of reading. She spent an entire year publishing the first four novels of her popular Bellingwood series. At Christmas, she shared with me that she felt she could make a go of publishing. To say I was gob-smacked is an understatement. That January, I started writing in earnest and published my first science fiction novel – Rookie Privateer, in April. That was three years ago and I haven’t slowed down, even for a moment.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Great question, I was just talking to my sister about this last night. I came from a very loving family. It wasn’t without problems, mind you, but I had a father who regularly held the hands of his children and a mother who enjoyed being around us. I love exploring dark subjects within Urban Fantasy and Paranormal genres. But for me that’s the setting and the conflict. My stories are almost always about how friends and family find ways to overcome the great evils they run into.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
There are several things. I’m goal oriented and enjoy the completion of a task. I’m also a perfectionist and I need to have things done well. There is a satisfaction I feel when I hit the button to submit a manuscript to be published that I know all work is complete and I’ve accomplished. And while, that satisfaction is nice, it is nowhere near as rewarding as the responses I receive from readers. Some are funny – people simply sharing a part of their life and reaching out because that’s who they are. While others are heartwarming, often where a reader found something I wrote particularly applicable to their lives. For me, writing is a journey I share with readers, I would quickly loose interest without that interaction.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Marketing and time management. Many readers are unaware that self-published authors are responsible for marketing their own works. You either get good at it quickly or you sink into oblivion. Time management is also a huge challenge for me. As I have a day-job and an active family, I’m constantly searching for quiet moments where I can get to my happy-spot and write.
What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?
To borrow from Nike – Just Do It! Seriously, stop thinking about it and start writing today.
What ways can readers connect with you?
www.fickledragon.com is my website. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on facebook at facebook.com/jamiemcfarlaneauthor.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Fickle Dragon Publishing
Number of pages: 266
Word Count: 86,837
Cover Artist: Silviya Yordanova
Late one night, a teenaged witch witnesses her uncle perform the forbidden ritual to summon a demon. His carelessness results in the demon breaking free and being released into the world. Drawn to the young witch’s powers like a shark, the demon is only temporarily thwarted when she manages to escape.
Felix Slade is a wizard living far from the family he grew up with. Recently he’s been unable to sleep as night after night a beautiful young witch is stalked by a demon in his dreams. Each night, new details are exposed and Felix is soon convinced that it’s up to him to prevent the woman’s demise. The dreams reach a critical point when Felix’s own family is threatened by the violence he’s sure is yet to come.
With his sister and the woman he loves by his side, Felix rushes to face the greatest challenge he’s encountered yet. There is great darkness inside him and he must choose to embrace or reject it in order to face the demon’s evil.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/_mvC7hUd2Lg
Faa Farmstead, just outside Eppy Faire, five years ago
Lace Faa stared out at the waning crescent moon through the wavy glass of the old farmhouse window, wishing for even the slightest breeze. The day’s heat refused to dissipate from the humid, summer air which clung to her as she tried unsuccessfully to fall asleep. As if on command, a slight puff of wind rustled the sheer curtains of her second floor window, carrying with it the faint sound of chanting. She strained her ears, curiosity piqued, wondering who might be working her family’s hidden craft so late at night. Her gaze shifted to the barn across the gravel driveway. A flickering glow between weathered siding exposed the presence of lit candles and a ritual in progress.
She dropped her legs over the side of the bed and placed her feet in just the right spot to keep the weathered floor from creaking. At the age of sixteen, Lace wasn’t fully initiated in the subtle magics of her kin, but moving silently had been drilled into her from an early age. She walked carefully, rolling from heel to toe along the unseen joists that supported the floor, avoiding loose boards as she slipped from bedroom to hallway. The hem of her white cotton nightgown thumped quietly, caressing the wooden stair treads as she descended to the kitchen.
For a moment, she paused at the screen door and considered its habit of screeching when opened. Wetting forefinger and thumb in her mouth, she rubbed them on the old, rusted top hinge. Tall and slender, Lace slipped through the door, opening it only a crack. Relief from the heat held in the old house was welcome as she picked her way gingerly across the gravel. Her eyes focused on the flickering light leaking from the ancient barn.
Lace negotiated the piles of junk that had found their final resting place next to the building and carefully placed both hands on the rough siding, leaning forward to look through one of the many cracks in its façade. Her eye came to rest on the edge of a white circle, drawn on the dirt floor only feet from her position. With her limited view, she glimpsed two black candles burning brightly at the tips of what she suspected was a pentagram, although without full view of the circle, she couldn’t know for certain.
“Phezore Gesteriph Feoro, I summon you.” The bold voice, her uncle Willum Gordon’s, resumed chanting in the ancient language Lace believed was only known by her extended family. Her heart thudded in her chest, recognizing the simple ritual – if only from her reading.
“Oh, Willum,” she whispered involuntarily before bringing her hand to her mouth.
“Who’s there?” Willum asked loudly from within the barn.
Lace stepped back, startled, catching her heel on a piece of long forgotten machinery. She spun, trying to save herself, but in the poor light her knee came in contact with a stack of precariously balanced wooden crates. She lunged from her position, diving away from the collapsing junk, all pretense of stealth abandoned. The tall door of the barn slid open as she twisted, trying to free her legs.
“Madge?” Willum asked, the low angle of wavering candles illuminating him eerily from behind.
Lace hastily scrawled a rune in the air with her finger, turning away from Willum’s position so he wouldn’t see the faint sparkling trail as she did. As an initiate of her clan’s magic, she’d mastered the one spell that had come easily to her – shadow walk.
Willum stepped from the barn, closing the door behind him. Lace used the noise to her advantage and gained her feet, moving slowly from her original position. Willum turned and stared directly at her, standing stock still – a hunter trying to locate its quarry. Lace froze. She knew him to be cruel when cornered and he would not take kindly to her spying on his ritual. A weak practitioner by family standards, he’d often taken out his frustrations on her. With the provocation of an interrupted ritual, Lace well understood the danger she’d placed herself in.
Willum took a few steps forward, cutting the distance between them in half. Lace breathed slowly, trying to calm her heart, the lack of oxygen demanding deeper breaths. Swiping the air between them, Willum moved toward her. Slowly, she stepped aside, anticipating his movements. Sweat beaded on her forehead as his fingers came within inches of her face.
Jamie McFarlane is a graduate of Colorado School of Mines with a Master of Science in Mathematics. An avid reader, tinkerer, woodworker and metal sculptor, Jamie is just as likely to be seen smelting aluminum cans in his garage as he is tacking random, discarded iron objects into a small army of beasties that adorn his home’s landscaping.
Jamie’s writing career began as something of a dare which later turned into a tribute. In his late teens, Jamie was well known as the family story-teller, spinning fanciful yarns about ordinary events, usually with the objective of escaping well-deserved trouble.
One day, his mother, often the target of his mischievous tales, challenged him to commit his words to writing. Jamie promised he would but time passed, as did his beloved mother. In 2014, Jamie made good on his promise and published his first book.
Jamie is the author of a growing library of novels and novellas including the space opera series – Privateer Tales, and the urban fantasy series – Witchy World. Jamie lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with his wife and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
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