Good Morning! The following is a guest post from author J.C. Norman:
So I've always been a fan of one fiction or another, growing up in the 90's I grew up on the ninja turtles cartoons, video games and any 80's action films my dad allowed me to watch. Because of this action, violence in fiction was normalized for me at a young age. Even the cartoons like Tom and Jerry were horrifically violent in hindsight. Also were the old Goosebumps books (remember those?) I used to love reading and so as a mash up of all these fictions in my childhood it was no wonder I would start to dream up my own. 'The boy with his head in the clouds' my parents would often call me (although they described it a little differently) or 'Wonder boy' simply because I would always sort of drift around in my own little world, daydreaming and never paying attention unless it was on a TV screen. I am pleased to admit however that nearly 30 years on and still nothing has changed. I just had my yearly work appraisal with my boss saying her annual speech about me 'zoning out' and my work colleagues calling me 'space monkey'.
It's easy for me to understand now however that this was all just a form of escaping reality for me, and to be honest, fiction is a waaayyy better world than the real one, am I right?
I remember when I first decided I would become a writer. I had a paper round at the time and was just reading “The Hobbit” and my dad took me to watch the first Lord of the Rings movie in the cinema. It was then that I realized I wanted to write fantasy. Once a week I would walk slowly around this paper route in my little village and talk to myself and tell myself some little cliché fantasy story just to escape the fact of my own boring, tedious and mundane life. As the years went on however that story became a series of 10 when I eventually scrapped the whole world and decided I would start learning to play an instrument instead. Skip a few years again when I realized music wasn't working out for me when I came back to the first love of my life. This time though I had more experience, more inspiration from new books, films and video games and a whole lot more daydreaming and better ideas.
Strangely enough it was the game “Final Fantasy X” that inspired me the most. I started to look back at my old story and noticed how alike and generic it was to any other fantasy you can think of. With dragons, goblins and blah, blah, blah. So I started dreaming up something new. Once I was happy with the idea of the world I then started think of ways to tell the story. I wanted it exciting, fun, inspiring and most importantly, I wanted to toy with the emotions of the audience. When you read a book or watch a film that makes you cry is an amazing thing I hope to achieve for my audience. How a person can sit and stare at moving pictures or even words on a piece of paper and begin crying sounds strange when simplified like that, but it happens. To feel scared, excited or remorseful just because you're sitting down, staring at slices of dead wood, hallucinating I think is the reason we read. I believe my reasons for reading, that I just can't stand this place sometimes and read to escape are the same reasons why everybody else does. And so I want to help people with that. I've been dreaming all my life and like to think I'm quite good at it, so I want to help others who maybe can't, or to give them something new at least.
I will go ahead and say it: George RR Martin is the greatest writer I can name. I've read many others like Frank Herbert, J RR Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick to name a few and like to think myself very lucky to have read such masterpieces in my time but none have inspired me like Martin and Tolkien. Their writing and descriptions are like poetry and if I can make someone enjoy my story half as much as the way I feel when I read theirs, I would consider myself a success. Also I would have to mention my love of Marvel, I know it seems everybody loves the Marvel stuff now and feel a bit of a hipster by quietly saying under my breath, “Humph, I liked them before they were cool'. (Obviously I know I am wrong about that since Marvel is older than me but still like to think it! And I must honorably mention a love of anime and manga, like Akira, Berserk, and Ghost in the Shell etc.
There are too many names to be honest, before you realize all you are reading are a bunch of titles I like. Once thing is for certain though. I will continue to be inspired, to daydream, and with that will be more stories. After years of soul searching I know now why I am here.
I write, therefore I am. And my name is Jamie Norman ;)
About the book:
When the young and uninjured man with no identity and no memory awakes on a strange world called Sphere with nothing but a metal staff at his side everything is new. Humans are not the only intelligent creatures on the planet, Leo's, Tigian's and the mysterious creatures called "Elders" who use what the ignorant humans call "magic" to run their lives. Join Val and Raiden as they travel Sphere with Acarlie and her guardian Sheeria the Tigian and Miles the mercenary on her sacred and dangerous pilgrimage to visit the Elemental schools around the world, Will Val learn about his past and true identity? Will they be able to save the planet from the most destructive force in the whole universe and will they be in time to stop the Sphere's Divide...?
Sphere’s Divide: Pilgrim of Element by J.C. Norman (published by Clink Street Publishing 6 October, 2015 RRP paperback £10.99, eBook £2.99) is available online at retailers including Amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good bookstores.