Thank you for joining me for the second installment of Authoring Arrowheads’s 2020 Author Interview series. For February, I’ll be interviewing epic fantasy author, Jason Barnette.
On the last Wednesday of each month in 2020, I will be hosting an author for an interview! These authors will range from indie friends I’ve made online to authors in my local area. Be sure to subscribe to never miss an interview!
Meet Jason Barnette!
Jason is a local author I met through IT consulting at work.
His debut novel, The Ruux Stone, released in 2019.
Interview with Jason Barnette, Author of The Fields of Aratek series
Q1: When did you first realize you love writing?
For most of my life I didn’t enjoy reading, let alone writing. It was about 2005 when I really began reading novels…mostly fantasy. I found reading a great way to escape the daily grind. I could do it anytime, even during short breaks. In 2017 I had an idea for a story and just began writing. I found the story just began to flow. It came out easily. I let my wife and friend read what I had and they loved it and said I should continue it. That was when I realized that I wanted to be a writer. It took two years for me to finish the first novel, which was published in August 2019.
Q2: What inspired you to write The Fields of Aratek?
I’ve always been a fan of fantasy. I guess it started with video games like the Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy when I was younger. The Fields of Aratek started out as just a short story and sort of ended up being fantasy novel. There were lots of influences on my writing, but it looks like we’ll get into that later. The title was the last thing that was decided. I had several titles, but this was the one I ended up using. I suppose readers will understand why I chose this title in the last book of the trilogy.
Q3: What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
I am currently writing in three different projects. Most of my time is being spent on The Fields of Aratek: Book 2 – Edicts of Chaos (which I’m hoping to release in April 2020). I’m also working on a short self-help book and a horror novel, both of which are currently untitled.
Q4: Which authors (inside or outside your genre) have inspired your writing?
Some of my biggest influences are Terry Brooks (the Shannara series), Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Tom Clancy. The Fields or Aratek has a lot of parallels to Terry Brooks’ Shannara series and I ended up going back and rewriting a lot of it to try to pull away from that. I really want to write my own material. We all have have our influences and I feel like I’ve found a great stride for upcoming projects.
Q5: What are your go-to writing snacks?
LOL! Anything I can get my hands on unfortunately! I don’t really have a study or office to write in, so most of the time I find myself writing at the dining room table or lying on my bed, like I am right now while writing this. If I had to choose some favorites, though, I would say its a fifty-fifty split between salt-n-vinegar potato chips and a bag of Smarties.
Q6: What is your favorite part about indie (self) publishing? What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part is the freedom to choose what happens with my book, like title, cover, etc. Also, I’m quite a perfectionist, so I have a hard time delegating tasks to others. I actually did everything myself, even the cover.
As far as what I like the least…editing and proofreading! I hate it. I also self-edited The Ruux Stone (and it probably shows). One thing was that, having never been a writer before, I had to teach myself how to write fiction, including dialogue and the like, while I was writing. I think I read over the whole book about 20 times and finally just decided that it was as good as I could get it, and published it. I didn’t have the extra funds at the time to hire an editor, so that would have to do. Hopefully, I can hire a professional editor for my future projects.
Q7: What advice would you like to share with first-time writers?
As far as fiction is concerned, here is what I wish I had done when I first started The Fields of Aratek: Don’t push the characters, but take good notes. Think of yourself as an observer that is recording a story that is happening rather than someone who is creating a story. Let the story flow naturally and let the characters tell it their way. Don’t let plot get too much in the way because the characters may want to do something different than what you have in mind.
That said, make sure to take good notes on locations, names of characters, places, events, and objects….especially locations. The Ruux Stone has a map throughout the book. I was constantly referring back to that map (that I had decided I needed to create about half way through), to make sure the distances between cities were consistent. These things can save you tons of time as the manuscript grows.
Just a final word. I would suggest that every fiction writer read (or listens to) Stephen King’s book titled On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It is a treasure trove of tips for writers and it’s very entertaining as well. I read this book after I had written The Ruux Stone and was pleased to find that I was already doing much of what King had suggested in this book. However, there is still much I need to work on.
Thank you for stopping by, Jason!
Connect with Author Jason Barnette at:
Or his website, www.jasonlbarnette.com
Check out his debut novel, The Ruux Stone!
Two brothers from a small southern town embark on a life-altering journey to locate a missing loved one.
A young girl fights for her life as she struggles to survive the horrors of her captors.
A Queen finds herself entangled in a mission to save not only her city, but the whole of the land.
Magic, always thought of as being games and illusions that children would perform in the streets, reveals itself to be something much darker…and very dangerous.
The Fields of Aratek invites readers to become immersed in a tale that is filled with beautiful landscapes, love and passion, the pains of death, and characters that grip the hearts of those who dive deep into their individual struggles and successes. It offers a new perspective on the Fantasy genre and delivers a captivating storyline that will intrigue adolescents and adults alike.
View the book on Amazon!
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Who else loves the cover of The Ruux Stone? I recently read the book on my Kindle and plan to review it soon!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.