Hi, everyone! First off, big thanks to Divine Magazine for letting me make a guest post here to help generate some buzz for The Doorway God’s release! I’ll post an excerpt below, and then answer some fun questions about being an author that should be very relatable to some of you. Happy reading!
The Seasons are coming to Janus University, and Fay’s and Sam’s lives will never be the same.
Through last year’s deadly Trials, Fay and Sam gained admittance to the magical university, and the coming of autumn signals the start of the school year. But both of them have goals beyond their studies. For Fay, it’s finding a way to contain the ancient and evil spirit of Winter, which has no regard for human life. Fay has vowed to never let Winter kill again—but working with the school’s headmaster, Didas, is a risk. Didas cannot see past the potential power he can draw from Fay, and since Fay’s boyfriend and familiar, Tyler, is away at Tufts University, Fay might have to face his possession—and his dreams of four mysterious figures—on his own terms.
While trying to help Fay, Sam seeks information about her mother’s past in the magical world of Gaia, but will she like what she uncovers? To survive, Fay and Sam must make alliances, but it’s harder than ever to tell friend from enemy.
Fay and Sam search for solutions at the magical Janus University, but will their quest uncover more questions than answers?
With summer’s end, Fay and Sam prepare to take the places they’ve earned at the school. There, Fay seeks to rid himself of the cruel and murderous spirit of Winter that possesses him, and Sam hopes to learn more about her deceased mother and her mother’s role on the mystical world, Gaia.
As Fay’s dreams of four shadowy figures—the Seasons—increase in intensity, he realizes the school’s headmaster, Didas, might not have his best interests at heart. Didas wants to turn Fay into his personal weapon, and Fay’s only hope might be to merge with the ancient spirit. Since Fay’s boyfriend and familiar Tyler cannot be with him as often as he’d like, Sam tries to support Fay, but the secrets she uncovers about her mother mean her quest is only beginning.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Intentional literary pilgrimages, not many! I believe that inspiration can be found anywhere, and that while some places certainly lend themselves a little more willingly to the imagination, visiting them can be prohibitively expensive. That said, I was lucky enough this past winter and spring to continue my education in the U.K., and let me just say this: Stonehenge is absolutely worth the trek out to the Salisbury area. So is York Minster, Hadrian’s Wall, the Tower of London, and so many other places. That might be a good way to think about it, actually – visit your nearest old structure. Memories concentrate there for a reason.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
That very much depends on the type of writing and what stage of creation I’m in, I think. As a general rule, I enjoy writing, because if I’m not enjoying myself I know it’s not going to be very good, and so I stop writing and go back to square one. I think… I think the build-up to writing can be exhausting, because you’re layering expectations about your creative output onto yourself before you’ve even picked up the pen. Once I actually start writing, though, all my exhaustion disappears like so much dew in sunlight.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar?
Oh goodness, that depends. I’d have to go with a dog as a mascot, because dogs are such a huge part of my life and I can’t think of any other animal that I’d want by me. If we’re talking avatar in the whole “what animal would you be” sense… maybe a red panda? They’re very cute creatures, and spend a lot of time just falling over themselves and not doing much else. I like to think that’s an endearing quality of mine (I hope that’s an endearing quality).
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there, even if we have different terminology for what it was like. Writer’s block is scary because it can affect the process in so many different areas, and you can’t protect all of them at the same time! Having no ideas is rough – being unable to summon up the motivation to sit down in front of your pen and paper or keyboard is even worse. Take time away and try and find what solutions work for you, because it’s going to happen. Probably more than once.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Well, if you’re lucky, those overlap. If you’re the sort who deliberately writes formulaic stories to an established fan base, then you should probably stick to the tried and true, because those readers won’t be looking for you to reinvent the wheel. That said, if you got into writing because you wanted to tell your story, then be original. If you’ve got readers, I can pretty safely guarantee you got them because they liked your writing. Trying to anticipate what they want rather than just writing what you love isn’t going to turn out well. To put it simply, have faith in your readers having faith in you!
Do you Google yourself or your books?
The former, no. The latter, rarely. What happens is that I’ll google my book, and I’ll see the Amazon or Goodreads link, and then I’ll invariably drag my gaze down to the review section, and then – and then I see the reviews. It’s important to note: reviews are meant for other readers, especially on sites like Goodreads. It does not benefit you as an author to read them, because by the time people are posting reviews, you can’t incorporate their feedback. For me, that means spiraling into gloomy moping for a while, so it’s just not healthy. Honest criticism I will take, but people giving their opinions on my story is not something I need to keep constant track of.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Tasks due later that day. This is a personal thing – I cannot function when I have something hanging over my head. It’s why any time I’m given something to do, I do my best to get it done and out of the way as fast as possible. So long as I know I have something unpleasant coming or work to do that I haven’t done yet, my mind isn’t settled enough to write properly. Get everything out of the way first, then write.
About the Author
Tom Early is currently a student at Tufts University who probably spends more time than is wise reading and writing instead of studying. More often than not, he can be found wrapped in a blanket on the couch forgetting most of the things he was supposed to do that day.
When not writing, Tom can be found either reading, gaming, drawing, scratching his dog, or bothering his friends. He also frequently forgets that it’s healthy to get more than six hours of sleep a night, and firmly believes that treating coffee as the most important food group makes up for this. If you show him a picture of your dog, he will probably make embarrassingly happy noises and then brag about his own dog. He’s always happy to talk about any of his previous or current writing projects, because people asking him about them reminds him that he should really be writing right now.