Author Interview: J.R. Wagner

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hello everyone, we have another interview as promised. You see I can keep to a schedule! By the way I still want to post an interview every week so if your an author (not erotica authors sorry!) then feel free to get in touch! I do focus primarily on PNR, Dystopia and YA but I can make exceptions.
 So here's the interview, enjoy!

Tell me about yourself
I  was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania during a blizzard. The snow made travel by car impossible, so my father called an ambulance when my mother went into labor. The ambulance became stuck at the bottom of their home’s driveway, prompting the dispatch of a fire truck, which towed the ambulance to the hospital where he was born. (In other words, I've been a pain in the ass since birth). Maybe it was this experience that destined me to love adventure. A competitive cyclist, triathlete, mountain biker and adventure racer, I once received a medal for saving a woman’s life during the kayaking section of an adventure race (I was one of many people who were involved in her rescue). I have a day job to keep me “grounded”; I help run his late father’s Downingtown, Pennsylvania floor-covering business.

I first started writing at 10 years old with my sequel to “Return of The Jedi” – the self- proclaimed “Star Wars geek” had lofty aspirations of working with George Lucas on filming the project. I also wrote sequels to Jaws, Ghostbusters and Batman. In 1990 I began filming his version of “The Lord of The Rings” in my parent’s basement, but the plug was pulled after I nearly burned down the house. Since then I've also written a full-length science fiction screenplay, a thriller novel and a second screenplay (which I'm intent on filming myself). After graduating in Kinesiology from Arizona State University, I returned to Downingtown, where his creative fires were re-stoked by his two beautiful daughters. My wife Lisa, I call my muse. It was during their trip to Maine he began writing Exiled. She is the reason I've been able to scamper off and chase my dreams.

Tell me about your book/s
Exiled, my first novel, is a fantasy novel written for young adults about a boy (15) who is accused of murdering his mentor and banished to The Never, a place from which there is no chance of escape. James must first learn to survive in this inhospitable environment before finding a way to return home, where he believes he must be the one to save his kind from destroying themselves. Full of sorcery, treachery, tragedy, adventure and excitement, Exiled is book one of The Never Chronicles, which in full, completes the story of James, The Never and the feared Epoch Terminus – the rapidly approaching date marking the end of his world. Every other chapter follows James in The Never, while, in “Lost”-like fashion, the alternating chapters provide back-story. The story lines eventually come crashing together in dramatic fashion, tying sub-plots together and providing the reader a “wow” moment.
What are your favourite books?
At the moment, I'm loving the Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins.  I just read Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield, which is an amazing book I hope to share with my daughters when they're old enough. The Chronicles of Narnia, The hobbit and The Lord of The Rings are the books that sparked my creative interests growing up.
Who is your inspiration?
My family inspires me to work toward success every day.  My wife, my daughters.  I am inspired by many,  many authors. Some are well known published super-stars and others are still trying to publish or self publishing and fighting every day to let their writing voice be heard by the world. If they're out there fighting for their dreams, they're a source of inspiration.

Are you working on any books we should look out for in the future?
I've actually finished a draft of the sequel to Exiled, which I hope to have released in 2013.

What is your favourite quote?
"End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it."..."White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise."

If you could be any character from any book who would you be and why?
Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit.  Who wouldn't want to go on that adventure?

What is your favourite genre? 
YA Fantasy

Who are your favourite authors?
J. R. R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Janet Evanovich, James Clavelle, Nelson Demille, Anne Rice, Author C. Clarke, Edgar Allan Poe are just a few.

What tips would you give young aspiring writers?
Write.  Write every day.  Go to or (recently they became one) and have your work evaluated by other writers.  Evaluate other writers yourself.  Enter writing contests. Create a blog.  Build a following.  Don't limit the content to one thing -diversify. Become social media savvy, build a following -did I mention build a following?? Consider self-publishing something and see what the world thinks.  As the publishing world evolves, so will the way we publish. I believe publishers are going to focus on writers who have walked the walk -written, edited, published and marketed themselves.  If the readers like it, that is all the justification you should require! Once you've walked through the publishing fire yourself, then the big market publishers will give you a look. Why? Because you've proven you ability to build your own following, you're savvy enough to produce a product people are interested in and understand the process.  If the choice is two great stories, one is from an author who has done all I've described and it has seen moderate success and the other is from an author with no experience with marketing, building a following, or editing -there really is no choice.  As a writer, this will be how you build your resume. Times are changing, simply writing a great story isn't enough any more.  You need to be your own marketing team. If you can't or won't accept this, I suggest you look into another career path because it is a necessary evil. Then write, and write and write some more...and build a following.
Speaking of writing contests, I'm hosting a FREE (no entry fee) short story contest.  Details are at my website
Need More?

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

3 People dared to comment.:

J.R. Wagner said...

Thanks for the interview! it was fun!

Michael Cargill said...

Interesting interview there.

Good luck and stuff.

Emily said...

Glad you liked it!

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