Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Author Spotlight: A.J. Norfield

Introducing author A.J. Norfield, here to tell us about his debut novel Windcatcher (which is discounted on Amazon this week!):

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi everyone, A.J. Norfield at your service. Proud father of two adorable rascals and happily married. And not unimportant: debuting author of the Stone War Chronicles. My days are filled with working in the world of conservation, while the nights allow me to construct adventurous worlds, inspired by mythical creatures that I’ve admired all my life.

2. When did you start writing, and why?
I remember “writing” when I was very young, creating my own cartoons. However during my teens and twenties I’d rather enjoyed the reading side of books, than the writing side. I always had the intention or wish to write my own book(s) (like many people do, I expect). There was no doubt it would fall in the fantasy genre, heavily focused on dragons. So a few years ago the time seemed right to undertake this new adventure and I was able to finish my first novel as a result of it.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write? 
Dragon adventures fantasy, which officially falls under epic fantasy (if I had to choose an “official” genre). Dragons have captured my imagination since I was a youngster, from reading to movies, from drawings to now writing. They have this majestic feel that ties into my admiration of nature that creates the perfect combination for exciting tales of danger and wonder.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
‘Windcatcher’ is my debut novel. I was very nervous to put it out in the world at first, but slowly I’m settling into the fact that many people really like the story. And what’s there not to like? The stakes are high, the action is plentiful and you’ll be able to meet a very special dragon, who will steal the readers hearts, from the moment it arrives in the world. The reviews it gets are amazing, I’m truelly humbled by them. It has become clear that those readers that enjoy books like the Dragon Riders of Pern and Eragon are very likely to enjoy my first steps in authorship, as well. Which is not surprising as Anne McCaffrey is one of my all-time favorites and a huge inspiration.

Currently I’m working on ‘Wavebreaker’, the second book in the Stone War Chronicles Series. The story deepens, new characters are introduced and a new dragon will see the light of day. The additional main character is to be a strong female lead whose storyline will run parallel with that of Raylan and Galirras as they continue their journey from ‘Windcatcher’. I hope people will grow to love her just like they do Raylan and Galirras, as her world is turned upside down and has to flee for the oncoming dangers from the East.

5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
My lovely newly made worldmap is available here:
The known world’s continents represent three different dragon teeth. This comes from the old history of the Tiankong Empire, a nation that is still much of a mystery in book I of the Stone War Chronicles. The kingdom of Aeterra is where Raylan, the main protagonist, grew up. It entered a stable period after the last great war, focusing on trade and prosperity. The story is set in medieval (fantasy) times, with slight modern sets of life. While the world is divers and grand, filled with the good and the bad of the people that live in it.

Doskova is the third, large player on this world’s stage. It lays in the East. A dangerous and dark continent, where our main characters will discover a danger that will impact the world.

After completing ‘Windcatcher’, I feel like the world is really coming into its own as I continue to explore the many exotic places and landscapes in ‘Wavebreaker’. Because of my background in conservation, I really enjoy implementing nature and animals into the story, to make the world feel more real, as well as add value to the story of men.

6. Introduce us to one of your characters. What do you like about them?
I would like to focus on the only female character in the group of friends for this interview: Xi’Lao
She is the whole reason why their group travels to Doskova in search of the ancient relic. She’s reserved and calculating, traveling from the Tiankong Empire to request the aid of Aeterra’s king in locating their nation’s most valuable piece of history, while the empire is in chaos.

Still, she’s as mysterious as the Empire she comes from, as Tiankong actively refusing entrance to any outsiders. As a character, she combines a vast amount of knowledge, with a high skill in combat—which makes her a valuable member of the team. Then, as the story unfolds, people will see the deeper layers of why she is so driven to get the relic back, and the many aspects of one’s life that influence your decisions along the way.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
There are actually many tiny references to other books, movies and videos games in the story. Though, they might actually be way too subtle to be noticed by anyone. Other than that, I never really realized how much emotion a writer can transfer to the reader until I read that I made a grown woman cry. It must seem pretty weird to see someone jumping up and down from joy in their living room, because they made a person cry… ^_^

8. What music do you listen to while writing?
For the action scenes I often will listen to Two Steps from Hell, or Kamelot. Movie music or game music like ‘Everybody's Gone to the Rapture’ are really enjoyable as well. However, as soon as I have to write complicated emotions or conversations, I tend to write in silence, as not to get distracted from the words I wish to put down on paper.

Where to find A.J. Norfield:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Windcatcher is available at Amazon (discounted through May 27, 2016 or read free with Kindle Unlimited!)

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