Monday, October 23, 2017

Interview with writer and novelist Jack Hillman

Writer and novelist Jack Hillman joins me today to chat about his new urban fantasy novel, Magic Forgotten.

During his virtual book tour, Jack will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

A lifelong Pennsylvania resident, Jack began a love of books sitting amid the mystery of hospitals and medical paraphernalia. Mythology of all cultures and a fascination with martial philosophies led to King Arthur, the knights of the round table and an array of science fiction and fantasy authors that had a strong impact on his life.

Real life got in the way of a writing career to start, but thirty years in the life and medical insurance field led Jack to a job as a stringer for local newspapers and writing for medical and insurance journals. In addition to years in the insurance field Jack also has fifteen years of experience as a journalist and freelance writer, and has even won a Keystone Press Award (1998) for his journalistic efforts. Jack has written on a wide variety of subjects and keeps his hand in medical and insurance matters on a daily basis.

In addition to newspaper reporting and magazine articles, Jack has written articles for a variety websites--some under his own name and some as a behind-the-scenes contributor. Jack's first short fiction piece, a novella, was serialized in an old BBS site in 1992, with the first hard copy magazine story arriving in 1993. Four dinner theater plays written by Jack have been produced and performed for local theater in Eastern Pennsylvania. His novels are now coming to light with the release of There Are Giants in This Valley published by Archebooks Publishing.

With experience as a journalist, short story writer, playwright and novelist, Jack often speaks at writer's conferences, to writer's groups and to school gatherings. If you are looking for a speaker on esoteric subjects, Jack probably has something tucked away in a folder for the occasion.

He lives in eastern Pennsylvania with his supportive wife, a squad of feline editors, and an array of edged weapons to inspire his works.

Welcome, Jack. Please share a little bit about your current release.
A paraplegic, freelance writer named Dan Braden has withdrawn from society only to be dragged back out by the appearance of two strangers in his back yard. They are a Sidhe, the old elves of England, and a human wizardess, a captive of the elf. They are here to take over the world. To the Sidhe’s surprise, he will soon find himself alone in his efforts as the human wizardess and Dan join forces to save the world.

What inspired you to write this book?
Many years of reading stories about elves and magic combined with a friend of mine asking one day” So where did the elves go when they left England?” And a story was born.

Excerpt from
Magic Forgotten:
Dan gripped the rails of his chair with both hands, holding himself upright by what little strength remained in his body. The cold touch of the steel tubing seemed to give him energy and he looked up at Baraz.

“What is it you need?” he asked, weakly. The stones permitted this question, perhaps because it was a benefit to Dan’s master. “I can find anything here faster than any visitor. You need me alert and conscious. To get what you need.” Each phrase was a strain to speak, without direction from Baraz.

“We have found what we need, cripple,” Baraz answered. “By now, Thook has discovered the way into the place where they grow the gems we seek.” He stood, pointing to the computer as if the gems were there for display. “That place grows gemstones, an amazing skill I must learn for myself. Two stones of the proper design, placed together inside a spell Thook will prepare, will open a doorway from my world to thine. The light of the sun will rip through the veil and provide the path for my queen to come back to her power.”
“You want laser crystals,” Dan exclaimed, the logo now making sense to him. He had seen it before, in an ad in the employment section of the local paper. SolarTech grew laser crystals for industrial use and they were looking for good employees to work in the labs and clean rooms of their facility. “This has got to be the strangest quest I ever heard of,” he mumbled. “You look like a reject from a sword and sorcery movie. Playing with laser crystals, no less.”

“Enough,” Baraz shouted. “Thy place is to obey, nothing more.” He stepped forward and pointed the ax at Dan. “I could dispense with thee now, but that would require another tool in thy place. But soon, fool, thou wilt be as worthless as thou appear. Then I will deal with thy insolence.”

Dan snapped. Baraz was within arm’s reach. Uncaring of the pain caused by the stones on his wrists and forehead, Dan gripped the shaft of the ax. More due to Baraz’s surprise than any martial skill, Dan jerked the ax free, spun it in his hands and swung at Baraz’s stomach. The blade sheared through the tunic, grating on the mail beneath. Dan spun the shaft in his hands, tangling the tunic around the ax-heads and pulled, dragging Baraz to him.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The sequel to Magic Forgotten, titled Magic Forbidden. Dan and Thook are still on Earth abut now need to face a different kind of magic that should not be there.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing in my teens. My first published piece was a school essay in 1969. I got serious about it in 1991 and have been working at it ever since.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not write full time. My day job at the moment is as an insurance underwriter, reading medical reports all day. I try to plan things out so when I get home, I have dinner with my wife, then put in a few hours working on my next book before I go to bed and do it all over again. It’s scheduling basically, and works most of the time, but not always.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to put references to old science fiction and fantasy novels in my work. But unless you’ve read stuff from forty or fifty years ago, you probably won’t get all the jokes.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut. I wanted to go to the stars, but I flunked the physical so now I just write about the stars.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Keep reading. There a lot of good books out there and more on the way.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

You’re welcome, and thank you for having me here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cali W. said...

Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt and the cover. :)

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt, thank you.

Bernie Wallace said...

What is your favorite book of all time. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Unknown said...

Joseph, my favorite book of all time is a tough choice. Probably Glory Road by Robert Heinlein. It's both SF and Fantasy.

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!