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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

24 August 2012

Orangeberry interview with writer J.R. Tomlin

Today's author interview again is in conjunction with the Orangeberry Website as part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash.The interview does not follow my usual author interview format; the author received an Orangeberry Summer Splash questionnaire and was asked to answer at least twenty questions.

After the interview, at the bottom of the post, you can enter a contest to win a Kindle Fire and/or ebooks.

Today's featured author is Jeanne Tomlin, who writes as J.R. Tomlin. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes historical fiction and (with co-author C.R. Daems) fantasy fiction. Her featured book today is A Kingdom's Cost, set in Scotland during the time of Robert the Bruce.

Welcome, Jeanne! 
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
Tough one. Would the desert island have power? I need power for my Kindle and laptop.

Ack? No power? Three books. I can’t even imagine trying to survive without books. I would take Mary Renault’s The Charioteer, Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo, and Homer’s "The Odyssey."

What is one book everyone should read?
Another tough one, especially since I think people should read a lot of books. The most important book for people to have read? Homer’s "The Odyssey." Oddly enough, it’s a rather fun read but it is seminal to much of Western literature and teaches a lot about overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Oddly enough, I prefer vanilla but it has to be a good vanilla, not the bland fake stuff.

One food you would never eat?
Fried liver! It is truly disgusting.

Pet peeves?
People who, when told I’m an author, come up and tell me they’ll write a great novel—when they have time.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Several of them. Together with my sometimes co-author, C.R. Daems, I am working on a paranormal fantasy titled Voodoo Seer. I am also working on the final novel in my historical novel trilogy The Black Douglas Trilogy. Both should be out before the end of the year.

What was your favorite book when you were a child or a teen?
Before I switched to adult books, which I did when I was about nine years old, my favorites were Nancy Drew novels. I think I read all of them. Once I discovered grown-up books with The Three Musketeers, I never looked back though.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
"Flower of Scotland" by the Corries

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Be aware that it usually takes time and practice to become good at anything and that includes writing.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
A writer. I always wanted to be a writer.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Mary Renault, Michael Nava, Homer, Joseph Hansen, Alexandre Dumas, Dashiell Hammett, Bernard Cornwell. I have pretty varied tastes. I love a writer who can tell a good story and bring a great character to life.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
No. All my characters tend to be very different from me.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be impatient.

Favorite food?
Bread. Which I can’t eat because I am severely gluten intolerant. I really hate that.

Which authors have influence you most?
Bernard Cornwell was a big influence, probably the biggest.

What do you do in your free time?
I do some hiking, listen to music, and read mainly. I’m not a TV watcher although I occasionally download something to watch.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I never write in the morning. I am just not a morning person so I get up, make coffee and drink several cups, check to see how many novels sold on Amazon on my Amazon dashboard, check some writers forums, probably argue with someone there, give a little advice to some other authors, twitter a bit, check about 50 different blogs, and then realize it’s noon and I still haven’t eaten. So I have some lunch and then it’s time to write. I write on and off for the afternoon. I have trouble writing for long stretches so I usually only write for an hour before I take a short break. Then I write some more. Somewhere in there I have to fit in some research. In the evening, if I’ve met my writing goal, I’ll do a little blogging and maybe download something to watch or read for a while.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
My first book sale was to a small publisher. I bought a box of Ghirardelli’s chocolate, which seems rather trite, but it’s what I did.

Favorite places to travel?
Oh, Scotland. Absolutely, without doubt. I spent much of my childhood there and love going back. I love the coast of Scotland. It is a wild and exciting landscape.

Favorite music?
I’m a big fan of the Scottish folk group The Corries. I like Clann an Drumma. I listen to a lot of classical, particularly Chopin. And I like classic rock. So… that’s a pretty eclectic selection. I can’t say that I’d choose one over the other. It all depends on my mood—and what I’m writing.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, Jeanne!

Scotland is occupied; Scottish resistance is crushed.

Eighteen-year-old James Douglas can only watch as the Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, is hanged, drawn, and quartered. But even under the heel of a brutal English conqueror, the Scots may still have one hope for freedom: the rightful King of the Scots, Robert the Bruce. James swears fealty to the man he believes can lead the fight against English tyranny.

The Bruce is soon a fugitive, king only in name. The woman James loves is captured and imprisoned. Yet James believes their cause is not lost. He blazes a path in blood and violence, cunning and ruthlessness as he leads a guerrilla war to restore Scotland's freedom. James knows if he is captured he will share Wallace's fate, but what he truly fears is that he has become as merciless as the conqueror he fights.

Buy Now on Amazon Kindle
Genre - Historical Fiction
Rating - PG
More details about the book
Connect with JR Tomlin on Twitter

Aisha is the newest Talon of the Raptor Clan, mercenaries prized by rulers, nobles, and the wealthy as elite bodyguards. Her skill with a blade and her magical rune have won her a prized place as a Talon, but she wins her fights through wits as much as her skill. Guarding a spoiled young princess is Aisha's first assignment for the clan.

Surrounded by dangerous plots, keeping the girl alive takes all of Aisha's guile and so does dealing with the warrior prince who seems to be falling in love with her. When assassination turns the princess into a queen on the run, Aisha needs every tool she possesses to protect her young charge, help her find the strength to grow up and reclaim her throne.

2010 Epic Award Finalist for Fantasy
Buy Now on Amazon Kindle
Genre - Fantasy
Rating - PG
More details about the book
Connect with C.R. Daems and J.R. Tomlin on Twitter

And now for the contest!

Grand Prize - Winner wins Kindle Fire and all books
Consolation Prizes - 25 x winners choice of 3 ebooks

Kindle Fire Giveaway is sponsored by
ALL participating authors in the Orangeberry Summer Splash event.
Check out these awesome peeps HERE

Book giveaways are sponsored by:
 Tonya Cannarioto - Dust to Blood and Dementional
Bruno McGrath - Elevenses
Pandora Poiklos - Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Pandora Poikilos - Frequent Traveller

Caddy Rowland - Gastien
Bruno McGrath - Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Patricia Macias - Hot and Spicy
Shauna Roberts - Like Mayflies in a Stream
Joseph DiCristofano - Paths to Divinity

Maggie Bonham - Serpent Singer
Donna Burgess - Solstice
Diana Murdock - Souled
Hillary Peak - Wings of Hope
Shel Delisle - Winging It

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J. R. Tomlin said...

Thanks! Could I mention that A Kingdom's Cost recently won for best historical fiction at the 2012 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards? Needless to say I was pleased.

I really appreciate you hosting the interview. :)

laurie said...

a kingdom's cost looks really interesting. but then being 1/2 Scottish on my mothers side i am always fascinated by where my ancestors come from!

Shauna Roberts said...

Congratulations, J.R., for your award for best historical fiction!

LAURIE, I suspect many people first become interested in historical fiction in part because they want to know what their ancestors' lives were like. I hope you enjoy the book!