A warm welcome to fantasy and science fiction author, Jon Ray. I’ve invited him here to talk about his writing journey, goblins and panning for gold in the Australian Outback. Sounds pretty cool, right? Let’s get started!
Q (Infamous Scribbler): First, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your writing?
A (Jon Ray): Greetings! I’m fantasy author Jon Ray. At the moment I’ve mostly written fantasy, but I do have a Sci-Fi Dystopian series planned in the near future, so then it will be Fantasy/Sci-Fi. I prefer Fantasy over all other genres, with Sci-Fi being a close 2nd. I wrote my first full novel “Gorp: Goblin Janitor” as part of NaNoWriMo 2010 while I was living in Phoenix, Arizona. I won that year and then just sat on the manuscript for about 7 years.
Flash forward to May of 2017 with my now living in Sydney, Australia, and I found myself having a lot of time on my hands. It was then that I finally decided to finish up my manuscript with a rewrite, edit and publishing so I could feel what it was like and be done with my one novel bucket list item. Up to that point, I’d never considered becoming an author with a series or writing any more books. I did my own book cover and all the illustrations both cover and inside. I’m also a cartographer and make my own fantasy maps as part of my worldbuilding. I also include these in my fantasy books.
It went out and I had that magical feeling all authors get when they hold their first book. I was happy with that and had some extremely modest sells. Along the way, a few people liked and commented on my book and started asking when the next one would come out. I hadn’t originally planned on a next Gorp book, but after seeing what it was like to have a published work and people actually buying my book and responding well to it, I was hooked.
It [was] then and there I decided that being an author was something I wanted to do for the rest of my list and I took charge of a one-off novel and turned it into a series. Now here I am, still residing in lovely Sydney, Australia as I finish up the 3rd and final Gorp the Goblin book in the series and have 2 more books planned for 2019.
Q: What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you meet that challenge?
A: The challenging part of the writing process is forcing myself to write. Only a writer can understand the insane level of procrastination involved and being creative types we can come up with a cornucopia of reasons we are not writing. To overcome this, I give myself breaks so I don’t get burned out from writing. But I have an annual schedule and release dates for my projects, which I try to announce so there is no going back or extending them without facing public ridicule. When I’m in the zone, I follow my completed story outline to keep me on track and guided and try to get between 500 – 2000 words a day in, depending on what type of writing day I’m having.
Q: What was the worst writing advice you ever received? The best writing advice? And why?
A: The worst writing advice I think I’ve ever received was more about self-publishing than writing itself. I was told I could never publish my own book and that I needed to instead find an agent and then a publisher and hope I made it after years of trying. The best writing advice I got from fellow self-published authors who just said to “Do it!” and figure it out along the way. This was better advice, but of course, I learned as I went and made mistakes in the beginning.
Since then, I’ve gone back to my first Gorp book and hired a professional artist to do my book cover, did a few more editing passes on it, and started focusing on my self-publishing as a part-time business.
Q: Of the work you’ve done, who is your favorite character you’ve created, and why?
A: That is easy, Gorp the Goblin. He’s a small underdog type of character, who has heart and tries, despite what the world around him thinks of him. In the series, he spends the entire time in lands that are not friendly to goblins and has to cover his identity, but this goes against his true nature and feels more human than a goblin. Internal conflicts ensue.
Q: What’s next in your writing journey?
A: What I have on the table for 2019 is to grow my Newsletter so I have a better network on reaching my readers. Writing wise I plan to have the 3rd and final Gorp book completed and published by May 2019. Afterward, I have a fantasy anthology that I’ve already been collecting stories based in my own world of Agrobathe. An original world complete with maps and background that I’ve spent the last 10 years worldbuilding on. I’m really excited to show this world my inner story world that I’ve crafted and plan to stage multiple book projects within that world. After I get the anthology which will be called “Agrobathe Stories” out, I’ll be switching genres for a new dystopian Sci-Fi series, which I’m just as excited about and will tell of the near future world of Earth a few worlds from now after global events nearly end human civilization.
Q: Anything to add?
A: I’m an American living in Australia and when I’m not writing or holding down a day job in the city, I love to get out into the Australian Outback and pan for gold. It’s become a new hobby of mine and something I’ve always wanted to do. Included in the photos is me out in the bush with my favorite hat and pan and I almost always find gold and real-life adventure. If you’re in Australia I also do some New South Wales events where I have a stall from which I sell signed copies of my books. Check out my website for event dates and locations or sign-up for my Newsletter and find them there.
Gorp: Goblin Janitor – https://www.amazon.com/Gorp-Goblin-Janitor-Jon-Ray-ebook/dp/B071W9MC7B/
Gorp: Dungeon Overlord – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MM6CW2V/
Social Media Links
Official Website – http://author.jonray.net
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JonRayAuthor/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lordjonray/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/lordjonray
Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/c-A3gb