T.E.J.Johnson

Fantasy Author of Cataindar: The Discovery

Month: July, 2014

Wattpad Spotlight: Jay Victor (Vic James)

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Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Jay Victor. Jay (the name is pseudonym for British TV producer Vic James) is a wattpad legend, a well-loved and admired writer with a legion of fans.

Victor’s book SLAVEDAYS is a wonderful read that has taken wattpad by storm.  Flowing with a beautiful narrative and a twisting dark plot that has kept its readers asking for more.

Dark, comic, intelligent – SLAVEDAYS has it all.

The novel is currently being serialised on Wattpad and in a few days time, will be a featured wattpad novel.

SLAVEDAYS

Luke Hadley’s summer holidays – scratch that: his life – are ruined when his parents announce that the family is starting its Slavedays. As Luke struggles to adjust to the slave town of Milton, his parents and sisters are summoned to work on the estate of the Jardines – foremost among the Equals. Luke knows he should follow his family, but a new group of friends gives him an unexpected – and dangerous – mission to stay in Milton.

Silyen Jardine, youngest son of the elite family, is the most Skilful magical practitioner of his generation. So when Silyen schemes to make the Parliament of Equals vote on abolishing the Slavedays, no-one can understand what he’s really after. And as confusion spreads, others begin to lay their own plans.

Magic, politics and rebellion swirl around Luke and Silyen, as both unleash forces that may change their world – or prove to be beyond their control.

Think ‘Downton Abbey’ meets ‘The Hunger Games’ meets ‘House of Cards’ – in a world where Voldemort won.

Who is Jay Victor?

‘Jay Victor’ is an extremely unimaginative pseudonym based off my real name Vic James.  I’m a TV producer/director living and working in London making current affairs documentaries. I also spent 8 years making short investigative reports for a UK national news programme. Before that, I worked as a print journalist in Japan for 5 years, and before *that* I did a PhD in 17th-century literature.

What are you currently working on?

I’m trying to produce a clean final version of SLAVEDAYS, the first book in a trilogy about magic, politics and revolution in a very divided modern Britain. And I’m checking that the story arc still makes sense for volume 2, SLAVELIFE and volume 3 (named, but I’m keeping that a secret for now as it’s also a bit of a spoiler!)

What was the inspiration for your novel?

Obviously my daily work, which saw me covering many stories on inequality in the UK: food banks, child poverty, failed regeneration, and government politics and policy. My PhD was about the period immediately preceding the English Civil War – and the Civil War itself becomes the divergence-point for my alternate history.

But mainly I was inspired by a wall. there’s an absolutely enormous wall that runs along the A31 road in Dorset. We drove up and down it a lot in my childhood, on our way to the coast. Called the Drax Wall, it always fascinated me – I used to wonder why anyone would need to build such an incredible structure around their stately home and estate! Just how unpopular were the aristocrats who lived behind it, and why? That was the genesis for the world of SLAVEDAYS, with its magically gifted, ruthless aristocrats who use their Skill to oppress the citizens

Who should read this book?

I hope that everyone can find something in SLAVEDAYS to enjoy: Pre-teen/teen readers might relate to the journey of its 16-year-old protagonist, Luke. Those who love political and social realism will find it stuffed with ideas about the world around us. Fantasy lovers get magic; lovers of dark romance get … exactly that! It’s intense, but hopefully with a touch of humour. I commute to work by Tube, and wanted to write something that I could imagine in the hands of every single person in the carriage.

What other works and authors have influenced your writing?

I don’t really have any ‘influences’, as in my time I’ve soaked up all sorts. I’m a deliriously omnivorous reader. Japanese 20th-century fiction; Renaissance poetry and drama; Victoria sensation fiction; science fiction; and classic and contemporary YA fantasy are all genres I adore. The only books I find it hard to get excited about those that duplicate everyday life. That’s what I *live* – when I read, I want to go someplace else!

How has your wattpad experience been?

Awesome!

Oh, you want some more words?
Brilliant! Friendly! Supportive! Fun! Enlightening!

It’s like a little orange tinted utopia for book geeks the world over. SLAVEDAYS is being read by people from Puerto Rico to Japan. Once upon a time that would only have been true for mega-selling international blockbusters. it’s thrilling and humbling.

And I’ve also had the chance to read some fantastic books on here – things that i would never pick up in a bookshop but which have really charmed me. and you can talk to the authors of those, too – ask questions about their books, their characters, and them. I think Wattpad takes you back to the days of storytelling round the campfire: it’s such a collective activity. And that’s more than a little bit magical.

Is this a wattpad exclusive, or do you plan to publish?

Who wouldn’t love a publishing contract? My hope is to submit SLAVEDAYS to agents later this autumn. But I’ve been delighted that SLAVEDAYS has been invited to be a featured Story on Wattpad from August 1st, so it will definitely be up for 6 months from then.

Wow! Featured story – tell us more about that!

I have no idea what to say. I had never heard of Featured Status before I was asked to go on the list. Only since then have I realised what a big deal it is – books can achieve 100,000 reads or more in the fortnight they have on the front of the list. The list seems to work like a quality kite-mark, and a first port of call for many new users. Books that go on it have to be complete -or nearly so. SLAVEDAYS will be a few chapters from the end when it goes up, which I’m hugely excited by as it means a whole new cohort of readers will find it before the Grand Finale!

I’ll also begin posting SLAVELIFE in the fall.

Wattpad has been a fantastic place to be both a reader and writer. I won’t be disappearing from it, whatever happens with SLAVEDAYS!

How can readers find out more?

For now, find me on Wattpad right here.

And there is a Pinterest board featuring some images that inspired the series, including that wall – right here!

 

 


					

YA Blog Hop

Hello everyone! I am really excited to join this blog hop!

Huge thanks to the lovely Alex Karola for this opportunity. She is the writer of  When You Fall and The Fliers of Xylan. Both of these novels are wonderful YA reads, and I highly suggest that you give them a read, right now, for free, on Wattpad.

 

Cataindar: The Discovery

 

1. What am I working on?

I’m pretty close to finishing the final edit of my novel Cataindar: The Discovery.

Fourteen-year old Luisa’s life is falling apart when she falls, literally, into the secret world of Cataindar. The catains have been expecting her.

This dark tale is filled with talking cats, giant rats, twists, turns, fur and intrigue.

I’ve been serialising the novel on wattpad and it has shot up the rankings well, hitting No.1  in Fantasy & Action sections out of the 40 million or so books cruising about on wattpad.

 

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More importantly, I’ve met other incredible writers and friends – like Alex who tagged me in this blog hop and Sarah who I tag below.

2. How is my work different from others of its genre?

I’ve taken a darker gritty spin on the land of talking animals theme.  What I constantly get told, is that it feels realistic; which is what I was striving for. In fantasy it is easy to get swept up in world-building and complex systems. I’ve really tried hard to hold on to strong character motives, regardless of the species, and spin a dark fantasy yarn using their story; with a sprinkling of magic, action and romance.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I just have an insatiable absolute bursting drive to tell this story!

I was on an extended holiday in Krakow, Poland when the story came to me complete in entirety. I was struck by a such rush of inspiration, I couldn’t sleep. I grabbed a notebook and pen and headed out to an all night cafe in Krakow square and plotted out the whole story, in that eve.  The plot-line for five novels, done!

Cataindar: The Discovery is the first of those five novels.

4. How does my writing process work?

I think I am called an outliner. So I already have the whole plot of Cataindar in my head, I write the book divided in chapters as an outline in my notebooks, then refine it, making sure the twists and turns work, making sure the continuity works each clue is worth dwelling on as it points to a reveal later. I then start writing from the beginning to the end. 🙂

I’ve literally just finished the detailed plotting of book 2 and you can see what it looks like when I plan right here;

It makes sense to me at least!

If you want to check out Cataindar, it is being serialised on Wattpad here.

More cataindar info and exclusive subscriber-only content, prizes and news sign up at Cataindar.com

That is all from me.  🙂  Thank you for tuning in to my blog hop!

 

Now I encourage you to check out s the blog of my wonderful friend Sarah Benson at www.sarahbensonbooks.com for her part of the Blog Hop in the next few weeks!

Sarah is the author of  Born of Shadow.

Seventeen-year-old Kami is in trouble. She just flew 8,000 miles to Egypt to visit her estranged grandparents, but no one is at the airport to meet her. Alone and in an unfamiliar country, she discovers their disappearance is only part of a greater threat.

Whispers of strange creatures made of a shadowy substance can be heard among the nomads of the desert. A new queen has quietly come to power, given strength by a powerful evil unleashed when she opens an ancient jar. She won’t stop until she finds the remains of Alexander the Great, convinced that his remains hold the secret to her becoming a god. Kami must rely on a band of misfit friends she makes along the way to save her grandparents and stop the queen. But does the handsome boy she just met have the answers, or is he part of the reason for her grandparents’ disappearance?

Born of Shadow is the first book in the Shadow Wars Series.

You can read it, right now on Wattpad, here.

Book review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury How about that for some book reading scenery huh? I love the opportunity to read a book in a day. Got it with this one. Camping in Waterton Park, sun + rockies = amazing. I found this book in a kind of cool way, I was browsing some book trailers were and saw this.   Holy crap. Razorbill you absolute bloody legends – you knocked that one out the park! I reward nice marketing so I bought the book immediately. I was not disappointed. Khoury brings it with this one. Origin was awesome; dark, funny and foreboding. Remember the Dhama Initiative from Lost? Imagine those creeps made a super-human. This book is set in a similar environment. The characters were great and the story cracked a long at a terrific pace. I loved the twists in the tale as we follow Pia through her adventure. What Jessica does is making Pia and her powers feel totally genuine, while a sense of mystery teases through the book. Reach realisation comes bring waves of creepiness and horror; it was a thrilling read. I know Khoury wrote this in 30 days which is incredible. How sick is that? You could really feel that cohesiveness in the story, which was brilliant. Some perfect YA right here people. Khoury has continued the winning streak with Vitro which I look forward to reviewing soon and her most recent novel announcement is that Kalahari will be out in the tail end of 2015.

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