Fantasy author Jasen Suhr Interview
Tell us something about your books, including your genre and your characters and/or themes.
Legends of Alveria: The Gathering is an epic-fantasy book with a wondrous cast of well-written and driven characters ranging from wandering warriors, vengeful souls and long lost heirs. The main theme is that of the choices we make in our lives, the moral decisions we choose in the heat of the moment and the long lasting consequences of them.
Where are you based?
Fort Myers, Florida USA. I will be moving to NC Hendersonville within the coming years to I and my fiancés beautiful property.
Latest releases and upcoming titles?
I’ve recently released Legends of Alveria: The Gathering in late June of this year and will be releasing its sequel at the end of this year.
What are you currently working on?
Legends of Alveria: Harbinger of Khaz’Kadir.
What inspires you to write?
The many complicated and near serene experiences and books I’ve read throughout my life.
When and why did you get into writing fantasy?
I tried my first attempt at a book during the third grade with a twenty-six page long story involving a heroic knight on a destined quest for justice.
Who are your favorite fantasy writers/ fantasy authors?
J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, Christine Goldstein
What is your favorite fantasy series and why?
The memorable DragonLance Series
What are your favorite fantasy genres?
Dark Fantasy, Action and Adventure, Romance and Sci-Fi
Who are some of your all-time favorites fantasy characters? And why do you think they became your favorites?
I would say Harry Potter from J.K Rowling’s fantasy series and Aragon from J.R.R Tolkien’s because they left me with an inspiring sense of wonder and a clear morality.
Do you follow any fantasy entertainment outside of books? (Video Games, Boardgames, Comics etc)
I grew up playing a vast variety of videogames from Fallout to Empire Earth I am also an avid consumer of fantasy movies and TV Shows.
What’s going on in the next few months? Anything on the Horizon?
I am currently preparing a new upcoming book signing event.
What kind of books did you read that contributed to your upbringing, as far as fantasy and science-fiction?
Lord of the Rings, DragonLance basically a slew of fantasy books from every and all authors who ignited a deep sense of wonder and magic.
Was your upbringing pretty geeky?
I spent my days grinding through levels of Diablo, WoW or Halo and my nights delving into fantastical worlds of beauty and curiosity in the many books besides my bed.
Why should someone read a Jasen Suhr book?
Because I wrote my characters in such a way that any type of reader can find one if not many things they’ll come to love and cherish about the fascinating world of Alveria.
Do you have a process, do you plan or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
I write using a chapter outline with major and minor points to cover and direct the flow of the story. I do vary on the process also depending on inspiration and drive.
How has your writing process changed since you first started writing?
I’ve become much more aware of the world around my characters and the deep physiological impacts traumatizing events have upon them.
How long does it normally take you to write a fantasy novel, and what proportion of the time is spent doing what?
I spent seven years creating varying versions of the story and world and a large portion of that time spent on the world at large.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Getting to know my cast of characters and how they react to certain situations.
Have your previous vocations influenced your writing?
No, not really.
Do you involve other people in your writing, as collaborators or editors? How do you make this work?
I brainstorm some idea’s with my fiancé and friends such as cultural choices for certain races and kingdoms. I personally enjoy this part of the process because it allows a different perspective on the world at large.
As far as writing goes, what do you use? Software, Apps, Hardware etc?
I use Microsoft word.
Do you do a lot of research for each book? If so how do you conduct your research?
I do quite a lot of research upon mythological lore from all parts of our world. I use sources from all across the web to gather as much information as possible.
How do you overcome blank writing spells?
I look for inspiration from life and my own personal events or sometimes simply brainstorm on paper until an idea appears.
A number of fantasy/sci-fi authors have been known to use art, music, exercise, alcohol and even drugs as a way to find inspiration to enter the zone! Do you use any tools to enter into your creative headspace?
I am a consumer of THC to open my mind however, I am not dependent upon it for writing.
Do you prefer to write in silence and or have some sort of sound in the background?
Depending upon the scene I’m working on.
Publishing (formatting, cover design, formats, marketing)
Describe the road you took to publishing your first novel? And how that has changed. I initially wanted to traditionally publish the book but found self-publishing a more fruitful and personal experience.
Will your next book be traditional or indie published?
It will be self-published on Amazon.com
Would you recommend self-publishing to aspiring authors, or would you suggest a more traditional path?
I would advise to self-publish if you want more direct control of the publication process.
What sort of input do you give to formatting, cover design, marketing?
All are important in their own rights, I personally believe a compelling cover is critical for success.
What do you do pre and post-release to help get your books noticed?
I publish posts relating to the books release on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram to generate excitement and engage with potential readers.
Marketing is so important nowadays, what’s your best advice to fellow authors?
Have at least a page on two social media platforms as to increase your reader base and entice newcomers to your books.
What legal publishing advice can you give?
Be sure to create from your heart and produce a unique product.
How did you decide the pricing of your material; how did you go about promotion/advertising and distribution of your work?
I priced the book at 2.99 Ebook and 14.99 Paperback because it seemed to be appropriate for the amount of content within. I handle advertisement and promotion using my platforms while Amazon handles distribution of the work.
Advice on making an impact in today busy Scifi and Fantasy markets.
Make sure every avenue of marketing has been utilized and never shy away from linking your book.
Must Read Fantasy novels?
Legends of Alveria: The Gathering and Lord of the Rings
Must read non-fantasy novels?
Ender’s Game, World of Warcraft series and Stephens King’s novels
Most prized fantasy book in your collection?
World of Warcraft: Rise of the Lich King.
Do you read digital, paperback or hardback or do you listen to audiobooks?
I prefer hardback because they tend to last a good deal longer and mean more sentimentality.
What are some difficulties you’ve experienced in your writing career; how do you handle book critiques/criticism?
I struggled with grammar, punctuation and description early on in my writings however, I never strayed from my dream of becoming an author. Constantly I reminded myself of why I was writing and all the good it could do for people’s lives as doubt plagued my mind.
What are the best experiences in your writing career?
Stringing together all the different plot-lines, side stories and seeing how it all links together.
What are some encouraging words you’d give to another author/writer?
NEVER forget, surrender or give up on your dreams. Don’t try to be the next Tolkien, be the best original you can be.
Get in touch
Book links? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0991CL317
Newsletter? Not yet.
Any final words for the readers Jasen Suhr? (Anything, open platform)
I encourage my readers and those interested in the history and lore of ancient and often times chaotic world of Alveria to join the growing Facebook and Instagram page. I update it regularly with new information regarding everything from folklore to legendary battles.