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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Interview with author Jamison Stone


Rune of the Apprentice


1. What inspired you to write your book?
As a professional writer I had been working on this novel for many years but due to the massive undertaking of creating an entire world, I never had enough time to actually finish it! It was not until my wife (Active Duty Army) was away during Basic Training—and then again during Advanced Individual Training, and again, and again during her many tours, that I finally completed this epic work.

During these periods I worked on Rune of the Apprentice (and its many offshoot stories) not as an escape, but as inspiration. Although it is epic fantasy, this book is grounded in heroism and love, because I did not write it just to inspire myself, but also my wife. As an Active Duty Service Member performing her duties in the field, I knew that her day-to-day challenges were far greater than mine at home.

So, in addition to my regular letters to her, I would send her chapters and excerpts of the book to keep her spirits up, brighten her day, and to provide inspiration for her military duties. All the while, I was also simultaneously trying to have Rune of the Apprentice address the needs of our current millennial population—more specifically, addressing their lack of real mythic resonance which relate to their daily lives, and their deep psychological need for a relevant mythology.

I’ll put it another way, in The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell said, “Mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. Mythology is the penultimate truth--penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.”

So Rune of the Apprentice, as a modern mythology, and therefore me, as a modern myth maker, had an impossible task! I wanted to tell the penultimate truth which cannot be told; to show with images which can only be discovered on one's own; to describe and point to a place within the readers so Ultimate--it can only be personally known, but never told! Jeez!

But, in truth, that is what inspired me to write Rune of the Apprentice.

2. What is it about?
This is Rune of the Apprentice in three short paragraphs:

In a world where magic, technology, and nature have merged, the few who can control Runes hold dominance over all of creation. All believe that Aleksi, a sixteen-year-old orphan, was blessed to be born with a Rune embedded in his palm, but that’s only because they don’t know the truth—Aleksi’s Rune is so powerful it’s killing him.

Asura, a brutal emperor who uses Runes to conquer entire continents, will stop at nothing to kill Aleksi and claim the boy’s power for his own. With Aleksi’s Rune burning its way through his body and assassins hunting his every step, his survival depends on discerning ally from enemy and learning to tame the competing forces of light and dark within.

With the burden of his rune haunting his days and the prophetic whispers of a young captive priestess illuminating his nights, Aleksi will be able to unravel the mysteries of his past, rescue the girl in his dreams, and challenge the most powerful warlord the world has ever known only if the one thing keeping him alive—his Rune—does not kill him first.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
Although Rune of the Apprentice is exciting and adventurous, a large section of the story is framed by a deep yearning romance between the two main characters. One is a conflicted young hero named Aleksi, and the other is a young female heroine named Saiya. Most importantly, Saiya is not only powerful in her community, but also a very influential leader.

After being forced into a very dangerous situation, these two characters are able to communicate while they sleep by sharing their potent emotions through dreamlike messages. Despite this ability, they are unable to speak directly. This experience was directly born out of my longing for my wife while she was away on tour as I wrote daily letters to her.

Told upon the backdrop of an exciting adventure novel, these complicated themes of personal honor, duty, gender roles, and committed relationship dynamics—with a partner who serves her country first, and foremost—is the foundation of the main characters’ relationship. In short, this book resonates so well because these are actual, real-life themes every spouse, partner, or lover deals with on a day to day basis. And it also resonates with traditional Fantasy and action-oriented fans because the story is filled with, magic, swords fights, heroism, and most of all, excitement!

For the lovers of epic adventures, that means there are sword fights, massive naval battles, mystery, magic, and intrigue—but for those of us who also need deeper emotional content and connection, the novel dives deeply into the sadness of separation, and the longing each and every spouse or lover feels during long periods of separation.

4. What advice do you have for writers?
Write, write, and keep writing! Then get expert feedback on that writing, and learn how you can evolve your writing style to be an even better writer. You need expert feedback to be able to evolve, however, so you MUST NOT write in a silo! The best way to get this feedback (in my experience) is volunteer your time at a newspaper, blog, editorial service, or any place that will have you create original written content, and then give you critical feedback on that content—on a near daily basis. Practice makes perfect, and you need to get out there and DO IT!

As an example: I began my writing career by volunteering at my University’s President Office where I collaboratively wrote a variety of high-level print and electronic publications under the guidance of senior editors. After several months of unpaid work, I had made myself invaluable and had a paid position solo writing and revising the President’s speeches, and created and maintained the President’s social media networking platform. Eventually I was solo drafting, formatting, proofreading, and editing written matter for a variety of high-level print and electronic publications, including: speeches, articles, magazines, essays, newsletters, reports, web sites, presentations, books, memos, emails and other communications.

As time went on, I then became responsible for coordinating events for the President’s Office and assuring that all the details of events ran properly. I later was promoted to a Project Manager position where I not only was writing high level business and marketing plans, but also leading teams, providing management, business strategic planning, budget templates, and financial analysis. Additionally, I planned and managed three large-scale fund raising events and oversaw media correspondence, too. All of this started from an unpaid internship and the strong desire to become a better writer so that I might one day be a published author!

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
It is clear that Web 2.0 has annihilated the barriers to publishing. Anyone with a story to tell can now start a blog or self-publish a book. But the byproduct of Web 2.0 is noise—and lots of it! Barriers are filters, and the historic filters are now gone.

Although I am relatively new to the publishing scene, I strongly feel that books are now “phase 1 of the story filter.” The current story-based IP market, which comprises the film and publishing industries and takes the form of movie/TV/videogame rights, audiobook rights, foreign-language rights, etc., is desperate to find "signal" in this new, anyone-can-publish paradigm.

Because of this, I am very exciting to be publishing Rune of the Apprentice though Inkshares, a new platform that not only publishes the books readers want to read, but then allows the IP market to clearly see and understand the future story telling potential of Rune of the Apprentice through all surrounding noise.

It is my hope that the “future of publishing” is a future where my publisher Inkshares is able to allow the world of Rune of the Apprentice, and other authors like me, to bring their IP to mass audience through many forms of media ranging from movies, television shows, and video games—so not only avid readers can enjoy my story, but the whole world!

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
Creating a massive word is a profoundly difficult undertaking and requires a lot of planning before you can even begin writing the first word. As an example, in Rune of the Apprentice I used C.G. Jung’s psychology of archetypes and the collective unconscious to adapt Joseph Campbell’s theory of the Monomyth (updating it to be relevant for Millennials who now live in a “Collective Technological Age”) to create the foundations of a contemporary “Modern Myth”.

As I wrote the actually story, however, I needed to constantly reshape and mold my “Hero’s Journey” adaptation to fit with the specific character arcs of Rune of the Apprentice’s hero and heroine, respectively. In short: In Rune of the Apprentice, these two aspects of the story—World and Character Arc—are intimately intertwined and constantly evolving together. Just that alone is very difficult to pull off well, and has nothing to do with the actual word craft of writing!

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
Rune of the Apprentice has gotten RAVE reviews:

"Within just a few moments of beginning to read Rune, I was immediately drawn into the adventurous, magical world that Jamison Stone has created―my heartbeat pulsed, my breath grew shallow, my fingers trembled as I leap from page to page―and this was all in merely the first chapter! Stone has hit it out of the ballpark with this book, and you will not want to put it down. An epic read indeed." ―Ben Greenfield, New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Training

"Rune is an epic journey about transforming the darkness within so that we can achieve true peace in the world around us." ―Chade-Meng TAN, New York Times bestselling author of Joy on Demand and Search Inside Yourself

"Jamison Stone presents us with a fresh, superbly crafted fantasy epic that conquers both world and character building. Rune is tantalizing to the imagination, and invigorating for the soul." ―Tal M. Klein, author of The Punch Escrow

"Stone writes beautifully. The characters of Rune are alive and vibrant; the world in which they dwell is both exciting and rich; and the story which propels it all is not only engaging, but profoundly deep." ―Stuart Calvin Lord, author of Common Good Common Ground

I have pledged to donate all of this book's preorder profits to Military family charities. While my wife and I live very humbly, I am not actually looking to make money on the pre-orders of my book. Instead, my wife and I have decided to give all of the author proceeds on pre-orders back to our community. I did not write this book to become rich, instead, I worked on it for years as a labor of love and passion and want nothing more than to be able to share it with the world.

If you are a lover of epic stories, heroic characters, thrilling fight scenes, and emotive love stories, Rune of the Apprentice is THE book for you! Enjoy it and then tell a friend (or three!)


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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