#SPFBO6 Interview – JA Andrews

Welcome to Lavender Lass Books, Janice. Thank you for agreeing to this interview and best of luck in the competition!

Dragon’s Reach is the first book in The Keeper Origins series.  Here’s the blurb:

The truth is neither plain, nor simple.

Sable, a reluctant thief from the slums, can feel truth when people speak. For years she’s been using that skill to try to break free from the vicious gang boss she’s indebted to.

Escape comes in the form of an odd set of companions:

-a dwarf running from the past,

-an actor with a magical, glowing tree

-a too-helpful kobold,

-a playwright with a knack for getting stories out of people, and

-a man and woman with suspicious, magical powers.

But Sable’s freedom is short lived.

On the edges of civilization, they discover hidden, terrifying lies in the offers of peace from the brutal Kalesh Empire.

Now, she must return to the city she fled, and along with her companions, attempt an impossible task—convince everyone, including the powerful Dragon Prioress, of the truth.

Except the Kalesh web of lies has ensnared everyone.
With her land, her people, and everything she loves hanging in the balance, Sable is the only one standing between freedom, and certain death.

Pick up the first book of the Keeper Origins Trilogy today, and begin the tale of how an orphaned thief escaped the slums, united a nation, and brought a mighty Empire to its knees.

The Keeper Origins Trilogy, and the Keeper Chronicles Trilogy can be read in any order. They take place in the same world, but are standalone series.

And now to the interview:

1. Is this your first time entering #SPFBO? Why did you decide to enter this book?
It’s actually my 4th time, and I enjoyed the earlier ones so much, I wanted to do it again. I think the greatest thing about SPFBO is the other authors and bloggers I’ve met. Some of my closest author friends were met through SPFBO. So, since Dragon’s Reach is the only book I have that qualifies, I picked it.

2. Why do you write in the fantasy genre? What make this genre particularly appealing to you?
I love the wonder that you can find in a world where things work a little differently than our world. I feel like when I can see the wonder in a speculative fiction world, I’m more likely to notice sources of wonder in our real world.

3. Why did you decide to self-publish?
I love the autonomy of self-publishing, and how I can go at my own speed and write the stories I want to write. I didn’t realize, at the time, that I’d also get to have relationships with my readers, which has been amazingly encouraging over the past few years. But I love that I don’t have to convince anyone but readers that my story is worth reading.

4. Are there advantages to self-publishing? What about the challenges?
I think an advantage is the ability to pivot quickly. Whether it’s in what sort of story we’re writing, when we want to publish, what sort of cover we want, how we want to advertise, all these things we can change at the drop of a hat. It makes the process fun and vibrant for me.

The challenges come from having to wear so many hats at once. Writer, publisher, art director, marketing, reader interaction, planning. There are enough things to fill every day without even getting writing done. Sometimes making time to write is the challenge!

5. As a reader, and now author, how has the fantasy genre changed over the last several years? How has it stayed the same?
This is sort of hard for me to answer, because over the last few years I’ve shifted almost exclusively to indie published books. This means I don’t even have a good grasp of what’s going on in the traditionally published world. I love that indies write both more classical fantasy and experiment in all sorts of new styles of story.

6. Do you write (or plan to write) in any other genres?
Nope. Fantasy is my happy place.

7. What do you look for in a story? Especially in the fantasy genre? (Original ideas, plot lines, character development, world building, etc.?)
I want characters I can really grow attached to. Even if it’s a “love to hate them” thing. I just want characters that feel real and interesting.

8. Are you working on a new book? Can you share any details?
I’m working on the sequel to Dragon’s Reach, which is the 2nd book of a planned trilogy.

9. Do you have any advice you would offer to writers who plan to self-publish in the fantasy genre?
Meet other authors!  The more like you in style, subgenra, audience, the better. Meet them, see what they’re doing, learn from them. The indie world is very generous and open. Take advantage of that!

You can find JA Andrew’s book on Amazon!  https://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Reach-fantasy-adventure-Origins-ebook/dp/B088NNJ8SW

dragon's reach cover