Mayra Calvani introduced me to an author who is about to have his book released. I offered to interview and I’m so glad he agreed. Without further ado, let me introduce you to Jack Whitsel …
Aneeta: Jack, thank you for your email and for agreeing to this interview.
Jack: My pleasure, Aneeta! It’s so nice to visit.
Aneeta: Let’s start with something about you. Please tell me where you were born, where did you grow up, what do you do for a living and where do you live now?
Jack: I was born in Fremont, California. My dad was part of the big Intel migration that sent my family to Oregon during the early eighties. I have been an Oregonian ever since. I love the Pacific Northwest and couldn’t imagine writing anywhere else.
Aneeta: On your website, http://www.jackwhitsel.com/ you say that you hold a degree in finance, but study medieval history in your spare time. These are two very different disciplines. Can you please elaborate on this?
Jack: (Laughter). Yes…I definitely incorporate both sides of my brain. Though I always loved writing, during my college years, I decided to “play it safe” and take the more traditional role of obtaining a degree associated with Business. That’s not to say I dislike finance – as matter of fact, I enjoy investing and number crunching. But the geek in me is also there. It’s a “Gemini” thing I guess. Reading medieval history really taps my imaginative juices. I couldn’t imagine one discipline without the other.
Aneeta: I see that your first book, Shadow of Kings, has been published. Please describe this book for me.
Jack: Shadows of Kings is the first book in the Dragon Rising Series. In this book, a group of Principalities called the Hugue is trying to thwart an incursion by a savage race called the Harhn. During the invasion, the book primarily follows the actions of Lord Baudouin and Lady Lucia – A Dragon Maiden of the Order. During their adventures they endure battles, monsters, and the decadent Darkfey. And in the end … well … you will just have to wait and see.
Aneeta: Naturally, your work will involve many elements of storytelling. Which element do you use most and why?
Jack: If I must pick one…it would have to be The Voice. I’ve been told by multiple readers that I have a bardic-style of storytelling. That is such a wonderful compliment, since I really consider myself a storyteller rather than a writer. As long as I keep my voice consistent – pace and story take care of themselves.
Aneeta: What advice would you give those who would like to venture into storytelling?
Jack: Embrace the child in you. I mean really get a hold of it! For me, it’s easy. I have two little boys with incredible imaginations. How can any writer and father not be inspired? As far as mechanics go…buggers to it all. Grammar, punctuation – the hell with them. Just sit down and write with your heart. The technical junk will fix itself in time.
Aneeta: Jack, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Jack: Prepare for an exciting ride. I’m going to give you knights, magic and mayhem until you can’t take it anymore. I’m not here to impress you…but to entertain you. Shadows of Kings is the perfect blend of medieval grit and High Fantasy – and I’m thrilled to share it with you.
Thank you, Aneeta for having me. It’s so nice to visit your site. And for those taking a peak at this interview today, please feel free to fire off any questions. I’ll be floating around the site for the majority of the day.
Aneeta: Thank you, Jack.
Jack: The pleasure was all mine. Oceans of love to everyone!
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