Again, my apologies to the writers for not getting the blog listed on the right day. Work was especially brutal yesterday.
Brain to Books Blog Tour
Author: Jay Norry / J.K. Norry
Genre: Fantasy / Spirituality
Demons & Angels book 1 of the Walking Between Worlds series
Rise of the Walker King book 2 of the Walking Between Worlds series (New!)
Jay Norry is the author of “Stumbling Backasswards Into the Light”, and the “Walking Between Worlds” series. He writes a monthly blog about spiritually charged subjects, self publishing, or whatever else he feels like writing about.
Jay has been studying metaphysics and philosophy his entire adult life. He is a teacher and practitioner of Reiki, and the creator of Awaken Reiki.
Jay currently resides in Northern California with his girlfriend/partner-in-crime, Dawn, and their dogs, Mammoth & Ximena. When he’s not busying writing, Jay enjoys working in the garden, wine tasting, drawing, painting and fixing things Macgyver-style.
Owner/Editor-in-Chief, Sudden Insight Publishing. We are putting together the first of what we hope to be several charity anthologies. All proceeds from this volume will be donated to the SPCA.
Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural, those who walk between worlds to help humans battle their demons. This is the spellbinding tale of a special group of people whose lives were changed forever. Watch the ordinary collide with the extraordinary to test the mettle of their souls and the power of their love.
The first book in an exciting new series, ‘Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels’ introduces us to a new way of looking at both the natural and the supernatural worlds. Join Paul Stone and Kris Reed as they walk between worlds in search of answers and themselves.
Interview with Jay Norry
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?
I started writing in a deliberate attempt to find myself. One of the most important aspects of fulfillment is identifying what you were born to do and doing it as much as possible, and it was not long before I realized that writing was to be a multi-faceted companion for me forever. Writing is how I define myself and refine myself, but it’s also how I entertain myself. The books I write are books I would love if somebody else wrote them, and that in itself is worth the tremendous effort that goes into seeing each completed in turn and in its time.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?) List other titles if applicable.
My first book is an autobiographical account of my own sacred rite of passage. It is a new age story designed to help those curious about the spiritual path form their own questions and find their own answers, and to remind those that have walked the path for some time that it can be as enriching to look back as it is to look ahead.
My second book is the beginning of a trilogy. “Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels” is the title, and it is a story that is set in modern day, with heroes that use ancient weapons to battle today’s demons as they always have. The best description of the genre I have heard came from a reader, who aptly described the book as “Philosophical Fantasy”. The philosophy is pretty light in both tone and texture, but it is certainly a character in this trilogy.
The book I am currently promoting is the second book in the trilogy, “Rise of the Walker King”. It is important to me that I keep the reader waiting as little as possible in a project of this mature, so releasing this book and the next have been priority one for me this year. I am happy to say that this book was released several months prior to its anticipated release date, and the conclusion is slated for a Christmas release.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and what is this book about?
There are many facets to my personality, and I can’t do any of them justice by picking a favorite. Sometimes I want to meditate. Sometimes I want to watch a movie where dreams come to life and the good guys alway win. Sometimes I want to hold my sweet love in my arms and murmur sweet somethings in her ear. A good story is often a multi-faceted one, and often there is a personal journey going on within the character or characters that reflects or contradicts their outer journey, as well as a love interest or two that are not the whole story but are integral to it. If a good story finds me and asks me to write it, I’ll write it. If there were a genre for that, it would be my favorite genre to write in.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book was a coming together of many things for me. The story came to me over a decade ago, and has been a part of my thinking and a part of my life since we first met. I knew that I had to figure out a way to write and publish all three installments as close together as possible, and that meant my whole life had to change to create that opportunity.
My need to write it got book one written, but that wasn’t enough to get it published. I was flummoxed by what route to take, so I asked my partner in life and my manager in writing what she thought. It was her that decided that we should start our own publishing company, and it was her that learned how to do all the formatting and graphic design that made book one of this series the first original publication of Sudden Insight Publishing.
“Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels” was inspired by my own desire to bring myself completely to the task of beginning to tell this story. But not it’s sequel.
“Walking Between Worlds; Book II: Rise of the Walker King” was inspired by my Awesome Girl, Dawn. She made the story I wrote into a beautiful book that filled me with excitement and compelled me to throw myself into writing as much as possible to complete this series and watch our publishing company’s library grow.
How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Titles are like fish. You can stand there on the shore, contemplating and casting your line for hours. It is entirely possible to catch a whopper that way, but I usually don’t. You can take the scientific approach and equip a boat with radar or cast a wide net. Then you can choose from all the little metaphors flopping about in the bottom of your boat and throw the rest back. I prefer to dive into the story or essay, feeling the shock of the water on my skin as I move about in the natural and alien environment. They usually swim right up to me then.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
Covers are like titles for me. They are as much a character in the story as any other, and they speak pretty clearly to me when I ask them what they want. I saw the image for the cover of this book in my mind, described it to my partner, and let her do all the actual work. It turned out better than I had imagined it, another part of working with Dawn that I am pleased to have come to expect.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
I was casting these characters in my head while I was writing. I saw Danny Trejo as Roche right away, though the physical descriptions don’t really match; I think he could embody the old devil like no one else. Brenna is best played by Kristen Kruek, who supposedly looks much like her. I would cast Jaime Lunar as Lilia, the dragon queen; she was the red-headed temptress from Melrose Place. I have always thought that Reese Witherspoon’s face seemed to be the personification of sweetness, and I can see her playing Jessica in all of her varied expressions. For the leads, I think Paul could be played by Henry Cavill perfectly, if he’s not too busy being Superman; and Charlie Hunnam from “Sons of Anarchy” would round out my perfect cast as Kris. That being said, I would be about as happy as happy gets to see any team of artists come together to put this story on the big screen or the little one.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
I hate killing characters. As a person who puts great stock in the power of hope and the possibilities of redemption, I don’t like to see even the most despicable villain cross that final unforgiving line. That being said, I am not in charge of the stories I write. i am in charge of making sure I tell the story as true to the way I see it as possible; and sometimes that means writing about someone I have become rather attached to as they draw their last breath, or lose their head quite literally, or as they are turned to ash by supernatural flame.
I had to understand this before I could do it, and I hope that my readers understand it as well: I don’t kill characters. Characters may kill other characters, or themselves, or they might just die. It is not my decision when a character lives or dies; my only decision is whether or not to tell the tale.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
There is only one subject I would not write about, and it is the subject of having one thing I refuse to write about. Writing must address an author’s deepest issues to be authentic, while not being mired in one stagnant viewpoint. Whether in journals or books or stories, the writers truest voice is found by confronting and conquering their greatest pain. If any writer has some subject that they consider off-limits, they should write about that first and foremost.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Most of the names in my books come to me when the stories do. When it’s my decision, I choose a name that seems to fit the character and the way I see them. I hate making names up as much as titles; I prefer when they just swim up to me. When I make them up, I check online to see if it’s common or uncommon enough, and if it means something weird. Names are important to me, and I want to make sure that I am giving everyone the name they deserve as much as I give them the voice they need.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I haven’t gotten a whole lot of reviews, but I have had a few on each of my published works. There have been a couple of bad reviews, if you go by their star rating. The reviews have been honest, however; and in their honesty they describe books I would want to read even when stating that they didn’t like it. I think that’s about all an artist can ask for, and it’s silly to want everyone to like everything you write. I haven’t ever gotten a three word review that said “piece of crap”, but I don’t see why it would bother me any more than if someone came up to me and said “You have ugly brown eyes!” I don’t have brown eyes, and my book is not a piece of crap. How could that bother me?
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
There are two things readers can do to help make my book successful. First, please buy a copy and read it. Second, go on Amazon and write an honest review. Write as little or as much as you like, and give the book however many stars you think it deserves. Do that with all your favorite artists and products if you have the chance; people are looking for the things they want and need, and their wants and needs may be similar to yours. Connecting a writer with a new reader can be a great way to help them both.
What projects can we expect from you in the future?
This year has been all about figuring out the best ways to write and publish, and how many books we could complete while meeting our own high standards each year. I am happy to say that readers can expect two to three books from me every year from here on out. This year will wrap up the “Walking Between Worlds” trilogy, and next year will be a whole new story that already waits to be told.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing this book, and every other I have written, is just the sitting down and writing part. It’s not that difficult to do; it’s just a lot of time that must be deliberately put aside. It’s easy for me to work without interruption; I kind of disappear from the world when I’m writing, even as it goes on around me. I also schedule time and request that I be left alone, and only allow those who respect that need the opportunity to compromise it. Even so, the time and concentration required to write for long enough to be pleased with the day’s accomplishments is approximately what leaves me happily drained.
What literary character is most like you?
I have only been compared to literary characters twice in my life. One person told me that I was like Howard Roark from Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead”. Another told me, in a different time and place and setting, that I reminded her of John Gault, from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”. Both times I laughed, for my own reasons, but I took them as two of the highest compliments I have ever received. I don’t see myself as heroically as I do those two classic favorites, but I do see that I am as happily enslaved to my vision of what I need to do as they were.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is Richard Bach, hands down. From his tales of flying airplanes to his classic spiritual masterpieces to his stories about ferrets wiser than any human I know, I’ll read anything he writes at least once. Somehow he writes in a way that makes each person feel like he wrote a passage or a book or a library just for them, and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how many people from different walks of life feel that same way.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I don’t notice the scars on my body so much anymore. Most are pretty faded, two dog bites and where a brick that I myself threw somehow found its way back to my head, along with that spot on my leg where I got tangled up one day instead of clearing the barb wire fence. It seems like body scars are different from soul scars; one goes away if you ignore it and the other only goes away if you address it.
Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
If I could meet anyone, it would be Richard Bach. I have a lot of heroes, but none like him. I understand that he keeps himself pretty busy and doesn’t much care for folks seeking him out just to tell him what they thought of his books, so I would never make it a point to barge in on his life. It would be nice to have a chance to say what I think is always best to say when meeting someone you admire: Hi, I love the thing that you do and the way that you do it.