Monday, September 2, 2013

Hand of Time by H.R. Jackson‏

Once upon a time, a man and a woman looked at each other and asked, “Why aren’t we writing this down?”

Inspired by Sci-Fi and Fantasy, with a healthy appreciation of all manner of geekery, they longed to create a world where sword, sorcery, and a little sprinkling of real life could come together. With this in mind, the pair sat down and started the stories that would eventually become The Nemesis Chronicles.

When they aren’t weaving fantastical tales, they spend their time being owned by the Feline Mafia and watching the rain fall in their home city of Seattle.

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Morgan... Three months after the events of Vegas turned her life upside down, she's finding that getting back to normal is anything but easy.

Dirk... Trapped between juggling his new responsibilities and making Morgan understand his feelings, the former courtesan is discovering that letting go of the past is much harder when the past refuses to let go of him.

Nemesis... Still reeling from the Society's attack, they find themselves facing a familiar foe and a new menace hellbent on testing their fortitude.

Midsummer madness heats up Nemesis Island. It's a time of celebration and renewal, but the Society has other plans... with Dirk, Morgan, and the rest of Nemesis at the top of their list. 

Q) What inspired you to write this story? 
Robert: There’re a lot of reasons. I wanted to write a story that blended Norse and Greek and other mythologies together. That’s the first reason. The second, both Hollie and I had seen a lack of strong female characters that were strong all the way through. I wanted to portray a female character that could stand up to male characters and not have it wind up where she ends up with the male character and he’s normally a total jerk. I wanted a real relationship with two characters from different worlds, who come to respect each other and change to find middle ground rather than just have one steamroll over the other.

Hollie: Agreed. It’s about a relationship of equals. I’d gotten tired of reading UF stories that have male protagonists, always in charge, with most women relegated to the sidekick or love interest role. But then, when the ladies ARE spotlighted as a main character, they’re often portrayed as these “strong” characters who change themselves utterly to be whatever it is their love interest needs them to be. I really wanted to write about a female who says, “You know what? I’m a strong, capable woman who can hold her own and isn’t defined by her relationships.” But one who also comes to understand that compromise can be a good thing, provided you don’t lose yourself, and that sometimes, a relationship doesn’t have to hinder or drastically change how you interact with the world. You can be in a relationship and still be strong.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
H: Minutes To Midnight (Book one) took about a year to get done and published. Once we’d settled into a groove and got the first book out there, it only took about 8 months or so to get Hand of Time hammered out, fourteen months total if you add in the test readers and rewrites. But considering the second book is exploring deeper ideas, really getting into the characters’ heads in a much more intense way, whereas the first book was more introductory and setting the stage, it makes sense that book two took longer to get out. Right now, we’re averaging about one novel a year, start to finish.
R: Not to mention, Hand of Time is longer. We went from 26 chapters in book one to 38 chapters in book two, and so far, book three is shaping up to be somewhere in the 42-44 chapter range. The epic scope keeps elevating as we introduce more of the Nemesis world and its inhabitants.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing? 
R: Being able to make people think. To get them going along a path where they get sucked into the book and get surprised when things don’t go the way they expect it to go. It doesn’t follow a formula. So they have to pay attention to what’s going on, to catch all the little nuances. And I can do whatever I want. It’s kind of a blank canvas thing.

H: Getting to see another world through someone else’s eyes and sharing that with the reader. Exploring all these emotions, the interactions between people who are so different, and finding the common ground. I love immersing myself in the characters’ thought processes, finding their unique voices, telling their stories and connecting with the readers.

I think we both like to teach through our stories, too. For example, a book that really influenced me was American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Some authors will spoon feed you all the details about all these myths and we don’t want to do that. In American Gods, you see a bunch of gods, some of whom you are familiar with and can pick out easily. But then there are these others, the lesser known ones that you have to go exploring to find out more about. So, while we’re exploring alternative interpretations of some of the myths, putting our own spin on certain things, we still want them to be intriguing enough to make the reader go, “Hmm, I wonder if that’s the actual myth or their interpretation?”

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
R: That it can bring a lot of strife into our personal relationship. Because when we disagree, I get all moody. And I hate that. But once we find common ground, work things around, play with ideas, then we’re golden.

H: Without a doubt, the editing. I am such a perfectionist that I have a heck of a time stopping myself from editing. I get very critical of our work, we both do, and sometimes, we don’t see eye-to-eye on where the story should be headed. I can sit there and go through the same chapter a dozen times and always find something that can be tweaked, something that can be cut or expanded upon. I’ve had to learn that there’s such a thing as “too much editing” and have had to learn to just walk away from it.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
R: I don’t know if I can actually answer that, because I don’t know that there is anyone out there who I’d want to be other than myself, only famous and rich.

H: That’s a really good question. I have so many people I admire. *laughs* I guess, if I have to narrow it down, I’d really like to be … maybe Jim Butcher? Just to see what a bestselling author actually has to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
R: Oh, now you’re going to make me open the fridge up. Good thing I wanted something to drink anyway.

H: Wait…Isn’t there a beer in there?

R: Yeah, this has got to be it. It’s a Redstripe Beer from like, 2008.

H: Oh my gods. We brought that all the way from Texas up here, didn’t we? We have a bunch of alcohol, even though we don’t drink but maybe one shot once a month or so. *laughs* Don’t even ask me about the freezer. I’m sure there are things up there that haven’t taken over the house only because they’re in deep freeze.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
R: Dynamic storytelling. There’s enough meat in the Nemesis Chronicles and I want to explore other worlds that we’ve created, other characters.

H: Quite a few more Nemesis adventures. There’s so much story to be had between all of the members. We’ve got plans to expand the universe a bit, maybe let different characters have the spotlight and tell their stories, get into their heads. I’m also working on a more contemporary Urban Fantasy novel, involving heroes, villains, and the henchmen who work for them.

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1 comment:

HR Jackson said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to interview with you! And thank you for the bump :)