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If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Author Spotlight: E.J. Wesley

I know I did not do my X post yesterday and well I have to admit that I have a very hard time finding women whose first or surnames begin with X in Hollywood. I put it off and now it is biting me in my big rumpuss. I have to search some more. Plus, I'm still coming off of my huge high after my Bulls triple overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets. Hell to the yeah!!! Ahem... on with the show.

Today I am so very excited because I have the One and Only E.J. Wesley at the Imaginarium today. Whoo Hoo!! I love this man's writing, the way he sets scene is sublime, his characters are unique, striking and complex people who really get to you. He's also a great friend and fellow Bears fan. I'm hoping he'll spill a secret or two, purely for the sake of friendship you know. ;)

Who or what first inspired you to start writing?
I'd written a lot professionally and academically, but didn't have a lot of desire to write fiction--until the two crossed paths. I'd always been a reader--Stephen King was a favorite of mine in high school and college--but even that had fallen off some by grad school. Just too many textbooks to read and papers to write at that point to have much time for hobbies. I was working in a counseling agency, and some of the other counselors were using these books about a boy wizard to work with some of the children. The kids related to Harry's 'muggle hardships', and would really open up when we talked about the books. 

I eventually read them, too, and it was like a reawakening of that part of my life. I saw firsthand what great stories could do for people, and it sort of made me understand what those late night King reading sessions (with the lights on... always with the lights on lol) meant to me as a teenager who didn't really relate to much else. It was that moment that I decided I'd like to create stories with words, too. 

If we looked on your bookshelf or Kindle, what are some titles we would find?

Oh Lord! A little of everything... The Fire & Ice (Game of Thrones) series by G. R. R. Martin, the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, some Jim Butcher stuff, lots of Neil Gaiman, the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, several Orson Scott Card novels, Harry Potter books of course (in multiple formats AND multiple copies of each--my wife and I couldn't take turns reading them when they came out, so we each had to have our own copy lol), classics like Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books--just a mix of lots of things, from graphic novels/comic books on up.
If you were sitting in front of a room of aspiring writers, what advice would you share?

Okay, I'm going to try to take a stab at something different here. The standard answer--and it's always the right answer, btw--is to never give up. Because you'll want to, like 'once-a-day' want to. But let's assume they've heard that one...

Evaluate what you are willing to sacrifice to create the kinds of stories you've dreamed of creating. How much TIME are you willing to commit to studying craft, reading, and writing and failing to make the story on the page match the one in your head? How many times are you going to be able to hear 'not good enough' and not give up? (PRIDE) How often can you honestly admit that others are better than you, and try to learn from them, before you'll be crippled by feelings of inadequacy? How many total rewrites will you do for a single story in order to get it just right? How many stories are you willing to publish without seeing any real financial return? 3? 10? 15? (MONEY)

If your honest answer is, "Whatever it takes." to all of the above, you're going to not only reach your writing goals, but probably become a dang good writer along the way.
Man, isn't E.J. the coolest? Here are his awesome Moon Songs books...
Blood Fugue Blurb & Links

“Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. 

Life has pummeled her heart into one big, lonely callus. She has no siblings, both parents were dead by sixteen, and her last grandparent—and caretaker—was in the ground before she turned twenty-one. She’s the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thinks…

“We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying it with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

Blood Fugue is the first of the Moonsongs Books, an ongoing series of New Adult, paranormal-horror-action novelettes by author E.J. Wesley. 
Barnes & Noble
Witch's Nocturne Blurb & Links

After receiving an ancient tribal journal from her grandfather, Jenny is sent on a mission of discovery in an attempt to unravel clues to her family's monster hunting past. The journey becomes more than academic when she is asked to confront a coven of dangerous witches who plan to cast an insidious spell on the plains of West Texas. 
Witch's Nocturne is the second volume of the Moonsongs Books, an ongoing series of New Adult, paranormal-horror-action novelettes by author E.J. Wesley. 

Dark Prelude Blurb & Links

Jenny Moonsong recently inherited the title of "monster hunter" and an ancient tribal journal/how-to manual passed down by her Apache ancestors. Unfortunately, a lot of on-the-job training is required to be a monster hunter, and unlike her computer repair business, this gig could literally kill her.

Dark Prelude finds the feisty protagonist, Jenny, searching for her best friend Marshal's missing father in the midst of a freak, West Texas winter storm. To survive the frigid night, she'll have to deal with a hated town rival, face a monstrous creature no Moonsong hunter has ever encountered before, and undo a mysterious curse. Can she keep everyone alive? If not, who will pay the ultimate price? 

Dark Prelude is the third volume of the Moonsongs Books, an ongoing series of New Adult, paranormal-horror-action novelettes by author E.J. Wesley. 

(These stories contain language and content better suited for readers 17+)

About The Author

E.J. Wesley resides in South Texas. He holds degrees in psychology and counseling, but prefers to examine the heads of fictional characters over the living ones. He likes his food and his stories spicy, and tries to give a little extra 'kick' to paranormal, horror, and the other genres he writes. In true Texas fashion, he is very neighborly, and enjoys chatting about books, movies, music, and family. He is the author of the Moonsongs books, a series of speculative paranormal action novelettes, with a Texas twist. Say 'howdy' at:  Blog | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads


  1. You know, that is smart advice. Some people won't be willing to sacrifice the time needed. There can be no excuses though.
    Finding that old manuscript and reading through it, as awful as it was, sparked the urge to write again in me.
    Good stuff, EJ!
    Melissa, have you been watching the draft? It's so exciting - NOT! Why do they put that snoozefest on television?

    1. Totally agree, and thanks, Alex!

      Re the draft - Haters are gonna hate. ;) Melissa and I need to know who our Bears are going to roll out next year!

  2. Great advice, E.J. And may I say you look smashing in that hat as well! :)

  3. Excellent post and it's nice to see a different type of advice on writing.(How much do you want it?)

    Nice to learn more about you, E.J. I think a hat makes a guy or a girl look a little more dashing! I've always collected the ones I like. Your writing sounds intriguing. . .

    1. Not sure if I was going for dashing, DG, but I do love a fun hat! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. how come a fellow psychologist has such dark and aggressive topics in his books? Love the glasses!

    1. Exploring human nature--the dark and the light--fascinates me, Dezmond. I hope I bring a little of both to my stories, because ultimately I think we are all both. (good/bad)

      We should have a coffee sometime, because I think we'd have a lot to chat about. :D Appreciate your stopping by to comment.

  5. Thanks for having me over, Melissa! Had a lot of fun answering the questions, and always appreciate spending time on the blog of a fellow Bears fan. :) (Not a bad draft, btw.)

  6. Hello, my friend... you may borrow my X entry = Xanthippe, meaning an ill-tempered woman, and also wife of Socrates, (I think). You can research that. Xanthippe lived in the fifth century. Than was an interesting interview. Best regards to you. :) Ruby

  7. Great interview - one question - why a female protagonist? I always find it interesting when an author chooses the opposite gender for their lead character.

  8. I enjoyed the interview and I have often wondered the same thing that Craig Edwards, (above) asked. I am curious about authors who chose the opposite gender for their protagonist. I haven't done it because I'm afraid I wouldn't do it well. I've read authors who do amazing jobs at this and some who just can't pull it off.

    Wow, can't believe this challenge is almost over.

  9. Whatever it takes is a great motto E.J. for all walks of life. Would Xena count?


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