J.E. Plemons Q&A

Tell my followers a little bit about yourself.

I have a BS in Music business with emphasis in publishing and copyright law, an English degree that I never intended getting, and a music education degree to which I will forever embrace.

I spent a year studying for the LSAT, then decided to attend culinary school,  hoping to become an aspiring chef in a five star restaurant, but didn’t care for the fourteen hour days in a kitchen. So what did I do? Met my wife in college, got married, and after hearing the news of our first child, I decided to skip the idea of attending law school. It was the best choice I ever made.

I spent my years in Nashville working in the music industry for companies like RCA, Sony, Zomba, and Dreamworks, all of which gave me a bitter taste in my mouth. Aside from working directly with many famous artists, the industry is a tainted cesspool of filth. From Austin, Texas to Nashville, Tennessee, I worked a small time in the film industry, as a PA, extra in a few films, and a various of other uninspiring, uneventful jobs. I dedicated my carpentry skills for a while creating custom fine furniture, manned a press for a print shop, was a studio musician, played drums for a few famous artists, taught high school band for a year, giving IT support for the Texas Legislature, and now an aspiring author. I have no claim to fame, nor do I want any.

I have been fortunate enough to experience many things in my life, some of which were humbling, others fulfilling, and because of that, I’ve grown to be patient and content. I’m willing to struggle, fail, sacrifice, and fall before I learn to move on from those experiences. I’m not afraid to die, but willing to live as long as I’m able. Even though I’d like to see my kids grow old, I understand that every day  is precious, yet uncertain. I live with the best intentions that everything is going to be okay until it isn’t, and when that happens, I’m free to just let go.

What  inspired you to start writing?

Simply put: reading. Reading is the quintessential  ingredient for writing. I wrote short stories and poetry  all the time as a young child until I became glued to film during my teen years—that’s when I delved into screen-writing. Most of my writing was for me and my little inner world of fantasy, escapism, and just pure entertainment. I never at any time dreamed I would grow up to become a writer. In fact, I was hoping to become a late night talk show host, professional baseball player, or a chef working in a five star restaurant. Who knew?

What is the title(s) of your book? What motivated you to write it?

My debut novel,  Last Light Falling – The covenant,  is the first of a four book series I have been developing the past five years.

This graphic and raw character driven story focuses on the trials and tribulations of Arena and Gabriel power, twins born into a world of cruel and relentless tragedy where nations have fallen, economies have collapsed, and half the world’s population has been wiped from the earth.  Arena and Gabe struggle to find any hope in their future after losing their parents when they were nine, but living with a loving foster family has eased some of that pain. It’s not until they receive a special letter on their fifteenth birthday, that history will forever change. They will soon discover the secrets behind their destiny from a priest, who has vowed to protect them since birth, and sending them on an improbable journey that will most likely end in death. The prophecy of the end is near and it’s up to Gabriel and Arena to help prepare the world’s demise by the wrath of God. Souls will rest in the providence of these ordinary twins put in an extraordinary situation, but when fate chooses them, they will have to accept their destiny changing their lives forever.

This story has turned into something bigger than what I had planned. After a brief stint negotiating a deal with a well-respected Marvel comic book artist, I finally decided to shelve the idea of the Last Light Falling comic and focus solely on the novel, which I began in March of 2012. My original inspiration behind this series came from this comic book concept about two unlikely heroes battling the normal mundane trials of teenage experiences in high school.  But the true inspiration falls back to my very own kids, Gabriel and Mikaela—my two unlikely heroes in this novel. The characters created are solely based on my  children’s personalities, and it’s scary how close they really are.

Last Light Falling – Into The Darkness, Book II  was recently released in July 2015. This is the second installment of the Last Light Falling series, and it has been receiving great accolades so far. This sequel continues the grim story of Arena’s fate, testing her faith while she and her twin brother search for an answer to their survival in a brooding world filled with chaos. Faith becomes the only escape from a relentless war about to be waged on American soil, and it’s up to Arena to keep Russia from becoming the deterrent in an international upheaval for power. One man stands between her and a fight for survival while she risks everything to help lead a new fellowship to a permanent safe haven. While her faith wavers during this impossible quest, her sanity begins to slip, which causes her to sink deeper into a dark descent. Though the hope she embraces begins to wither, it’s the difficult decisions she is forced to make that will change the course of everything. I spent twice as long on this book than the first one, and I assure you won’t be disappointed.

Who (age, gender, etc) do you think would most appreciate this book?

 15 – 25 year old girls. Although young adult novels are becoming more and more popular with the adult crowd, it’s hard to pinpoint the general audience, but yes, teens will love it.

What do you like best about developing characters?

Oh, hell, I could write an essay about this, but I won’t. I love when my characters teach me something I’m not expecting. The story is always about interesting characters whether they inspire, move, change, or even discourage you. But then surprisingly, there’s that smidgen of compassion for the most unlikely character that you never intended to happen. When my story changes, which it often does throughout countless drafts,  so do the character’s development, but when the characters unexpectedly change, that’s when the plot unfolds into something magnificent,  purely by accident.

Who was your favorite character to write?

 No doubt, Arena. It was so easy to create and develop her character because I mirrored her traits and personality from my own daughter. But the mundane trials she grows up with and faces in the story are based on my own personal experiences. I just thought it would give the novel better appeal if I vicariously lived them through this 15 year old girl.

Who are your favorite authors? Why? C.S. Lewis and Tolkien without a doubt for their courageous unsolicited effort to go against the pretentious grain of the book publishing world during their time. They both have created timeless characters and stories to which have inspired many to follow in there writing footsteps. Robert Lewis Stevenson and Jack London, two of the greatest authors of our time, for their masterful real-life characters and colorful story telling through prose and poetry.

What is the most rewarding thing about writing a book?

Simply put—finishing it. Okay maybe that’s not all, but it sure helps. I get joy out of someone else diving into the story I just created, feeling and reacting to the characters as I would. It’s always rewarding to see a reader get something else out of the writing that you didn’t expect.

What is your response to this: Indies are killing the book industry”?

I’m somewhat mixed about this. You have to understand that I worked in the entertainment business for years, specifically music publishing, where the industry has a lot of pull on how people alter it. Just like the music industry is now, independent authors have vast opportunities to promote, market, and publish their works. Unfortunately, that may be two million too many.  Just because you like to sing, doesn’t make you a singer, a pleasant one that is. That goes for writers alike. Yes, it’s great that we as independent authors have more avenues to divulge our work, but you have to compete with millions of others doing the same, and bad ones I might add. It can really persuade avid readers to avoid Indie authors and their subpar writing according to the “Big 5.” The book industry has dramatically changed. The “Big 5” traditional publishers will have no choice but to join, or at least make a viable attempt to support and open up more doors for serious writers in the Indie world. The playing field will level out eventually giving the serious authors a chance to give readers a wider variety of expression. I’m somewhat glad that the Indies are killing the book industry. There’s less pretentious and pompous attitudes that dictate which novel will be a success based on marketability alone.  The only good thing about the current publishing world is that I have access to an abundant number of excellent authors’ works at my fingertips, but more importantly, so do our readers.

What is your next project?

I’m delighted to be almost done with book III, Last Light Falling – Kingdoms Of The Ten (working title), but no spoilers here I’m afraid. Your welcome to visit my website to get a sneak peek of the cover this Winter.

Final Thoughts?

If you’re looking for suspense, adventure, and a large dose of gratuitous violence, the Last Light Falling series will be sure to supply it for you. I’d like to think this isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill, cookie cutter apocalyptic novel. It brings with it a bit of controversy about the human existence and the plight to which it extends after death. Whether or not you believe in a deity over our being, this story will entertain. It’s graphic, raw, and real, and it will leave you wondering if our current state of being will evolve into something as horrific as it does in the novel. It’s scary to think how brooding our political state is in to the possible future it may become. This book will give you a glimpse into a conceivable future that is both disturbing and evil. It will leave you with more questions than answers, but it will surely make you think what our political leaders in this world are capable of creating. This first person character driven story isn’t aimed to preach or convert. It’s merely an interpretation of the book of Revelation that is aimed at entertaining and nothing else. What you get out of it as a reader will come from your own imagination and convictions. This isn’t about the end of the world as much as it’s about the characters trying to survive in it.

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