Welcome to CJ Perry & ‘Dark Communion’ @DarkCommunion @GoddessFish #epicfantasy

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Today we have author CJ Perry visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?

* My deep and abiding love of fantasy began when I was six when I first saw the 1981 film Dragonslayer on VHS with my father. He loved fantasy movies too, but didn’t have the courage to be a dork about it like I did. That movie was a gateway drug that led me straight to the hard stuff – CS Lewis. I was far too young for such potency but by the time I was ten I had read the whole series. That’s when I found my first Dungeons and Dragons group. When I started playing, my friends and I used pre-made campaign settings and published adventures, but I quickly grew restless with their limitations and trite story lines. I needed my own persistent world: something adaptable to my whim and that no one else owned.
* Back in my day, there was no internet, so I took out every book about castles and medieval history from the school library and read them in Math class (I’m still terrible at math as a result). I came up with an entire world and brand new history. I read books on cartography and hand drew maps of my new world. I created a cosmology, a hierarchy of gods, and the tenets of their religions. I read the Dungeon Master’s guide a dozen times, and every fantasy novel I could get my hands on.
* Then, one day, I sat down and told my friends, “Hey guys, wanna try my story instead?” Even 15 years after the original D&D campaigns ended, former players tell me that they share our incredible stories with their children. I’m honored to say that most of those players still have their original character sheets 16-20 years later, and a couple have even named their children after them.
* Now, I’m 39 years old and a loving father of 2 girls, and I still play those games on occasion. My passion has evolved into putting those ideas and amazing stories on paper for the whole world to enjoy. My first novel took me and co-author DC Fergerson 10 years to write and topped out at 180,000 words. Being too long and too complex, I finally ended the project and took its lessons to heart.
* I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.
* I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer’s Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson’s Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning.
* Many, many years later, I am in the final edit and proofreading stage of Dark Communion, the first installment of the Shadowalker Chronicles. My role as a father of two girls heavily influenced the characters I’d known for over 20 years, shaping them into women that my own daughters could respect. My characters took on a depth and quality that brings them off the page and into the minds of readers, because they have become all too real. I was privileged enough to work on two careers at the same time to accomplish this feat – a fun-loving and involved stay-at-home dad, and a full time writer.

Today CJ Perry will be talking about the first book that had a big impact on him.
* The first book to have a big impact on me was Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I read it when it came out in 89, when I was only twelve. When I picked it up, I couldnt imagine ever being truly scared by a book. I understood that movies could scare me, but the idea of printed words on a page having the same impact seemed ridiculous. At least, that’s what I told my parents. My father laughed and let me buy it. I had no idea what I was in for.
* I read Pet Sematary in two days. I stayed up late with a flashlight under the covers. I read it in school. No book had ever gripped me like that one did. I had read Christine, Carrie, Salem’s Lot, The Stand, and the Gunslinger. I loved them all, but not one of them had scared me. When I finally closed Pet Sematary, I couldn’t sleep without a nightlight. I didn’t even have one as a toddler, but I had my parents put one in my room and the bathroom. When the movie came out, my father asked me if I wanted to go see it. I refused, but my father went to see it. When he came back he finally understood what he let his pre-teenage son read.
* I had nightmares for years and the nightlights stayed in my room and bathroom until I was in High School. Then, one day, in the library I decided to try my hand at my own story – a sci-fi horror about an alien invasion of my little suburban town in upstate NY. It took me a couple of days to finish, but when I did, the nightmares stopped. I should have realized then, how powerful and therapeutic writing was for me. But at that age, it didn’t occur to me that the nightmares stopped when I wrote. I just never made the connection.
* To this day I still won’t pick up Pet Sematary. I just have no desire to go back to that place. Stephen King traumatized me, but somehow in the midst of scaring my hair white, he also inspired me. I didn’t know books could create such powerful emotion in the reader. I have no interest in scaring my readers half to death, but I want people to feel that deeply for my characters and my story. I want them to take Ayla’s struggles with them in their hearts and dreams when they click off the light after reading Dark Communion and close their eyes.

A look into Dark Communion

mediakit_bookcover_darkcommunion

~ Blurb ~
* The minotaurs have kept Ayla and Deetra’s people in chains for 200 years. With nothing left to live for, and a death sentence in her womb, Ayla trades her soul for a chance to break the curse which holds her people in slavery. Armed only with her faith, she and Deetra start a revolution, and bring about the return of the Goddess of Darkness.

~ Excerpt ~

* Ayla lifted the woman’s chin with her finger. “What is your name?”
* “Ava.”
* “How far along are you?” They both knew what she really asked; are you carrying a calf?
* The woman met Ayla’s eyes and did not look away.
* “Three months.”
* Ayla’s heart ached with pity. Judging by the size of her womb, if she had carried a human child, she would only have two months to go. Horses clopped up the drawbridge until the other wagon stopped behind the first. The people on the back leaned to see what went on up ahead. Ayla knelt down in front of the pregnant woman on the cool stone of the gatehouse.
* Her voice echoed off the stone walls. “Who is this man with you?”
* The woman bowed her head. “My brother, Gaelan, milady.”
* Butch’s chest rumbled. “It’s Priestess.”
* The woman looked up, then back down and hurried to correct herself. “He’s my brother, Priestess.”
* Ayla shook her head at Butch with a stern look and he dipped his head in silent apology. She lifted the woman’s chin again. Her voice kept the compassion it had before, but with an edge.
* “You are too far along for any surgeon to help you.”
* “I know, Priestess. That’s not why I came.” The pregnant woman’s green eyes held Ayla’s gaze and did not waiver. She set her jaw. “I want to fight.”

Buy Dark Communion here…
Amazon

Find CJ Perry here…
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Thank you for joining us here today, CJ Perry! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story. Stephen King had a big influence in my reading and writing life as well. I, too, remember reading Pet Sematary. It was 1984, my freshman year of high school {the book was published in ’83 & the film came out in ’89}, and I’d borrowed the paperback from a friend–who happens to be my husband now. I’d read it as I walked the halls between class and would even get a few pages in during them. 😉 I really fell in love with the horror genre back then, both in literature and film. And yeah, I have to agree, the movie Pet Sematary is pretty creepy.

ANNOUNCEMENT! CJ Perry will be awarding a $10 and a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter the drawing. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!

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8 thoughts on “Welcome to CJ Perry & ‘Dark Communion’ @DarkCommunion @GoddessFish #epicfantasy

  1. Pingback: Welcome to CJ Perry & ‘Dark Communion’ @DarkCommunion @GoddessFish #epicfantasy – C.J. Perry

  2. Pingback: Blog Tour Stop: Casey M’s Corner #darkfantasy #epicfantasy – C.J. Perry

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