The author of Before the Luck Runs Out, TJ Muir, is here with us today. Before we get going, happen to have a cover and blurb for Before the Luck Runs Out image for us?
Orphan. Homeless. Half-breed.
For fourteen years Jedda’s home has been in the shadows and alleys of Tatak Rhe- city of the wealthy, powerful, and corrupt. He scrounges for survival in dirty clothes that don’t keep him warm; and he relies in his nimble fingers to keep himself fed. But, buried in his blood lies the gift of magic: an invisible hand guiding his life.
Cold and hungry, he nicks the coin purse of the wrong man. Karrahk is, one of the city’s powerful rulers. The man looks into Jedda’s bright green eyes and sees the tawny-skin that betrays waif the hidden heritage. He makes a decision that will change a hungry boy’s life forever.
Jedda gets drawn into Karrahk’s service: man that most people fear. He learns the deepest and darkest secrets from all over the city. But when his magic awakens, everything changes– as he sees the deeper truth about this lord he has served so well. He was grateful to Karrahk for saving his life. But he realizes his life is in more danger from his saviour than on the streets. Karrahk plays a ruthless game where power is more important than lives. What does this powerful man want, and what will Jedda have to do now if he wants to stay alive?
First off, I love you! You actually knew what I was asking for when I asked for the url link to your cover! Love it, by the way. 😉 So, now that my url love thing is out of the way… Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start writing.
I fell in love with Fantasy when I was ten, and got my hands on The Hobbit. I always had an overactive imagination, so I suppose it was just a matter of time before these two passions collided. I studied literature in college, but never considered that being an author might be a career. Now, courtesy of the info-age, all things are possible! I have a diverse range of interests and acquired skillsets: from sword-making to initiated shaman, as well as horse trainer. All of these things tumble into a mind that is always asking “What if…?” and taking the leap of discovery to find out where a thought goes. The end result is stories that are grounded in ancient cultures, religious and spiritual concepts and far-out magic concepts… but at the heart of it, all my stories are grounded in the concept of identity, and discovery. I like to think about the world and explore ideas, and I invite my readers to come along for that ride, and to challenge me with new ideas.
You sound a bit like me, a ‘Sure! Let’s learn how to forge a sword!’ kind of person. lol So, how did you go about getting published?
I chose to publish independently- which is nowhere near as simple as it sounds. To do it well requires earning a degree in many different areas- from website development and branding, to editing, graphics, marketing and planning. But I like retaining creative control and being able to make decisions and changes instantly, based on what my network of experienced experts advise, rather than having decisions made for me that come out of marketing departments that are often behind the latest trends and developments. 🙂
The exact same reasons have tied me to the independent route. I’m curious, what is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?
I write in bursts and spurts, and find that events like NANOWRIMO, and the 85k word challenge have been the best things for keeping my feet to the fire. I also understand that sometimes a story or idea needs to sit on a back burner for a while and marinate. I have been trying to maintain a regular writing schedule to put out between 5,000 and 10,000 words per week. Ask me how that is going in a few weeks though. 🙂
I like NANOWRIMO, but it tends to fall during the busiest part of the semester. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?
I have several hobbies and interests, from hiking and wildcrafting to yoga and reading. I’ve also been spending far too much time watching television shows and movies online (bad toad, must write:). I have a small farm and a herd of dairy goats.
How do you find time to write? I’ve raised goats (and a bunch of other animals) in the past, they take a good bit of time. Of course, if you write on paper you also have the risk of them eating your work like my goats did my homework once… not kidding. lol The mention of goats brings up another question, what’s your all time favorite animal? It can be mythical.
Horse, or goat, maybe?
Hm, horse or goat… that is a hard decision. Do you have a favorite myth? If so, tell us about it!
I like a lot of Native American myths, as well asIndiann stories such as the Mahabharata. Being an anthropology student, all myths and stories become fascinating- because I always try to delve into 1- the origin-story, and 2- think about how it could be worked into a plotline;)
Anthropology! A sisterling to art history, the more we talk, the more I like you! Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?
I’m still learning this one myself. I have been relying on people with far more experience than I have. Network. Do favors for other people, because you never know how that may come back. It might be beta reading a chapter, or retweeting a release. But I know I remember who has helped me along the way, and karma goes a long way.
Tell us about your next book project.
I am currently halfway through the first draft of the sequel to Luck. This story picks up immediately where the first book left off. But it carries a different tone and vibe for the main character, Jedda. It follows the characters and introduces some new ones, as he needs to learn how to use magic, stay ahead of a handful of assassins, and master the survival skills outside of the city. But his biggest quest is to discover his part in a cosmic prophecy that will bring back the lost gods;)
Awesome! Though I bet you’ll be done with that by the time this post goes live… the curse of having to schedule ahead thanks to college classes. So, to catch up with what we’ve missed during that time, check out the links below. 😉