They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.
By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.
Krisha: We love the versatility of the characters and we are very excited for the release of Nomad on July 26th so that everyone will get to know Raven. If any of your characters were real, who would be your best friend? Worst enemy?
Jeff: Let me think. I don’t know why I typed that, because this is a written interview. I think my favorite character to have around would be Grizlemor the goblin from the fairy books. I would just be entertained by his grouchily magical presence.
I have some pretty evil villains, so it’s hard to pick the worst enemy...
Katie: You've written stories about Faeries, Humans with Special Abilities, and now Futuristic Time Travel... is there anything you won't write about?
Jeff: I probably won’t write Westerns or books where cats solve mysteries. I really just keep exploring wherever my imagination takes me, and I don’t try to artificially restrict things by genre. That probably hurts me commercially, but I don’t want to write the same things again and again. I always want to try something new. It involves a lot of research along the way, from ancient folklore to futuristic weapons, and I really enjoy that.
Krisha: How important are the names of characters? Should we expect a symbolism between Raven and the bird she was named after?
Jeff: Possibly! The raven is an effective predator and opportunistic scavenger. It’s one of the most intelligent species, able to communicate about events distant in space and time—no other birds can do that, as far as the scientists know. Only humans and hive insects can share information like that, combining memory with communication (though I’d bet dolphins and whales can probably do it). In mythology, ravens are tricksters or messengers and spies for the gods. They are also associated with death and gathering the souls of the dead. So those are some interesting facts about ravens.
Katie: Where do you get your inspiration or ideas for your stories? And with your little boy running around the house, do you find that he helps or hinders your creative juices?
Jeff: I don’t know where I get my ideas. They’re just always there, and I have to pick and choose which one to write. I feed them by binge-reading on different subjects that catch my interest. New knowledge grows your imagination.
I think my toddler is great for my imagination. I have to constantly imagine his perspective and adapt to it. He’s always making wild, often hilariously inaccurate connections between different things—every parent knows what I meant about that, I think. There’s always some underlying logic that gives insight into how his mind is working and developing. It’s so fascinating to see a human being develop from the very beginning and acquire knowledge and abilities as he grows.
Krisha: Did anything out-of-the ordinary happen while writing this book that you included on the pages? If not, make something up for us.
Jeff: You know, there was a weird amount of electrical activity. It seems like there were thunderstorms every time I tried to work on the book (I prefer to work on my desktop when possible, but always shut it down for a storm). I realize that affects the entire multi-state region, not just me, but the storms are getting more and more frequent as it gets closer to the book’s release date. There’s like a storm every day now. When Raven travels through time, her device casts off a lot of electricity—it’s an experimental prototype, not a device with buffers and mufflers and safety precautions. It throws off lightning when it arrives somewhere. At the very beginning of the book, she arrives in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Katie: In your new book, Nomad, Raven travels back 5 decades to the year 2013. If you could time travel back in time, what decade would you visit?
I would go back to 1900-1910. The reason is that it’s not really a well-known era. That entire period from the end of the Civil War to World War I is kind of skimmed over in most history books because it was peaceful, but there was such an explosion of invention and experimentation in that period. It was a kind of age of optimism and new ideas. I would go to the World’s Fair and things like that. There just isn’t as much history to read about these little golden eras between the big wars, so I’d want to look in on them and see what life was like.
Short ( and random ) answers!
Krisha: Which is your favorite book cover on the books you have published?
Jeff: Oh, that’s hard! They’re almost all by Phatpuppy Art, who creates a gorgeous image every time. Right now my favorite is the Nomad cover, but maybe I’m biased because it’s the newest one.
Katie: Musicals, yay or nay?
Jeff: Yay, though I haven’t actually attended many, so that should probably be an asterisk. I was in a musical once—Brigadoon. I played “Drunk MacGuffie Clansmen Who Starts Wedding Brawl (Uncredited).” I wore a kilt.
Krisha: Best find ever at a farmer’s market?
Jeff: The heirloom tomatoes. And raw milk. Both of them, though not necessarily together.
Katie: What’s the last book you read?
I just read The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I’ve owned it for years but kept putting it off for some reason, and now I’ve read it and finished that series. I read The Gunslinger about twenty years ago, so it took me a while to finish that series.
Katie: If you could have ONE super human ability what would it be?
Jeff: I’m going with invisibility for this one. While flying and other powers would be neat, I’m not sure anything would have as many practical applications in day-to-day life as turning invisible.
Final question: What are your thoughts on having two kick-ass characters named Krisha & Katie in your next book?
Jeff: It could happen. You would dress in pastel bodysuits with capes and masks and fight crime. Your names would be Inkk and Kinkk (and I think it’s obvious who’s who). Are you still interested? Hello? Is the interview over?
From left to right: Katie, J.L. Bryan, & Krisha
We have also had the pleasure of meeting with the one and only J.L. Bryan! We chatted over coffee about his Paranormal Series and we also got a sneak peak of NOMAD way before it had a cover! Let me just say we are both SUPER EXCITED to read NOMAD!
If you Haven't read his other series yet, check out the links below and be sure to check out our Reviews for Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death. ( The Paranormal Series ) WE ARE HUGE FANS!!