Author of- Exiled (The Never Chronicles) and co-author of The Searcher and the Sentinel.
About the Author
J. R. Wagner was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania during a blizzard. The snow made travel by car impossible, so his father called an ambulance when his mother went into labor. The ambulance became stuck at the bottom of their home’s driveway, prompting the dispatch of a fire truck, which towed the ambulance to the hospital where he was born.
Maybe it was this experience that destined J.R. to love adventure. A ccompetitive cyclist, triathlete, mountain biker and adventure racer, he once received a medal for saving a woman’s life during the kayaking section of an adventure race. And the adventure is hard to miss in his debut novel Exiled (Live Oak Book Group, June 5, 2012), the first book in J.R.’s young adult fantasy series The Never Chronicles. He’s got a day job to keep him “grounded”; J.R. helps run his late father’s Downingtown, Pennsylvania floor-covering business.
J.R. first started writing at 10 years old with his sequel to “Return of The Jedi” – the self-proclaimed “Star Wars geek” had lofty aspirations of working with George Lucas on filming the project. In 1990 he began filming his version of “The Lord of The Rings” in his parent’s basement, but the plug was pulled after he nearly burned down the house. Since then the storyteller has also written a full-length science fiction screenplay, a thriller novel and a second screenplay.
After graduating in Kinesiology from Arizona State University, J.R. returned to Downingtown, where his creative fires were re-stoked by his two beautiful daughters.
J.R. also endearingly considers his wife Lisa his muse. It was during their trip to Maine he began writing Exiled.
Which genres and age groups do you write for?
Young Adult Fantasy
Which genres do you read?
Young Adult (mostly) Fantasy, Horror, Dystopian, Non-fiction, Thriller, Sci-fi…virtually everything
What/ who is your favourite book/ author?
It’s almost a cliché at this point but Tolkien -The Hobbit.
Tell us about the Never Chronicles.
Exiled (The Never Chronicles #1) is a fantasy novel written for young adults about a boy (15) who is wrongfully accused of murdering his mentor and banished to The Never, a place from which there is no chance of escape. James must first learn to survive in this inhospitable environment before finding a way to return home, where he believes he must be the one to save his kind from destroying themselves.
Full of sorcery, treachery, tragedy, adventure and excitement, Exiled is book one of The Never Chronicles, which in full, completes the story of James, The Never and the feared Epoch Terminus – the rapidly approaching date marking the end of his world.
Every other chapter follows James in The Never, while, in “Lost”-like fashion, the alternating chapters provide back-story. The story lines eventually come crashing together in dramatic fashion, tying sub-plots together and providing the reader a “wow” moment.
How many books will there be in the never chronicles?
I’m not sure. The second is already finished and there is more to tell so at least three.
Where did the concept come from?
I had a vision of a scene (it ended up being the opening scene) and started writing what I had seen in my imagination and it expanded into the entire story. I’m a big fan of ‘Lost’, which played a role in how the book is sequenced (back-story intermixed with the linear time line). I know there are influences from many books and films I’ve seen that helped mold the idea.
You have a virtual book tour coming up, what can we expect from that?
I’ll be featured on some amazing blogs. It should be a fun time and provide some great exposure. The link to the virtual tour is here: http://www.jkscommunications.com/virtual-book-tour-for-jr-wagners-exiled/
Do you have plans for other releases?
At the moment I’m focusing on Exiled and The Never Chronicles…but I do have a ‘bucket list’ of genres and topics I’d like to write about.
Why and when did you start hosting writing competitions?
December of last year was my first. I wanted to create a forum where people can ‘try out’ writing something without any financial investment, which is why they are all free to enter. Plus, reading all the stories is a blast and it is great to work with aspiring authors -a passion of mine, actually.
Tell us a bit about The Searcher and the Sentinel.
It‘s a Dystopian serial story (serial meaning it releases one chapter at a time) about two characters trying to find their way through post-apocalyptic earth. I write the Searcher, which is fun and challenging because The Searcher is a woman. She’s had it pretty hard and is extremely tough as a result.
You collaborated on The Searcher and The Sentinel, how easy was it for you to work with another author?
I’ve known J. R. Greer for quite some time so the collaboration comes naturally for us. Because we are each writing first person for two different characters, I think it makes it easier on the reader to distinguish between the two because there is no possibility of my inner voice infiltrating The Sentinel and vice versa.
Is there anything you learnt from your collaboration that you’ve carried into your own writing?
I learn things from Roger (J. R. Greer), his writing style, his editing technique, almost every time we interact.
Would you consider collaborating again?
Absolutely. We continue to work on S&S as it is a serial story.
Are there any other areas of your work that you would like to talk about?
I recently began speaking to groups of teens who, for whatever reason, have found their way into the juvenile justice system or in the hands of social services (which means their parents aren’t around and those that are aren’t fit to parent them). I typically speak about my book, then go into writing and how it can provide an emotional escape for us all. They really seemed to grasp at that idea and, as a result, the administrators of the programs have encouraged me to spread this message to other facilities. Ideally, I’d like to create an all volunteer group of authors who would talk with and help underprivileged teens find that escape through writing. I’m very excited about the possibilities.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Write every day. Read every day. Create a blog, build a following. Join figment.com or a similar site and have your work critiqued. That’s a great start. Oh, and try some writing contests! (like mine!)
Where can we find you, website, twitter etc?
Works by this Author
oh, and you can pre-order Exiled right now! Check it out HERE
book trailer too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44ZRQxugAvM&feature=player_embedded