Today I’ve got another blog tour with some goodies for you! 🙂 Let me show you!
Bartender and songwriter Kelli Foster had always kept her eyes trained on the dream of stardom as a means to escape her small-town life. That focus blinded her to threat right in front of her: a bar patron who lulls her into a false sense of security and abducts her for a shadowy organization, taking her to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
Desperate to escape and return to the world she thought she knew, Kelli bides her time, complying with her captors as they force her into a dream world where she must unravel the meaning of a song to free a hostage trapped inside a tree. Failure to free the hostage means only one thing: death, for her and the hostage.
Joined by an important test subject whose sanity unravels almost from the start, Kelli attempts to free them both. When the escape fails, Kelli’s life becomes even more difficult, and she learns that her assumptions about her life – and the world itself – could all be false. As events spiral out of control, Kelli finds herself caught in a battle between godlike beings that hold her fate, and that of the entire Organization, in their hands.
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I must say, reading this novel was a very new experience for me. It’s in the form of a diary. You are literally reading Kelli’s words as she wrote them. And it’s from different times. So you see the “before” while she was kidnapped and then “now” as she is running. I must say it was a very unique experience, but a good one. Plus, it’s got a deep plot going on. You can’t help but literally be breathless as to watching what happens to Kelli.
Kelli has had a really rough experience. She is kidnapped, forced into these crazy experiments, plus she’s not the only one. Kelli’s mind seems to be unique from most, which is why she was chosen. Think of it as creating a parallel world that can become reality in your mind. It’s such a creative story. And it gives your brain some things to think about. It kind of hard to judge the characters other than Kelli, because you only ever really see her point of view. Plus, there are so many mysteries surrounded by all the other characters in Kelli’s mind, that it’s a little hard to talk about them. And in the end, if I told you, I would ruin it for you 🙂
Seriously, if you like puzzles or real mysteries, with some added sci-fi type paranormal added to it, this is REALLY your book. I am not always so good with puzzles, which is what probably saved me, as I get more caught up in the reading than trying to figure out what’s going on 🙂 I like the mystery part to it. 🙂 I think it’s a great new way to tell a story 🙂 4 REFRESHINGLY CRAZY CREEPY PAWS!!
WELCOME! I just want to thank you again so much for taking the time to answer questions for my blog!
Ah, happy to answer! 🙂
First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
Room 3 is a supernatural mystery/romance about a woman whose discovers that her life – and her identity – are not what they seem when she’s kidnapped and pumped full of mind-altering drugs to “test” her will. It’s a side-story to an on-going series, but it stands on its own. This story in particular came out of an idea to update the movie Videodrome (one of my all-time favorite movies) for the modern age. That idea fell by the wayside as the story evolved, but my affection for the characters drove me toward the finish line.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I began writing at a very young age, maybe six or seven, but it was always just little skits and vignettes that occurred to me. I first knew that I wanted to write novels when I read Stephen King and Peter Straub’s “The Talisman” at the tender age of 10 or 11. I wasn’t ready to leave those characters behind and had my own vision of how the story would continue, so I guess you could say I started with fan fiction.
What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
Hah, first book would have been a story set during an alternate reality version of the Inquisition. An accused witch went on an epic quest into the Pyrenees to recover an ancient artifact of some sort or another that would prove her innocence. All written in a spiral notebook and lost to time. The idea began when our high school class studied the Inquisition. I wrote a good deal of it in that classroom.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, writing fantasy fiction can easily be seen as a form of escapism and a chance to pull away from our world, but I like grounding my characters, and I’m a huge fan of literary fiction. That’s a long way of saying that yes, a great deal of the events and bits and pieces of characters are based on my own experiences. So while I’ve never been kidnapped and taken to a cabin somewhere, I do have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to discover that given concepts about your own identity are false.
How do you choose when/which characters die in your books?
Very good question! Haven’t heard that one before. The truth is that I really don’t choose the characters who die, they kind of choose themselves – or the situation chooses them. In my current WIP, Pathways of the Dead, I had a major character die toward the end of the novel. I hadn’t planned for this death and it threw all sorts of kinks into my overall plan, but it was clearly the correct dramatic decision at that moment, so I had to go back and change a lot of things to make it work. I think if I decided to kill a character in advance I’d be very depressed about it.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Unfortunately have to pass on this one. I’ve been engrossed in writing my novel and going back to review some old gems over the past few months.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
Clive Barker. He started out as a somewhat imaginative horror writer, but then followed where-ever his muse would take him. He wrote some fantastic books and created some amazing worlds, ones that would go on to inspire quite a few other writers. Unfortunately this ended with him losing his adult fiction contract, but he’s still writing great YA stories and has his painting career on the side. Real hero of mine.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Not so much with Room 3; it’s fairly complete as it is. I might change the ending a little to clarify the intention, but that’s a minor quibble.
Now my first novel? I could go on for hours about the changes I’d make, but that’s part of growing as a writer.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes I think that I have a near-compulsive need to complicate issues for characters. It is, of course, what makes drama, but it can get very challenging when those issues begin to compound. Take Room 3 for instance. The introduction of a particular concept toward the end of the novel helped to frustrate Kelli and Samarta’s forward progress, but I had to make sure that the new idea balanced out with what the reader knew and fit into the story’s internal logic. That always makes me swear.
What book are you reading now? Or what genre? My followers love author’s opinions!
I’m reading The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and it’s…interesting. I love the concepts, but I’m not sure whether the writing is just old-fashioned or particularly bad. Many things that I would do differently there. I recently read The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, however, and really enjoyed it. Great characterization and some interesting twists and turns. Highly recommended!
Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
This one was done by Ryan Bibby, an artist and dear friend out of New Zealand. I’m always very involved in the creation of my covers, from the initial concept to suggestions for fleshing out ideas. I also like to handle a good deal of the type setting myself as it’s something that I do in my day job. I think Ryan did a great job with this cover and it makes a fantastic poster.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
I approach every book as a learning experience; I’m leery of writers who write that perfect first book and then slowly degrade in quality. I think you should constantly be striving to do something better with each novel. Corridors of the Dead taught me new lessons in characterization and how to “feel” each character in your soul. Room 3 taught me how to perform the high-wire act of balancing character motivation with a high concept and events driven by external forces. Pathways of the Dead has taught me to handle the twists and turns that arise with a story and incorporate them into the characters’ paths.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
Daniel from Corridors of the Dead. He’s a compassionate man who sacrifices everything to protect the people he loves.
Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
Rather than cite a particular book, I’d say instead that it’s important to read across genres. I don’t believe that any one genre can offer every experience that you might want from a story, and it’s important to be well-rounded.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I guess just that I realize that writing a novel is more than just throwing something out there and hoping it hits – it’s a conversation between the author and each person who reads that novel, a connection that transcends even the barriers of death itself. I’m honoured to be able to “speak” with you.
Aww, well I’m glad you did! 🙂
About the Author:
Born and raised in the rural Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Jonathan wrote his first fantasy/sci-fi novel at the age of 13. After studying writing and communication at James Madison University, Jonathan turned his passion for writing into a full-time technical writing career in the DC Metro area, working for companies like Sprint/Nextel, Time Warner Cable, and Sirius XM Radio, where he had an opportunity to combine his love of music with his love of writing. He may have drifted away from fiction at times, but it was always his first love – and he always returned to it. Now living in Bethesda with his wife, two cats, and two quirky guinea pigs for which his publishing company is named, he crafts the kinds of stories that he had always hoped to read but just couldn’t quite find.
Room 3 Tour schedule:
- May 27th | The Avid Reader (Author Interview, Excerpt)
- May 28th | Vaempires (Guest Post)
- May 29th | Much Loved Books (Excerpt)
- May 30th | Darkest Sins (Guest Post)
- May 31st | Fictional Candy (Guest Post, Excerpt)
- June 3rd | Mythical Books (Excerpt)
- June 4th | Happy Tails and Tales (Review, Author Interview)
- June 5th | Mind Reader (Author Interview)
- June 6th | Jody’s Book Reviews, Giveaways & Tours (Excerpt)
- June 7th | Tana Rae Reads (Guest Post, Excerpt)
- June 10th | Nomi’s Paranormal Palace (Guest Post, Excerpt)
- June 11th | Sapphyria’s Book Reviews (Excerpt)
- June 12th | The Ferryman’s Wife (Guest Post, Excerpt)
- June 13th | Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction (Excerpt)
- June 14th | Road to Hell series (Excerpt)
The tourwide giveaway is a gift card, some print copies and some ebook copies, so I think you should all GO HERE to enter!
I hope you enjoyed today and I wish you all good luck! A big thanks to the author for stopping by and Dark World Books for making it happen 🙂 Happy reading and later gators!