Today I have a guest post from author R J Mirabal, talking about his current and upcoming novels.
RJ Mirabal loves the Middle Rio Grande Valley having lived there for most of his life. Los Lunas High School 2006 Teacher of the Year, author RJ Mirabal, went on to win the Excellence in Education Award for NEA-New Mexico in 2007, having taught English, speech, drama and computer literacy. Now happily retired, he purses writing and music while volunteering with a motorcycle club and teachers’ organizations. RJ enjoys exploring New Mexico’s wilderness areas on his four-wheeler and traveling with his wife, Cheryl. “The Tower of Il Serrohe” is his debut novel with the first of two sequels to follow in early 2015.
His writing is aimed at adults of all ages who are readers of contemporary fantasy with an interest in unusual settings such as the high desert of the USA and generous blend of psychology, adventure.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
My writing habits are not unusual, at all. I like to write knowing I am in control of plotlines and character development. So I jot down plot/character ideas, then work up a simple outline and character descriptions. Next I write a few paragraphs plotting the action of each chapter. I let that sit while I occasionally revise, add, and eliminate elements in the plotline. Finally, I start writing each chapter, not always in order, to produce the first working draft. Then edit, edit, revise, revise, and repeat. Then beta readers report back what works and what doesn’t. More revision and creation. Finally, my editor and I work it over to produce a publishable manuscript.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice to new authors is “No one knows anything for sure” Remember that. Not other authors, editors, publishers, etc. What many will say won’t work, turns out to be “golden” once readers get ahold of it. So many hugely successful writers (and even a lot of modestly successful ones) were told by the “experts” that what they were doing wouldn’t sell, no one would read it, etc. etc. Do what you believe in and if the rest of the world likes it, great. If not, you have at least created what pleases you. Beyond that, of course, advice from other writers, readers, and editors is important but only how that advice fits you. Believe in yourself and cherish those who encourage you. Finally, have as many people read your work and especially get a professional editor whether provided by your publisher or hired on your own if you want to be taken seriously and not rejected for faulty writing. Everyone needs an editor. Everyone!
What is your best method or website for book promotion?
Concerning promotion, I find face-to-face contact with potential readers works best for me. My story is rather unusual since it doesn’t fit into well-established sub-genres like vampires, hard science fiction, high fantasy, etc. so it takes a little face time and conversation to help develop interest. Of course, my hope is that the books will soon speak for themselves, but it takes many readers to make a following. And my growing band of followers will help get the word out.
Book title: The Tower of Il Serrohe (Book 1 of Rio Grande Parallax Series)
Author: RJ Mirabal
A man who has lost his way.
A rundown casita near the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico.
A bat offering a formidable quest to this unlikely hero.
A Portal to another valley called the Valle Abajo.
Clans in the Valle needing help to overcome the evil Soreyes.
A Tower, the mysterious source of Soreye power.
Early in the past century Teresa, a young curandera, traveled to the Valle Abajo to bring down the Tower. But the Tower still stands and Don Vargas, an alcoholic looking for escape from failure, may be the only one to destroy it.
Don travels through the Portal to the Valle, encountering beautiful Raquela and feisty Nersite who join him to fight the Soreyes. Meanwhile Nightwing, the enigmatic bat, manipulates events behind the scenes. Many surprises and revelations await as this contemporary fantasy unfolds.
Though the book ends, the story doesn’t. Coming this winter, Book 2 of the Rio Grande Parallax: Extreme Dust Storms May Exist. Many familiar characters from The Tower return along with new exciting personalities to spice up the adventure:
Extreme Dust Storms May Exist:
Esther has dreams of a valley much like her Rio Luna home, yet ominously different. A bat slams its body against her window in the night. Markey, her best buddy, thinks she might be going crazy.
It is five years after the final events of The Tower of Il Serrohe and Esther, a young cousin of the missing Don Vargas, is drawn to the Portal in Don’s old Casita.
In the Valle Abajo, an old enemy of the clanspeople returns. And a mysterious presence makes itself known.
Why New Mexico Fantasy?
I’ve always loved the way fantasy and science fiction take my imagination beyond the ordinary. Realizing the obsessive creation of stories in my head meant I should be a writer, I set out to fashion a unique niche for my musings calling it Southwest Contemporary Fantasy, specifically New Mexico fantasy. Thus Don, Nersite, Raquela and all the other characters were born and sent out on their unpredictable adventures.
But like many children, they have their own ideas, and I struggle to keep up with them, attempting to tell their story as accurately as I can. I admit they share some of my life experience growing up in New Mexico with its unique culture, terrain, and climate. But at times, I wonder where these people came from!
RJ’s Blog: http://rjmirabal.wordpress.com/
Buy links for The Tower of Il Serrohe:
Black Rose Writing: http://goo.gl/fZXWgF
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/42OHpk
Signed copy from the author or other questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org