A Modern Soldier in Ancient Rome- Jackie Anders

When you write historical fiction AND fantasy, as I do, finding others who mix the two is always fun. Add to that Jackie Anders is also a Black Rose author (Black Rose will be publishing my new novel in November,) and I knew I had to speak to her.

Jackie, welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere.

I am glad to be featured on this blog! I am a mother of three, teacher, writers’ podcast co-host, and an author. So why am I an author? I have always loved to write. However, my journey began when I was five. I began by writing music and lyrics. After a few years of staying up until two in the morning reading books, I decided to start writing books instead of music. My first book was Phoenix: Field of Mars that I queried for over a year until I finally got a publishing contract with it releasing in Dec. 2018. Now, I have Phoenix 2: By the Sword which released in Feb. 2020 and Arion Rising that released in Sept. 2019.

What is Phoenix: Field of Mars and the rest of the series about?

Phoenix: Field of Mars and Phoenix: By the Sword are the first two books in the Phoenix Trilogy. Phoenix begins with a young career woman that expectantly falls into a U.N. Special Ops mission that takes her from 2018 to First Century Ancient Rome. After learning her new reality, she discovers that the team’s mission is to stop a biochemical scientist from unleashing a deadly virus on the unsuspecting 1st Century people in order to change history.

As Kyla encounters hostility and strife on her journey, she is surprisingly protected by the team’s leader, Capt. Christopher Eriksen. Even though Eriksen has many internal struggles from what he’s seen and done, he inspires her to trust in something bigger than herself. But as Kyla and the team race to stop the impending genocide, Kyla’s biggest fear is no longer the known threat. It is the not knowing if she will ever be able to get back home.

What is it about the story or the magic system that appealed to you? Why this story?

The huge appeal in my stories is ‘hope’! Yes, I have adventure, action, historical fiction, romance, military, and spiritual undertones, but overall my stories about hope!

Who are the authors who influenced you and who do you like to read?

If you enjoyed the Twilight Zone, then you know who Richard Matheson is. He was one of my favorites. One of his novels became a movie, I Am Legend. I also enjoy Ayn Rand, H. G. Wells, Diana Galbadon, and Francine Rivers.

Where can we learn more about everything you’re up to?

I am on Twitter: @jandersbooks,  Instagram: jandersbooks,  Website: jandersbooks.com, Facebook: Jackie Anders – Author, and Goodreads: Jackie Anders

You can also tune into our writer’s podcast that I co-host called By the Moonlight Writers Podcast!

And if you haven’t already joined my email list, you should do it and get a FREE story that few have ever seen, and is available on my site only to those who subscribe. Signup is on the left side of this page. You’ll have links to cool interviews with other authors and learn all about my upcoming book (a werewolf detective, no Zombies!) Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. it’s coming November 19 from Black Rose Writing.

Living Forever is the Best Revenge- Craig Zerf

I have had my share of people who don’t like my work, but the idea of turning that negative feedback into a 7-book series has never ocurred to me. That is, until I discovered Craig Zerf’s work. The first of his works I read was Dead Declan, which is a concept so bonkers I had to read more. Here he talks to me about his popular “Forever Man,” series.

So what’s your deal? Your personal story is unique.

I grew up in South Africa. Got married there, had a son, left and moved to England almost twenty years ago. I only started to write when I got to the UK. And, because I have always been a huge fantasy fan, that’s the genre I went for.

How did you settle on fantasy and where did The Forever Man come from?

My first series, Plob, was an attempt at humour. It was okay, I suppose. You always look back at your first books and say, I could have done better. But it got me started and, for one brief week, it actually topped the charts in both the UK and Germany and was voted the year’s best read by BBC Radio 4 listeners.  It was around this time I learned an important lesson… there are some seriously strange folk out there!

I had one, fan? Stalker? Arch enemy? Not sure what to call them. They purchased and read every one of my books and then proceeded to give them one-star reviews with comments like… This one is even worse than the last. Finally, they left a review that simply read ‘Every day I scour the obituaries for Craig Zerf’s name in the vain hope that he has died. Even if I live forever, I will never recover the time I have wasted reading his books.

It was then that I came up with the idea of writing a series where the main character is immortal. I know it’s been done before. Dracula, various mages and fae types. But I wanted to portray a normal man, a reluctant hero, who gets gifted, or cursed, with immortality and supernatural powers.

How would he react? Would he be good? Bad? Indifferent?

What if it turned out that the very world was in trouble and he was the only one who could save it? What would he do?

I called the series The Forever Man and it’s been described as a genre-bending fantasy series with post-apocalyptic heroes, battles against mythical creatures, and wild temporal jumps.

Writing a whole series to piss off one critic seems extreme, but it worked. How would you sum up The Foreverman in a couple of lines?

I suppose one could say, Lord of the Rings meets Mad Max and Game of Thrones. It’s available on Kindle, paperback and audio. There are six books at the moment but I’m ready to release seven and eight in a couple of weeks.

What writers influenced you?

Obviously, whatever I write has been influenced by my favorite authors. My early reads, when I was five, six, seven years old, were Enid Blyton books. Especially the Magic Faraway Tree.

Next stage, and I’m talking nine or ten here, were books like Biggles, Willard Price and the Hardy Boys.

As I hit my teens I graduated to Wilbur Smith (I love his earlier novels. Gritty, over the top, verging on heroic fantasy). And I discovered David Eddings. The Belgariad. Well…talk about life-changing. This was proper fantasy. Epic stuff.

After that came David Gemmell. To this day, David remains my favorite author. Clearly, Terry Pratchett also has to be taken into account.

And, finally, Michael Marshall. His books like Only Forward, and Spares are proper modern classics. He is truly one of the writers that I stand in awe of. Genius.

Where can people learn more about your work?

The best place to see all my work is my Amazon Author Page.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

It’s Official: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is Coming November 19

The Russian tasted like borscht and cheap cigarettes. Well, his blood did. It’s not like I actually ate him—I wasn’t that far gone. But with that much blood flying around, some of it got into my mouth and as nasty as it tasted, I licked my lips and felt it fuel my anger.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk Chapter 1

Intrigued?

I hope so, because that’s how my new book opens and I’m thrilled to announce that my latest novel is coming November 19th from the good folks at Black Rose Writing.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is an urban fantasy detective thriller. Okay, that’s a fancy way of saying the lead character is a Chicago PI with a concealed carry permit, a rich new client, and a case that gets so weird being a werewolf is the most normal thing he has to deal with.

Yes, you heard it. Johnny Lupul has issues. The book is exciting, scary, funny, and there may or may not be werewolf sex.

It might not be historical fiction, but it’s full of the same exciting action, unique plots, and humor in dark places you’re used to if you’ve enjoyed my other work. Come join me. I promise it won’t be dull.

Do you like free reading? Of course you do, so listen up.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And you can see all my current work on my Amazon Author Page!