Monday, October 2, 2017

J.T. Arralle - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author J.T. Arralle. He is the author of the Hearthforge Chronicles. J.T. writes Epic Fantasies, Short Stories, Science Fiction, and Horror novels and novellas.

Author: J.T. Arralle

Author Genre: Epic Fantasy, Short Stories, Science Fiction, Horror

Website: J.T. Arralle
Twitter: @jtarralle
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
J.T. Arralle was born in Riverside, California, grew up all over the place and finally settled in the heat and humidity of the southern United States where he currently resides with his family and a minor zoo.

He spends his spare time writing Epic Fantasy, Short Stories, Science Fiction, Horror and many other stories. He discovered a love for story telling while young and spent many years developing the stories and tales that make up his works. He has been influenced by some of the most prolific and well-known writers in the Science Fiction and Fantasy world. He can only hope to entertain you as much as they entertained him.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your series of novellas: Hearthforge Chronicles. Rumor has it that you have a book on the horizon called Emerald Oceans. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease? (Co-author Michael Ender)

Yes Emerald Oceans is based off my friend and co-author's free SD-13 novella. It is a long book and we are in the editing/revision stages now. It's extremely exciting and if any of your readers are interested they can visit get the novella free and if they like it, they can preorder the novel. It is due to release later this year sometime around the end of November.
A sample:

Bubby threw the door open and floated in, grabbed the welding rig, and threw the straps over his shoulders. He picked up the shoring jack, a short tube with flat supports on each end, and a hand-pumped hydraulic crank in the center. He turned around, and stopped dead. The end of the coupling tube was floating free from the other ship and the far door now closed. As panic flooded his brain, the vacuuming rush of the unsealed connection, and the wave of energy cause by the derelict craft’s jump drive threw him back against the inner door of the airlock.

Luckily Tam was smart enough to cut loose the umbilical and get the airlock sealed before Bubby was pulled out in the black.

“Adrianna!” shouted Bubby. “What the hell?” He looked around for an answer that wasn’t there, then back out the small portal formed into the airlock panels he screamed, “ADRIANNA!”

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

As a new author I have not yet been scheduled for any signings, but I make a regular appearance at DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. I am looking to expand which conventions I attend, but due to work life I am limited on availability. I post articles randomly on my blog and also have a Facebook page and twitter that fans can follow.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Thank you, they took a lot of work to get right. For the Hearthforge Chronicles, as well as What a Sap!, those covers were all designed and created by me. When working with a series, I really try to keep a consistent theme. I want people to see the cover and know the stories are connected. I love to receive feedback on my covers so I can keep improving. For the commissioned covers, I try to stay involved as much as possible with the artist. In addition to my own covers, I helped lay out the back cover and spines of the CAM Anthology print editions.

You have written several novellas. Are shorty’s one of your styles of writing or are they created to give readers a sample of your work? Do you feel short reads are a product of our email and smart phone age?

Novella's are a great way to introduce a new universe to readers. You can set theme, technology levels, major players, and provide expanded backstory without impacting the novel size and pace. Novellas are one of my chosen styles, though I also write full-length novels. I have written six so far, one is due out later this year and I am shopping another around. I like to mix delivery of my stories between novels and novellas. I would relate the shorter time-availability/attention-spans more to smart device proliferation than email. Email has been around for decades prior to smart phones, but only recently has the short reads market really taken off. There is a great article on the phenomenon published in The Telegraph in May, 2014 entitled The irresistible rise of the short story. It's a good read.

You are one of the authors who contributed to M.R. Mathias’ The C.A.M. Charity Anthologies published recently. (100% of the profits from these anthologies go to charity) What a group of outstanding people. What is the main thing that you get out of this association? Why was the collection so successful, besides having outstanding authors?
CAM Horror and Science Fiction Book 1

I enjoy the company of a great group of talented writers in the anthology. Several members of my family have either survived or succumbed to a variety of cancers. Contributing to the anthology was one way I could contribute to the fight. I think the readers that bought the anthology wanted to support the mission as well as enjoy the stories contained within. I respect the contributors and have gained some solid friendships.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

Giveaways are one method of getting your work in front of people. Running promotions where one or more of your books is given away for free can increase your exposure in the market and bump sales. I've run several giveaways and witnessed my audience size grow. My main goal is always to grow my audience, increase my exposure, get my work in front of people. The biggest obstacle would be getting people to want to sign up. The giveaways help with that.

What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?

I have written mostly in fantasy and sci-fi. I like to say I am a Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror author, but I have always seen horror as a story element and not really a genre by itself. When you break a story down, from my own perception, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Real World is the setting and various components that make up the world. Then you look at the story and decide if it's a mystery, or maybe a tale of vengeance, or good versus evil. The horror aspect is the way the events unfold. The actions taken by the antagonist and the results.

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

Yes, I collect the email addresses from fan contacts and newsletter signups. While at the convention I collect addresses from potential readers while running giveaways. I use my newsletter, facebook page, and twitter account to communicate with readers and other authors. I have a contact form on my website available for people to send me email. I'm slow when it comes to reading them, but I do read them all.

What is your method of getting reviews? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

I have never used a professional review service, I prefer to have readers leave reviews. If they enjoyed the story, I want to hear it, and what part they enjoyed the most. If they hated the story, I want to hear it and understand why. My goal is to write the best story I can and always improve my skills. The reviews will help me understand both the successes and failures.

You have just completed a novel with Michael Ender called Emerald Oceans. (Preorder – buy link below) With both of you writing in separate locations, how do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your story going? How did you handle the communications? Do you use any software to keep track of your book?

This process was the first collaboration I have taken part in. With that said, it was a fun experience. The biggest thing is the communication. We had to learn how to communicate with each other and how each other works to mesh better. We use a file sharing platform to transfer the planning documents and story parts. Communication is usually handled by instant messaging. The right apps help because of the logs. We can go back and look at decisions that were made and keep things consistent. For tracking the story, I use Scrivener and snapshots. This helps so we can see the adjustments to the text and also keep a version history. I run backup processes to keep extra copies around in case of hardware failure.

Author's Book List
Emerald Oceans - Star Dragon 13 Book 2
With some of SD13s crew lost on their previous mission, and others moving on to better things, new arrivals fill their positions, some that have a sorted past with the current well knit group.

On a mission to investigate why production has stopped on Resource Planet 88, the new team finds a whole lot more than they expected. To make matters worse, the deceased former captain's brother is out for revenge, and has things planned for Captain Adrianna Archa, that no one could possibly expect.

Gripping space battles, perfectly laid traps, and a damaged ship are just the beginning of of their problems. If this new, conflicted crew wants to survive, and make it home alive, they must put aside their differences and do the impossible, for not only is Captain Archa's life on the line, the rest of the crew and their top secret, Legion stealth ship, Star Dragon 13, is at risk as well.

Get ready for a deep space adventure like no other.

Order the Book From:

Phoenix Phyres - Hearthforge Chronicles #3
What if dwarves and magical creatures were real? Reading the Hearthforge Chronicles might just make you believe. Meet the Dwarves of Magna Con, experience first hand the magic of the largest fan-focused Fantasy, SciFi, Paranormal and Horror Con in the world.

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Heavy Metal - Hearthforge Chronicles #2
What if dwarfs and magical creatures were real? Reading the Hearthforge Chronicles might just make you believe. Meet the Dwarves of Magna Con, experience first hand the magic of the largest fan-focused Fantasy, SciFi, Paranormal and Horror Con in the world.

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Lost and Found - Hearthforge Chronicles #1
What if dwarves and magical creatures were real? Reading the Hearthforge Chronicles might just make you believe. Meet the Dwarves of Magna Con, experience first had the magic of the largest fan-focused Fantasy, SciFi, Paranormal and Horror Con in the world.

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What a Sap
Another cold winter approaches and Shlon is tasked working the forest with the other single men.

After a terrible accident that leaves him the lone survivor, he is left with many questions. Why did he, alone, survive? As the questions continue to pile up, he fears for the safety of those around him. Pursued by some other worldly terror, it's a race against the clock as he seeks the truth.

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CAM Horror and Science Fiction Book 1 - The C.A.M. Charity Anthology
All of the CAM Charity Anthologies are made up of donated short fiction stories. Some of these tales are written by well-known authors, others by ordinary people who just want to try and make a difference. 100% of the profits from these collections will go to charity as explained below.

Michael Robb Mathias Jr. aka M. R. Mathias, owner of Mathias Publishing, is producing the C.A.M anthologies in honor of his mother, Carol Ann Mathias, who passed away in 2017 after a grueling five year battle with cancer. The profits of these collections will be divided equally, each year, between three of her favorite charities.

(Each of these three organizations has an A or A+ rating with
a "watch dog" group that rates these non-profits based on several criteria, the most important being percentage of donations that reach the intended ones in need.)

A collection of Fantasy stories is also available and we hope there are more volumes to come.

This Kindle download is: Horror & Science Fiction, Vol. 1

Featuring (In Order of Appearance)
Brian Barr
Ani Fox
Michael Robb
J.T. Arralle
Jeremy Hicks
Gary W. Olson
Michael Ender
Michael Pogach
Ed Faunce
Matt Broadway

With Interior Artwork by Gideon Deschain
Cover art by Jack Hoyle. See more of his fantastic artwork at

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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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