Guest Interview with Jack Whitsel

Welcome Jack Whitsel to Mary's Garden. Everyone help yourselves, the snacks and beverages are over in the rose garden. Grab some treats, then find a place to sit.

First here's a bit about our guest:
Jack Whitsel is a native Californian, but has made Oregon his home since 1982. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Finance from Portland State University, but studies medieval history in his spare time.  His favorite genres are fantasy and historical fiction with a medieval emphasis. Shadows of Kings, the first novel of the Dragon Rising Series is the love child born of these two passions.

“I love the elements of fantasy when mixed with the gritty aspects of a medieval society,” states the author.

Mary: Now the fun part, I get to grill our guest! Where do you find your ideas? Does something trigger them? Do you carry around a notebook incase inspiration strikes?

Jack: The  inspirations for my writing are drawn from various sources  - medieval history books, my immediate surroundings, and from playing with my sons. I write religiously during the week, so carrying a notepad is not warranted. But on the weekend, when I’m devoting my time to my boys, I will occasionally carry a notebook in case lightning strikes.

Mary: How do you name your characters?

Jack: Most of my characters’ names are based upon historical references. In Shadows of Kings, all the names have a European influence that span across multiple cultures throughout history.

Mary:   Do you like to write series? Or single titles only?

Jack:I prefer series. However, since I’m currently in the midst of one, I may be a little biased. There is something about writing a saga, where you can cover various periods of time and a host of colorful characters, that a solitary book impedes you from doing.

Mary:   Can you tell us where people can find you? Web site, social media, blog, etc.

Jack: Facebook:
Twitter: twitter/jackwhitsel
Book Trailer on YouTube:
The Secret Throne Store:

Mary:  What is your work in progress? And, when do you plan to have it done?

Jack: I’m continuing with The Dragon Rising Series. Following Shadows of Kings will be Shades of Virtue, then Shards of Malice, and the first volume concludes with Queens & Daggers.

Mary:What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

Jack: I’m personally published through Twilight Times Books. As an author from a small press, I’m still part of the Indie family, just like the self-published writers. We are one big happy family, and there are enough readers for all of us.

Mary: If you were told your stories were unbelievable and no written very well, would you continue to write? What would your response be?

Jack:There will always be critics. But if a publisher was willing to take a chance on me, then I must be doing something right. As an author, you must develop a thicker skin. You will never impress everyone. For aspiring authors, I say only one thing – “Just keep writing”

Mary: Does your family support you in your writing career? How?

Jack:My family is wonderful. There is no bigger fan than my mother. I couldn’t imagine being on this journey without the support of friends, family and fans. It’s always the little things that matter  most – the encouraging word, the genuine excitement, and the fact that they will be there regardless of the measure of my success.

Mary:  If there was one wish you could ask the genie in the bottle to grant, what would it be?

Jack:When my children to grow up, I want them to have fulfilled lives consisting of joy, love, and accomplishment – regardless of the career paths they choose.

Mary:  Would you ever consider converting one of you stories/published books into a screenplay? And if you could corroborate with someone, who would it be?

Jack: I consider it all the time, and a screenplay is currently in the works. As far as collaborators…other than my brother…too early to tell.

by Jack Whitsel
Steel and sorcery clash as the Harhn incursion sweeps through the Hugue. Mankind faces its greatest peril without the Order Knights of legend to defend them. Crusading deep in the frontier, the Order is unaware of the savage beasts threatening their homeland as the Hugue realms muster their armies for war.

Between a cunning Harhn sorcerer, and an alliance forged with the decadent Darkfey, the horde threatens to extinguish the domains of men. Only Lord Baudouin and Lady Lucia, a Dragon Maiden from the Order, stand in the enemy’s path. One must find the strength to unify the realms. The other must discover the strength within her, while coming to terms with the agendas of her Order. But only together will there be any hope to repel the onslaught, and preserve the future for a mysterious girl they do not know.

Purchase info:
Title: Shadows of Kings
Author: Jack Whitsel
Author web site:
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Fantasy
Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-223-8
Format: trade paperback
Distributors: Brodart, Follett, Ingram

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-222-1
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.

Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; eReader; Fictionwise; Kobo Books; OmniLit; Sony eBookstore, etc.

"Great Dragon, be with me. Let your strength be my own. Let your countenance…"
Or Chapter excerpt:


Anonymous said…
A big THANKS to Mary's Garden, and Bewitching Tours for sharing the news about SHADOWS OF KINGS. Just to let you know, there is a publisher promo going on for Kindle/Nook lovers. For a limited time, you can snag SHADOWS OF KINGS FOR $3.25.

That said...if there is anyone who has questions about the DRAGON RISING series or writing in general, don't be afraid to ask.

Oceans of Love,

Mary Martinez said…
Thank you, Jack for joining us for some fun in the garden.

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