- an award-winning epic fantasy author
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
A classical pianist and marginal triathlete, Jeff Konkol is permitted to live in the sprawling home of four very large cats.
He published his first tabletop RPG, Of gods and Men, in the early 90s, and has been running games within that setting ever since.
He recently returned to writing with the hope of sharing those stories with a wider audience.
Jeff, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Lord Rumblesnort Bunny-Fur. In my series, Rebirth of the Fallen, he’s an ancient Trickster Spirit that has come to inhabit a housecat. He can manipulate luck, both good and bad, so having that kind of cat can certainly backfire if he’s not bribed with sufficient treats.
Cats are tricky enough, that seems like a pretty dangerous pet to have!
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write epic, often grimdark fantasy. I got started with Dungeons and Dragons, and then branched out into a new system that I invented. Eventually, we turned long 100+session gaming campaigns into a series of novels… Rebirth of the Fallen.
Lit RPG is a massive and growing genre!
What do you like to read?
I read science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy. Most recently, I’ve been enjoying the Expanse and the Dresden Files.
You’re far from alone with those genres and favs.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
Write by the seat of your pants.
There is a wide debate out there of planners versus ‘pantsers’. I write a serial-style series, with each book picking up where the last one left off, told through multiple points of view. While I do enjoy letting characters take over, from time to time, and move the plot in ways I haven’t mapped out, ultimately, a series like mine needs to be meticulously planned.
While I’m not the most stringent planner, I definitely need a direction to write in.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
If you choose to write from multiple points of view, create binding rules and restrictions governing when and how you shift your points of view. Resist the temptation to fluidly bounce between points of view. I’ve chosen to do it chapter-by-chapter, like Game of Thrones, and the Expanse.
So true! It’s a rare skill to be able to hop between different characters’ thoughts within a single scene, without the reader having to stop following the story to think about who just said or thought what. The less the reader needs to focus to follow the story, the harder the story is going to be for them to put down.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Fallen Trilogy
Citadel of the Fallen (Book One)
A group of teenage students, while exploring deep within the rainforest, barely survive an encounter with a wild and surprisingly magical boar. In doing so, they discover that events that threaten to destroy their entire civilization have already been set into motion.
The Black Tide, the annual rampage of millions of giant ants through the rainforest, has been coerced by the Demon Queen to take a path that will send it tearing through the farmlands that support the Citadel, their home.
While the adults frantically race to prepare for the coming disaster, one of the teenagers who survived the boar attack, Malcolm, begins to experience violent visions of the past. He learns that he’s no longer alone in his own body. His revelations lead the group of teenagers to discover that many of the leaders within the Citadel are similarly possessed.
Gathering the Fallen (Book Two)
After barely surviving the Black Tide and the demonic assault that followed, the group of newly possessed friends struggle to make peace with the willful spirits that inhabit them. While the spirits grant wisdom and power, it often comes at a terrible price.
Driven by her spirit’s crippling guilt and sorrow, Eliana leads her friends on a dangerous journey across the jungle in a desperate search for answers. What happened in the Darkwood? What role did her spirit play in what transpired?
While the friends quest for understanding, the people of the Citadel struggle to rebuild and replant their ravaged farmlands. But hidden amongst them, an ancient demon carefully gathers power as she prepares to launch an assault against the magical painting that protects and preserves the Citadel.
Flight of the Fallen (Book Three)
Faced with the approach of an unstoppable army, the people of the Citadel are forced to flee. While most of the population attempts to escape along the southern waterways, the group of newly possessed friends choose a more dangerous path.
Guided by visions, the possessed friends enter the Theleram, an expansive network of caves, stretching hundreds of miles beneath the rainforest. The visions direct them to the ruins of the ancient city of Semilae, where a hidden library lies.
Meanwhile, Raelyn, the willful demon who brought about the fall of the Citadel, struggles to make a home for herself in Derregain, the largest remaining human city. The Demon Queen has placed a price on her head, and many powerful demons are interested in collecting.
But Derregain itself is struggling, as sickness begins to spread through city streets. Raelyn knows the plague is demonic in origin, but will she survive long enough to share her knowledge?
Check out J.R. Konkol across the web!