Featured Interview With TJ Muir
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
A little bit about myself? Oh, right– let's start with the hard questions:) I have worn many hats over the years, with a very diverse and eclectic life path. I was always the star-shaped peg that didn't fit into square or round holes. But that never bothered me. I read voraciously, always enthralled by he magical worlds inside books! I especially loved the wonder of fantasy stories, and magic. I remember searching for hobbits as a kid, hoping I could turn around quickly enough to see them before they could hide. I read Tolkein's books a thousand times over. I was also introduced to some of the other fantasy-author giants. So after many years of the diverse experiences– sword-making, shamanic healing, herbalism, teaching, training animals– I came full circle back to the world of books. This time, as a writer though! I began this world of Chanmyr when I was about twenty– and just like your favorite book, it was right where I left it, waiting for me to open the pages again. rich and exciting, having grown all the more diverse for our years apart. Oh- and I love goats!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I became a rabid reader from the time I learned to read. I read the Hobbit when I was eight or nine– and never looked back from there. I first started to write poetry when I was about sixteen, and also used to try to copy-mimic a lot of the books I read, but had no real grasp of the writing process back then. It wasn't until several years as a gamer (yes, I also wore the geek-hat:)… that I started to think about putting my characters onto paper. All these years later– my characters have matured into complex, unique and sometimes flawed individuals that are like family to me;)
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
To be fair (and honest;), since I have been writing the last couple of years I haven't really done a lot of reading. So I am not that up on all the most recent great-authors. I loved Patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind, and Lev Grossman's The Magicians. I have also read a few of Neil Gaimann's books and loved them as well. Other than that, I would say my longer-term reading-relationships are with authors like CJ Cherryh (I wish some day that I will write books that-good as some of her best works:), Janny Wurts, Kate Ellior, Raymond Feist, Dan Simmons, Tolkein (of course)… and probably more than I can think of right now. As for what inspires me in my writing? Bits of all of them, I think. Plus works on anthropology and the modern classics, like Joseph Conrad, Kafka etc… who delved into the question of Man's place in the universe. Author's like Dickens, who questioned man's place in society, and most recently, my lit-major memory has been delving into the likes of the Bronte's and Austen, in regards to women's roles in society, because that is one of the themes in the series I am writing. Who has power? What does it mean to have power? and what responsibilities come with it.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
Well, I think I just led into that one:) Book-four (as yet untitled) of the Chanmyr Chronicles follows one of my female characters, the daughter of an elite ruling family who is about to be force-married off because of a bad-debt. The marriage prospect is a bit of a creepy-dude. On top of this, she has really fallen in love (with a half-breed foreigner.. gasp!) for the first time in her life, and that has her beginning to question a lot of things she took for granted. Suffice it to say- she is having none of it, and in the first chapter- she takes off. She is going to have some powerful and eye-opening experiences. But later on, she will be a huge agent of change– but saying anything more would be spoilers:) This is my first book where I am writing 2 POVs- following Diya for a while, and then pcking up with Jedda (the half-breed, think half-elf) she has been in love with, who ran off to keep from getting killed. Jedda is going to be on his own journey of redemption and discovery as he has to live with the fact that he can't control his magic and people around him are at risk:)
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