Featured Interview With Author Jim Melvin
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in New York State. My family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, when I was 4 and I lived there for 40 years. I now live in the pristine and gorgeous mountains of Upstate South Carolina. I'm married with five daughters and have one beloved pet, a cat named Cleo. My wife and I spend a lot of time in nature, hiking in the mountains and kayaking on nearby lakes and rivers.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I began writing books when I was in second grade. I would read them in front of class, and the other kids seemed to love them. As a teenager, I became fascinated with Stephen King's early books. At the same time, I because a lifelong adoring fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. I wrote my first real book when I was 20 and shopped it with an agent. It didn't find a home but I wasn't upset because it's usually your second or third book that really takes off, right?. However, life got in the way, and I didn't write my second book until I was 45 years old. I ended up writing and publishing "The Death Wizard Chronicles," a six-book epic fantasy for mature audiences. I also published a ghost story, but it has since gone out of print even though it sold quite well. I will probably revive it relatively soon.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
As I mentioned above, I'm a big fan of Stephen King and J.R.R. Tolkien. My favorite genre is epic fantasy, though I also enjoy horror and sci-fi. I've read a lot of epic fantasy. In addition to Tolkien, some of my favorites are George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson, and Stephen Donaldson. But there are too many to mention here. I am inspired by these great authors and also by the pure love of writing. "The Death Wizard Chronicles" leaned toward the literary side with a lot going on between the lines. Some readers seemed to really like the literary elements, others not so much. Many of my characters tend to be Tolkienish in that they are either good or evil. Of course, I have some gray characters but not to the extent that some authors do. "The Death Wizard Chronicles" is for mature audiences only. If your violence/sex meter can tolerate "Game of Thrones," you should be able to tolerate my series.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest series is on the other end of the spectrum. "Dark Circles" is a middle-grade trilogy appropriate for ages 13 and above. Book 1 ("Do You Believe in Magic?") will be released in May 2023.
Here is a synopsis:
Abandoned by his derelict father, a grieving boy named Charlie moves from Florida to his grandparents' farm on 100 wooded acres in Upstate South Carolina. There, the boy rediscovers his passion for life in a most unexpected place—a fantasy world hidden deep in the forest that is brimming with wondrous magic and wicked monsters.
In the real world, Charlie is a nerdy boy picked on by bullies at his new school. But in the fantasy world, he becomes a wizard who wields high magic.
Eventually, all blend into one.
“Dark Circles” is an adventure of epic scope. In language, tone and content, it is appropriate for ages 13 and older. But only those with a hero's heart will dare to stand by Charlie as he battles a fantastical array of magical creatures.
When you enter Charlie's fantasy world, it is dangerous to sleep. If you do, evil will lurk in your dreams and attempt to harm you. You'll end up with dark circles beneath your eyes, just like Charlie's.
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