Padaeya…an unruly, savage rain forest planet…
Soaleste…its high-walled capital city, the shining beacon of security and order within the galaxy…
For over a thousand years the Daejic Szekta has stood steadfast in Soaleste, its school and temple home to a select group of beings with extraordinary abilities– some might say dangerous–expressed through the secret power of their Sonarum. These Daejic disciples are schooled and guided under the watchful eyes of the Arch Advizar, Elon Gauld. Their eternal pledge: to serve and protect the order of the galaxy.
Two Aquosians–the elite Commander Karawn Kross and the female Mystik Ka’myla Ad’uar–set out on an urgent Daejic mission to track down and bring back several Daejic pupils that have mysteriously disappeared. But what they uncover within the ancient catacombs beneath Soaleste threatens not only the lives of all those on Padaeya, but the very fabric of the galaxy itself…
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author A.J. Feagin whose book Song of Numenstar thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love science fiction but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and A.J. Feagin will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful A.J. Feagin!
A.J. Feagin specializes in writing Sci-Fi space opera fiction with fantasy elements. Her galaxy and settings are vast and mysterious, and the characters are complex and not always what readers expect.
A.J. currently lives in the Tennessee mountains with her spouse and dog Tiki. When she’s not heads down writing, you may find her out hiking in nature, or slaying demons in The Witcher 3.
Now, how wonderful does A.J. Feagin sound?! A.J. Feagin is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy A.J. Feagin’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself.
When I was around three or four, I started banging on my parent’s piano. I remember I liked the sounds it made. It wasn’t long before my grandmother gave me lessons and I learned to play. Then I saw Star Wars A New Hope on the big screen—a drive in movie theater. I was amazed by it! And so thrilled to find out that a relative of mine had the theatrical musical score on cassette tape. I wore that cassette tape out listening to it for hours on end, imagining the story I saw unfold as I listened to it. It wasn’t long before I dreamed of becoming a composer like John Williams, writing musical scores for movies. Well unfortunately, that never happened. When it came to playing, I had a bit of performance anxiety, and wasn’t sure I could make a career out of music. Being young and impressionable, I just followed what the authority (parents, relatives, and teachers) told me I should do with my skills. I also had a strong interest in science and math, so I took the safe and sure route. After graduating from high school, and then eight more years of higher education, I earned a Doctorate in Pharmacy and became a pharmacist.
So I by then should’ve felt proud of myself, right? And yet after all of that, I still didn’t. After all of the academic successes and accolades I had earned, and many years of pharmacy practice, my career still felt empty to me. I then started to realize that the only time I ever felt really alive and happy was when I was creating something.
Funny thing though, I never envisioned myself as I writer. But soon after I began working on Song of Nümenstar, I knew this new writing profession is what I was meant to do.
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
My novel series was inspired by the fairy tales and fables of my childhood. Stories that revolved around the themes of love, honor, duty, courage, morals…fighting for what one believes is right, over what one is told is right. I am a romantic at heart and that’s what I love to write about in a setting of a beautiful, yet dangerous galaxy—not unlike our own in many ways.
My vision was to create a dangerous and beautiful galaxy for readers to immerse themselves in, and to fall in love with. A world with strong characters that a reader can identify with in some way. Characters of different ages, genders, and backgrounds that are like us in our own lives, but of course expressed within a Sci-Fi fantasy realm. Like us, my characters have their daily lives, jobs, families, and friends. They have their hopes…passions…dreams…fears….religious beliefs…and everything in between. Then they get thrown into situations that threaten their status quo, and their reactions are filtered through their beliefs and how they see the world around them. Like us in our own lives, they make hard choices and must face the consequences of their choices. Which are not always pleasant, like the choices we must make. And yet I want the reader to be left with the feeling that no matter what, there is always love and hope, even in the face of oppressive tyranny and hate.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Write what you love and love what you write. And don’t let false expectations or lack of applause from family and friends stop you. Like any creative endeavor, it’s about harmonizing that expression starting from the heart and filtering it through the mind. Then applying it through some medium; for writers, it’s words.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
My stories are mostly character-driven, so obviously I focus a good bit on my characters. But I would say that plot and character motivation are really important. And for some reason in contemporary writing, I’m finding this more and more rare these days. If elements of the plot and character motivation are missing or not fully fleshed out, then no matter how interesting your characters are, the story will still feel empty and contrived.
What is your writing process like?
I really think about the big picture first. The overall story and the themes I want to convey. For example, one big theme in my novel is that love conquers all. Yes it might sound corny, but why not? So much doom and gloom out there, so I believe we need a little bit of something beautiful and idealistic in our lives to balance out all of the pessimism. Then I think about my plot, where I want to go with it. My last scene, what is the ‘end game’? Then I think about my characters. I always ask myself: what do they want, what is impeding them from getting it, and why should the reader care? Then I write…and listen to lots of music.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I really try to stick with what I’m familiar with, so I don’t really do a lot of research. Writing in the Sci-Fi fantasy genre gives me a lot of freedom to just use my imagination.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Now that I’m a full time author, I try to write a little everyday. But I never set it up as a hard and fast schedule. For me, that would kill the fun of it and make the writing feel like a chore. And I’m afraid that would somehow show up in the writing (laughs).
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I’m much more of a movie buff. And in this way, the words flow as if I was writing a novelization of a movie. I can see the scenes in my mind. I will admit that the classics written by William Shakespeare and J. R. R. Tolkien are dear to my heart and have had a strong influence on me.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I am currently working hard on the second book in The Daejic Saga series, but it could be early next year before it’s completed. This will be a much broader, more in-depth story that extends the plot I began in Song of Nümenstar.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with A.J. Feagin! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,