Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Christopher Jackson-Ash is in his late fifties and lives in Melbourne Australia. He has had a varied career in chemical engineering and risk management. Now that his children are grown up, he has returned to bohemia and is concentrating on his first love, writing. His main focus is on fantasy novels but his work extends through flash fiction and short stories to novels in other genres, including children’s stories.
He lives at http://firstworld.info/ where he shares a blog with Kris the Bard.
Kris writes …
I come from a place called Karo in the dimension of FirstWorld a very long time ago. How I came to be living in your dimension in your time is a very long and complicated story. On the way, I got involved with a Hero with a powerful sword, wizards (both good and bad), elves, dwarves, men and Gods. The Hero was involved in a quest to serve The Balance and prevent either Law or Chaos achieving supremacy. It was my job to chronicle the Hero’s struggles and although it was long ago and very far away I believe that the things we learnt are just as important in your world today.
Together we have written four fantasy novels. CJA has self-published another seven books in various genres.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Our FirstWorld multiverse is inspired by Michael Moorcock and J.R.R. Tolkien, so it’s a bit like sword & sorcery meets elves & dwarves, with some time travel paradoxes thrown in for good measure. we have just self-published the fourth and final volume of the FirstWorld Saga. The four books are Quest for Knowledge; Aftermath of Armageddon; A View of the Past; and A Vision of the Future. The Hero is plucked from a future Melbourne where he is a medical student sworn to do no harm. The books document his challenge to come to terms with his genetic heritage, which means taking up a powerful sword and butchering people in order to save the multiverse.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
CJA – only that I write with my muse KtB.
KtB – I tell him what to write, but he often disagrees with me and we have arguments about it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My life took a dive into abuse at about eight years’ old, when my mother died and was replaced, almost immediately, by the archetypal abusive stepmother. The way that I dealt with that was to escape into other worlds. That was mainly by reading, but also by secretly listening to the radio. I read many of the adult classics at a very young age. I was most enthralled by science fiction and fantasy, so Jules Verne, H.G Wells, E.R Eddison, and of course Tolkien were among my favourites. By about fifteen, I was hooked on Moorcock.
What are you working on now?
A Vision of the Future concludes at the end of time, so it might appear difficult to write a sequel. However I have constructed a brain-numbing way around that, which will be issued as a free cross-over story to link the FirstWorld Saga with the new series, which at this stage I expect to be a trilogy. In the FirstWorld Saga, my Hero was a young man, who had to deal with many of the sorts of issues I had to deal with growing up, so he was relatively easy to write. In the new series, I have a kickass young woman as Hero. The challenge is for me, rapidly approaching 60, to get inside the head of an 18-year-old young woman. The new series will work as both a stand-alone read for those who haven’t read the FirstWorld Saga and a sequel for those who have.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My author website is http://christopherjackson-ash.com/
My FirstWorld website is http://firstworld.info/
My children’s books are at http://trickytristan.com/
There is lots of free stuff to read or download at my sites, including Quest for Knowledge (Volume 1 of the FirstWorld Saga).
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Get in to a routine and write every day whether you feel like it or not.
Write to please yourself. If your work is good, it will find a readership.
Don’t take short cuts and publish your first draft. The hard work is the rewriting, but it brings the quality to the work.
Find some beta-readers you trust.
Get yourself a professional editor, even if you can’t afford it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
That is a very difficult question. Perhaps the advice that the old always give the young and the young tend to ignore. Time passes so quickly. Seemingly in the blink of an eye your children are grown up and you are old. No one ever lies on their death-bed and laments that they didn’t spend more time in the office. Use your time wisely; treat it like you would an investment; invest in your family; invest in your dreams; don’t put off writing until tomorrow because tomorrow never comes.
What are you reading now?
Normally, I don’t like to read in my genre while I’m writing. I fear that I might subconsciously steal from the authors I am reading. However, I have a Kindle full of books with young female protagonists that I’m reading to get a feel for how to write kickass young women and I’m reading chunks of many different authors.
In addition, I’m reading some great books written by two of my writing friends, which are also very helpful in my quest. The Green Woman series by Jane Dougherty is wonderful. Jane has such a poetic use of words and her Irish ancestry shines through in her writing. Whisper My Secret, A Memoir, by JB Rowley has had over 200,000 downloads from Amazon and it’s a wonderful piece of Australiana based on the author’s mother’s life and the terrible secret that her mother took to the grave.
What’s next for you as a writer?
As well as my new fantasy series, I’m planning to write some hard sci-fi stories, which may be short stories or could grow into something larger.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That one is easy – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is one of the few books that I have read multiple times and still get something new out of it every time I read it.
Author Websites and Profiles
Christopher Jackson-Ash Website
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