I’m hosting an interview today for the book tour for epic fantasy “The Thunderstone”. My questions are bolded, responses are in regular font.
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Editing! I am a terrible editor, and I learned the hard way that I must rely on several independent readers/editors to go over my books to catch mistakes.
Can you give us a short synopsis of The Thunderstone?
The Thunderstone is the first in a three book series, The Houses of Storem. It sets the stage for the conflict between two kingdoms, the Onyx Kingdom and the Diamond Kingdom. Each of the kingdoms has powerful wizards that draw their magic from the Onyx’s jewels (black pearls, rubies, firestones, etc) or the Diamond’s jewels (white pearls, sapphires, opals, etc).
The Onyx kingdom is ruled by the evil One. He uses his wizard miegas and other monstrous creatures, like the histian snake-people, to terrorize the other kingdom. The Diamond kingdom shares its main power between the King, a Crysltalwielder and a Thunderstone wizard. When needed, together they form a powerful Triad in combat against the One.
This first book in the series finds a young girl, Birl, who is gravely wounded in an attack by an Onyx wizard. The story becomes an adventure that finds an odd group of travelers trying to save the life of the wounded girl who is being pursued by trolls, ogres, pirates, hurks and histians – up rivers, through magical forests and mystical wizard towers, all because she may be the key to preventing the evil One from taking over the DIAMOND KINGDOM.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have always been fascinated by wizard characters. I have an extensive collection of wizard statues, and I noticed that many of them are carrying or are adorned with various types of jewels. Thus came the idea for a world ruled by the power of jewels. Next came the thought of dividing the jewels into good and evil powers. The Houses of Storem trilogy let me explore not only the traditional trolls, dwarfs and elves, but to include new characters such as snake-people, cat-people, half-breeds, Icelanders, and others.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I try to spend at least five hours a day writing and editing. At the start of a new book, I spend more time researching the themes, and towards the end I might spend 10-12 hours a day re-reading, editing and cleaning up.
Name your top five favorite books.
1 – The Riverworld series by Philip José Farmer.
2 – The Gunslinger series by Stephen King.
3 – The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
4 – Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
5 – Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (because I wish I had thought of it first!)
What are you working on now?
I am just about done with Murder on Hilda, the third book in the Skip Brown, Space Detective series. I am also completing volume two of the “Soldiers” short story series. By late this fall, I hope to have the first book in the Mage Riders series (fantasy) completed. This series is about five different young wizards who learn that there is more to magic than just spells.
About The Thunderstone
Author: Pj Belanger
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Empowered by jewels with various magical qualities – wizards, gemnuns, gemmonks and sapphires – along with the Lords they serve, combine to make up the HOUSES OF STOREM, inhabited by dwarfs, icelanders, elves, catpeople and hillpeople who must unite against the evil ONYX KINGDOM.
It is an adventure that finds an odd group of travelers trying to save the life of a wounded girl who is being pursued by trolls, ogres, pirates, hurks and histians – up rivers, through magical forests and mystical wizard towers, all because she may be the key to preventing the evil one from taking over the DIAMOND KINGDOM.
Don’t miss this, the first in a series that brings Birl, Eauxsage, Hadden, Chellie, Nugs and Tem together for the first time.
Pj Belanger has spent a good part of her life in the scenic hills of Connecticut. She was always an avid reader. “My father collected every bit of Science Fiction he could find- we would talk for hours on the subject. The Golden Age of Science Fiction is truly a love of mine. Great writers from Heinlein to Jose Farmer to Asimov to Bloch were my idols. They were great story tellers something that influences my own work. Of course, then came Tolkien and I was hooked on fantasy too.”
After graduating from St. Francis College (UNE) in Maine, she worked in the fast pace newpaper advertising world but always had been a writer of short stories, novel length books of fiction, romance and general interest. Her work is a mixture of a three volume book series, The Houses of Storem filled with wizards, dwarfs, merrs, elfs, heroic Kings and albino Icelanders. Her Space Dectective series is just plain good sci fi fun as is her short story book.
Pj was deeply involved in writing local NASCAR Driver Profiles and has a book on The History of Stafford Speedway. “I love racing in general, but I really love the short tracks. It was a labor of love to write the racing books and I enjoyed writing a regular racing column for a local sports newspaper.”
Pj lives in Florida with husband. She enjoys time with her two grandchildren. Her life is enhanced by a trouble making miniature beagle and a mischievous cat.