Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Giveaway and Guest Post with the Fabulous J W Baccaro

Hello and Welcome!!  Its time to install some new 'toys' in the dungeon, so I had to let the prisoners out for a while :)  So I thought, well Jason needs some practice talking again, after he finishes drinking his water.  Those ball-gags REALLY make you thirsty.   So here is my favorite tenant talking to us about his awesome Sci-Fi series!!
Hello Nikki.  Once again, I’d like to thank you for releasing me from your bitter-sweet dungeon, for it does get a bit lonely down here, but I think your punishments are well deserved.  *grins*

For those of you who have seen me on Close Encounters With The Night Kind before, I assume you’re probably getting familiarized with my “Guardian of the Seventh Realm” series, so I’d like to dive a bit deeper into a few of the “characteristics” of the series, starting with the theme of violence



Am I a little sadistic for loving this image?  :)


A large number of readers have commented on the heavy violence in my series—those comments usually being positive and full of excitement. Interestingly, people who personally know me are often dumbfounded after finishing one of my books.  See, they typically think of me as a “teddy bear” in everyday life, docile and gentle, and slow to anger, and yet my stories are full of decapitating heads, broken bones, chaotic battles, bloodshed and the forces of good sometimes getting stomped into the ground by the boots of my sexy Dark Queen Talvenya.  *smiles*


For starters, I have to say that I'm happy people are seeing the “darkness” in this story.  I admit it is very dark, a tale of brutality, and even some perverse sections involving the Dark Queen Talvenya.  There are many reasons why I had written it like that, but NONE of those reasons were because I think the violence theme is “cool.”  First, I didn't wish to write a “candy-coated” adversary.  When I get involved into a tale of good verses evil, I want to feel “afraid” of the dark—to a certain extant.  If I don't feel threatened by the adversary or his or her minions, I gradually lose interest in the conflict, and soon enough the story.


Second, for me, the violence in my series—especially book two “Siege of Darkness,” is a reflection of how cruel mankind can sometimes be, and even the “red in tooth in claw” of Mother Nature Herself.  Sure, our “Mother” is beautiful; one of my favorite simple pleasures in life is to gaze at a blue summer sky filled with mammoth-sized white clouds (which still remind me of marshmallow fluff!), as a warm breeze blows against you, carrying with it the delightful smells of summer, or the gorgeous lilacs and majestic peonies with their immaculate scents.  I swear I could get lost for hours with my face stuffed in a lilac bush or a peonies flower—I just better watch out for the bumble bees and ants!  Darn things!  And let’s not forget those adorable little fawns walking with their mother. They often cross our yard—a doe with her two fawns, the little ones following her lead, strolling down the grassy slope, by-passing the apple trees and wandering into the wilderness.  Yes, very beautiful indeed, and yet, what goes on every night within that wilderness when the coyotes awaken is far from beautiful, but that is the way of this world, beautiful at times, but also very “dark,” or as Mirabel the Great (one of the main characters in my series) would say, “The ways of the forest.”

Guardian of the Seventh Realm is also a reflection of the trials in life that we all face, unless you are one of the blessed ones who have never tasted darkness, but that is a rarity.  The main protagonist in my series, Darshun Luthais, learns the hard way by facing this darkness, brutality and death.  For him, it was necessary to experience the evils of the world and suffer before he could truly come to terms with what he was born to be, the Guardian of the Seventh Realm.  I can parallel this to my own life as well.  I would not be where I am now had I not faced my own demons, trials and hardships, and to a certain extant (I say “certain” because I still have a long journey ahead of me) conquered them.  It is an unfortunate suffering many of us have to go through in life, but a “fortunate blessing” once the tribulations are over.  And though I often felt alone, as Darshun sometimes feels alone, there would always be someone there to lift me up with a helping hand, as there always is for Darshun—whether it be a physical creature, or an essence among the spiritual realm of reality.


And so, as more fans of fantasy enter the “Seventh Realm” I have created, I hope they will continue to enjoy the journey I have paved for them, and feel as though you are traveling alongside Darshun and our other heroes as a part of the quest. And maybe, just maybe, when Darshun gets out of line, give him a good kick in the arse!  It will do him well, the cocky Nasharin he can sometimes be.
Once last thing pertaining to the violence theme, I’m really pleased that people are also seeing the courage, loyalty and romantic elements in the series.  In actuality, it’s really NOT a “Dark Fantasy” at all.  Calm down fans of hot and steamy romance, it’s not an erotica either, but there is a strong kiss of romance in it between small percentages of characters—sometimes dripping hot, and there are elements of Dark Erotica also.  I just love it when a powerful woman puts an arrogant male in his place!


Oh yeah, baby!  Feel the sting of Her whip, boys!  :)


Okay, back to being a little more serious.



The other theme I think I will touch upon will be the influences that had driven me to write “Guardian of the Seventh Realm.”


Looking back into my past—as far as I can remember, I can pick out all of the little elements that foreshadowed what I’d one day become, not just an author, but also a creator.  I used to draw comic books, create my own little adventures while playing outside by myself, spend hours playing with my He-Man, Thundercats and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys—sometimes pretending they were not the icons they’d been molded after, but each one his or her own individual character, and I would create my own personal “adventure” with them.  There was always so much fighting, just like in my novels.  *laughs*


While we’re on the subject, let me talk a little more about fighting here.  Growing up, there was nothing I enjoyed more than turning on the television set and slipping in one of my many VHS tapes for a couple of hours of hard pounding action. (Not pornography, in case anyone’s mind is slipping into the gutter. Ha!).  I've always been fascinated by a good battle—preferably a battle between two monstrous powers, like Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris, King Kong vs. Godzilla—Godzilla should have won that!  There was just something about that feeling of, “whoa, this adversary is bad arse!  How on earth is the hero going to beat him?”  Or, “when they clash it’s going to be a great battle, because both of them are so ridiculously powerful!”  Then they’d meet eye to eye, on the battle grounds, just like Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris met in “Way of the Dragon,” and the lightning-fast kicks to heavy pounding punches to a hundred graceful moves of the martial arts would begin.  Oh yeah, baby, that used to get my adrenaline pumping, it still does! …maybe it’s a guy thing?
One of my favorite icons!



Cartoons were big for me as well, preferably in the 80’s.  Thundercats, Silverhawks and Mask; Gobots, Transformers and He-Man, and just about anything that had something to do with a transformation of form or power really caught my attention.  Oh!  And least I forget, She-Ra!  I must admit, She-Ra was the first woman who made me feel powerless, or “crushed,” if you know what I mean.  I was head over heels in love with that Princess of Power.  And I blame She-Ra for my...sometimes overly obsessive high heel boot fetish.


Wonder Woman OWNED!  ^_^

Then when I was twenty-one years old I saw the greatest action cartoon in perhaps the entire universe, Dragonball Z!  All right, I admit, it’s the easiest cartoon to poke fun at, especially whenever the warriors are “powering up.”  It sounds like they’re constipated.  But the flashy colors of their chaotic energies, and the thunderous battles (accompanied by an epic soundtrack), caught my attention immediately.  At the time I had already been working on “Guardian of the Seventh Realm,” though it had no title, and it was just a baby chick freshly hatched.  So, I wanted to “upgrade” the characters I was creating, and engage them in battles of a similar setting: transformations, the raising of energy, flashy colors, chaotic explosions, feelings of desperation when the adversary has you beaten, etc.  Of course, all of this means nothing if your characters are dull, but it set the stage for the way I would play out battle scenes in my Epic Fantasy.



That’s where my Nasharin Race comes from. Akira Toriyama (creator of the DBZ Manga) is by far the biggest influence for me when it comes to battle scenes and warrior transformations.  J.R.R. Tolkien and my own personal beliefs on Spirituality are where the rest of my influences stem.


As for Nasharins, they are definitely the most interesting class of warrior in my series.  Being half-wizard/half human, lusting after energy like a vampire thirsts for blood, and having the ability to evolve or transform into figures of extravagant power and beautified form, my hope was that many readers would find them highly interesting, exciting and colorful, and to my joy they have, so far.  And I hope that enjoyment continues.  It is a blessing to pour your heart out into something you truly cherish, and get some great feedback on it.  I have poured my heart out into “Guardian of the Seventh Realm.”  And in case anyone is wondering, no, it’s not all about fighting, but rather, finding the Truth of “the way,” gaining peace with one’s self—sometimes only after one faces a hardship.  That’s another thing I am highly thankful for, a lot of readers (and reviewers) have commented that my series is easy to relate to, involving elements every one of us faces on our journey in life.


In my stories I try to explain things in a “logical” setting, though you can only go so far with that.  What I mean is that every so often a character will “explain” that certain powers and “magics” of the different creatures are not so much fantasy-like at all, but a part of their “make-up.”  I gather I try to bring a little Sci-Fi into my creation.  But like I had said, there is only room for a certain amount of that, at least for me.  I personally do not know martial arts.  I’ve seen it performed, and I’ve read books on the arts, one in particular being “Bruce Lee: Artist of Life.”  A great book, and in it he talks a lot about Jeet Kune Do, which to me is a very mysterious and fascinating style of the martial arts, at least the philosophy behind it.  And when my characters engage in battle, I like to picture it as if I were watching a movie: I’d imagine the fighters would be gracefully moving like they do in reality, only their hits would have much more power behind them, and that is where the special affects would step in, because unless the Human Race finds a way to defy the laws of physics, these battles of mine, in their entirety, are pure fantasy.  But that’s the beauty of the imagination. 
 
All throughout my life I have always loved to create in some fashion or another, and after I had read my first few novels, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “the Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” I finally knew what I truly wanted to do—even beyond my electric guitar playing and love for music.  I wanted to create my own epic adventure, and see it in writing.

During the ten years of the Guardian of the Seventh Realm’s creation, that decade seemed like the largest and most “enlightening” chapter in my life, so far.  I had just gotten my very first dog, Fawn (who I still have today.  She is now eleven), I entered into the study of Christianity and other religions and spiritual beliefs.  I met my wife (she crashed her car into mine when she ran a little intersection.  Yes, people, that’s how my beloved Melissa and I had met.  I had Fawn in the back seat of my 1986 Chevy Caviler, and the first thing Melissa says when she gets out is, “Is your dog okay?”


Would you like to answer that, Fawn?  :)

After getting to know one another (which for her, getting to know me was about two hours, and she had already decided that I was hers.  I guess I played “hard to get,” because I took my time before asking her out officially.  I wasn’t really looking for a spouse at that time, for I was deeply involved in Spiritual elements and meditations.  But...when I witnessed the blissful love in her heart I soon enough fell for her.  I wasn’t attracted to her because she always wore such beautiful dresses, cute little sandals, or her usual pair of sexy black boots—which I go crazy for on females; it was truly the love in her heart that pulled me to her.  If any of you know my stories, my character Kelarin is almost entirely based off of my wife Melissa.  Here are a few pictures of us together:



Okay, that third picture is not true...maybe.  *grins*



Okay Nikki, I think I have taken up enough of your time.  I’m ready to go back into your dungeon now.  As for everyone who had taken the time to read this blog of mine, I thank you, and I invite you all to enter my world of fantasy, and take a stroll with my characters.  Well, the stroll will be long, but I promise you the adventure will be a thrill-ride!



Thanks again, Nikki!



Sincerely:



That’s me!  ^_^

J.W.Baccaro—Author and Musician
So before I put Jason back in his...cell....lol..I'm allowing him to giveaway some of his stuff!!  Just fill out the rafflecopter!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway




58 comments:

dusty katt said...

I love that the good guys don't always win. That makes for a very boring, predictable and unrealistic story.
What do you like to eat while you are writing?

mcv said...

How long did it take you to write Seige of Darkness? BTW, love the cover.

April Alvey said...

Did you make a male or female out of someone u know.

Lilian said...

I smiled when I read how you and your wife met (though when I first thought that you rammed your car into hers out of anger...or your wife got herself in a car crash)

I would like to ask that if you ever write an autobiography or a memoir, what would you title it?

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

miki said...

i need happy end even if they hard to obtain. and lo ved to hear how you met your wife.

So i've tried to win a print copy of your books each time i saw a contest without luck so far but perhaps this time will be the good one. If this is also available for international of course.

if you loved the thundercats in the 80' ( i'm happy my brother has the dvds^^) did you see and loved the new edition they did of the cartoon?

all the best

Jason W Baccaro said...

Hello everybody. I just signed in, and sadly, I'm running late for work. I will respond to all of you later this afternoon, when I'm home. Talk to you all then! :)

~J.W.Baccaro~

Kassandra said...

I LOVE that first picture and no you shouldn't feel too terribly sadistic ;)

sionedkla@gmail.com

Lisa Cox said...

Musician... cool. How long have you been playing? And do you only play the guitar or do you play other instruments too?
The books sound awesome and I would love to win.

Yvette said...

Does the writing just flow or do you outline first?
Yvette
yratpatrol@aol.com

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

This book sounds great! And I love all your artistic influences...She-Ra, etc.

And Nikki, I love the new look of your blog!

Rachel said...

I love that his books are such a part of him and I am definitely interested in reading the series!
Is your writing therapeutic for you?

Thanks for the giveaway!
malibu311 at gmail dot com

booklover0226 said...

Do you work closely with the cover artists?

Thanks,
Tracey D

Nicole Marie said...

Do your characters "talk" to you?

Jason W Baccaro said...

dusty katt, I don't eat while writing. I LOVE drinking coffee while writing, and puffing on my electronic cigarette, especially Mega Spearmint from The Vapor Pro. :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

mcv, well, "Siege of Darkness" is really the second half of the first book "Prophecy of the Guardian." The independent publishing company thought it was too long, so I had to seperate the "first" story. All together, probably about 4 or 5 years. I hadn't much time in the beginning as I do now. The other books came a lot faster, especially since I was getting better at writing.

Jason W Baccaro said...

April, yes, the main character, Darshun, is almost entirely based off of myself, my emotions, feelings, and how I think about life. :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Lilian, actually, my wife rammed into me, her fault! LOL

I don't know what I would title it, maybe "The Crazy Life of J.W.Baccaro?" lol

Jason W Baccaro said...

miki, well, I wasn't too fond of the newer Thundercats. I loved the original one though. And best of luck to you in the contest. Yes, they are available internation as well. :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Thanks, Kassandra! :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Lisa Cox, I've been playing off and on since I was 15, and I'm now 34. I'm in a metal band called "Rigor Hill." Here are some sample songs of our first kick-arse EP! :)

http://soundcloud.com/dannydanymallee/sets/rigor-hill-ep/

Jason W Baccaro said...

Yvette, it depends. Sometimes if I begin a paragraph that I am really liking a lot more than a usual "first draft," I seem to be able to keep going for a long time. I usual never outline, it just all comes into my head, and develops in there.

Jason W Baccaro said...

Thank you, Cindy. I LOVE Nikki's new outlook too! It is SO ULTRA HOT!!! :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Rachel, oh yes are my books like a therapy for me! A lot of inner struggles, and beliefs, and feelings and thoughts are well within my novels.

Jason W Baccaro said...

booklover 0226, yes, I often did. Gemini was/is FABULOUS!

Jason W Baccaro said...

Nicole, I know what you mean. My wife role plays a lot, and she always tells me how her characters "talk to her" often, but mine never do. I feel like they're just in my head, and I have to reach inside and pull them and their problems out, and "trap" them on paper (or electronically). :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

If any of you are willing, here is my facebook fan page (if you want to "like" it):

http://www.facebook.com/pages/JWBaccaro/184531844916499?sk=wall/

Thanks!

Lexi H said...

Booya, Sheera dominates. I grew up idolizing her.

Great post! There is so much going on in your books, and from the sound of it pretty deep (sometimes) dark stuff. I am so going to put this series in my TBR list. Hope you have more characters up in your head waiting to be pulled out and released onto the world!

msmjb65 said...

Hi, Jason:
I haven't read any of your books, but I'm really interested and would to win some to get me started. But even if I don't win, you're up there on my To buy list!
MJ
msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

Midu Hadi said...

The series sound really good. Will your female leads always be kickass?

Rachel at thejeepdiva said...

Have we come to the end of this series or will there be more???

Rachel at thejeepdiva said...

Have we come to the end of this series or will there be more???

wanda f said...

Realy enjoyed this post and the pics than kyou for sharing with us .Who are some of your favorite authors to read?Have an awesome day.

Julianne said...

My son was a big Thundercat watcher when he was a little boy. He watched it after school. How do you get the inspirations for your books?
I really liked your post today.
luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

Jason W Baccaro said...

Thank you, Lexi. And yes, I sure do! :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Thank you, MJ!

Jason W Baccaro said...

Mindu Hadi, usual, yes. Although there are more males in my epic fantasy series than females, my females all kick arse! Talvenya (the Dark Queen), Minevara (Darshun's sister) and Kelarin (Darshun's ladylove) are all kick ass. :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Rachel, I plan on writing 4 more books about this world, and I am currently on book six, titled "A Darkness in the Light."

Jason W Baccaro said...

wanda, well, I use to love Tolkien, I still do, but I never find myself re-reading his fabulous novels. I also loved reading C.S.Lewis. Currently, I love Madeline Howard's "Rune of Unmaking" saga, Joey W Hill's Vampire Queen books, and also former sci-fi author Octavia Butler.

Jason W Baccaro said...

Julianne, after reading Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" novels, I really wanted to create my own type of adventure, and as I faced many hardships, while at the same time meditating upon many spiritualities, and how I view and feel about life, I wanted to mix all of that into my "Guardian" world. It's like a therapy for me.

marybelle said...

I'm wondering what sort of research you do? Do you take fact & skew it your way or do you take your reality & twist it into fact?

Jason W Baccaro said...

Hi Marybell. Nice question! First of all, I try to follow what feels right in my heart. I'm a very emotional person, and I am also very forgiving, and I'm especially close to creation and animals. This led me into the studies of certain spiritualities such as Orthodox Christianity, Buddhism, the New Age beliefs of many people (which is really nothing "new," to a certain extant), etc. I actually fell in love with Orthodox Christianity, although I am not Christian, or religious (I do believe in God, however, and respect many religions and beliefs), but I love the “lore” or “myth” of it. And understand, when I say “myth” I am not talking pure fantasy. I believe there are truths to every Mythology. I’ve always been a deep thinker as well, and I guess, to a point, a philosopher, always wondering “why?” The Light in my novels represents any force of energy, or individual entity (Deity, humanoid, animal, etc.) that strives to harmonize with one another, or creation Herself, is forgiving, loving, and merciful. Here is a quote from Darshun in my fifth book, as he pauses from his final battle against the main adversary (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler):

Abaddon: “You are a fool. Why do you care so much about such petty creatures of the earth? They are nothing like you and I. We could crush every one of them. Why should they not obey an order?”

Darshun: “They do obey an order, an order of the Light. What you do not understand is that they are free to choose how they live within that order. There is no fear of slaughter, torture, or mutilation for their mistakes. By their own free will they live in harmony with the rest of the earth, helping one another and respecting the life they have been given. You, on the other hand, desire things to be your way only or death surely fol-lows. Your vile stench reaches the highest Heaven. You are full of selfishness, greed, lust, and hate. That is an order no kingdom can live by. Freedom does not exist in your ‘law,’ Abaddon. Creatures never get that chance to learn, to ascend, to be transformed into something anew, something positive and sacred, producing fruitful energy, rather than judgment. What you stand for is evil, and today that evil shall end forev-er. As you fell from the Heavens, so shall you fall from this realm.”

Needless to say, that really pist Abaddon off. ^_^

Thanks for the question! :)

Crystal said...

Thanks for the Giveaway! Hi Jason! My question is since you are such a mellow person by nature is the violence in your books how you work out some of your frustrations?

Helen said...

how do you come up with your characters

Jason W Baccaro said...

Crystal, hmmm, honestly, I have to say...no. Although growing up I have always LOVED action and horror movies. Part of the violence is a reflection of my life, what I have been through physically and emotionally.

Jason W Baccaro said...

Helen, Darshun is almost entirely based off of my own feelings and thoughts. I wanted to put "myself" into a fantasy, and work out my own feelings/thoughts for certain situations, relating them to the question of "what would I do?" The Dark Queen Talvenya...she does represent something for the Human Race, but I can't say what because it would be a spoiler. Mirabel the Great (Darshun's adoptive father), is like the man of wisdom, or perhaps even a preist (I'm a former Catholic and there have been certain preists in my life who I greatly respect, because of their kindness and wisdom and sincerity). I also think up characters by relating them to certain people in life, in a sense, the mindset of many, and why they are like that, from my own experience.

tammy ramey said...

Hi Jason,
thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway. i love the art work and the books. i was wondering if you had read any of the "ElfQuest" series, by Wendi and Richard Pini?
If so did they have any influence on your world building?

thank you again.
Tammy Ramey
trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

Lexi H said...

4 more books? Now that is what I like to hear =)

Becky Johnson said...

Love the influence of She-ra! She's pretty kick-ass.
Why She-ra over other equally hot and bad-ass female protagonists?

Jason W Baccaro said...

You're welcome, Tammy. No, I have never heard of the "ElfQuest series. My novels are not so much about Elves, instead, it is about the race I have created, that a lot of readers are really digging, the Nasharin Race. Dragonball Z was a big influence for my Nasharin Race. DBZ is a japenese Magna. :)

Jason W Baccaro said...

Lexi, yes, 4 more books before I am done with this world of mine. At least that is my plan. I'm currently on chapter three of my new book. I'm thinking of self publishing it on Amazon once it is polished, and while it's on Amazon I will focus on trying to get into a larger publishing company, maybe try and find an agent with good avenues.

Jason W Baccaro said...

Becky, honestly, I don't really know. LOL She-ra is the only Female protagonist I can recall from my youth. In recent times I absolutely ADORE Sinderian--the female Protagonist from Madeline Howard's kick arse "Rune of Unmaking" saga. I also love bad girls as well, which is why I created the perfect Dominatrix, or the Ultimate Dominatrix, Talvenya. Although, there are plenty of reasons why she is so ruthless and Dominant, and you can find that out in my third book, "The Coming of the LIght." :)

Lexi H said...

Good luck with the self publishing. Seems to have gone well for a couple people I know.
I will keep an eye out for you on Amazon.

Leigh Savage said...

The series sounds really interesting and I'll be adding it to my wish list.

If and when you come to a part in your writing where your stuck do you have something you like to do to get the creative juices flowing again?

authorleighsavage@gmail.com

Jason W Baccaro said...

Leigh, thank you for the comment. And yes, I usually do a couple of things. First, I'll go back to my earlier rough cut chapters, and begin to edit them as if they are entering the final form. Once they are looking and reading really well, in my eyes, once I get to the part once again where I was stuck, the creative process just keeps flowing. It's kind of weird, and I can't really explain it, but I just keep going. If for some reason though I am still stuck, I'll take a walk and meditate upon where I want to go in the story, or perhaps come up with a sub plot, or maybe even read a little bit of ancient Mythologies to see if some of those stories could influence an idea relating to my story.

Gale Nelson said...

How do you come up with the names of your characters?
Gale pgan427@yahoo.com

Sherry said...

Do you have a say in your covers? Do you ever get writer's block?

Jason W Baccaro said...

Gale, I try to come up with names that either best fit the character (because of their personality), or if the character just "looks" like a certain name.

I really love the name Darshun, which is quite similar to "Darshan," in Sanskrit (the primary liturgical language of Hinduism), meaning "visions of the divine). Although I prefered the look of the second to last word with a "u" instead of an "a"

The name of the main adversary in my epic fantasy series is Abaddon, which is hebrew for "destruction."

Jason W Baccaro said...

Sherry, the artist asked me my ideas for every cover, and we worked on them from there.

Yes, writer's block comes every so often, but so far I have always been able to break through that darn block. :)

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