J.S. Chancellor, whose personal motto is, “woe is the writer who mounts their merit on the masses,” started writing stories when she was still in grade school, and finished her first fantasy novella at the age of 14. She drafted chapter one of the Guardians of Legend trilogy when she was a freshman in high school, sitting on a stool in front of a piano bench, in her parents’ den. It wasn’t until she was 25 when a resident at the apartment complex where she worked lovingly made a casual remark about her procrastination that her passion for fantasy fiction took center stage. Since then she’s focused all of her efforts on writing, to include leaving her full time job in September 2009 and actively maintaining a blog dedicated to the art of crafting fiction (www.welcometotheasylum.net). You can find her there, or her official website, http://www.jschancellor.com. She currently resides in Georgia with her husband and two beloved dogs.
JS is here with me today to talk about her work.
Q: What do you love most about fantasy books?
A: Escapism. They’re better than any drug or drink. I love the ability to build a story around anything my mind can conceive. The limitations that are present in nearly every other genre (save sci-fi of course) aren’t there.
Q: What can you tell me about your style of writing?
A: I’m an elemental writer, pure and simple. I learned long ago to say what I mean, exactly how I mean it. The worlds, the stories I’m guiding you through are intricate enough on their own that it doesn’t feel natural to write about them with complex prose. I want you, as a reader, to remember the story — not how it was told.
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Aside from the odd hours I keep, I’d have to say that the physical positions I put myself in while I’m typing could be rather entertaining from an outsider’s perspective. Usually, after a longer bout of writing, I’ll emerge from my office with limbs half asleep and unable to feel anything from my knees down. Music is a must. I can count on one hand the number of writing sessions I’ve done without my iPod or iTunes running on my computer. I’m listening to Amethystium as I type now.
Q. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
A: Speaking of odd hours. I write best after the rest of the world has gone to sleep … so from about midnight to five in the morning.
Q: What inspired you to write the Guardians of Legend trilogy?
A: My ideas usually come from dreams and Guardians was no exception. I was eleven when I first saw the sword that is depicted on the cover of Son of Ereubus. That dream eventually became a specific scene in chapter two of the book. Then, when I was fourteen, I saw chapter one and even wrote down a rough, rough, ROUGH draft of both chapters
one and two. I also drew a picture of a Dragee and yes, I still have all of it.
Q. How long did it take you to write the Guardians of Legend trilogy?
A: I wrote the first draft in a little under a year. I wrote it as one really big book and didn’t break it up until after I’d finished.
Q: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A: I’ve written seven books to date, with more than that in the works. They are all so different from one another, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Guardians of Legend (1-3) as one cohesive book. It’s my firstborn, so it’s tough not to favor it a little.
Q: Are you working on a sequel or any other books?
A: Yes and yes. Guardians of Legend is the first trilogy (it can stand on its own) in a series of three. However, I have several single-volume fantasies that I’m polishing right now for possible publication in between my larger works.
Q. What advice could you give to other authors wanting to start out?
A: Have fun. No, really, I mean this. Enjoy your time as an unpublished author. Revel in writing only for yourself. All of it changes when you begin to involve other people in your work; publishers, editors, reviewers, readers … it’s a good thing, I don’t mean to put you off from accomplishing your goals. But, don’t take for granted where you’re at now. Those earlier experiences are what shape you later on. Think of this time as your foundation. You’ll only build on it from here, but it will never be unimportant or wasted time.
Since time immemorial, Man has lived in fear of losing his soul to the darkness of Saint Ereubus. For generations, the Ereubinians have wielded that power and ruled like gods. Three thousand years ago, Man irresolutely placed his faith in a mythical world. That world, Adoria, now holds Man’s final hope. As the last stronghold of Man is threatened, the fates of three strangers become forever intertwined and everything they once believed will be irrevocably changed as they discover…Their time has run out.