Blog Tour & Author Interview: Beyond the Moon by R.J. Wood
Beyond the Moon
The Voyages of Jake Flynn #2
By R.J. Wood
This is my stop during the blog tour for Beyond the Moon by R.J. Wood. This tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 11 till 24 June. See the tour schedule here.
Beyond the Moon picks up after the battle above the ice planet Nystal, where Earth-kid Jake Flynn and crew have recently escaped from the Crimson Cabal. Their voyages continue on the other side of the galaxy where magic has displaced technology and monsters are real. Jake continues to grow in his new abilities to channel energy and fly tall wooden ships in space, but struggles with having been named the Justicar, a prophesied champion of the light. Pushing forward, he sets course for new planets in search of allies who will stand with him and help stop the cabal from resurrecting a long dead queen. To succeed, Jake must learn more about channeling and how to balance his new and unwelcome responsibilities with the continued search for his missing parents and a way home to Earth.
Aided and mentored by the young Life Magian, Starla Silvertree, her aged protector, Ottomeyer Riversend, and assisted by veteran sailors Jehnna Marik and Captain Billy Goldbar, Jake must make heavyweight decisions with deadly consequences.
Unicorns, ghost ships, pirates, space battles, magi wielding lightning and fire, dinosaurs, and a Valkyrie – Jake must face them all in this epic sword and space adventure. By the end, Jake will take another step toward adulthood, discover truths about his parents’ fate, suffer the death of a comrade, and muster the courage to charge into a final showdown with the terrifying snake-woman, Celia Sable.
You can add Beyond the Moon to your to-read list on Goodreads
A resourceful boy takes a glowing sailboat across the stars to search for his long-missing parents and becomes the target of pirates and an evil cabal with a sinister agenda.
About the Author:
R. J. Wood has been creating stories and adventures for others since 1979. A bard at heart, he trained in Drama (BA) and History (MA) while at university. He currently lives near Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State with his wife and children. There he does a little fishing, some adventuring, and of course, his writing.
Like everyone of my generation and beyond I have been heavily influenced by film. I like to think of my books as movies in my mind. I developed my creative writing through fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal RPGs. My degree in drama helps me with story, characters, and especially dialogue. Having an advanced history degree is excellent for plots and characters, but it also helps me with world building.
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What inspired you to write in the Science-Fiction/Fantasy genre?
I have always loved stories where the character’s travel to an amazing new world or universe. I also have a personal interest in sea stories. I did a lot of thinking on whether to write Science Fiction or Fantasy. Both would serve my needs. The idea of taking tall wooden sailing ships into space was not my own, but it has not really hit mainstream beyond the end of Peter Pan when they take the kids home in the pirate ship. It became the right vehicle for my story under the premise: What if magic has displaced technology in a society? By placing this story in space comes the Science fiction. This story is really a fantasy, but it takes place in space. Some call this Space and Sword or Sword and Planet sub-genre. I once read somewhere that the only difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction is rivets. A light saber is the same as a magic sword. Either way, Science Fiction and Fantasy allow for amazing places and that transition for the character from a normal life to an exciting new world, whether by wardrobe, train station, hyperspace jump, or in my own case a star stream. I wanted to transport Jake from Earth into this ‘other part of the galaxy’ where these awesome ships from Earth’s past sail (or fly) between worlds.
Why did you choose to write for the middle grade/young adult age range?
The Voyages of Jake Flynn are targeted for upper middle grades, similar to the Harry Potter series. I chose this range because I wanted to give back to those writers that inspired me during the same age range, those writers that instilled within me a love for Fantasy and Science Fiction. Most of the people my age grew up with Star Wars and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Both tales transport young people to amazing worlds. Another reason I wrote this for middle grades, is that I wanted to concentrate on the story. With adult books, and even YA, there is an expectation for more complicated relationships that require a chunk of the focus. As the series progresses, it may slip toward YA as Jake ages, but right now that is an unwritten page.
Who are some authors that have been influential in your writing style?
Well, I mentioned George Lucas and C.S. Lewis already. I have to throw Tolkien in there for obvious reasons. However, I think the most influential writer on me during middle grades was Richard Adams. The opening chapter of this book is sort of a tribute to the opening of Watership Down. As for sea stories, there is none better that Patrick O’Brian and his Aubrey-Maturin series, with a nod to C.S. Forester.
Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?
I hate you for asking this question (kidding). This is probably the hardest interview question for me. There are a lot of fun characters over the two books. I try to make my stories character driven, so I use a lot of them. Just as in real life, Jake meets a lot of people. They may not always play large roles, but they are people, not just window dressing. There is an old pirate in the first book, Old Roger, that loves to tell stories and create wooden birds. I love him. He is there only for a moment, but it is enough. He lives in the scene. Jake has a place close to my heart. I can’t help but pour a lot of myself into him, but he is much more courageous and smarter than I am. I worry about him though. So much power is forming within him, he could easily fall into ego. So far Starla and the others have kept this from happening. Honestly, there are aspects of each of the character’s that I that I love. Starla’s love and faith, Jehn’s courage, Otto’s calm wisdom and devotion, and Goldbar’s zest and quips. Let’s not forget the villains. Celia Sable is devilishly conniving and Red Eye is meticulously competent.
Which was the hardest character to write?
The villains are the hardest for me to write, because their way of thinking is so foreign to my own. That being said, Celia Sable is the hardest of them because she is also a woman, and I am not. I strive to do the women in my stories justice as best that I can and avoid anything that my wife and daughter would roll their eyes at. So far, I have earned the thumbs up. Celia is the ‘wicked witch,’ but she is also a driven individual trying to climb the corporate ladder of the Crimson Cabal. She has completely fallen to ego and has claimed the spot at the table next to the Shadow Queen as her own. Those sitting there now simply don’t know it yet.