I’m delighted to be doing an interview today with J. Curtis Mace, author of A Prince from the Shadows. If you haven’t read my review of the book, go check that out!
About the Author
I was born in Baltimore, MD. Lived in Colonial Beach, VA for a good while. Then North Hartford, MD. Then I moved to Caroline County to start the Ninth Grade; I graduated from CHS, class of ’96. I’ve lived in Richmond, VA ever since (except for brief stints in Abilene, TX and Venice, CA).
In Richmond now, with my wife Heather. We have 3kids and a dog (they’re all beautiful and onery, and I love them). I love writing, and art, and telling stories. Sharing them with the world is a new thing for me, but I’m quickly learning how much I love that too.
I hope you all like my stories, and I can’t wait to give you more.
A Prince from the Shadows (Heroes and Flame, Blood and Myst #1)
Read My Review • Goodreads • Purchase
A reluctant prince determined to be a better man than his father, the king, has ever been, Jeodyn spent his last year alone in the wild studying the banned art of manipulating the Myst, an act of rebellion but more in remembrance of the old ways. Now, everything he learned and everything he’s ever known about himself will be tested, when he’s called to do what his father should but never will: defend their family.
Noirlok, Lord of the ShadowLands and Father of the Night’s rebellion, knows no man will stand between him and his revenge. He’ll either have the love he defeated the heavens and waited an age of the world to reclaim, or he’ll destroy the House responsible. Since overcoming a mortal death and taking charge of the dark legion known as Shadorym, he has vowed to see the Blood of Vallyn pay for taking that love, and his life, from him.
When Jeodyn’s sister, Jynn, disappears, the fight to defend what they all have at stake begins.
Interview with J. Curtis Mace
How long have you been writing? A Prince from the Shadows is your first book, but have you written other stories that you’ve never shared before?
I have been writing all my life. But I started out writing poetry and songs and simple prose. The thought of writing a “full length” novel was very daunting, and I didn’t attempt my first one until I was about 25. I threw myself into the details and ended up writing a very long, very detailed and very boring story. I was introduced to a great book doctor (former agent/editor — acknowledged in my book), who really taught me a lot about plot and what a novel should be and all that. That introduction changed my life, as a writer.
You asked abt other projects… Yes, I have others. That very first boring novel is still out there (on my flash drive), and I don’t expect it’ll ever see the light of day. But I do have another series (supernatural fantasy), written for a Middle Grade audience. It follows a young werewolf named Rusty and his friends through the adventures of attending a supernatural prep school for witches, werewolves, and vampires. I’m working on getting the first one to a “final” place, and I’m hoping for publication later this year (09/01); whether it’ll be self-published or traditionally published remains to be seen. I’ve already written the first three books in this series and have plotted out two more. I’ve written other things and have other ideas in the works, but Jeodyn and Rusty are my two main projects right now.
Do the king and queen of Vallynhelm have a thing for names that start with “J”? Their children are named Jeodyn, Jynn, and Jaecyn. I have to admit, at first I was mixing up Jeodyn and Jaecyn!
Back to Jeodyn… as for their names, I borrowed a lot of the story/characters from my life. Jeodyn, Leye and Raab are me and my two closest friends. I actually have a brother and sister named Jennifer and Jason. So I pulled a lot from them, and to answer your question: Yes, the Queen (my mom) did have an affinity for the initials “JC”. I’m James Curtis; my sister is Jennifer Cheyenne, and our brother is Jason Christopher. Not sure why she did it, but she did. And I used it in my story.
Who was your least favourite character to write in A Prince from the Shadows?
My LEAST favorite character to write… not sure really. At first, anyone other than Jeodyn was difficult at first. I was in his head the most, so it took time to get into Jynn’s character and Noirlok’s too. I liked them all though, once I could see the world through their eyes. Jynn was a bit more difficult because of who she is. She’s very moody and wanted so many different things, and a most of the time didn’t know what she wanted at all. Or a lot of times, she wanted two conflicting things at the same time, and that was difficult to write. It was very real, but difficult. I like how it turned out though. I’m really glad you liked her parts too. Thank you.
What can you tell us about the second book? Title? Plot? Conflict? Will we see more of the romance between Jeodyn and Dawnia?
The second book… Right now, it’s tentatively titled Hearts of Stone. It’s first in the trilogy (Rise to the Helm), which will see a new King of Vallynhelm named by the end of Book 3. In this book, we learn more about the history of Erthlynd and the Old World and the “coming apart of all things.” We learn how some evils never die and how others can and will destroy everything to remain a part of this world. The main conflict of the trilogy is introduced in Hearts of Stone, but the main conflict is really the fight Jeodyn (and others) must endure, just to face the evil making its way deeper and deeper into Erthlynd. Jeodyn and Dawnia get more deeply involved in their romance in this book (with a serious twist). Jynn has her baby (between books) and Raab steps up to help her as he can (yes it’s his duty, but maybe something more? He’ll never admit it, and she may never see it, but there’s definitely something…). Not to mention the baby… I’m completely excited to move on to the next phase of my story.
What are your favourite books? Did any of them inspire you when writing A Prince from the Shadows?
My favorite books… I have a lot. Books are great! First, my fantasy fiction favorites: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, of course. And The Hobbit. The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan was really good. Eye of the World and The Great Hunt were my favorites to start. I think Lord of Chaos might be my favorite of them all. Loving the HBO series Game of Thrones, though I haven’t read the books, and I actually really like ALL the Twilight books; movies too. Then for other non-fantasy books, A Farewell to Arms by Hemmingway and The Road by Cormac McCarthy may be my top 2, all-time favorites. Both are absolutely beautiful. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is a funny masterpiece and Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King is a great piece on character. Oh, and for some (obvious) reason, I’ve read Old Man and the Sea like 20 times, dating back to the 10th grade. Still love it. They are all great and they all inspire my writing. It’s my goal to write a Fantasy Fiction book that has the literary merit and artful “wordsmithsmanship” of all those books included in one. Still working on it…
What do you do when you’re not writing?
And lastly, when I’m not writing… First, I love writing and I love my stories. So when I’m not writing, I’m usually hanging out (in my head) in Erthlynd or Nalamist Falls (the setting of my other series with Rusty). I just talk with my characters, and they let me know where we need to go next. But I also love art and music. I draw and paint (portraits mostly) and I love playing my guitar (currently in a one-man-band called ME. Ha!). I’m also a freak about football (the American version). We’re in the offseason now, but I follow it (the Washington Redskins) all year long. I’m a husband and a father too, which dominates most of my not-writing time (good thing they’re cute, ha!).
I hope you guys enjoyed the interview! 🙂 Don’t forget to add A Prince from the Shadows to your Goodreads shelf and read my review of the book!
I think it’s really awesome that you’ve interviewed a lesser known author. He seems genuine (and sweet), and that matters more than a cash-cow book author name. This is prolly the first author interview I’ve read on months. The first I’ve enjoyed in longer than that. This was awesome.
Thank you Sierra! I’m so glad you liked the interview. This author has really been a pleasure to talk to. He is super nice and so passionate about his writing!
Thanks for reading!