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J. T. "Grocs"

Love writing, gaming, movies and reading fiction. Also like playing golf. Happily married and live in Queensland. My wife and I live with Chad (the dog), and Shadow (the cat), whom we are both slaves to.

The first Physical Copy of Wolf and the Crow has arrived!

It was an Express Post envelope I was excited for, but with a hint of trepidation.

As it turned out the suspense kept building too. After I had carefully opened the Express Post envelope the first physical copy of my book was wrapped in another envelope, which turned out to be my publisher’s.

Then I opened the pages for the first time, sitting on my early 80’s styled lounge chair.

My book.

Finally, the first physical proof my book exists and is almost ready to be released to the world.

So close now… so close.

Final design proof complete for Wolf and the Crow

Firstly, sorry for being a bit quiet on the blog. Real life and work has been a bit crazy the last couple of weeks.

I’m happy to announce that the final design proof of my first novel, Wolf and the Crow, has been submitted to Ocean Reeve Publishing. The printing and ebook phase is going to be shortly underway.

I was hoping for a July release, but it is more likely to be early August. I’m very impressed with the professionalism shown by Ocean, Jason and the rest of the team.

This has been a long time coming, and I’m pretty damn excited at the debut novel not being far away now.

I’ll soon be able to hold the real book in my hands.

First Chapter of Wolf and the Crow available via Aussie Speculative Fiction

My first novel, Wolf and the Crow, is getting closer to being published. Aussie Speculative Fiction have kindly included the first chapter in their online anthology. Definitely worth a read to see all the amazing Aussie talent coming out in different fantasy genres.

The first chapter is found at the very end of First Chapters Fantasy, and you can download it for free on Kindle and other readers here via bookfunnel.

Get a taste of my new novel by reading the first chapter in this anthology.

Design proof complete

After a week and a half of reading my own book aloud the design proof is complete. I am so glad my publisher advised me to read aloud, because I picked up a lot of corrections, due to the fact some of the sentences just weren’t as good as they could be.

Wolf and the Crow is now getting much closer to being fully realised. It has been sent back to Ocean Reeve Publishing and they will work on the corrections before sending me the final proof to review.

Then it is out – so we are still tracking for a July release. So stoked and looking forward to you all reading the first book of The Ebonsheare Chronicles.

Does Reading Fantasy Help you Escape?

We’ve always heard that reading a good book takes you far away, and forgive the clichĂ© but doing so lights the fire in your imagination.

I am a voracious reader. During my school days I generally got on well with most, though as kids are sometimes apt to be, I ran into the odd bully as well. As a kid growing up in the early 80’s and like many others my love of fantasy grew when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons. For the D&D fans out there it was the original D&D 2nd edition that I bought (and still own).

One of the best series of books I read growing up. It was great finding the covers I remember so fondly as an image.

D&D unlocked my imagination and really increased my appetite for fantasy novels, and also as a means of escape from the usual kids wanting to bully just because they could. Growing up in primary school I hadn’t really come across this level of relentless teasing and Machiavellian practical jokes to try and make my life miserable.

An example of one of these practical jokes would be my tormentor grabbing a large urine sample jar from biology class and slightly opening the lid before putting it in my pencil case. For a kid trying to find his way in the world, opening that pencil case with others sitting next to you with a ‘WTF man!’ like face doesn’t instil the greatest confidence.

Don’t have my original set from the 80s, but because I was feeling quite nostalgic a few years ago I found all of them 2nd hand and bought them again.

Being much older now, I think I learned a lot during those interesting years of high school. I distinctly remember always falling back on novels and reading about how the hero started at humble beginnings, dealing with their own nemesis (bully or otherwise) before emerging triumphant. I know that without fantasy novels in those school days my imagination wouldn’t have soared. I also indirectly found an inner strength and a way to cope while going through those sometimes tumultuous years of growing up.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at school overall and meet some life long friends, but reading and relating to characters in fantasy novels always helped, and indeed formed a lot of the ideals I hold today; like mutual respect, fairness, generosity and just being good to others.

Look over your past at what you read; fantasy or otherwise. Did a good novel or series help you get through the trials of growing up?

Please feel free to leave a comment below.