Sunday, September 1, 2013

Review & Interview: Gardens of Ampheia (Legends of Amun Ra Novella) by Joshua Silverman

Gardens of Ampheia
Legends of Amun Ra Novella
by Joshua Silverman
Published March 1, 2013
by Enchanted Forest Press

*ARC Ebook obtained directly from the author 
in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Thea is the daughter of a farmer. She is content until she makes a terrible mistake, one that not only endangers her life but exposes her origins. Trained in war, Thea fights through blood and fire, war and peace, to discover the truth. She will face a desperate struggle which will remake the known world of Potara, influencing the next 6,000 years.

Grab Your Copy:

Joshua Silverman was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Orange County, California.

While attending California State University, Fullerton and studying Criminal Justice, Joshua was introduced to a creative writing class where he wrote a series of paranormal stories. As a child, he has always been an amateur historian, focusing on ancient Egypt, Greece, and Roman civilizations.

Since working in the legal environment, he has combined his passion for creative writing with his love of ancient history by penning his debut novel, The Emerald Tablet, the first of seven in the Legends of Amun Ra series.

Connect with Joshua:  Goodreads   Facebook    Twitter   Website

I'm even more amazed by the world that JS has created. I've previously read & reviewed The Emerald Tablet, which introduced me to this amazing world. I LOVE how this story showed us events prior to The Emerald Tablet - sort of like showing me the first domino in a domino train. Seeing how past events reflect in how the present works out really grabs me. Love that! Anyways, Although this can be read as a standalone, I did enjoy feeling familiar with the world already here and there.

From the very first page, JS draws you in completely and masterfully. The fantasy genre hasn't been a go-to for me but I love this world and continue to be amazed.

The story immediately sucks you in and, like a puzzle, you start trying to put clues together. Who were Thea's real parents? Is her "adopted" father really JUST A farmer? Why does he truly insist on her training constantly like she's the next soldier in an army or something? These things are only in the first chapter! I couldn't flip pages fast enough.

Now the story has several ups and downs after Thea's world is turned nearly upside down. I won't include too many details because I hate marking my reviews as spoilers. I'll admit I was a tad annoyed with Thea here and there, but overall, I enjoyed her character! 

Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Cover Rating: 4.5 Stars
Characters: 3.8 Stars
Plot: 4 Stars
Climax: 4 Stars
Ending: 4 Stars

Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you like readers to know about the author behind the pages?

Just that I’m a normal guy, I guess. I like to read, workout, go on hikes. I play guitar – try to squeeze in a video game here and there and am great at procrastination.

Do you have any advice to individuals who aspire to become authors and get their work out there?

Take their time and learn their craft. Write a hundred thousand words before you start the novel of your dreams. Get your practice time in with the bad concept ideas, or write fan-fiction to help increase your skill. The world doesn’t need another bad novel, it needs another great one.

Why did you choose the fantasy genre?

Because the magic of ancient Egypt and their spells could only been done properly through fantasy.

If you had to choose another genre to jump into, what would it be?

There may be a paranormal series in the future. But there are a lot of details to work out with that one.

Who are your role models with regards to life as an author & your writing? Have you met them yet?

In terms of writing discipline, I’d say Stephen King. The guy is a machine. 1,500 words every day, rain or shine, holiday or work day. 1,500 words then he stops and goes onto another project. In terms of style, I love George R.R. Martin.

What do you do to get into your “zone” when you’re trying to fill pages & create a new world?

Mostly I turn off anything that has an internet connection or a screen (other than my computer). Anything that can distract me must be gone and out of my sight. Then, I re-read all the previous sections of the character I’m writing about so I can get into their head again and get their voice into me.

Do you have any quirky habits that you have to do when you’re writing? A certain spot/chair/seat, a certain song you have to listen to before getting started, a drink, etc.

I don’t really believe in that. I think if you attach yourself to a particular pattern, then you become less flexible. I always remind myself that J.K. Rowling finished Harry Potter in a hotel room not in her “spot”.

The Emerald Tablet (Bk 1) was released September 2012 and The Soul of the World (Bk 2) is expected November 2013. I’ve read that there will be 7 novels in the series. Have you mapped each novel out already or how did you determine you’d have 7 novels in the series?

I have major plot points for all seven novels. I do not have individual scenes.

Gardens of Ampheia (Novella) was released earlier this year. I love how GoA goes back and shows readers what happened Pre-The Emerald Tablet. What made you decide to branch out and write a novella? Do you think you’ll decide to write any other novellas and expand upon the world you’ve created?

I wanted to write the novella because so many people asked about the history and you can’t just lump that all in with the main novels. It is a tangent of the central story, so I had to create the novellas for that. I would like to do one novella a year, but no promises as writing the main series takes priority.

Your world and characters are so intricate. With such a long series ahead, how do you keep everyone and all of the events straight? Do you use a large story board or rely on technology to help keep everything straight?

A combination of both. I have an excel spreadsheet for the big things and I use a white- dry erase board for little things.

Why did you decide to use mythological aspects in your writing?

Well that’s what set the whole series off – my fascination with the ancient Egyptian alchemistical teachings of spirituality and growth.  So that’s why it’s in the series, because everything revolves around that.

What are the first five words that come to your mind when you think about The Legends of Amun Ra series?

Betrayal. Growth. Perception. Love. Death.

Where did you get the idea to create Potara?

I kind of wanted there to be a doubt if Leoros was dreaming or not. Like Harry Potter goes through the portal on platform 9 ¾, the wardrobe in Narnia, or Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars series. There’s the idea of the “other world” that is prevalent in a lot of fantasy books.

Is there a character in your work that you connect with most out of everyone? Someone’s whose PoV flows effortlessly while you’re writing or someone who you just can’t get enough of? Or simply someone who won’t shut up and constantly invades your mind even when you’re not writing? Ha.

Well, I think I have aspects of each character within me, but obviously are exaggerated. But out of all the characters, Leoros and Alex speak to me most personally.

Do you have a favorite scene that you’d like to share a tiny bit about?

My favorite scene of book one, The Emerald Tablet, is when Leoros and Atlantia sneak out of the Great Temple of Amun and go for a walk in the park and get the ice cream. I always laugh at Leoros when he says to the waiter that he’s from Earth. It’s one of those simple scenes but beautifully illustrates Leoros’ naiveté and his caring at the same time.

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to ask you a few questions! I loved learning more about you & look forward to seeing where you go in the future!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by & chatting with me! I try my best to respond to every post but it does take me a few days! Don't think I'm ignoring you - I promise, "non-fiction" life just gets me bogged down sometimes. :) Thanks again!!! I <3 my followers