Title: Empyreal Illusions
Author: Jake Bonsignore
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Thriller
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Fourteen-year-old Breena Taljain’s dreary existence in the slums of Purgaire comes to a sudden end when a chance encounter with a criminal mastermind known as the Patriarch goes horridly wrong. His assault on her for refusing to pay for her mother’s addiction leaves her comatose and teetering on the edge of life and death.
Galbrecht Atalir is a washed-up doctor struggling to overcome his inner demons through alcohol and aggression. He never quite recovered from the unsolved murder of his family seven years prior. When he discovers Breena as his newest patient, he knows at once that the Patriarch is the one who eluded him for almost a decade.
The medicine Galbrecht gives Breena draws her into a heavenly paradise. When it ebbs away, though, the recurring trauma plunges her into treacherous hinterlands. There, Breena must learn to find power in courage, hope, and love to overcome fiends of hatred bent on permanently ending her existence.
With justice burning in his heart, Galbrecht begins a race against time to seek out the Patriarch in the underworld before Breena loses her struggle against the ever-darkening terrors of her mind….
Amazon (US) (Paperback or E-Book) - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Empyreal+Illusions
Amazon (UK) (Paperback or E-Book) - http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Empyreal+Illusions
Barnes and Noble (E-book for Nook) - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/empyreal-illusions-jake-bonsignore/1115427220?ean=2940016473031
Breena tilted her head upwards and glared at him as best as she could. How had she ever been scared of him? She understood him perfectly. Everything made sense now. She had found strength in her weaknesses. The compassion that had made her vulnerable in her former life was now invaluable.
“You’re wrong, Mulciber. I’m only fourteen years old. I’m not as strong as you…but at least…at least I can admit my faults. That takes true power. I know I can’t…I can’t do everything alone.” She coughed again and whimpered from the dull throbbing in her abdomen. “Life is all about g-give and take. I need others to catch me when I fall. There’s nothing…nothing wrong with that. I need my friends and they…they need me.” She huffed and wiped the sweat from her brows. “There’s more to strength than…than raw might. You just don’t want to accept the…the truth. You’re too scared. That’s…that’s why….” She hacked up spittle and heaved wildly. She could no longer make out anything but blurs of incandescent light. “That’s why I’m stronger than you, Mulciber.”
What? That…that doesn’t…that doesn’t…!
“It’s your turn to prove your strength to me. Break…break free of Izanami and join me. You need me and I…and I need you. Don’t…don’t be a coward.”
No more…no more, human!
Mulciber let out his fiercest shriek yet. One curt glance to his left halted Veku and Lilim in their tracks. Even Leinth stopped her relentless advance.
You…Mulciber hissed. You would call me a…a coward? Me? You are wrong! How…how dare you underestimate me? I am Mulciber, King of the Ifrits!
“Then…then show me the worth of a king’s pride.”
Jake Bonsignore is the author of Descendant of Strife, Empyreal Illusions, and Awakening the Fire. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida with magna cum laude honors. Outside of his literary pursuits, he enjoys playing sports and is a fitness enthusiast. He is currently working on his next novel.
Thank you for dropping by today, Jake. We don't want to keep the readers waiting so I'll jump right into the questions. :)
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first realized that I wanted to be a writer when I was in kindergarten. We had to write a one paragraph assignment about an Easter bunny, I ended up writing a two page story instead. I wish I still had it! But from that moment I knew I loved writing and always would.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Well, Empyreal Illusions and Awakening the Fire were originally one title … however, it was very long and feedback from multiple authorities in the publishing and authoring world advised it would be best to split … so between the two and working two jobs / college, it took me about 4 years to write both of them. I spent another 2 years editing, proofing, and effectively reducing both of them combined by about 70,000 words.
What genre is your book? What made you choose to write in that category?
Empyreal Illusions is YA Fantasy / Thriller. It’s YA Fantasy because Breena’s side of the story is largely in a fantasy setting (fever dream), whereas Galbrecht’s (the other protagonist) takes place in the criminal underworld. I chose to write in that Genre because fantasy has always had my interest. I see it as a good escape from the real world sometimes, and I chose to add the thriller elements in because I feel that you can’t go wrong with good psychological elements and plenty of action.
What was your work schedule like when you were writing?
While I was writing, my work schedule was largely 7:30am – 4:30pm like 2x a week, 7:30am – 7:30pm like 3x a week, and like 7:30am – 4:30pm on Saturdays. So I’ve been pushing a 6x a week schedule for years now, and that’s the reason Empyreal / Awakening took so long to complete and edit. For the first few years I had full time college in the mix too. I would have to (and still do) get up at 4:30am on each work day to sneak some writing time in before the day actually began.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
After I complete a chapter, I go back and re-read it / proof it at least once before moving on to the next one. Also, if I come across a part that requires me to name a person or place I haven’t thought of yet, I will not proceed until I have the perfect name for that person / place. J
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I have done a LOT of research for mine. Although it is a YA Fantasy, there are easily a hundred + references to various mythologies, cultures, religions, lore, symbolism, and allusions. So there have been lots of time put into Wikipedia and other google searches, not to mention some texts during the bi-weekly visits to the bookstores! Most of my ideas, though, come from the thinking time on the drives to work or music. A lyric here, the way this sounds there, can actually be very inspiring.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve currently written three books. Descendant of Strife I wrote when I was 16, more as a “Can I do this?” than anything. I had it published through a small POD press back in 2007, before I began Empyreal Illusions. It’s set in a different world, and nothing like Empyreal at all. I also wrote Empyreal Illusions, and its sequel, Awakening the Fire. Of the three, Awakening the Fire is definitely my favorite. It wraps up Breena’s adventure that began in Empyreal, and has lots of other mythological and lore references, not to mention a lot closing loose ends and memorable quotes / scenes.
Are you currently working on another book? If so, is it part of a series or something different?
I am working on another novel! It is called The Lioness. It is actually a pure YA Romance, but it’s not your typical story. It’s a stand alone novel about a very outgoing and wily 17 year old girl who, following a disappointing heartbreak from a boy she thought she loved, travels the world with her best friend (a shy and unconfident boy) in search of the meaning of true love. It takes place in a world heavily influenced by European themes over the course of a summer.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Aside from reading, I am a fitness enthusiast, so I love working out and going to the gym. It’s also a good stress relief. Aside from that (and when I’m blessed with free time) you can usually find me on the PS-3 playing stuff like The Last of Us.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family loves it. I’ve gotten some pretty poignant reactions out of them, as well.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books?
One of the most surprising things I’ve learned about myself is that I actually have the motivation and ability to do something difficult when I put my mind to it. Writing a book can be difficult, yes, but writing it while working two job and full time college can be even harder. I did not think that I would be able to follow through with it really, but I did, and that was a pleasant turn of events.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Don’t give up. Keep at it and remember of all things, writing is re-writing. Expect to edit your work multiple times. Additionally, the ideas you may have while plotting the story may not come to be when you actually write it. That’s normal, that’s expected, and it’s wonderful. Don’t ever lose heart or let non-constructive criticism get you down!
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have been fortunate enough to hear from my readers, and I’ve gotten tons of great feedback. Many of them have asked me when the movie is coming out (I wish!) Many of them were readers who do not typically indulge in the fantasy genre, and those have all given positive feedback and indicated how much they look forward to the sequel. I have been pleased and delighted!
What do you think makes a good story?
What I believe makes a good story is depth. I believe a good story will have characters whom the reader can really get to know and maybe relate to on some kind of level, as well as a storyline that is believable and deep. Presenting a theme or an overall message along with and throughout the story is an added bonus.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Honestly, when I was a child, the main thing I wanted to do was be a writer. I have wanted that since kindergarten and still do. Aside from that, I had it in my head that I wanted to be a lawyer, but one thing led to another and that did not turn out to be.
Are you self published or do you have a publisher? If self published, what made you decide to go that route?
I am independent. I went independent because I like being in control of all aspects of my novel. I believe that I chose the most fitting cover (thank you again, Regina Wamba of Mae I Design!), the best formatting possible, and a very fair and reasonable price. I also like being able to host promotions when I choose them, as well.
Do you have a website, fan page, blog or twitter we can pass on to your fans?
Where can your books be found? Please list Your author page from amazon and links to your books anywhere else they can be purchased. Thank you
Amazon - http://amzn.com/B00D18OUU4
Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/empyreal-illusions-jake-bonsignore/1115427220?ean=2940016473031
Signed Paperback (with Bookmark + Other swag goodies) – Contact me directly via Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org