Title: Awakening the Fire (The Inferno Unleashed Series, Book Two)
Author: Jake Bonsignore
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Thriller
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours
** SYNOPSIS **
Breena Taljain’s idyllic days in Araboth came to a skidding halt when circumstances forced her into the dangerous hinterlands. The dire sacrifice she made to protect her comrades tainted her heart with hatred and despair. To cleanse herself she must outrun Death’s relentless pursuit and venture into the bleak unknown. With the odds stacked against her, stumbling into love when she least expects it may very well be her saving grace.
Meanwhile, succumbing to the Patriarch’s devious traps has Galbrecht Atalir questioning his motives. The folly of his recklessness has left him physical scarred and mentally traumatized. Now he must overcome more adversity as the wrath of the Sin Ministry bears down upon him. He will need more than wits and quick fists to find the truth he has sought for seven years.
Alas, every second Breena is apart from Galbrecht draws her further into strife. With her world rapidly crumbling inwards, she puts everything on the line for a last stand against the ruthless force that threatens to destroy all she holds dear….
Release: August 30, 2013 (Online release PARTY https://www.facebook.com/events/391835377604418/ )
Book Design: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/oKfRtBcb_jo (by Amygdala Art)
**Excerpt**Breena frowned at the same time Helel averted his gaze in shame. Never mind the question of how she knew all this. What was her point? “I don’t see how—”
“Of course you don’t,” she spat. “The world went on. Nothing you did or didn’t do mattered. What transpires today is no different. What is the purpose of it all? What matters to you one moment is meaningless the next. Nothing you do affects the greater scheme of things. You are merely a hiccup in the pulse of the world.” She turned from Breena and craned her neck backwards. “This is the truth, Breena. You will live and die. Others will rise after you and they, too, will live and die. Nobody will remember you. Nobody will remember them. Do you understand now? Nothing matters.”
“Then why are you—”
“This isn’t about me,” she rebutted. “You are just another flower in the field, Breena. You sprout from a seed and bloom into something special. The world adores you as you blossom. It takes advantage of your sweet aroma and praises your beauty until you wither away. What good are you then? You’ve become nothing. Soon you die cold, wilted, and alone. The world tramples on your remains, yes, but it does not mourn you. No…another seed will take your place and carry on as you had until it shares the same fate. Eventually the field will turn so barren that nothing else will grow. Then it will serve another purpose. The endless cycle of no true beginnings or endings will continue.
“Life goes on with or without you. Your existence will have no impact on the grand scheme of things. A single tree won’t make a rainforest any more than trouncing me would rid this plane of black emotions. Years, decades, even centuries from now, I will be born again and so the sequence will endure. Forever we shall dance this depressive, endless waltz.” She glared at Breena again. “I will change things, though. I intend to stop the cycles of rebirth. None will suffer as I have then.”
“That’s wrong. We live to make our own experiences. Joy and sorrow, love and hatred, pain and pleasure…it’s all part of the blessing! Who are you to put a price on it?” Breena pressed her hands against her hips. “Your flawed logic sickens me. You’re insane!”
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, The Lioness.
Jake, thanks so much for dropping by today, now let's give readers a treat by allowing them to get to know you a little better...
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be an author ever since I was a young child. I loved writing. The very first writing assignment I had in kindergarten was to write a 2-3 sentence story about an Easter bunny. Mine was a page and a half about a boy named Ralph who really wanted an Easter bunny, but his parents couldn’t afford it so he went home sad. The Easter bunny sensed his sorrow and came alive and came to his house, and then they were both happy. The end. Since then, I’ve always loved writing. I would write one short story here, one there, before attempting my first big work in October 2002 (that would later become Descendant of Strife). I like to write, really, because it is a great form of expression and stress relief. I found it to be an outlet while growing up and have since made it into something I thoroughly enjoy. It’s the one thing I wish I could do all day, instead of having my day job (LOL). Most of my inspiration comes from music. I get ideas for works from listening to one line here, the way that chorus sounds, the sentiment conveyed in that violin meshing with the piano, etc. For example, a few lines in the song Firewalk by Beseech gave me the idea for what eventually became Empyreal Illusions and Awakening the Fire: The Inferno Unleashed series.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Empyreal Illusions and Awakening the Fire were originally one novel that I split due to length. So writing both of them and going through the many necessary revisions took me 6 years. I know that seems like a long time, but I started writing it when I was 20 years old. I was still in full time college and, since before then and currently, I was/am working two jobs. So finding the time to actually dive into my novels is a bit of a struggle sometimes, and I can’t rush it, but it’s all so worth it.
What genre is your book? What made you choose to write in that category?
The genre for Awakening the Fire is YA fantasy / thriller. I always had an interest in fantasy since I was young. I always saw it as a perfect escape from all the trivial aspects of day to day life. Plus, in my opinion, fantasy gives me the most creative freedom. I chose YA because the story idea I had (Empyreal Illusions & Awakening the Fire) would have been best with a youth as a protagonist, rather than an adult. Also there are no raunchy scenes or foul language in those novels, and so it seemed to go all the more towards being a YA work. That being said, I’m actually branching out for my next WIP, a romance novel called The Lioness! J
What was your work schedule like when you were writing?
I’ve been working two jobs consistently since I was 18 years old and 6x a week 90% of the time, so my work schedule has been very, very packed. That is the main reason it took me forever to write Empyreal Illusions and Awakening the Fire. By the time I come home I’m usually too tired to be productive on a computer! I’m hoping the work schedule can slow down soon so I can focus more on The Lioness.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I usually have music on at ALL times while writing. It helps me to focus and to get my mind on track. If not I usually have Netflix or some kind of DVD in at the same time on the left side of the screen while MS Word is on the right. Also, I will NOT proceed in writing a chapter or part if I need to introduce a new character / place and cannot think of a fitting name. Lastly, I will not proceed with beginning the next chapter in my book until I’ve edited and proofed what I just wrote 1-2x.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Good question. Funny story. The main inspiration for this novel was a song called Firewalk by the band Beseech. One line in the chorus just invoked a feeling, an idea, and I could feel the gears in my head turning the minute I heard it. It’s hard to describe. I was actually listening to the song for the first time while I was in the college library, ‘studying’ for a business final. Instead of studying I was able to get the first five pages written and even pass the exam with flying colors. Who would have known that a simple idea I was doing just to pass the time and that was originally meant to be a short, SHORT story - a novella, even – would end up being an ambitious work spanning years and finally releasing on May 29, 2013? Not I, for one! J
As for information, I do a LOT of research into mythologies, religions, and just obscure information that many people would not look into on a whim. Nearly everything in my novels is symbolic of something or can be tied into some kind of lore.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written three full length novels now. I have three others that are partially done, but the one I am focusing on heavily – and my favorite, I believe – is my current work in progress, The Lioness!
Are you currently working on another book? If so, is it part of a series or something different?
Yes, I’m currently writing The Lioness. It’s a YA Romance that focuses on a 17 year old girl’s quest to find the meaning of true love as she journeys across the country with her best friend in search of a myth. It is a standalone novel that is not tied to Empyreal Illusions or Awakening the Fire in any way.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to read, play video games (on the rare occasions I can find time for it!), and exercise. The latter is a great form of stress relief and gives me time to brainstorm new ideas, too.
What does your family think of your writing?
They love it, or at least those family members who have actually read it! They’re proud and can’t wait for the next installments.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books?
I’ve learned that I can be quite the perfectionist and agonize over many details. I also learned that my personality and self changes somewhat with each character I create because they all become a part of me in some way, shape, or form.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?
There are a few tidbits of advice I would love to give other aspiring writers and new authors. First and foremost, writing is re-writing. Finishing the first draft is only the first piece of the puzzle. Do not despair if your first draft is not everything you expected it to be. It happens. Editing, re-writing, proofing, and repeating again is the key to producing the best novel. Additionally, each time you re-write or edit, or write new material period, your kills will become sharper and your editor’s eye a little clearer. You grow as much as your story does.
Secondly, do not give up. You are your own harshest critic. All the world can love your novel and yet you, the author, will always be able to find one little imperfection here, one thing you would love to change … don’t take it with a heavy heart. It’s just how it goes, and it doesn’t mean your book is bad at all. You simply wrote it, and it’s your baby!
Thirdly – promote, network, and market! I think social media is a wonderful way to promote and get involved these days, and I cannot stress the marketing potential of them enough. I recommend all authors to at least have a Facebook and/or Twitter page that they dedicate to marketing and promoting. Of course, every post should NOT be spamming your own work or promoting it constantly, but of the most part, tasteful promotions and teasers / tidbits do well. Of course, there are others sites available, and those are just examples. Networking is just as important. I met some of my closest author friends through twitter and facebook, and even a year later we still talk on a nearly daily basis. I support them and they do the same for me. Lastly, market! The publishing world is a difficult business. There are a myriad number of authors and standing out amongst them is NOT an easy task. Market your work and yourself. Make a brand for your book, a tagline that sticks in peoples’ head, but once again, don’t do it one post after another after another. That would be considered spamming, and people are more apt to block you and ignore you than not. As with anything in life, market and promote with reason and prudence.
The tag line is very important. For example, the tagline for Awakening the Fire is “Take a chance, make a gamble, mount a stand, and fight for what you believe in.” Most of the marketing material I have shows that quote on one part or another. I’ve had a few people come up to me and say, “Oh, I know that quote! I like it. I can’t forget it!” Once a little thing like that sticks in their head – and the more positive, the better – than the likelihood of them remembering your book and buying it sky rockets. As with anything, word of mouth will likely follow, and that is the best – and free – advertising available.
Lastly but not least, with your first novel your focus should be to get readers and a following. It should not be to get on the NYT bestseller list, USA today bestseller list, etc. Build a base, and grow with each novel.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I am blessed to hear from my readers from time to time. All of them tell me to quit my second job and write faster so I can get more novels to them! It’s very inspiring. I’ve had some tell me that they read Empyreal Illusions and Awakening the Fire multiple times and keep picking up on more symbolism and little tidbits I threw in each time. It makes me smile.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think a good story is a blend of a unique theme with strong dialogue, relatable characters, a flawed protagonist, a flawed antagonist, and thorough explanations for why things are. For example, if Character A can see ghosts and nobody else can, or if Syndicate A is after Character B and none other, why? The rationale for this has to be explained and thought provoking, in my opinion.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I honestly wanted to be an author ever since I was in kindergarten. There was a time I wanted to be a lawyer and actually had been a legal studies major before relocating to Florida…but being an author has always been at the forefront of my goals.
Are you self published or do you have a publisher? If self published, what made you decide to go that route?
I am self published. I decided to go this route because I wanted to have the freedom to choose my own designer, formatter, etc. I also wanted to use this opportunity to build a fan base, get reviews, forge a name, and make myself more presentable when I eventually try to get my future works published.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jakebonsignore (Direct links to purchase Empyreal Illusions and/or Awakening the Fire are available here)
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/oKfRtBcb_jo (by Amygdala Art)
Signed Paperback (with Bookmark) – Contact Jake Bonsignore directly via Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org