Interview and Review with Brad Shreffler

Good Afternoon everyone! Grab your lunch, settle into your chair, and enjoy! Because today we have not just another awesome author interview, but also a review with author Brad Shreffler! Enjoy everyone!

 

He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2008 with a degree in business administration, which is obviously working out real well for him since he is a teacher.

He and his wife, Amanda, are high school sweet hearts who got married in 2007.  In May of 2012, they welcomed their first child, a son named Zack, into the world (pictured on right).

As a teacher, he is always looking for a way to challenge and engage his students.  Well known in his school for expecting and encouraging excessive amounts of reading from his students, he decided to give them a new challenge in 2011.  In November of 2011, he challenged his students to do NaNoWriMo, an online challenge to write a 50,000 word or greater novel in one month.  He offered them 20% of their final grade for the quarter in extra credit. In addition, in order to encourage them further to complete the project, he took the challenge himself.

While none of his students completed the challenge, Brad did, and Jack Wrimo and the Ori of Flames was born.  He also looks forward to completing the sequel to this novel in November of this year.

For more information on NaNoWriMo, or to signup for the 2012 challenge, go here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

Hello Brad, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog. Your novel, Jack Wrimo and the Ori of Flames, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Well, it is about a 15 year old boy, Jack, who has a pretty good life.  His parents are pretty cool, he is pretty popular, does well in school, and is even pretty good in sports.  His only problem is that once a month, his parents force him to go with his family to the Flea Market.  Usually, these trips are pretty uneventful, but this time he buys a pair of bookends that are really intriguing, and passes out the second he touches them.  Eventually, he realizes he has released an ancient evil and a powerful ally, Pharia.

So what inspired this novel?

I am a 7th Grade Language Arts teacher, and last year I challenged my students (for an insane amount of extra credit) to complete NaNoWriMo, an online challenge to complete a 50,000 word novel in one month.  In order to encourage them, I took the challenge myself, and this is what I came up with.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I read fiction almost exclusively, but my tastes range from fantasy to sci-fi.  My favourite books of all time are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher.  I also love the work of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Terry Brooks (The Sword of Shannara), and pretty much anything in the Star Wars universe, especially after Episode VI.  I would say that all of these have some level of influence on my own writing, so it makes sense I would write fiction myself.

What is the best part of publishing yourself?

Wow, that’s a good question.  Self-publishing is kind of a double edged sword to me.  It is nice to not have to worry about an editor or publicist trying to change my work, but at the same time, I don’t have an editor or publicist helping me promote and improve my work!  Overall though, I would say that the control that you are afforded through self-publishing is really nice.  The final product is totally your baby, the good and the bad.

If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

That’s an easy one: Bucan, my villain.  I had so much fun writing this character because I just got to throw out my conscience and be pure evil.  It would be exciting to have all his power and no conscience for a day.  Not sure what that says about me as a person though…

Where can we find your novels?

My novel is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle, and on BarnesAndNoble.com.  Just search for “Jack Wrimo.”

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

This November I will be writing the sequel to Jack Wrimo and the Ori of Flames for NaNoWriMo 2012.  After that, I’m not sure.  I feel like delving into the world of zombies since I am training for a zombie 5K and am a little obsessed with the undead.  We shall see.

You can find out more about Brad Shreffler on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and his blog. Thank you for being here, Brad, any parting words?

Thank you for having me here, it’s been fun.  Also, make sure you check out my website, where I am running a contest where you have a chance to become a character in my next book.

 

Now scroll down to see my review of his book!

 

“Ori are a race of beings that are bonded with a natural force present on this planet. When our mother, Earthra, creates a new example of her power, she also creates an Ori to govern that power. I am the Ori of Flame.”

A 15 year old boy, named Jack Wrimo, is an average kid in every sense of the word. He has never been the fastest kid, or the smartest kid, but never the least of them either. That all changes when his family takes a trip to a flea market, and what he finds there changes his life forever.

Jack, along with his ally Pharia, must learn how to control new powers, fight a mysterious evil being, and save his best friend Matt in this exciting adventure.

You can grab your copy here at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble!

 

 

 

Good Points

First I would like to say that I loved the reason the author had for writing this book. It was incredibly creative, and what a fantastic way for a book to be born! This is a book intended for young adults, and Brad Shreffler has made his main character Jack as exciting as possible, and not just ‘average’. Having said this, he is also relatable, which obviously is a good thing if you’re trying to get teenagers to read! The pace of the story was fairly good, although I felt the first two thirds of the book went at an easier pace than the last third. The characters were very unique, and I thought they were well-described and vivid, although it might have been nice to know a little more about the villain of the piece.  I also thought that although this was a great read for teenagers, it had that slight edge to it, where it went to some dark places, making it more interesting for young adult readers.

 

Bad Points

There was the odd grammatical error, but nothing too bad, and certainly not so much as to stop the reader continuing. I thought, as I mentioned above, that it might be nice if the villain had maybe more of a back story, as he seemed a little flat compared to the other characters. I also felt it tailed of towards the end, losing the pace of the beginning of the book.

 

Overall

I thought this was a great début novel from this author. The story overall is fantastic, the actual writing could do with a little tightening up, and condensing of some chapters. I enjoyed reading it, and thought it would definitely be a great read I would allow any teenager to get into. Although it stayed on a true and tested path, it also had lots of unexpected twists and dives that you never saw coming.

I would give this novel……….4/5 Stars!

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