FantasyCon Mini-Interview with Jeffrey Cook, Author and Reader

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Q – Are you a Reader, Author, Blogger, or Artist?

A – I’m primarily an author, but also a reader. I think the majority of authors start out as readers, and the authors I read certainly helped inspire me to want to tell my own stories. I do wish I had more time to read—in part because, in becoming an author these past couple years, I interact with so many other authors, and want to read all of their books. (And because me editor and co-author is also an avid reader, who is regularly telling me great things I need to read.).

Q – What inspires you?

A – Stories have always inspired me, in multiple forms.
My very first memory in life—opening night of Star Wars, Episode IV—the Star Destroyer coming on screen.
I used to take a /lot/ of long road trips with my father. We’d pass the time by having him tell me ‘choose your own adventure’ type stories. He’d set scenarios, and how the story progressed depended on what my character did.
I started reading really early. I devoured comic books. I finished my pre-school’s 3 boxes of early readers in the first two days. And after going to see a children’s theater production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, my parents bought me the boxed set, intending to read it to me, and I finished Voyage of the Dawn Treader by the weekend.
I became a table-top gamer at 8 years old and have stuck with the hobby.
Living on a Blackfoot reservation for a while, I fell in love with some of the storytelling tradition.

I love stories — and I particularly love getting to not just read or listen, but engage with fantastic worlds.

Q – You mentioned charity work, can you tell us about that?

A – I’m a writer for, and head organizer of The Writerpunk Project. It started out as a discussion community, and has turned in to a charity project that also helps promote indie authors in the ‘punk’ genres of science fiction.
Our first charity anthology, Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk, went live in March. We have a second volume, more Shakespeare adaptions, coming in December, and an Edgar-Allen-Poe-based anthology coming next year. Each volume involves multiple authors doing adaptions of famous works in ‘punk’ genres. All profits go to benefit PAWS animal rescue and shelter in Lynwood, WA.
As ‘dad’ to 3 rescue dogs, it’s a cause near and dear to me, so I was very glad the members allowed me to choose the charity. We just took them their first check—fully funding a big dog kennel for a year.
We’re hoping to double that next year.

Q – Have you written any stories? If so, please tells us about them.

A – I have 6 books out now, plus the charity anthology, along with numerous short stories published in different anthologies.
My first books were my Dawn of Steam trilogy. Those are Steampunk, or 1800’s science fiction, in this case written in the form of letters and journal entries from the characters, in proper Regency voice. Because they’re very early-era for Steampunk, relatively light on the sci-fi, and very heavy on the history, they’ve been described as good introductions to steampunk—as long as one is a heavy reader, since the format means they’re immersive, but not light reads.

I also have a YA science fiction story, Mina Cortez: From Bouquets to Bullets, published through Fire & Ice YA—my first venture into YA literature.

I have one non-YA urban fantasy out, a co-writing project with (usually) romance author AJ Downey, Airs & Graces, the first book of the planned Angel’s Grace trilogy.

My current primary project is another YA project, working with my usual editor, Katherine Perkins. We have Foul is Fair, the first book in the Fair Folk Chronicles, out now and and are putting finishing touches in the beta-reader version of book 2, Street Fair. The plan for that is ultimately 4 books, covering the 4 lost cities of the fae, the 4 treasures of Ireland, and the 4 most important dates of the Celtic calendar.

Writerpunk Press is also hoping to release 2 charity anthologies a year.

 

Steampunk Saturday

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