J.M.D. Reid is an author known for his fantasy Above the Storm and Secret of the Jewels series. I chatted with him about his new and upcoming works.
Hi, James! It’s great to chat to you again. Tell us about your Diamond Stained series.
Diamond Stained is the start of my latest fantasy series! Obhin used to be a noble man who loved the wrong woman. Now he’s a fallen man on the other side of the world. A bandit. A sword for hire who no longer cares about the dark acts that stain his soul.
Until the only friend he has is badly injured because Obhin did not care enough to try.
Now with the help of Avena, a woman he was sent to capture, Obhin is fighting to save his friend’s life and his own soul.
Diamond stained is an epic dark fantasy novel of a man trying to find who he used to be. Can he become that noble man again after what he’s done?
Can he protect Avena and her mentor against the very people he used to work for as he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that will unleash ancient horrors.
I’ve read Diamond Stained and it’s definitely one that lovers of gritty fantasy should check out. What’s the first book you ever remember reading?
One of the Clifford the Big Red Dog books.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always loved to read and I started writing bad fan fiction in junior high. I also read a lot of the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms D&D novels and found a lot of them to be not well written and then thinking I could at least write this badly, so why not me?
I’m a huge fan of D&D too! It’s a shame the books you read weren’t so well written, but if it set you off writing then I guess it’s a good thing! So who is your main inspiration?
Robert Jordan, author of The Wheel of Time epic fantasy series, is a big influence on my writing style. J.R.R. Tolkien is why I love fantasy. R. Scott Bakker for trying to write more psychologically complex characters.
Great choices! Let’s talk more about you. Aside from writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Read books and watch YouTube videos. Mainly podcasts on various legal, political, scientfic, and religious topics. Plus minecraft videos.
Reading is so important for writers, so it’s great you find time to do that. Tell me about your writing space. Where do you usually write?
I usually write from a comfy recliner. But if I have headphones and a laptop, I can write anywhere.
That recliner sounds dang good! One of the great things about writing is that you can do it anywhere. Would you say you’re a morning or night person? What time of day do you prefer to sit and write?
I write in the morning. First thing I do after waking up. The longer the days, the less motivation I have so I need to work right off the bat.
That’s great. Being a morning person is a blessing. Do you plan out your stories or are you a pantser (making it up as you go along)?
I’m in the middle. I will do a rough series outline, like a paragraph of major events. I’ll do another outline for the novel with the plot progression and major character moments. Then I will do detailed outlines for chapter and scene breakdowns from one major plot point to the next. This way, I can adapt to how the characters act and be flexible. I’m rarely married to an outline.
It sounds like a good planning technique. I know you write quickly, so struggling writers might benefit from adopting some of your techniques. What’s your favourite book genre? Do you write in that genre?
Fantasy is definitely a winner! Tell me your top three favourite books of all time.
Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Darkness that Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker.
Who is your favourite book character who you’ve created?
Zori from The Storm Below.
Oh yes, she’s a great character! What’s your latest book about?
My latest book is my What Mask Hides series that I’m editing for release next year. It follows Foonauri (the wrong woman Obhin loved) on her journey from realizing how empty her life has become as a pretty trophy for powerful men and her pursuit of wealth and status for something more meaningful. Suffering from the guilt of a love triangle that ended with one of her lovers killed by the other and that man broken by his actions, she finds a chance to do some good by becoming a thief.
But not a normal thief. A group gathered by the enimatic Onyx who wishes to repair the damage to the world when the law and justice system fails.
Foonauri is plunged into politics, danger, and more in this dark fantasy series.
So it connects to your Diamond Stained series; that’s awesome. I can’t wait to read it! OK, something unrelated to writing: if you could go on a date with any celebrity, living or dead, who would it be and why?
A romantic date? Or platonic? I’m not sure I would. The old adage, “never meet your heroes,” is probably something I would like to preserve.
Interesting response! Where can we find out more about you?
Check out J.M.D. Reid’s works below: