Today I’m fortunate to present J.E. Reed author of Running with the Wolves.
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I live on the outskirts of Cincinnati, OH.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
Character. I love it when a story develops a character through adversity. Watching as someone grows up or grows stronger and gets through whatever they are facing is inspiring and I never get tired of it.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always had a passion for writing, but oddly enough it was gaming that inspired my first published work. The new craze is virtual reality and we’ve seen movies/books that depict people in that environment, but the technology is always involved. I wanted to create a story where people are trapped in a sort of gaming world, but without technology’s interference. Kind of ironic, I know.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Messily organized. I’m a pantzer, which means I don’t outline and just write on the fly. My characters determine the direction of the story. Naturally, this has its draw backs as I’m forced to write more drafts to get everything right, but I feel like the story has better flow when I just let my imagination take over. I strive to write 3000 words a day when I’m working through a draft.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Sticky notes, they’re everywhere.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
Running with the Wolves is the title of my fantasy debut novel and I’m very excited to share it with the world.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Running with the Wolves has a medieval setting. Due to this I’ve done research on that era, but I’ve also done a lot of research on various survival methods and tools. One of the more interesting things I learned was how to pick up someone who is dead weight. Have you ever tried to pick someone up from the ground? It’s hard and if you’re in a situation where you have to move fast, it creates a problem. There is a roll technique that enables you to grab the hurt/unconscious individual and stand with them on your shoulders. Yes, I’ve practiced this haha. You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPrATJ-u5Rg
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
Lying in bed, the chatter caused her mind to stir from that blissful place that lingers on the edge of dreams. It was too loud, too early. She rolled over, the fog slowly clearing as voices turned to song, birds greeting the morning sun. Strange how they’d never woken her before.
She groaned, reaching for a pillow, but something stung her fingertip, and she jolted. A small droplet of blood formed on the tip of her index finger. Her heart thundered as she looked at the culprit and then her surroundings.
This wasn’t her room.
Instead of cool sheets and a soft bed, she lay on dead leaves and grass, the musty forest scent filling her nostrils. White walls were replaced by an endless array of trees that blotted out the sun, save for a few rays that fought their way through.
She blinked, pushing herself up.
Am I still dreaming?
Her finger pulsed as she scanned the vicinity, and fear crawled into her mind.
No fire, no tent or tracks. Nothing that indicated civilization existed.
Surely someone had to be here, someone could explain—wait, had she been abducted?
Who would want to kidnap her? Why wasn’t she bound if that were the case? The list of reasons for waking in the middle of a forest were slim. Abduction, a lapse in memory, a vacation gone horribly wrong.
She stood, using a tree for support, but dizziness rocked her back. She leaned her head against the trunk, waiting for the spell to pass.
Small specks flew across her vision. Abduction seemed the most likely of scenarios, but where were her captors? Could a drug explain her lapse in memory?
The last thing she could recall was dressing for bed. The girl examined herself, pleased to find shorts and a tee-shirt rather than pajamas. Brown hair hung loose around tan shoulders, and nothing around her wrists indicated she’d been bound. The only odd possession she carried was a little bracelet with leather threaded around a small blue stone. White veins traced a sky-colored surface like cracks of lightning.
Unease settled in her gut at the name etched on its surface.
It was a surrogate name. Something she used for gaming and online activities. Few knew her—
She paused. Her name. She couldn’t remember her name…
What’s going on?
Her throat tightened as she slumped against the tree again, fighting back tears. She was alone and didn’t know her own name. What were the odds?
She took a deep breath, trying to steady her racing heart.
A forest in mid-summer wasn’t so bad.
Summer? Wasn’t it only January?
Her heart pounded faster as she realized one of two possibilities. Either time had passed without her knowledge, or she was further from home than she imagined.
Calm down. Think.
Summer, okay. Food would be easy. She’d a spent a lot of time camping and experimented with a few survival techniques. That would help as long as she could remember them.
She glanced back at the name on her wrist. She tried to picture her husband calling when dinner was ready or when he needed her to fetch something from the house, but every time the recollection came close it eased away again. Like a cloud hanging over her mind. Maybe she’d recall it later. For now, Kiuno would have to do.
Knee-high foliage surrounded large trees, and fur covered vines snaked their way up the trunks. Thick air caused sweat to roll down her neck. She needed to find water.
Kiuno made her way through the foreign forest and allowed herself to become lost in its beauty. Heavy, snarled roots spread across the ground, connecting each tree in an endless network. Small animals eyed her with curiosity before scurrying beneath the brush.
It would have been the perfect painting.
Hours passed, and the temperature continued to rise as mosquitoes and other insects nipped at her skin. Beauty was turning to nightmare.
Kiuno stopped to catch her breath and plopped on a fallen log. Sweat rolled down her face as she tried to lift her hair for some relief. She was no stranger to the outdoors, but didn’t remember camping ever being so miserable.
She looked at the sun. Had someone noticed her missing yet? Surely her boss would call home regarding her absence. Her husband would know something was up.
Standing, she took another breath, wiped the sweat from her brow and started walking again, the dry patch in her throat a nagging reminder. Using the tree roots, Kiuno slid down a small hill and finally heard the sound she’d been searching for. Running water.
She made her way around a few more trees to find clear water cascading down a rocky cliff that stood twice the size of any person. The river stretched twenty feet across and flowed with a steady pace. Thick brush and cattail lined the bank, and a large piece of rock lay just below the falls, its previous fixture visible above.
Rushing to the water’s edge, Kiuno cupped her hands, the cool liquid easing her scratchy throat. She splashed more on her legs to ease the itchy bites.
Deep colored pebbles lined the river bank with small water plants growing between them. Little fish played among the foliage and larger stones. If she could catch one that would resolve her growling stomach.
Before worrying too much about food, Kiuno hoisted herself onto the fallen rock, slipping a few times on the green moss. She looked down river, hoping for some sign of civilization, but it only renewed her sense of dread. Forest extended for miles.
Her stomach flipped, and she sank down, drawing her knees into her chest.
Kiuno stayed there for some time wrestling with ideas. She had water, first priority taken care of. The river would provide food, and it wasn’t as though she’d be there forever.
Despite some optimism, her nervousness grew with the looming shadows. Beings seemed to form and vanish as evening played on her fears. It was too late to build a fire, but at least a tree would be safer than the ground.
Glancing between branches, Kiuno found one that split, creating a nook just big enough for her to squeeze in. She rested her back against the biggest branch and watched the orange glow dip below the horizon. Her stomach growled, her skin itched, and every sound made her jump and recheck her surroundings. She curled into herself, trying to reason the shadows were nothing more than the reflections of trees.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Running with the Wolves and I hope to finish it as a trilogy. Beyond that I have ideas for dragons, kitsune and pirates. It’s just a matter of picking which one to work on first.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A developmental editor. There is literally no better money spent. They’re not your friends and they know what to look for. A good editor will tell you what needs to be fixed and they aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings. You might think your book is good enough, but give it to a good developmental editor and they’ll make it shine.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Visit my publisher’s website www.bhcpress.com to learn more about me http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_J_E_Reed.html and Running with the Wolves http://www.bhcpress.com/Books_Reed_Running_With_the_Wolves.html
Love social media?