Interview with J.E. Strong

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My first novel I ever brought to my father to read was the Silmarillion. I was about four years old at the time--for some reason, I was just attracted to this novel. So I suppose my love for fantasy grew from the stories that my father read to me. Eventually in the 3rd grade I started reading this book for myself and my fantasy love flourished.
How do you approach cover design?
I try to give readers a unique look at the background of my life. In addition to fantasy novels--my father and I have collected miniatures. We have approximately 138,000 miniatures. All have been hand painted by experts. I try to show these when presenting the ebook--but for the hardbacks and softbacks, I go with typical artwork.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Bible, Silmarillion, Fellowship of the Ring, Two Towers, and Return of the King.

I like these because they all revolve around the Bible in a subtle way, but they also incorporate my love for fantasy. Fantasy has a lot of good vs evil, and I feel that these stories go hand in hand with what is taught in the Bible. Though I view the Bible as not a fantasy--especially following all the experiences I've been through...
What do you read for pleasure?
If it isn't obvious by now, fantasy. I love it. Fantasy is a realm of unsolved existence. How do we know something is a fantasy or not? When we look at physics--we have determined there are other realms, planets, and dimensions. Who is to say that everything that we authors create couldn't be out there in the universe?
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing when I was in middle school. I started writing my first novel when I was a junior in high school. I've had my second novel finished--but I have yet to release it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a tough question. Well I would say that every Christian goes through a rough time in high school, (some more than others, depending on how serious they take their relationship with God), so a lot of my first novel embodies the emotion and trials of a Christian during hard times. I paint this picture through some of the main characters. But overall, it is the continuing relationship with God and the struggles that are presented from the world.

I also have questioned and philosophized on many Christian concepts, some from an angel's point of view, that is also presented in the novel, but I won't give my exact feelings on the subject, that is for the reader to decipher.
What are you working on next?
Well currently I am working on my third and last novel for the Vengeance series. I am then moving onto a really dark novel that doesn't have as much of a Christian overtone, in fact it is kinda the opposite I suppose. It is just darker, and not filled with such powerful characters. It is toned down in some ways.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R. Tolkien
C.S. Lewis
R.A. Salvatore
Walter R. Martin
and many more. I am getting into David Eddings and I also like R. Strong's work (my dad).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am doing some type of medical procedure, doing home-care activities, spending time with family and fiancee, power-lifting, or I am working on fantasy charts with my father. Yes, I am creating a unique gaming system that will soon shatter the world of fantasy forever. Just need to get it published. :)
What do your fans mean to you?
Well since I am new, I don't think I have that many fans yet--lol, but if I do have fans, they would mean a lot to me, even if they read the novel and weren't Christian--they can find something in my novels to connect with, especially in book two of the Vengeance series.

I am not deterred by people calling me a religious zealot, what does that even mean? They don't like me being passive? I wanted everyone to know that this novel does have some Christian outlooks to it. But if you like fantasy, then you know all fantasy has some Christian bases to it. Some people may say my next trilogy will have very little in opposition to my first trilogy (vengeance series), but my first trilogy was not about money, it was about giving an epic fantasy along with answering the many unsolved questions about God and the universe from a philosophical concept. I think most readers opposed and for this concept will enjoy the critical thinking either way.
Published 2015-10-30.
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