Interview with J. D. Brink

In 2013 you launched two different series, is that right?
And now you’re “revising the status” of those series. Tell us what that means.
Well, my brain is bursting with stories and novels and series and characters and... Let’s just say, “it’s bursting.” My writing goals are very ambitious. But my day-to-day real life is actually very busy. Naval career, family, house to sell, countries to move to (Japan), etc. I had visions of starting two different series—one fantasy, one sci-fi—but the really real world just isn’t going to allow it to happen in any reasonable timeframe.
So what does the revision look like?
Well, the first series is The Thunderstrike Saga. So far there are two books for that fantasy universe out there, and at least three more planned. Right now I’m in the act of reassigning the place of those books in the series. The novel Tarnish is and always has been Book One, and will remain so. The Prince of Luster and Decay is a novella and somewhat of a prequel to Tarnish, stars some of the secondary characters from the novel, and takes place about ten years earlier. I started out just calling it a prequel, then called it Book Two, but now... I’m going to separate it from the series slightly, label it “Book Zero” and “A Story of the Thunderstrike Saga.” So that when the novel that features Wil Thunderstrike’s next adventure comes along, it can be Book Two and better meet the expectations of such a title.
And when do you think that might happen?
Oh my... Not for quite a while, I’m afraid. As I said, I have many other books, stories and projects also turning in my brain, have for years, and a few of them actually have been waiting longer than The Quicksilver Fountain (Wil’s next adventure). Though I don’t want to put it off for too long. We’ll just have to see how life goes over the next year or two.

If I were a full-time author I’d be trying to catch up with great haste, maybe even put out a couple novels a year. I am not. (Though that is my ultimate goal.)
Wow. Two series stood up and knocked back down, eh? That’s rough.
That’s life. I let myself get too excited, let my plans out of the box to take on lives of their own when I couldn’t really support them yet. Maybe someday I can write with reckless abandon, it just isn’t today. But it’s good to know—reassuring for me, I mean—that I have that kind of ambition and am ready when the time comes.
What about the Endless Dark Trilogy you started with The Thorne Legacy?
There’s actually a long story to go along with that story.

The short version is that Legacy is based on a background event from a novel I wrote back in 2003, which I plan to someday revise and publish (just not right now). While doing yard work one day, I took that minor background event, placed a complicated character in the middle of it, and started seeing the story from his perspective. And the result is, I think, my best work to date. So then I thought maybe I’d write up another background event on its own and connect them to the novel as a trilogy. But there are a couple of issues with that.

One is that Legacy is only about 10,000 words, which is a novella. I don’t really want to call it a “Book One” in a series; that kind of sets expectations that the series would all be short stories, which isn’t a very encouraging “series” for readers. Plus, in the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure when I’d be able to complete all three of them. (Like I said, real life is real busy.) So the best thing to do is reduce Legacy back down to a stand-alone story (which is does fabulously anyway). As I get more shorter sci-fi pieces out of my head and down on paper, I may publish a collection at a later time that I can fold Legacy into as well.

In the meantime, there simply won’t be an “Endless Dark Trilogy.” Sorry.
The good thing about your books thus far is that they can stand fine on their own, right? They don’t have to be a series in order for readers to enjoy them.
Oh, absolutely. I’ll never publish a book that isn’t a finished story with a satisfying conclusion. No big cliff-hangers that leave you wondering what happened and demanding you buy the next issue to find out. (Unless it’s specifically labeled as a serial and we all know that going in.) They are all complete and satisfying tales in and of themselves.

Of course any new universe I create has the potential for more, and that’s where the series or related books will come in. Eventually.
So what do we have to look forward to from J. D. Brink in the near future?
Well, my primary focus right now is on a handful of superhero stories that have been trying to break out of my brain for a long time. I plan to write them all and then publish them in a fun and unique kind of series.
Um, another series...?
This one is different, I swear! [laugher] I’ve learned from my first-year mistakes as a writer and will make sure all three issues are ready to rock before I hit the launch button on Book One. Or in this case, before the first radioactive spider gets his chompers ready. Once I have all these stories in draft form, I’ll likely go through in the hopes of recruiting some financial support for cover art and editing. Then—BAM! BIFF! POW!—one after the next, this series will come out fists and capes flying with all the books hitting the stands within weeks of each another.

But obviously, as I’ve said, me doing a series is a pretty tall order. I’m hoping to have it out sometime in 2015. Between now and then I’ll be writing those tales, plus working on smaller projects and trying to get some work published in magazines and online. And I’m always being drawn back into the Thunderstrike realm and scribbling notes for the next adventure there.
Well keep at it, sir. We’ll stay tuned and be looking forward to whatever comes next. :)
Will do!
Published 2014-02-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Prince and the Darkness
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 36,030. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2015. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
A dark fantasy double feature in one bargain-priced volume. The first four short stories feature wise guys and private eyes, black magic, bleak futures, and the feminine wiles of inhuman beauties. These deliciously dark tales are followed by a lengthy novelette of sword and soldiery warfare, where the enemy isn’t just fought on battlefields, but in the soul as well.
Hungry Gods
Series: Identity Crisis, Book 1. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 57,590. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2015. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
When the country’s premier superhero team goes missing, it’s Spitball to the rescue! He’s a third-string hero today, determined to be first-string tomorrow. And the Army may be giving him just the chance he needs. Spitball has been invited to undertake a secret mission into America’s heartland. What he’s about to discover, however, is not a chance at stardom but a horror movie come to life...
The Thorne Legacy
Series: The Endless Dark. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 11,870. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Military
Corporal Cranston Thorne is about to face a court-martial. And his father would like nothing more than to see that happen, but a remote outpost has gone silent and Captain Thorne must take the fleet to investigate. In their absence, the planet itself comes under attack and it’s up to Corporal Thorne, who’s never cared about anyone but himself, to save planet Giger and restore the family name.
Puppet Theatre
Series: Identity Crisis. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,130. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
In Mesa City, there’s one hero you can count on to defend justice. Okay, two: the mysterious Shadow Puppet and that show-off, Mr. Wonderful. After his last tragic encounter with the villainess Kitty Kat, the Shadow Puppet is thought to be dead. And the man behind the mask would almost prefer that, but can’t let the Mr. Wonderfuls of the world get the best of him. Tonight he returns from the grave!
The Prince of Luster and Decay
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,770. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Sergeant Jacob Knox leads the Head Knockers, a unit of scout-saboteurs fighting a war against sorcery and tyranny. After an ambush by shape-shifters kills half the squad and their company, Knox and his boys are sent on a final mission. But waiting for them beneath an empty town is the Prince of Luster and Decay—the demonic embodiment of greed—and they’ll need both steel and heart to defeat it.
A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,140. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Crime
This trio of dark tales is told with a sharp noir edge. They feature wise guys and private eyes, black magic, bleak futures, and the feminine wiles of inhuman beauties. This is Valentine’s Day with Halloween style. It’s sex and violence from that dark corner of your imagination you dare not share with anyone else.
Price: Free! Words: 2,920. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Crime-noir meets ghost-horror in this flash fiction story. Mobster thugs Pauli and Mouse come across a street clown late at night who seems to know more than he’s telling; maybe too much. But you know the best thing about killing a mime? No one hears him scream. Then again, by the time this story is over, it won’t be him screaming.