Author Interview- Daniel W. Koch

This week I (Landra) have author Daniel W. Koch at the end of my interview microphone. I’m digging into some Descendant: The Protector questions. Without further ado… let’s roll! 😉

1. What was your inspiration for this book?

I grew up reading Harry Potter, and I loved the idea of such an epic story. While Descendant: The Protector introduces the characters, the rest of the series becomes so much bigger. Jason is only just beginning to realize what he’s up against by the end of the first book. When I was younger I wanted to be the young boy who realizes he’s more than what meets the eye, and Jason really is special. I also enjoyed my fair share of vampire tales growing up, from Dracula to Stephen King’s ’Salem’s Lot. My writing isn’t just influenced by books, but also by movies. In fact, I have written a screenplay of my first book.

2. Did you have any difficulty writing a story with so many secondary characters?

What were some of the challenges you faced? I’m actually pretty good at keeping my characters all together in my head. That’s really my biggest problem: I know them all so well that sometimes I don’t realize other people might not be able to keep track of them all. Descendant: The Protector goes through multiple points of views of these characters, while the next books really cut down on the jumping around. Jason was just too helpless in the first book to see everything that was going on.

3. Descendant is set in a futuristic United States, and there are a bunch of different terms used to describe the differences between the species — do you plan on adding glossary and map to your books or website to help readers navigate these differences easily?

Yes, I’m working on creating a map of the U.S. and where all the quarantine zones are. I also plan on creating a glossary (probably to add to my website) of all the characters and different creatures that appear throughout the series.

4. What do you want readers to take away from your books? And after The Descendant Series what do you plan on writing next?

I love nothing more than to get lost in a story, and I’m hoping that readers will do the same in my books. I’m not looking to change viewpoints, or to point out religious or political issues. I just want readers to enjoy the story I’ve created. The next book I’m planning on writing is going to be a fantasy, set in a land ravaged by magical warfare. It’s going to be YA, following a young prince as he attempts to stifle an uprising.

5. You’ve already got the 2nd book in the Descendant Series available, when can readers expect the 3rd book?

The third book, Descendant: The Black Wolf, has been completed, but as of now it’s still in editing. I’m hoping to have a release date within the next few weeks.

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Review: Descendant: The Protector – Landra’s Take

Descendant: The Protector

Rating: Yay! and Maybe

Jason Hook is new in town, which makes him the least likely to make friends… at least with the normal people. He’s quickly attracting all the wrong attention from the high school bullies to some evil monsters that have quickly taken over much of the United States. Nothing’s safe anymore, and soon Jason discovers that becoming one of the ‘bad’ guys could actually save the world. The question is does he really want too?

My little blurb underplays this book because there are about a dozen or more characters that see air time besides Jason. Jason is the main protagonist, and is a bit like the curious-yet-scared-teen who could be the savior-of-the-world at some point in the future. Readers also get to meet a legion of secondary characters, which could easily turn into separate books, plot arcs, and half a dozen other options. The one thing I have to commend Koch for is taking on the challenge of so many characters. This is a feat in and of itself. When writing books with this number of characters it typically gets confusing in dialogue scenes, but Koch writes without the confusion. I knew who was talking and when, plus by highlighting just a couple of the secondary characters it was easier to keep track of the most important players.

The world Koch creates, a futuristic, monster filled Earth is definitely interested. Although it’s easy to see some parallels with other mythical demons and monsters, Koch brings his own twist which I can respect. My issues with the world were the lack of detail; I didn’t learn enough about how the world came to the state it was in now. How the monsters became so rampant where humans were hiding in fear.

Honestly this is a decent story, and naturally ends on a super big cliffhanger. So, if you get involved you’ll be chomping at the bit for book 2. Other high points include easy reading, there’s nothing complicated about the book, making it a great read for the Young Adult audience and for people just looking for something to enjoy.

My only other issue is with dialogue and some of the interactions. A lot of them appeared repetitive, especially when it came to the interactions with Jason. There was a ton of space spent on a buildup that never gets revealed, and now I have to buy book 2. Honestly, those interactions felt like filler or wasted space. I think some of the buildup could have been cut out with a sudden delivery of delicious plot meat. Finally, to me the hero doesn’t sacrifice much. A lot of big things with little emotion besides Jason connection to one beautiful monster with some deadly skills. I need to see more from young Jason or else he’ll end up like another hero who just wins because his friends save his butt; next to pure dumb luck!

Overall, Descendant: The Protector is a decent story and I’ll be interested to see how the rest of the series turns out. If you enjoy long build ups, and paranormal stories with monsters you will most likely enjoy this.

This Week’s Read: Descendant: The Protector by Daniel W. Koch

Jason Hook has spent eighteen years of his life growing up in a world plagued by monsters. The extinction of the human race seems inevitable.

When Jason and his family are forced to move from their home in California to a small town in New York,  he finds that some of the creatures are actually trying to save his life. For reasons he is only just beginning to discover, there is something about him that the creatures find very interesting.

Jason is at the apex of a world at war where he must choose between life, death, and the possibility of becoming one of the creatures he has sworn to hate. But in becoming a creature, Jason might just have a chance to save humanity.

To learn more about Daniel and this series visit the website: www.thedescendantseries.com

Currently, the book, and the sequel, are available for Kindle and in Print via Amazon .

Review: Franklin Asylum – Landra’s Take

Franklin Asylum

Rating: Nay

Danny Morrison thinks he may have lost it—at least that’s the reason he’s checking into Franklin Asylum. He tells himself it’s a brief respite, just to figure out if he’s gone bonkers, but the people Danny encounters make his kind of crazy seem normal.

For me this story had a ton of potential, oodles of it, especially with Danny checking himself into an asylum. I was eager for the character delving, the internal thought process, and how checking into Franklin Asylum would make or break Danny. Unfortunately, I got let down.

While I got some peeks at all the asylum occupants, I didn’t get enough about Danny. I thought this could have been a device to stir up tension about who the main character was, and it was. The buildup came too late though and felt predictable instead of genius. Danny also made several choices I felt to be designed to create a story rather than fit the natural progression of his character. At times I felt like I was Danny looking at the asylum as a visitor, like I was supposed to be viewing the asylum and the activities rather than experiencing Danny’s story. Follow with dragging plot and roaming crazy head hopping, and I found myself more frustrated with the book then anything.

The bright side—I believe Rejean Giguere is able to develop believable characters with interesting lives. I felt the imagery of the asylum was real and concrete. These elements kept the story going and I was able to drag through it. Villians, crazies, and even the dear Doctor Volk had developed vices, histories, and logical progressions.

Overall, I would say Franklin Asylum is for those who are looking for wack-a-doodle characters and realistic settings. Other than that there isn’t much this book really offered to me, but I hope that future work from Giguere may prove more fruitful. 

This Week’s Read – Franklin Asylum by Rejean Giguere

Alone, his whole family dead, certain that he is losing it, Danny checks himself into a safe place to recoup and try and get his life back together.
All he wants is a little time and space to think about where he’s going and what life holds for him next.

Safe isn’t always what it appears to be. Quiet can be an illusion. Sometimes the only one you can rely on is yourself.

Sometimes getting in is easier than getting out.

About the author:

Rejean Giguere is an avid outdoorsman, adventurer, photographer and artist. He enjoys fishing, hockey, golf, tennis, skiing and snowmobiling, his V-Max motorcycle and vintage Corvette.

He grew up in Canada and Europe, and enjoyed a business career in Toronto and Ottawa.

Visit his website at www.rejeangiguere.com

Franklin Asylum is available at:

Amazon

 

WOW!

Thanks, everyone, for making our new website such a success! Landra and I are so thrilled that so many wonderful authors and readers have taken the time to join us on this little venture. You’ve all been incredibly supportive and patient, and we cannot thank you enough.

As of right now, our review schedule is full, and we’re working out the kinks for our 2013 schedule (provided we make it past December, right? 😉 ). So, we’ll need you guys to be a little more patient with us while we figure out how to make IBRU a more enjoyable and interactive experience for everyone. 

Once again, THANK YOU for your continued support. You guys rock my socks. 

~Cate