Thursday 9 August 2012


BLURB from
Trying to grow up in a galaxy full of advanced technologies and people who’ve isolated you from society is one thing, but trying to grow up in a galaxy where you can end up dead by poking your head around the corner of a burning tree or crumbling building is another! When a race of aliens known as the Cyogen return and oppose the galactic rule of order known as Truth’s Grace in a far off galaxy, a young Goolian named Alytchai is thrown into such a world in order to protect her tiny speck of a galaxy she calls home.
Even though her race is considered naturally skilled in the art of combat, Aly’s physical and mental differences in processing things make her question if she can be the servant and defender her planet has called to be. Fortunately for her, Aly finds support by looking to a group of both local and off-world creatures that she can always rely on when her confidence on and off the battlefield is questioned. Then again, some of the people she thought she could trust have their own series of conspiracies and dark secrets that might jeopardize everything that Aly has been taught to believe and trust her entire life.
So how will this Young One from the middle of nowhere overcome these issues while engaging in the horrors of war? Can she overcome the Cyogen? Can she overcome the war? Can she overcome herself?

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What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? 
I'm Raphyel M. Jordan from Franklin Tennessee in the U.S. .I currently live in the Greater Atlanta Area in Georgia.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? 
I grew up knowing that I was going to be an animator, actually. I've been drawing ever since I was three, and I started bringing my characters to life through graphic novels when I had a basic understanding of writing around age 6 or 7. But I always wanted to see my characters move, to hear them speak, to let others see what I see in my mind. I got as close as my freshman year of college in seeing that dream come true, but I had to let it go due to financial reasons. I finished school with a graphic design focus at another school instead.

Still, I wanted to tell stories. Now, I had tried writing novels before, but I never finished them. However, when I was 19, I stared this science fiction novel about an alien girl getting drafted into a galactic war. When I went back to school that second time, I took some science classes to strengthen it. When I looked over the story, I just knew that I was on to something, and I had to finish it. And I guess you could say the rest if history. ^_^

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The book I currently have out is called "Prossia." It's the very same book that I started writing when I was 19. 

20 words: "A teenage alien girl discovers horrible truths about herself and the world when she is drafted into a galactic war."

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish? 
I'm currently going the self-publishing route. Still, that's not to say I wouldn't be interested in finding a publisher that can help bring more attention to my works and offer me enough creative freedom in the future.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
I'm a sci-fi author that might have some fantasy element sin the mix as well. This realm is my happy place. :P All stories that I've written or am writing right now fit that category.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
People will notice that I left some wiggle room at the end of "Prossia" in case I wanted to continue on with it. With as much work done into creating the story's universe, I think it would be a shame to just leave it on one note.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Like I said before, I actually tried writing novels before "Prossia," but they never came to fruition. One of the big reasons was due to the fact that I would start writing a story, and then I'd see it in a video game or TV series a year or so later. It was probably due in part to me writing fantasy only. So, this is pretty much how the conversation in my head went down when I decided to write this sci-fi story:

"I need something that is my own, and no one else's. No vampires, werewolves, elves, trolls, or anything that people have already written about. I need to make everything from scratch. Hmm, but what how can I do that? I can make some unique creatures, but they can't be local. Maybe a different planet? No, not good enough. Bigger. I need to consider the biology of these people. Maybe I should branch them out some more. They can live in different solar systems. Maybe they keep in touch by something equivalent to the UN, but on a galactic scale. . . oh, heyyyyyy. I'll write sci-fi! Duh!" :P

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I'd think I'd have to say Cyleroa. I won't go as far as saying he's my favorite character, but I get the feeling that I relate to him the most. Cy is looked down on by a lot of people in "Prossia" because of what he is, not who he is. Still, he's proud of his identity and the people he's a part of. I'm a a young black man, and I know, even in the 21st, people still look down at me for what I am, not who I am. I mean, some people probably won't even read "Prossia" if they know it's written by a black guy! However, I'm very proud of my ethnicity and the strength of our people. Even after being beaten down for so long, we still try to push on for better things.

I imagine Cy having a different stride in his step compared to the other humanoid-like creatures in Prossia because of that pride he has in him. Um, granted, he's on the border line of being a tad of a narcissist. I hope I don't give off the impression that I'm full of hubris!
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
There's an old saying that says "write what you know," and I follow that concept to the fullest. All I have to do is keep on living, and you'll always have a story to tell. I wrote "Prossia" during the coming-of-age period in my life, for example. I hope that writing such a novel during the same period in my life is a little more authentic to readers since I was discovering this along with the story's protagonist, Aly. The thoughts are still fresh on the mind.  

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I got a playlist of different moods on my iTunes. Hold on. Checking: "Epic," "Happy," "Journey," "Scary," "Tragedy." I switch to a certain playlist where a music type fits a scene in my story. I feel that feeling the atmosphere of the particular emotion helps out a great deal. Why, I even have battle sound effects when there's a fight going on too! 

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
Funny story. The initial part of "Prossia," that meaning "pro," of course means "in favor of." And after jotting down a bunch of endings, "sia" sounded the best to me. Here's the thing, though. There's a place in Romania called Prosia. But I still loved the way it sounded! Easy fix. Just add another "s." :P

In the story, it's explained that "Prossia" is a word from a pacifist race, meaning "for peace" or "unity within diversity." That's where I got the logo design from as well. I researched some Celtic, Egyptian, and old cave paintings to see what marks and symbols meant. The circle has been a pretty universal symbol for unison. The l-shaped lines are an example of ideas. They branch out beyond the circle to indicate thinking beyond the joint unit, but the unit still fits everything together.

As far as the cover, itself: I designed that as well. Aly, the protagonist, is credited for having some brilliantly bright gray eyes in the story. I wanted those to be the first thing a person who came across the cover would see. I sort of exaggerated the armor on her, almost looking as if its a little big on her. Especially the top piece. But it's because getting drafted into a war was the very last thing on her mind. The way the armor looks on her as well as the expression on her face goes to show that she just wasn't ready for this. She stands over a planet that she has to defend. It's a loose interpretation of which one though. Some might think its Planet Gooliun, her place of origin. Other might think it's Planet Argutas, the world she gets shipped to in the novel. 

All in all, though, I'm thinking the cover is too dark, and we might see a revision of it in the future. ^_^

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Name fits the personality, first and foremost. Some were easy, like Aly's. Her full name is Alytchai, and "Alicia" has always been one of my favorite names. It sounds pleasant, and it's strong. Aly is pretty innocent because of her age, but readers will learn quickly that she doesn't take mess from anyone! Still, "Alicia" is a human name, so I needed something that sounded similar to "Gooliun" on the tongue. Aly was unique since she had her name first before anyone else. All the other characters got their names based on their traits and their place of origin first. For example, what does on think of when they hear "Catty?"

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I always have an initial idea of my character's personalities before writing the book. I know if they're shy, outgoing, mean, snobbish, proper, the basics. Then, as the story or my outline goes along, the characters tend to reveal why they are they way they are in finer detail.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
My mentor is Kevin J. Anderson, known for countless titles from "Dune" toe even "Star Wars." I think he put it best when I saw him at a panel, and we were discussing writer's block. "Um, what is that?" he said. "If you can't think of what to write, then just sit down, shut up , and start writing!" LOL 

I think "writer's block" comes due to the fear of not having any good idea. We're terrified of that! So, if we don't have anything good to write, we just can't write at all. However, I'm trying to learn how to get past that fear of writing down mess. Sometimes we just gotta get the mess out of system so we can reach that ingenious idea that we've had all along. ^_^
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Absolutely. I personally feel that the best sci-fi stories always have an underlining message on the social level. 

"Where does humanity's future fit in this?" 
"Are we doing what the people in this story are doing now?" 
"How can we change that?"
"Can I, being one person, change the current course we're taking?" 

I serve to entertain with my stories, but I have been blessed with an opportunity that a lot of people don't have. I get to talk to others without having to see them. And with the way the web works, I can very well reach another person on the other side of the globe.That's an astounding thought, and a terrifying one. So, that being the case, I see it as an obligation to make sure that whatever I have to say is worth saying. One never know who's listening.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
If you're going to be a writer, then be a writer. And what do writers do? They write. They write. They write. THEY WRITE. Enjoy your craft, and don't ever let anyone tell you that it's a waste of time. People are going to tell you that it's just a hobby, it's not a real job, or that it's easy, that anyone can do it. It's your responsibility to prove them wrong, but you have to do it by writing. 

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
I've already had the honor and privilege of having dinner with Kevin before, and I will gladly sit with him at the dinner table any day! His insight on the industry is just priceless, and I'm just thankful and extremely humbled that he doesn't even consider me a mere pupil, but a peer.

Another person that I just recently met is James Artimus Owen. He's an author/illustrator like me who couldn't live without having both passions in his life. Beyond that, he's just an amazing human being. His inspiration is just, wow.

Finally, wow. Orson Scott Card. When I was either 11 or 12, I read one of his books about a young boy genius going off to a military school in preparations for a war against an alien race called the "buggers." That boy's name was Ender Wiggin, and "Ender's Game" was the first science fiction novel I read. And even to day, it's still my all-time favorite.  

Where can readers follow you?
Deviant Art- 

And any other information you wish to supply?
Be sure to check out the blog for book giveaways and "Prossia: Intergalactic News" on my site. Thank you for having me, Jeanz!

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