Book 1: Calor Book 2: Lumen
Series Title: The Nightingale Trilogy
Publisher: Enclave Publishing
Back Cover Copy for Calor:
What if you could edit memories with a single touch?
The world-that-was is gone, lost to everything except living memory . . . but remembering comes at a terrible price. Sixty-two years after the apocalypse, a new society has emerged from the ashes of the old world where highly valued memories are traded and nostalgia is worth dying--and even killing--for.
Enslaved by a cruel master, Sephone Winter is forced to use her rare ability to manipulate memories to numb the darkest secrets of the ruling aristocracy.
Then Lord Adamo appears, speaking of a powerful relic capable of permanently erasing memories and recovering Sephone's own lost childhood. But not everything about the young lord is as it seems, and soon Sephone must choose between helping Lord Adamo forget his past or journeying deep into the land of Lethe, where the truth about who she really is might finally be revealed . . . and a long desired future restored.
The Nightingale Trilogy is a fantasy transformation of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved 1843 tale The Nightingale, with echoes of the myths of Hades and Persephone.
"A fascinating magic system and a captivating dystopian backdrop." —Publishers Weekly
Genre: Post-apocalyptic romantic fantasy
Release Date: 6th December, 2022
Brock: What was your inspiration for writing this series?
J.J.: This series was inspired by my work as a clinically-trained psychologist, and also my own experiences of suffering. Between us, over the past ten years, my husband and I have gone through acute illness, chronic illness, cancer, infertility, and more. So I’ve experienced a lot of trauma, both vicariously through my professional work and my own health journey. I found myself wrestling with the question: “If you could erase memories with a touch of your finger, and the pain that goes with them, would you do it, and what might it cost you?” And so Sephone Winter, my heroine, was born.
Brock: Wow, that is a powerful drive for writing this story, and crafting a character from your own experiences.Tell us about the main characters. Who are they, and what makes them unique?
J.J.: As mentioned, there’s Sephone Winter, who’s a magically gifted being called a mem. She can selectively edit and extract memories, though only temporarily. She’s a slave, used by a cruel master for her gift, but she longs for love and family. Then there’s a young nobleman, Dorian Ashwood or Lord Adamo, who comes to Sephone because he’s heard of a relic that can help mems to permanently delete memories, and he wants to forget the brutal deaths of his wife and child that he witnessed firsthand. They’re joined in their quest by a whole gang of people, including Dorian’s twin bodyguards, a magically touched wolf named Jewel, and a person called a lumen who’s basically a walking lie detector.
Brock: That's quite the cast you have assembled. Give us one fact about each main character that no one else knows.
Brock: How frequently our characters become real for good of bad, and we begin to like them more as they develop. I had a similar situation with a character of mine named Drex. In three sentences what is this book about?
J.J.: The lengths people will go to to forget (or remember) their past. The way that suffering molds us into deeper, wiser people. And the importance of hope and forgiveness.
Brock: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
J.J.: A little of both, really. I always have an outline before I start, but I like to keep it as loose as possible, to leave room for the characters to yell “Surprise!” when I least expect it. We have a lot more fun that way.
Brock: Indeed, and sometimes a lot more added wordcount. How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
J.J.: We’ve all dealt with pain and suffering, to some degree. It’s part of living in this fallen world. And we each have memories and experiences we wish we could forget. But I want to encourage readers that while suffering often takes a lot from us, and it might even shift our identities quite radically (I, for one, had to give up my work as a psychologist), God works in the wreckage to bring about the creation of something quite new and amazing…and it’s always to our good. That’s such a profound comfort, especially this side of Heaven.
Brock: Good words. He opens doors, and sometimes I find myself hesitating to walk through, yet He's never once failed to bring me into a better new season. What is your favorite genre to write for?
J.J.: Always, always, fantasy! I love romantic fantasy, historical fantasy, any kind of fantasy.
Brock: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
J.J.: It’s mostly from my imagination, though I did a fair bit of research to give each country in the world of Caldera a particular feel. Memosine, for example, is modeled off the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. So I watched a LOT of docos on the Isle of Skye to get a feel for the rugged landscape…#noregrets.
Brock: Magnificent! Is it difficult to be accurate to a biblical perspective or biblical facts when writing fantasy fiction?
J.J.: Oh, absolutely. There’s a fine line between replicating the Bible’s wisdom or events exactly, and being so loose with your themes that the story doesn’t have much spiritual impact at all. I always try to put new spins on things, but to capture the underlying theme or essence of a Biblical concept (e.g., forgiveness). I can’t say I’ve mastered this yet, but with every book I write, I feel like I get stronger in this area.
Brock: Writing a story, like anything, is a muscle we continue to strengthen and grwo. Where do you like to write?
J.J.: There was a time when I would write anywhere and everywhere, on basically anything (including my own hand), but now I have my own study, I usually just sit at my desk and write at my computer. It’s wonderful to have my own space. I know a lot of writers pen books in cafes, but it’s too noisy an environment for me and I get so distracted people-watching!
Brock: Yep, me too, I can not do coffee shops, or public spaces. Way to many distractions for me. Are you a full-time or part-time author/writer?
J.J.: Just part-time for now, as I work as a freelance editor. I don’t know if I could write full-time—though I’m a fast writer, my creative energy gets depleted pretty quickly and I have to switch projects to stay focused. I’ve found editing is the perfect complement of writing in this way. And I love spending my days reading books! Best job in the world!
Brock: How long does it usually take you to write a single book?
J.J.: Haha, it varies. Twelve and a half years for my debut book…I was slow back then. My record is five weeks (my eleventh book, which I just finished). It depends on how much research is required, and how much I’m into the story.
Brock: Congrats on eleven books! Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your book.
J.J.: Absolutely magical. Enclave produces the most gorgeous books, and seeing those hardcovers for the first time…just amazing.
Brock: Coke or Pepsi?
J.J.: Neither, sorry! Due to health issues, I only drink water, coconut water, and herbal tea. LOTS of tea.
Brock: Well, I cut sugar, so I'm on to coffee and stevia myself. Soda makes me cranky. Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
J.J.: Definitely soft shell.
Brock: Favorite place to vacation?
J.J.: New Zealand. It’s literally Middle Earth!
Brock: I so want to go! Favorite season?
J.J.: Used to be autumn, but I love spring more and more.
Brock: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like hot chocolate, raspberry tea, cheese balls, animal crackers, etc?
J.J.: Usually nuts. And tea. So much tea. I have two tea shelves, and a whole tea drawer. That’s how crazy I am.
Brock: Favorite color?
J.J.: Used to be red, but at the moment I’m in a strange blue-green phase. So aqua?
Brock: What’s your favorite holiday memory?
J.J.: Recently—seeing lemurs up close at Australia Zoo in Brisbane. I nearly cried, it was so beautiful!
Brock: That sounds very fun and I am sure engaging. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
J.J.: "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me."
- Psalm 42:7
I love that the deep in us is a reflection or echo of the depth of God. Despite our suffering, God asks us to reach out to him…even when we’re being smashed by massive waves.
Brock: I've never taken the time to really think about the verse. Thank you for that reflection. Favorite pasta dish?
J.J.: Pesto! And ravioli…and cannelloni…you have asked the wrong question :D
Brock: Ha ha! Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
J.J.: Not usually…I get super distracted and my emotions get all jumbled. But I might listen to instrumental music to get me in the mood for a scene--Last of the Mohicans, the Shadow and Bone soundtrack, anything by Ludovico Einaudi. I also LOVE Hans Zimmer.
Brock: Last of the Mohicans, absolutely! And Hans Zimmer for sure. I will have to give Shadow and Bone a try, I have loved Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, The Village, and depending on what I am writing Jurassic Park! What else do you want readers to know about your books, that I did not cover?
J.J.: Nothing I can think of. Thanks for having me—this has been fun!
Brock: Let's do it again with your other series.
Author Name: J. J. Fischer
Author Website: www.jjfischer.com
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