Please welcome JC Andrijeski to the newest interview series from Author PK Tyler! This series is highlighting an amazing project, with 23 award-winning, and best-selling authors, Dominion Rising!
JC Andrijeski is a USA Today bestselling author of sexy, apocalyptic and cyberpunk-y paranormal mystery, alternate history, urban fantasy & supernatural suspense, often with a metaphysical bent. Her work is dark, and full of suspense, but if you pick up her books, you’ll quickly learn that she loves the light, and wants good to triumph over evil.
We hope you enjoy getting to know this Dominion Rising author a little better today on this installment of the Dominion Rising Science Fiction & Fantasy Interview Series.
PK Tyler: You are quite the prolific writer! From shifters to alien apocalypses, and character centered series like The Quentin Black World, you seem to write across a number of science-fiction and fantasy sub-genres. Can you tell us about your writing muse, and how so many different stories come to you?
JC Andrijeski: This is always a tough question for me. It’s a bit like that “where do your ideas come from” question that makes all writers go into partial paralysis. Space aliens? Channeling angelic harmonics? PsyOps infiltrators screwing with my head while I sleep? Demonic possession? I’m hesitant to commit to any one of these, but I suspect that’s the short list.
Also, I read a lot, and I have a weird brain. I read a ton of nonfiction too, and I have a background in history, as well as business. I also spent a lot of years meditating. I’ve been writing and/or storytelling in some form since I was a kid, but nowadays, if I don’t write, I get… weird. I had a boyfriend who used to banish me to my writing office when I was being unreasonable. It’s embarrassing to admit how well that worked.
As far as the different sub-genres, I read pretty eclectically, so that might explain some of it. I tend to let the characters pick the sub-genres for me to a degree, which might account for some of the variety as well. That being said, there are certain themes that run through almost all of my work. I tend to be fascinated in particular by characters who skirt the line between good and evil and/or alternate between those two extremes. I tell a fair-few redemption stories and good-to-evil / evil-to-good stories, or just stories of people grappling with trying to do the right thing in extremely difficult conditions. I’m also really fascinated by people who spend most of their energy trying to control, manipulate and enslave others, and the different ways in which they try to do that.
Some of that might be my academic background as well. I studied comparative slave and ex-slave societies, along with religious impacts on social movements and caste systems of various kinds. I also studied a fair bit around World War II, and those themes obviously come up a lot there, too.
PK Tyler: Dominion Rising brings science fiction and fantasy writers together to offer 23 full-length novels for readers. How did you find out about Dominion Rising, and what made you decide to take part in this truly indie, independent box set?
JC Andrijeski: I’d been watching Dominion Rising for a few months before I became involved. Therefore, I was completely THRILLED when P.K. Tyler wrote to ask me if I would consider joining. It’s an amazing set of authors and it included a few of my friends, people I admire a great deal both as writers and as people. Others in the set I knew only through their work before this, but it’s been such a great experience getting to know them. Everyone in the group is amazing.
It’s funny, because I’d actually told myself I wouldn’t be doing any group projects this year, since I’m in the middle of a huge project of my own, but there was no way I was saying no to Dominion Rising! It meant some shuffling of my release schedule to make it work, but I’m so happy to be a part of this, I don’t mind at all.
PK Tyler: Now for the good stuff! Tell us what you have planned for Dominion Rising. Is it something your fans will be expecting, or are you branching out in new and different ways? What type of reader will be attracted to your newest book?
JC Andrijeski: I’m in the process right now of a complete revision/re-launch of my first series, now called the BRIDGE & SWORD world. It’s an apocalyptic, epic, cyber-punky, metaphysical love story I’ve heard described as “The Science Fiction Outlander,” which strikes me as kind of funny but also reasonably accurate. I absolutely love the story and characters, but, being early books of mine, there were some issues with the execution that I really wanted to address, which is what this relaunch is about. It’s meant a complete re-write of several of the books, including book one (which was almost rewritten from scratch), and heavy revisions/rewrites on the rest of the books.
As part of that, I had a short novella prequel called “New York,” which I’d always intended to blow up into a full-length novel since it’s actually a pretty key sub-story in the longer timeline. It also connects to my Quentin Black series (which is a spinoff of the Bridge & Sword world), which made me additionally determined to write the complete story.
I’d planned to write this new novel in October of this year, but with the opportunity to be in Dominion Rising, I moved my schedule around to do it earlier, since it also makes a great introduction to the overall world/series.
Will my fans be waiting for it? I think so, yes. They seemed pretty excited when I announced the novel version coming in Dominion Rising. So far, they’ve been thrilled with the revisions and new branding for the Bridge & Sword world in general, so I’m hoping they like this just as much.
As far as who else might like it, I would say anyone who likes character-heavy science fiction set in complex, gritty, more “realistic” pre-apocalyptic worlds would probably like it. It also has some resonance with Blade Runner and The Matrix, both in terms of elements of the world and the combination of character arcs, love stories and apocalyptic save-the-world-ed-ness.
PK Tyler: Can you tell us a bit more about where your inspiration comes from? What authors do you enjoy reading or find inspirational to your own writing?
JC Andrijeski: I think I wrote most of this in my insanely long answer above. As for particular books, this is always a tough question and changes almost daily. I also read all over the map, as I said. For nonfiction, I’ve been reading a fair bit about forensic psychology, combat science and the psychology of cults, so yeah, kind of a strange combination. For fiction, lately I’ve been reading the Outlander series (I felt like I kind of had to after hearing a few people compare my series to it), and I really love it. Other writers I love, in no particular order: Octavia Butler, Nalini Singh, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosley, Stephen King, Joan Vinge, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Peter Straub, Margaret Atwood, Tolkien, Roald Dahl, Cormac McCarthy, Gillian Flynn. In terms of indies, I really like Dannika Dark, Deanna Chase, Elizabeth Hunter, Jordan Castillo Price, S.M. Johnson, Morgan Hannah MacDonald. I know I’m missing a ton of people, but those are the ones who popped into my head. I also just got finished with a beta read for a newer indie SF author, T.S. Vale, and I really like her stuff, it’s really unique.
PK Tyler: Last one! Tell us one good thing, and one unexpected things that’s happened while working with the Dominion Rising authors, and what your hopes and dreams are for this box set.
JC Andrijeski: The unexpected thing was being invited, lol. Still being somewhat of a newcomer to the set, I’m just so happy to be a part of it. As far as other good things, the dynamics of the working group are amazing, both in terms of how hardworking everyone is and how flexible and easygoing they are (not a common combination). I wouldn’t call it “unexpected,” especially given the people involved, but it’s still very nice. Everyone is super professional, respectful, solutions-oriented, drama-free, and serious about the writing side of things. Marketing is focused on creativity and integrity, which I really appreciate. It’s a great group of writers, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
In terms of my own personal hopes for the project, first and foremost I am hoping to find new readers, people who resonate with my work and characters and enjoy being in my made up worlds. I’d also just really like to see EVERYONE in the set achieve all of their goals, whether in terms of sales and/or hitting any big bestseller lists or finding hordes of new readers or whatever else. Luckily, these goals are all extremely compatible.
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JC Andrijeski a USA Today bestselling author of sexy, apocalyptic and cyberpunk-y paranormal mystery, alternate history, urban fantasy & supernatural suspense, often with a metaphysical bent.
While it might seem like I have a (perhaps overly?) friendly relationship with my dark side, if you read my stuff, you’ll discover pretty quick that, at base and in my heart, I’m a big, sappy, pie in the sky idealist, and that I always want the light to win, love to win, the good guys to win, compassion to win, the bad guys to be redeemed or at least to find love…even if they have to crawl through mud and blood and crazy sex and betrayal and broken fingernails to get there.
Of course, not all of them make it…but I always hope that they will.
Other stuff: I have a background in journalism and political history, and a Master’s degree in the latter. I love to travel and to interact with different cultures and histories and I’ve traveled a fair bit (although never enough – there are always new places to see!). I’ve also lived a lot of different places, including all over the United States where I was born, as well as stints in Europe, Australia and now Asia, including a few years in India and now a few in Thailand.
Currently, I live and work full-time as a writer in Bangkok, Thailand, where I have a beautiful view of a Buddhist wat right out the window while I write.