I would say a few parts of me are sprinkled throughout the story, but not much because if anything, the characters from the book have influenced me.
The Sassy Writer has quite the opportunity of having conversations with fantastic minds and connoisseurs of words. It may be a children's author teaching the young ones to harness their imagination, or the self-help guru, reminding the adult to connect with the resilient child you hold at heart. It is always a fantastic time. Author Kingstone Judges was quite intriguing, allowing a great one on one that ignited our imaginations and bestowed the beauties of transforming life. We promise he is as superb as we make him sound!
TSW: Let me start with the fact that while I was reading the synopsis of EVOCK and your upcoming novel, Blood of Stone, I immediately felt a warm, welcoming feeling. It was the familiar feeling you feel when you crack open the newest book from your favorite author. I say this to say your imagination and talent are well developed, and we can't help but wonder at the start of it all. What's your most vivid childhood imagination, that you feel, in hindsight, was indicative of your future self becoming a writer?
KJ: Uh, I can't pinpoint a particular experience or incident. What I know is, I loved watching movies a lot and kept playing them in my head, with me being in the movie. As I grew a bit older, I realised I enjoyed writing creative essays, and I used to bring people together, and they would listen to me telling them a story that they ended up asking me to tell them the stories over and over again. So, I would say, I never grew up wanting to be a writer, but when the idea came to me to write a book, it wasn't foreign to me, because I knew one thing about myself, I can tell a story.
TSW: We knew it! A natural-born storyteller. You have a new fan! Now, we know that you have EVOCK readily available to readers. We are also looking forward to the release of the anticipated The Blood of Stone, but do you have any other previous projects, published or unpublished? If so, please tell us about it. If not, what prompted you to write the first one?
KJ: No. I don't have any finished projects that are unpublished. When the idea for EVOCK came to my mind, it came with so much intensity, and I loved it, so I began to write it, as I began the process, I started to see where the story would go, and the vision grew so big that I wanted to see how it will all come together. So, right now, EVOCK is just the beginning, there's a lot more to his story and other characters as well. It's an entertaining series and a very unorthodox approach. It won't be centered on Neythan Evock only; no, it's a web of intertwining characters and their stories, more like a universe, but not sci-fi stuff.
TSW: Listen! We are for all the sequels! Let's talk just a second about the possibilities of EVOCK because we feel they are endless. Do you see it being adapted into film?
KJ: Umm, I would be glad if that happens. My goal is to reach as many readers as I possibly can, and for them to enjoy this series. I want to build a series that readers will talk about.
TSW: If you are reading this right now, add this book, EVOCK, to your library today! Now, EVOCK is quite edgy and filled with some exciting twists and turns. We know you are the writer, but are there any parts of you, personally, that shows up in any parts of Evock?
KJ: Haha, that one, huh? I would say a few parts of me are sprinkled throughout the story, but not much because if anything, the characters from the book have influenced me. For example, I never used to drink much whiskey, but because Neythan Evock, the main character, its what he drinks, Jack Daniels. So, when I was writing the story, I found myself ordering and buying Jack Daniels everywhere I went. It became the only drink I drank. Once I finished writing the story, I stopped my obsession haha, thank God for that. But, what parts of me show up? I think most of me that shows up is emotions and my world view mostly. Like, Neythan Evock is someone who didn't grow up with his family; he never knew his father and his mother passed away when he was young. I lost my father at 8yrs old, so the journey I traveled personally without a father in the world, is something I wanted to explore and pour it out of my system. So, Neythan Evock struggles with that wound, especially in the situation he finds himself in. As someone who grows up without family around you, when you get fortunate enough to have your own family as Neythan did, it becomes your whole world. You would want to love and protect at all costs, now, how would someone like that process it, mentally and emotionally, if that family gets taken away or murdered in front of you? It's a hard thing to process, especially when you feel like it's your fault, like how Neythan feels. I have dealt with self-blame and regret in my life, and Neythan struggles with that in this story. Phew, okay, I have a Detective in the story who is a spiritual person and believes in God. That's another part of me. There isn't much of me, but the big thing could be Neythan Evock is black, which I am too.
TSW: I admire the fact that you acknowledge that while you, as the writer, are pouring into the character, but the character as well, to some degree, poured into you. As well, that is very important, your MC being black, and you as well, because that means you can successfully embody your characters being from that point of view. Oh, and haha, great job on kicking Nerythan's tick! I suppose we just learned that the art inspires you and you inspire the art, but directly, Where do you feel you draw your inspiration?
KJ: I draw my inspiration from where the story is going and how I see the whole series building up, I don't know if that makes sense, but yeah, that's where my inspiration comes from. I feel like, let me finish this book and get into this other story. I want to see how the series is going to shape up, and that's what keeps me going because I want to know what is going to happen.
TSW: Neythan Evock is quite a profound name, and his journey is one for the books. How did you name him?
KJ: I don't know, haha. I started with putting my first name, and changed, I can't remember how I settled on Neythan Evock, but I do know there's a deliberate choice in my character's names to have names that readers have never heard of or uncommon spellings they don't usually come across. Neythan isn't usually spelt like this, and EVOCK came out of my head, same as Granick, DC Raymond Granick, and so on, but of course, I didn't overdo it, get the book and find out.
TSW: I'm glad you mention the spelling of the Neythan's name. I noticed that and thought that was quite interesting. Get the book? You sure don't have to tell me twice! There is more to you as a writer, which I am hoping you will share a bit with us. Your motivational initiative, Active Life Transformation. What is it, and what's the vision?
KJ: Uh, at first, I wanted to keep Active Life Transformation away from Kingstone Judges, the fiction writer, but I figured, there's nothing wrong with welcoming my fiction readers into the Active Life Transformation family. The vision of Active Life Transformation is actually in the name. I want to ignite awareness into people that they become active in their own lives, that every action they make is a direct result of their conscious decision and choice so that they are in continuous active transformation of their life.
TSW: I am so happy that you did allow us in because while you are lauded as a fantastic fiction writer, we are as well captivated by the mind that houses such talent. What is one single piece of advice that you have deemed the most motivational in your journey? How did it influence the vision of Active Life Transformation?
KJ: To realise that ideas without execution are dead. That's why I hope everyone in the world, everyone trying to transform their life, understands that they have to be active, execute, and cannot substitute work, once someone understands that basics, they will have the foundation to build on.
TSW: Yes, yes! Love it. Ugh! We have to wrap up today, but know that we would love to have you back again, but before you head out- Rapid Fire Questions! It's fun, I promise!
Quentin Tarantino (pulp fiction, kill bill) or John Woo (Mission impossible 2, Face-Off)?
KJ: Quentin Tarantino
TSW: Porsche or Lamborghini?
TSW: Ninjas or Pirates?
TSW: How can people connect with you?