Meet Author J.T. Tenera

Author Interviews

J.T. Tenera is a YA Urban Fantasy Author. His books delve into the world of video games and grab you by the seat of your pants. Here’s a recent interview.

  • What inspires you to write?

A lot of things, really! Most of the time my inspiration happens randomly. I’ll be working and a thought or new idea will pop into my head, usually leaving me all day to stew over it.

However, if you mean what drives me to write, it’s my own hope that someone will enjoy what I create. Not trying to be sappy, but it’s awesome when someone tells me they read my story. Even if they didn’t like it, they still took the time to give it a chance. It’s a great feeling!

  • Tell me about your book/series.

Erift’s Journeys is a YA Urban Fantasy series. It follows Joseph Erift and his best friend Eric Castis as they are lured into an unexpected, real-life adventure. It takes place in our modern day time, so you’ll have everything you see around you right now. However, Magic has been dormant in our world for ages, and it is now being revived and experimented with. The thing is, these powers were sealed away for a reason, and as they awaken, other things are returning as well. You can expect to see amazing locations hiding in our world, astonishing spells that have a wide variety of effects, lots of fun characters and lighthearted humor!

  • What authors influence your writing?

This is an interesting question for me to answer. It’s odd because even though I adore world creating and writing, I’ve never been a big reader. I’ve read some here and there, but honestly, I’m not truly influenced by other authors. I did read the Harry Potter series, but I’m one of the few that didn’t really enjoy it and I DID try. In a sense, part of me wanted to make a more modern version of Harry Potter and add in some more intensity. A main character driving a car to lure a hoard of Void Dragons away for his friends to escape seems to be a good example of that for my style!

  • How did you come up with your plot?

Video games are the biggest inspiration for me. While other authors haven’t inspired my style, video games have certainly done that job well enough. I’ve been playing them since I was 5 years old. Long RPG’s have always been my favorite, so ones like Final Fantasy are the true inspiration. As a kid, I always wanted to be called into a grand adventure like that and pulled into a realm of fantasy where I’d help other characters fight and save their world. In a way, Erift’s Journeys is homage to my childhood dreams, even if the protagonists are in their late teens. It would be sort of hard for a ten-year-old to carry the plot in a realistic manner, as I wanted this adventure to feel like it could truly happen in our real world!

  • What advice do you have for young writers?

My biggest tip for young writers would be to take their time and not rush things. This is coming from personal experience, as Erift’s Journeys was originally published when I was a junior in high school, much like the MC. While I was super excited at the time, years later I looked back at the story and…cringed. The characters were all flat, the dialog was forced, and the entire plot made no sense. It wasn’t what I wanted it to be. By then I had also learned a lot more and developed my writing sense and style. So I went back in and redid the first two books, canceled their publication and republished fully in the beginning of 2019. A fresh cover and a great new plot now shined in those pages!

So take your time, use the input of readers, and brew on your ideas until they are the best they can be. Also keep in mind that you’ll never be 100% happy with it, so there comes a time you just need to move on and stop changing things!

  • How do you balance writing and working full time?

To me, writing is actually something I do to relax. I’ll usually end up writing after my work shifts or on my days off. Since it’s a hobby for me, it’s easy to settle in and write if the mood is right!

  • Describe your writing routine.

Haha, I don’t have one. I’ll sometimes go months without typing a single word. Then there will be times when I’ll knock out entire chapters in a single day. It all depends on when the writing muse is feeling happy enough to put some effort in! If I’m not feeling the groove, then I don’t even try. Tomorrow is another day!

  • What are your must haves when writing?

Music; I can’t write without it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a calm scene or a fast-paced battle; the music is what sets the scene in my head. I hear it and I can easily envision and set the pace for what I’m hoping to write. The only rule is the music can’t have lyrics, as those become distracting. Video game themes fit the bill nicely.

It also helps to keep others from bothering me while I’m typing away. Although that’s why I do my writing at night when others are sleeping.

  • Do you prefer writing with a notebook and pen or with a computer?

I always do my writing on the computer. It’s just so much easier to save multiple files and backup any stories. Fixing errors and changing things is also no problem. Yay for technology, right?

Although I do scribble down random notes once in a while, and I do have all my reference material printed out and nearby at all times. Characters, locations, every spell; it’s all at hand and ready when needed!

Check out J.T.’s books here! You won’t be disappointed!

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