Jeffrey L. Kohanek has enthralled readers with his fast-paced fantasy series, Fate of Wizardoms.
In this interview, Jeffrey takes us behind the scenes of his writing process, the inspiration for his world-building, and what readers can expect from his work.
So grab a cuppa, put your feet up, and let’s dive into the mind of Jeffrey L. Kohanek.
What inspired you to start writing in the fantasy genre?
As a kid, comic books sparked my imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. My tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.
Since middle school, I have exclusively read fantasy fiction, the total titles approaching 1,000 novels. The authors who have come before me helped to form the stories I tell, but what inspired me the most were the magic systems, something which I enjoy greatly and ensure said magic permeates the worlds I create.
How do you approach world-building in your stories?
Worldbuilding includes many aspects: geography, politics, climate, magic, culture, gods, religion, mythos, and more.
I often begin with a map, which helps to ground the story in a sense of reality while defining topography, climate, borders, city locations, and more. Gods, religion, and magic are also early aspects I define and all of those things combine to influence the politics, culture, and the mythos that exists in each nation across my fantasy world.
Can you walk us through your writing process?
I try to write every day and set a weekly goal of 10,000 words minimum and 12,000 as the target.
Drafting takes six to eight weeks depending on the breadth of the story. After completing a first draft, I dive into revisions, which is my favorite part of writing.
Two rounds of revisions with technical edits performed in between leaves me with a novel ready for editing. My editor gives it two passes, I incorporate the necessary edits, and then my books go to my proofing team of four people. They are the typo hunters.
When that is done, I send to my ARC/review team and the book releases a few weeks later. By then, I am nearly finished drafting the next book.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your stories?
I often research odd medieval professions to add depth to my stories.
One of those was a tanner, which is a nasty, dirty job held by the father of the protagonist in my very first novel. Tanners use urine, lime and other odiferous chemicals to treat and clean hides. Hence, they also live on the downwind side and on the outskirts of a city. Who wants to live near a tanner?
What do you hope readers take away from your stories?
My books are written for pure entertainment, but my favorite scenes are the ones that cause readers to laugh out loud. I find that fantasy tales are often too serious, dark, and gritty, so the laughter helps to balance the tense moments. That is what I want readers to remember from my books.
If you could have any magical ability, what would it be?
I love magic that can transform a regular person into something super human, even if just for a short time. It is sort of like a superhero in a fantasy world, which I find to be fun.
If you were stuck on a deserted island with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I love many of my characters, but I have a secret crush on a wizardess named Narine. While she was a bit pretentious and spoiled when I first introduced her, she grew up nicely, has a good heart, and is feisty for a former princess. I would happily be trapped on a deserted island with her.
Where is the best place to start reading your work?
This depends on your age and interest. If you are under fifteen or prefer coming-of-age elements with teen protagonists, check out my Runes of Issalia series.
If you are an adult and enjoy more complex stories featuring adult characters who deal with adult topics, start with Fate of Wizardoms.
If you enjoy either series, there are follow-up series set in the same world, leaving the reader plenty to enjoy.
About the author:
I love fantasy, adventure, and magic. More than that, I adore my readers.
My books are written to entertain — fantasy adventures filled with compelling characters, spectacular magic, thrilling action, constant intrigue, and a sense of discovery. I equate them to the “Marvel Movie” version of fiction, intended to be a fun escape.
I would love to have you join me and my quirky characters for one outrageous adventure after another. With 24 novels and more than two million published words to my name, my author journey has just begun.
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