GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Coastal Magic Feature Author Interview: Urban Fantasy Author Elliott James + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Coastal Magic Feature Author Interview: Urban Fantasy Author Elliott James + giveaway

Today we have one of the featured authors from the Coastal Magic Convention! Katie and I will get to stalk meet him there in Febuary 2015. We thought it might be fun to scare interview him before we go.

Sharon: Hello Elliott! You are the author of the urban fantasy series “Pax Arcana” which I am assuming means secret justice or something? Could you tell our readers a bit about the series?
Elliott: It actually means “Arcane Peace.” I sort of got the idea from the Pax Romana, another peace which was imposed on the world by an outside force. In this case, the thing maintaining an uneasy balance between mankind and magickind is a spell that makes normal humans unwilling or unable to see or accept any evidence that the supernatural exists. Do you remember when you were a teenager, and you just couldn’t get your parents to see something that seemed completely obvious to you, and you didn’t understand how they could be so blind? It’s kind of like that. Except, you know, real.

Sharon: Of course the obvious question is…are you charming?
Elliott: No, honestly, I’m introverted and have an odd sense of humor. I alternate between quiet watchfulness and a strange inept combination of empathy, bluntness, and sarcasm. The title comes from my narrator, John Charming, who is the last in a long line of monster hunters. He’s the descendant of all those fairy tale heroes.

Sharon: We like an odd sense of humor so you will fit in nicely here. Might even get to arrange a tour of our dungeon…we have a dragon you know…So in your world the fairy tales were true?
Elliott: They are based loosely on true events. Like, there never was a “Prince” Charming” in my world. There was a family of witch hunters and enchantment breakers called Charming because it described their occupation. But back in the dark ages, heroes in stories had to be elevated to royal status. Anything else might imply that nobles weren’t inherently superior.

Sharon: You have the second book Daring coming out soon. How many books do you have planned in your head for this series?
Elliott: Well, I’m working on the last chapter of the third right now, and I’ve mapped out the fourth. I have a very broad and huge direction that I’d like to move in, and an idea for a fifth book that I love but is a little daunting in terms of the research it will require.

Sharon: Do you like doing the research for your books?
Elliott: I love it right up to the point where I realize that I haven’t brushed my teeth or showered in two days and that I’m sitting in a puddle of urine. Or is that too much information? Would it help if I clarified that the puddle is, you know, my own urine? Hypothetically?

Sharon: *looks to Katie* He said hypothetical... *turns back to Elliott gives thumbs up* 

Sharon: A lot of our readers love a little smexy in their books. Is there any romance?
Elliott: I tried to put some romance in it because the character is sort of connected to the Prince Charming tradition, but one of the conceits of the book is that he’s not at all polished or perfect or smooth, and it’s more urban fantasy than paranormal romance. My version of love at first sight is two damaged people having an instant connection that is at least partly desperation and co-dependence, and they’re trying to sort out what’s healthy and what’s real and what’s not while a lot of insane stuff is going on.

Sharon: Kind of like Extreme Dating <G>
Elliott: That’s a great name for a horror short story. Extreme Dating.

Sharon: Do you have a favorite mythology to play around with while writing or reading?
Elliott: Well, my favorite fairy tale is probably “The Seven Ravens.” It’s so creepy! But I try to tap into different mythologies for every book. Eastern European and Indian for the first book. Native American and Russian for the second. And I’ve been reading up on Japanese mythology and customs and religions a lot for the third.

Sharon: If you could own any piece of art in the world what would it be?
Elliott: Honestly, something huge, solid gold, and tacky. Maybe the ancient Egyptian equivalent of plastic pink flamingos. And a blow torch.

Sharon: We might be able to arrange that…we have a bunch of these down in the dungeon. You can have one.

Sharon: You will be attending Coastal Magic in Feb. This will be your first convention as a guest! What made you decide to try one out? Is this your first con you've ever visited?
Elliott: This will be my first convention on every level, and the reason I’m going is because Jennifer Morris told me about it on my author’s Facebook page. I’m not really sure what to expect.
Sharon: Don’t worry. Readers who go to cons are well behaved and nothing crazy goes on…nope.
*rubs hands together and cackles*

Sharon: Your bio says you are into martial arts *pulls out nerf mid-range bo staff* What kind?
Elliott: I’ve moved around a lot and never stuck with one just because of the way the dojos fell. Never less than a year, never more than three, some Karate here, Kung Fu there, Tae Kwando, Judo, Aikido. Most recently I was doing mixed martial arts when my instructor moved (I’m pretty sure it’s not because he was getting scared). I haven’t mastered anything, but at least it’s been good cardio, and knowing a little about a lot comes in pretty handy as a writer. I have a similar relationship with yoga.

Sharon: If you had to be one of the Disney Prince Charmings who would it be?
Elliott: As far as I can tell, Phillip from Sleeping Beauty was the only one who was worth a damn. Unless you count any male Disney protagonist as a Prince Charming, and then Aladdin would be fun. A sentient pet monkey. Sarcastic talking parrot. Flying carpet. Genie. Rich girlfriend with a pet tiger….wow. Not that I’d want to replace my girlfriend.

Sharon: Coastal Magic is in Daytona Beach! Have you ever been? What would you like to do there beside meet the I Smell Sheep ladies (that would be me and Katie)?
Elliott: Never been. But it’s going to be February and the convention goes into the evening, right? So really, I haven’t thought much beyond good sea food and some morning runs and night walks on the beach. If you know the place and have better ideas, I’m open to suggestion. Unless you’re a hypnotist.
Sharon: *looks at the flock then back at Elliott* Yeah, things go into the evening <G> And of course I’m not a hypnotist!
*quietly puts away pocket watch*
Elliott: Well, just so you know, I’ve never, ever played poker, but I’d really like someone to teach me…

Rapid Fire:

Sharon: Coke or Pepsi?
Elliott: Whichever you’d trade me a cup of coffee for.

Sharon: is there an author out there that doesn’t live on coffee? But you have to pick one because we have a friendly (not) competition going on around here….Katie is team Coke and I am team Pepsi *quietly retrieves pocket watch*
Elliott: Well, Pepsi’s the underdog. And it sounds more like an Elvish name. So sure. But honestly – and I realize this is probably a Dungeon offense – in any scenario where it’s midnight and I’m nodding off at the wheel, and I pull into a service station for some emergency caffeine and the coffee looks like something a heavy smoker coughed up…I’m getting a Dr. Pepper.

Sharon: mountain river or sand and surf?
Elliott: Mountain river.
*Banjo music starts playing*

Sharon: blade or gun?
Elliott: blade.

Sharon: yard sale or thrift store?
Elliott: Idle browsing or specific need? If I have to choose, I guess the thrift store needs the business more. The yard sale people can donate their stuff to the thrift store and write it off on their taxes.

Sharon: Tim Burton or Michael Bay?
Elliott: Gahhhhhh! This is like that “Would You Rather” game! Leather fetishes and mopey protagonists, or explosions as primary characters? Burton I guess.
Sharon: lol, do you have a favorite type of movie/director?
Elliott: I should probably say something lofty, but the truth is my go to is probably movies or directors who combine action and some element of Sci-fi or horror or fantasy with humor and romance. Edgar Wright. James Gunn. Joss Whedon. J.J. Abrams.

Sharon: tennis shoes or flip flops?
Elliott: Tennis shoes.

Sharon: Chinese or Italian?
Elliott: Chinese.
Thanks for visiting us! While our readers answer a question and enter the giveaway I’ll take you to the dungeon. Just grab the fireproof suit…Jake can be a bit trigger happy, but he makes great s’mores.

Daring (Pax Arcana #2)
by Elliott James
Paperback, 400 pages
September 23rd 2014 by Orbit

Something is rotten in the state of Wisconsin.

Werewolf packs are being united and absorbed into an army of super soldiers by a mysterious figure who speaks like an angel and fights like a demon. And every Knight Templar—keepers of the magical peace between mankind and magickind—who tries to get close to this big bad wolf winds up dead. No knight can infiltrate a group whose members can smell a human from a mile knight except one.

John Charming. Ex knight. Current werewolf. Hunted by the men who trained him, he now might be their only salvation. But animal instincts are rising up to claim John more powerfully than ever before, and he must decide if this new leader of wolves is a madman...or a messiah.

DARING is the second novel in an urban fantasy series which gives a new twist to the Prince Charming tale.

Charming (Pax Arcana #1)
Short Fiction in the Pax Arcana world:
Charmed I'm Sure
Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls
Pushing Luck
Surreal Estate

About the Author:
An army brat and gypsy scholar, ELLIOTT JAMES is currently living in the blueridge mountains of southwest Virginia. An avid reader since the age of three (or that's what his family swears anyhow), he has an abiding interest in mythology, martial arts, live music, hiking, and used bookstores. Irrationally convinced that cellphone technology was inserted into human culture by aliens who want to turn us into easily tracked herd beasts, Elliott has one anyhow but keeps it in a locked tinfoil covered box which he will sometimes sit and stare at mistrustfully for hours. Okay, that was a lie. Elliott lies a lot; in fact, he decided to become a writer so that he could get paid for it.


  1. Sorry I don't I have never been to daytona beach or a convention.

  2. Um...just be yourself and have fun! That's all I got!

  3. My first convention ever was Dragon*Con 2010. My best advice is to take a towel and keep it with you at all times. Oh, and a pocket knife in case someone gets sucked into the escalator.

  4. My first convention was the RWA Annual meeting. I had lots of fun. Wear comfortable shoes and dress nice. Never know if you'll meet an agent or a publisher. No negative gossip in the elevator. Finally plan your day. There is so much to do and you can't do it all.

  5. Just watch out when swimming - before you know it, you'll be deeper than you think.

  6. I've never been to Daytona or conventions so I'm jealous :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great interview I LOVE the sense of humor about the puddle, I hope? :) LOL

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  9. I have never been to Daytona or this convention but my best advice is have fun and make new friends. I love the interview! Your books sound very interesting and I can't wait to try them out. Thank you.

  10. Not having been to Daytona I can only go off of rumors and it seems to me Elliott should take plenty of sunscreen regardless of the season. Oh and batteries - what is it about batteries? They are never around when you need them and there are never really enough ;) Thank you for sharing the fun interview with us, I will admit to laughing out loud when I read in the synopsis "a vampire and a blond walked into a bar . . . " and I cannot wait to see where that tale goes.

  11. Since I live near Daytona, my tips are, bring sunscreen(even though it's Feb. you can still burn), bring a thick coat(it gets cold on the beach), visit Daytona Lagoon and do the laser tag(its a blast) and lastly eat at Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club(the food is fantastic).

  12. I got nothing on advice
    which is maybe a 1st 4 me
    have fun anyway :)

  13. I haven't been to Daytona in over 25 years. I can say there are so many things to do in Florida. See the white sands of Cocoa Beach, go to an amusement park, or Kenedy Space Center. But Daytona proper, it's been too long. Just enjoy.

  14. No, haven't been to one

  15. I am excited for you to go as a guest to the convention. I also have got to say that your twist tie action figures are just so uber cool; I am already coveting one madly.

  16. I'd say be prepared to talk to lots of people about your work, have fun and enjoy the nice weather of February in Florida.

  17. No advice other than to enjoy the hell out of both! :D

  18. conventions in America look like fun, I wish I could go to one!!
    all I can say is enjoy, and don't forget the sunscreen at Daytona beach

  19. I'm afraid my only suggestion about Daytona is don't be afraid to ask directions. The one time I was down in the area, we couldn't find the beach and we never did ask for directions.


  20. I suck, I live in Alaska, what is this Daytona you speak of? (Kidding but I still have no clue!)

  21. I've never read one of your books but they definitely sound like an interesting and fun read. I've never been to a convention but I'd love to go. I'd say dress nicely but comfortable and very comfy shoes. Mingle because you never know who your likely to run into and the most important one is to have fun! Thanks for this great opportunity!

  22. Talk to everyone! That is why us readers are there! Especially us "career readers". =)