Giveaway, Book Spotlight & Interview The Lightrider Journals by Eric Neirstedt

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Title: The Lightrider Journals
Author: Eric Nierstedt
Series: Lightrider Journals
Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure
Publisher: iUniverse
Release Date: November 8 2012

Joseph Hashimoto is happy with his ordinary life. A man who believes in fairness and just action, Joe’s greatest love is his family. But as he moves about his days, he is completely unaware that his actions are carefully observed. With one momentous decision, Joe’s ordinary life is about to transform into an extraordinary existence.

While attempting to save a little girl from danger, Joe is killed in a violent explosion. Instead of dying, however, his soul is brought before the elemental Architects of the Universe, who tell him he has been chosen for a sacred duty. Reborn as Lightrider, the earthly representative of Light, Joe is given leadership of the Elemental Knights, a group of half-man, half-animal beings. Charged with maintaining a delicate balance between good and evil, Joe must police both sides and destroy anyone who threatens to ruin it. As Joe struggles with his conflicting emotions and longing for home, he must face his greatest threat—the ancient Chaos Demons.

In this fantasy tale, a man inadvertently thrust into a world of cosmic forces must come to terms with change and accept what needs to be done for the good of all.
Lightrider Journals:  A New Fantasy That Outshines All Others

Where did the inspiration for this story come from?  What is the story behind the story so to speak?
The first spark actually came from an anti-drug special, which featured many of my childhood cartoon heroes teaming up for the first and only time.  I was enthralled by the idea of a large group of different heroes working together, and even at a young age, I wanted to tell my own story about them.  So I absorbed from everything I could- books, TV, films, even video games, and my group began to take shape.  Eventually, I had the characters down well enough that I could begin to focus on a story, and after a lot of planning, I submitted some early pages for a college writing course.  I got a lot of encouragement and kept going until the story was complete.

Tell us about the book cover. How does it represent your book?  How did you choose the artwork? 
The cover was a long process with a very talented artist named Derrick Fish, whom I met through Facebook.  Initially, he did full illustrations of each character, so we’d have a firm base to work from.  Once that was done, we discussed having a cover would really jump out and grab the reader’s attention.  Eventually, I found a cover of a Green Lantern graphic novel showing several different colored Lanterns standing together, and thought it was a very striking image.  I e-mailed it to Derrick, and he went from there.  I think the cover really does manage to stand out, and show the reader the kind of characters it deals with, while giving just enough detail to make them curious.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?
I try to take inspiration from everywhere.  I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, like Terry Brooks and Ray Bradbury, who give a lot of insight into magic and otherworldly, fantastical content.  I also got a lot of ideas for mechanics from Avatar the Last Airbender, as well as the Lord of the Ring films and darker-edged ‘superhero’ movies and comics like the Crow and Batman for it’s tortured heroes.  I also took a lot from The Legend of Zelda, largely from it’s in-game mythology and the multi-faceted worlds the games create.

Have you ever co-written book/books? If so was it difficult? If not would you ever consider co-writing with another author?
I am working with a friend on an online comic (Superroomies, on deviantart), but it’s largely my writing and his art.  I haven’t written pen to pen with another author, but if I found the right person and idea, I’d certainly be open to it.

Where do you get your character names from?
Some of the characters are slight tributes to my influences- some of the Architects, who are the gods of this universe, have names based on Greek mythology.  The other names really come from either comic books or my fantasy books.  Comics have long-established characters  with names like Dr. Polaris or the Trickster, so you learn how to make sound both appropriate to the character, and therefore not so ridiculous you can’t say it.  And fantasy is chock full of strange names that sound either imposing or heroic or even slimy.  So I’ve seen how just the sound of a name can make or break it for a character.

What type of research goes into your writing?
My books don’t really require ‘research’ since I make a lot of it up.  But when I do examine a concept or creature with history, like a gremlin, I try to stick with something I’m familiar with, and see if I can add something to it.  I’m all for playing with established concepts, but the core of the concept has to be there.   And if it’s something new, I find out enough for a profile and then see just what I can do with it.

Are your family and friends supportive of your writing?
Very much so.  I’ve been able to set up signings and events largely because of my relationships, and just about everyone I know has bought a book and are spreading it around to other people they know.  And they are always eager to give feedback, and ideas for the next novel.

Do you remember when your interest in writing came about?
It’s hard to pin down.  I was always a huge reader, so many people told me I should write.  I guess I would have to say when I was thirteen and really started putting pen to paper for the first time.

Other than writing what are your interest?
I love music; I have a side job working as an entertainment reporter for a local paper, and I’ve been playing bass and guitar for the last four years.  I also enjoy biking and movies- I used to bike up to eight miles a day, and I have a huge collection of films, everything from drama to comedies to superhero fare.  Comics are also a big interest- they're great sources of inspiration and it’s amazing to go over the history of characters that have been around for decades and see how they’ve changed over the years.

Did you learn anything from writing your books, if so what was it?
I learned a lot about writing itself- how to keep a scene moving, how not to overwrite or overdescribe, which was essential for me.  I also learned a lot about publishing from working with iUniverse- what the standards, how to get the book to it’s best state without emptying my wallet, and most of all, how to stand for my book and how I want it to be presented.

What are your current WIP? Can you share with us? 
I’m currently working on the sequel to Lightrider, which is nearly done.  It deals with a lot more of the mythology of this universe, and takes a look at some characters that were a bit left out in the first book.  I’m also gestating a novel about Jersey’s most famous and demonic son, the Jersey Devil
Food: Pasta
Color: Blue
Quote: “Wishing on a star that turned into a plane”- Paul Westerberg
Movie: Blues Brothers 
Music: Rock, Punk, Ska
This or That
Day or Night: Night 
Rain or Snow: Snow 
Mac or PC: PC
Coffee or Tea: Coffee 

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Eric Nierstedt grew up in Garwood NJ, and spent most of his life absorbing the epic tales of fantasy from Terry Brooks, Stephen King, and even the tales of comic books and video games. His writing began soon after, as he honed it through writing for the local paper, and maintaing his own blog .  When he graduated from Kean University, his began his first novel, while also being selected for the NJ Wordsmith Competiton. Eric wanted to tell a story of a group of characters, anchored by one central narrator, that battled forces of destruction. And he also wanted to use his own thoughts on the nature of good and evil- how the two are defined by each other, and are meaningless alone.    “When I started the Lightrider Journals, the big fantasy novels of the day were Twilight and Harry Potter. I wanted to avoid being another copy of those at all costs. So I combined all my major influences- Terry Brooks, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. As I wrote, I wanted to explore a concept that wasn’t discussed much in any popular fantasy- the idea of showing good and evil as forces both responsible for and essential to life as we know it. I also wanted to show a more natural form of magic, and show fantasy existing in the real world, which would turn out much bigger then people think. And finally, I wanted to tell a story about what I was feeling stepping out in the world for the first time- how a man can adapt to a sudden and tremendous responsibility- not just his successes, but his losses as well, and how he learns to live with them. And of course, throw in liberal amounts of magic, characters that would resonate with people, and a sprinkling of humor. I think anyone who reads it will be able to have a good time with all the characters and action, but also see a different version of the neverending battle of good and evil. And most of all, I hope they leave the book with a better idea of how they can face that which seems insurmountable.”

Places to find Eric

Places to find The Lightrider Journals 

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Sarah Fae Books-Graham said...

Thanks for the chance & thanks for the post! :-)

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I would love to hear your thoughts. :) HAPPY READING !!!!