Interview with Jeffrey L. Kohanek, Author of Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance
28 Jan 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance?
Eye of Obscurance is the first book in the Fate of Wizardoms epic, a tale of magic, intrigue, and twisted executions of many beloved epic fantasy tropes. It is an assassination/heist story that takes place in a world ruled by wizards and the ambitious vie for thrones able to grant the power of a god. Book one sets the table for a sprawling, epic adventure told in a modern, fast-paced style.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I have always had a desire to create and fulfilled that need in various ways over the years including, drawing, painting, home remodeling, or building things. In 2014, my kids were nearing the end of high school, and I found myself with spare time I had previously lacked. That was when I decided to leverage the creative writing courses I had taken years earlier, and I began to write.
I now have over a million words published, and I recently retired from my day job to write full-time.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
While there are many fantasy series I adore, the one I found most gripping and remains my favorite is Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I wish we could have more books in that world, particularly if they featured Mat Cauthon.
With Fate of Wizardoms, I set out to write something in a similar vein but with a roguish character as the central figure and told with much faster pacing. I am not about to write 1,000-page doorstops like Jordan did. It doesn’t match my action-oriented storytelling style.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
It would be great to interview Brandon Sanderson so I could ask him about things hinted upon in his Stormlight Archives series. Brandon is among my favorite authors. He has had a significant impact on my writing style and approach to magic systems.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I am a storyteller by nature and fulfilling that need through novels is wonderful, but in the end, it all comes down to characters. I truly enjoy experiencing my stories through the eyes of my characters. In fact, they often do things that surprise me and take the story in places I wouldn’t have guess until it happened.
What is a typical day like for you?
I get up with the sun, eat breakfast and catch up on social media/internet happenings for about an hour. Then, I write. I often take a late morning break to work out, eat lunch, and am back to writing. I follow that up with the business aspects of being an author, such as managing ads, booking promos, and crafting my author newsletter where I share insights and free stuff with my fans. By then, I am ready for dinner and get to spend time with my family or friends. When I can, I fill in “free time” with reading, watching movies, and playing video games.
What scene in Wizardoms: Eye of Obscurance was your favorite to write?
While the heart-pumping action and spectacular magic are fun, I particularly enjoy witty banter between characters. One of my favorite scenes in this story is when the other main characters discover that Jace is really Jerrell Landish, a thief renowned for his outrageous exploits. They give him a hard time about a few of his exotic heists, and he bristles, unused to being the target of gibes. I would say more, but it would spoil the fun.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Good things await those who put in an honest effort and treat others well. If you cannot exhibit respect and compassion, you cannot expect the same in return. I try to be open, honest, and approachable with readers in hope of a real connection to both myself and the stories I weave.
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