"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steele

Monday, February 27, 2012

Interview with Jacob Marc Schafer and Review of The Endless Waltz

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Jacob Schafer to my blog today. Jacob is here to answer some questions about himself and to introduce his debut young teen fantasy novel, The Endless Waltz.

1- How did you go from a BA degree in film to writing fiction?

I feel like this is the only question that is easy for me to answer. I originally wanted to be a film director but most of my ideas were to big to ever realistically be made as a indie film, so I decided that I would just write novels with the hope of one day adapting them to film, but the more I wrote the more I fell in love with writing. I would still love to one day direct and work in film but now writing has become my passion, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

2- Tell us a little bit about your book, The Endless Waltz.

It was originally an old film idea I had that got put on hold back in my early college days. I first got the idea when I was looking up at the sky and pictured a ship falling from the clouds. The imagery was so cool in my head that I instantly began coming up with a story that would somehow fit with a falling ship. I started looking into sea mythology, specifically the Flying Dutchman, and Davy Jones Locker, as well as several real life pirates, and in the end I came up with The Endless Waltz. 

3- What made you decide to write for young teens?

I'm a fan of the genre for one, young-adult novels can have great stories without the language and  sex scenes that for some-reason seem "necessary" for an older audience. As I mature as a writer I intend for my content to be a little bit more complex, but still written clean and simple enough for a teenager to pick it up and read for fun.

4- Who has had the most influence on your writing and why?

I wouldn't  say that there's any one person or author that has had a significant influence on my writing. I guess I would say my friends because most of the books I read are recommended from them and occasionally my older brother. One thing that influences me which I don't think influences other writers is video games. Some of the stories in games has really affected me because of the great leaps that have been made in that industry, and now that video games are becoming a more regular household activity I believe they will start influencing artist of every nature in the future, from musicians and filmmakers, to writers like myself.

5- Who is your favorite author and why?

I would probably have to say Ernest Hemingway for some time now. His simplistic writing style and honest storytelling is the the archetype for most of my novels. When I read his novels I feel as though I'm reading about people and not characters and that is the simplest way to separate great writing.

6- Did you help design the cover for your book? If not, did you have any input into the finished product?

I was very active in designing the cover art for my book. I personally cannot draw even the slightest bit but luckily have a friend who is a great artist. I went to school with Nicolette from kindergarten through high school and she went on to study art in San Francisco and we reconnected after college and she agreed to do my artwork. We had several meetings where I went over how I wanted the cover to look especially the Leviathan, and then met several more times as she worked on it to make sure I liked it. She ended up doing an amazing job and I had very little to add as she worked on it. She's already working on the art for my next two books both of which should be out by the end of this year.

7- Who is your greatest supporter?

My wife. She has always encouraged and supported my writing from the very beginning. I value her opinion very highly basically because she's very different from me in many ways and that includes her interest in books. If not for her I feel as though I would get lost in my novels and miss out on the joys of real life, and I think that's crucial for a writer because how can we expect to write something believable and true if we've never experienced them in real life.

8- What does Jacob do for fun and relaxation?

Mostly read ha ha. I try to swim and skateboard when I can but I don't seem to have the time to do anything regularly anymore, and that goes for video games too. I really enjoy going to a coffee shop with my wife and reading with her, that's pretty awesome.

Here are some links:

Review of The Endless Waltz

The Endless Waltz
Jacob Marc Schafer
Published by Jacob Marc Schafer September 27, 2011
ISBN 9780615543604

   Brit de la Cosa has been recently promoted to Captain and is in the process of sailing back to England from the Caribbean. He is anxious to return to his fiancee Isabella and start his new life with her. Along the way, he encounters the infamous Davey Jones who sinks his ship and sends it to the Locker below. After it is determined Bret is still alive, he has to fight off pirates and marines in an attempt to escape the Locker. Along the way, he encounters Roman, the Flying Dutchman and the mighty Leviathan until his final encounter with Davey Jones himself.
   This is a fantastic young teen fantasy read that is sure to please young and old alike. The storyline flows smoothly from the beginning until its ultimate conclusion. Bret is an honorable young man who surely sets a wonderful example to all young teens who read it. Despite the evil he is surrounded with, he manages to stay true to himself and keep his word to those who helped him in his travels, despite the sacrifice it causes to himself. 
   I was a bit confused with the title. It takes some time before it becomes clear as to how the title came about. The romantic in me was thrilled once I discovered the answer. I will not elaborate and spoil it for the readers. The cover art is absolutely fitting of the story and the colors are gorgeous. If you are a fan of pirates, fantasy and mythology, you are sure to love this book. I highly recommend it and will definitely be looking for more from this author in the future. Once I started this book, I could not put it down. It is well worth the read.
   I wish to thank the author for sending me a copy to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in anyway except for receiving the book to review.

I give The Endless Waltz 4.5 out of 5 stars

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