» Buy on Amazon
The first in a new series, The Glory is a fun, funny and exciting character-driven sci-fi adventure that follows Adam Whitlock, a young, brilliant, fiercely determined boy who gives up everything to join the United States Space Force in hopes of becoming captain of the fabled and prestigious warship, The Glory.
On his rise to the top, Whitlock gains a great friend and ally in Nathaniel Oaks, as well as a bitter rival in Omar Baptist. Despite his extraordinary talent and dedication, Adam Whitlock’s path is riddled with opposition from naysayers and nonbelievers.
Meanwhile, Admiral Douglas C. Calhoun is tasked with quelling the rising tensions between mankind and the Kelzmisians, a group of alien races, as their long-standing Cold War is about to turn hot.
Stargaze. Trail Blaze. THE GLORY
Interview With Mister JMI
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Of course I can! (laughs) The overarching story of The Glory follows a brilliant, ferociously determined, young kid named Adam Whitlock as he enrolls in to the United States Space Force and his journey to become captain of The Glory, the best ship in the fleet. On his path to the top, Adam Whitlock has to constantly endure the ridicule and naysaying of nearly everyone he meets.
While that is going on, long standing hostilities between humans and a collection of alien races known as the Kelzmisians are on the verge of spilling over into a full-scale war.
What makes your book unique?
As a sci-fi book, The Glory, is of course filled with all the usuals sci-fi elements of distant planets, spaceships and space travel, aliens and space battles, but what makes this book different from the heaps and heap of other sci-fi books out there is the characters. This story is really about the characters and them discovering who they are, their place in the world and coming to grips with both their past as well as their future. They have deep, layered relationships and hilarious banter. The characters are so incredibly fleshed out that you can easily forget you are reading a book and think you are reading a transcript of just a few old friends talking.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
At the beginning, the book was especially inspired to be honest, I just wanted to write a fun, fast-paced action/adventure typical sci-fi book. I originally had the idea of a kid seeing a spaceship being built and being in such awe of it he became determined to become captain of that ship someday.
Somewhere along the line as I started down to write, the story told me “Nah. That’s stupid. Let’s do something cool.” (laughs) And that’s kind of where the shift happened and I became more interested in creating characters and a world then just a paint-by-numbers sci-fi plot.
Is there any message you want readers to get from reading the book?
Yeah, I would say the biggest thing I want people to walk away from is that, no matter how difficult something sounds, no matter how many times people tell how ridiculous your goals are, stay the course. Because somebody has to achieve it, somebody has to be the first, somebody has to solve the puzzle and that person should be you.
How long did it take to write the book?
A little shy of two years. I started writing in October of 2012, then got really serious around April and really started throwing myself into the book. I finished writing the book in December 2013 and then it was just endless amounts of edits, and rewrites and tweaks, so many tweaks. There was a point where I was just like, “I hate this book”. (Laughs) I finally was able to finish everything up and publish it in August 2014
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
Ooooh. That’s incredibly difficult to answer. (laughs) I loved every character in the book except the ones that you have to hate. I would have to say my favorite character is the main character, Adam Whitlock.
I really enjoyed writing some of the secondary or tertiary characters, so my favorite to write would have to be duo of Captain Theodore L. Richards and one of the aliens, Ralph. They are representatives from their respective races and end up becoming great friends and they have great banter.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
Yeah. I really just sit there and think. I just think. I don’t like to do outlines or those brainstorming things. I like to have as few drafts as possible because I don’t want to get confused on what I said in what draft, have an idea get lost between drafts and I just try to be as smooth and efficient as possible. I like to just wait until I figure everything in my head first. I don’t like to sit down to write until I know exactly what I’m want. I physically write out my books first on paper and then I type it up on the computer.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
There isn’t anything I would change. There were a few times that I thought about changing something but I stood firm. This is my book and this is how, not how I wanted to tell the story, but how the story wanted to be told. So I trusted the way that the story unfolded in front of me and I just helped along.
How did you come up with the cover?
From the beginning, I had a concept of what I wanted the cover to look like and since the book is named after the fabled ship, I really wanted The Glory to be featured on the cover. I had this vision of a brilliant white spaceship shining in the light of a distant star ascending above an alien world.
I went online and found a man named Jonathan Maurin, who lives all the way out in France, also goes by the name of Aeon-Lux. He is an incredible artist and a great guy. We went back and forth for a bit with me send him quick sketches and he came back with this fantastic cover. He absolutely nailed the drama and atmosphere that made it such an eye-catching cover that really depicts The Glory as this mythically ship that is above and beyond the rest.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew about the age of 12. I would watch all these cartoons and video games and I would draw myself as an extra character from that show because, I want to be a Power Ranger too! (laughs) And I would come up with all the stories for my character and that’s when it kind of hit me that I wanted to do this for a living. Took me a while to get around to writing a book but I finally did it! My 12 year old self is very happy for me but he’s also very sad that he’ll never get to be a Power Ranger. Poor kid.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
I don’t remember the first story I ever wrote, mostly because it was probably terrible. (laughs) I do remember around the time that I really started to write regularly. I was in middle school and me and a few of my friends would come up with this idea for a series of stories and then we would all go home and write a story and then hand it off to someone else and they would go home and continue the story. They were all terrible. (laughs.) They were all absolutely ridiculous, blatant rip offs of whatever show we were watching. The characters were absurdly powerful and almost every story ended with the whole world being destroyed. Like, literally destroyed, the planet broken into bits and the characters would have to find some magical items to wish the world back together….kids are stupid. (laughs)
What is your favorite genre, and why?
Science fiction. Shocker! I know. I love astronomy, I dream of the stars and I desperately wish I could venture out there. But since, it’s highly unlikely that commercial space travel is going to be available in my lifetime, and if it does I’ll probably be too old and brittle to make the trip. (laughs) I’ll turn to dust on the launch pad! So, with sci-fi I can be the great explorer that I wish I could be in real-life. I can step foot on different planets, in different galaxies, in different universes. I can feel the warm of a star that is millions of lightyears away and shake the hands….or tentacles with aliens and learn their language and cultures.
Are there any books you are absolutely inspired by?
No. There isn’t a book that motivates me and gets me out of bed and sits down at the writing table. Instead, my desire to start and finish a book is what motivates me and gets me out of bed.
What are you working on next?
The Glory part II! This book is part of a serious but also in the space between books I want to turn out a few small stories just for the fun of it and because I have so many other stories that I want to tell.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Trust yourself. Trust yourself and trust your story. If you truly believe that you know how to write a good story then write it. Write it the way you want to tell it and don’t feel forced to make changes to your book because “that’s not how you’re supposed to write a book”. Because the parts that you get rid of could be the most fantastic and unique parts of your book that separate you from everybody else. The person that wrote your favorite book wrote it in their personal style. Find your personal style and champion it.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
Very easily. I’m 26 years old, single like a dollar bill and THANK GOD I don’t have any kids. (laughs) Don’t get me wrong kids are great, i guess, but I don’t want any anytime soon. So thankfully I have time and opportunity to completely focus on myself and my writing.