Jamison Stone’s Rune of the Apprentice sounds like a book I’d very much enjoy — and I one day plan to — but since I’m already terribly behind on my reading, I asked Jamison whether he’d be willing to answer some questions about the book and his writing. Luckily, he said yes, so here we are. Hopefully you’ll enjoy his answers as much as I did and check out Rune of the Apprentice!
Let’s start with the basics. Who is Jamison Stone?
Hello everyone! I was born in Massachusetts and raised throughout New England on a healthy diet of magic, martial arts, and meditation. I live with my loving wife and wolf, but expect to have our pack grow soon. When I am not getting distracted by video games, I am the director of Apotheosis Studios. Rune of the Apprentice is my first novel, however, there are more on the way.
How would you introduce people to Rune of the Apprentice?
Set in a world where magic, technology, and nature have merged, the few who can control Runes hold dominance over all of creation. All believe that Aleksi, a sixteen-year-old orphan, was blessed to be born with a Rune embedded in his palm, but that’s only because they don’t know the truth—Aleksi’s Rune is so powerful it’s killing him.
Cursed with ultimate power at the cost of one’s own humanity—this is the path of an Apprentice. With a colossal blend of anticipation, magic, and adrenaline, lovers of huge worlds and heroic characters will feel right at home. Readers will be reminded of the creative and epic tone of Brandon Sanderson, with a mythical foundation nostalgic of Tolkien.
Although it reads primarily like a Fantasy novel, there is a strong Sci-Fi foundation to Rune of the Apprentice. But to fully answer this question would give away massive spoilers! Rune of the Apprentice, and its sequels, are written in a way where the reader will gradually come to understand Runes—and Terra’s history—in a compelling way which truly answers that question. However, to have this organic experience, and fully understand the relationship Runes, technology, and Terra possess, you will have to read the books!
Would you consider the book suitable for a young adult audience?
Absolutely. Although there is some violence it is nothing worse than Hunger Games or Harry Potter. The violence is not gratuitous and done is a way which serves the storyline and character development—mainly how the main character reacts to the violence he had no choice but to commit.
Rune is your debut novel. What drew you to writing speculative fiction?
Other than the actual writing itself—which I love—I deeply enjoy world building and character development. I started thinking up a massive Fantasy/Sci-Fi world and then let the story of the people which lived there evolve naturally—this is how Rune of the Apprentice was born.
I am a “Top Down” writer, which means that I create the rough outline of the world first before I dive into the actual story. Because of this, the characters are very much shaped by this world, but during my “meta” world planning process, the world is also shaped by how I want the main characters’ stories (character arcs) to unfold, too. It’s a give and take (interconnected) process. Despite this, it all begins with the world first, making the importance of world building paramount in my particular storytelling method.
Creating a massive word is a profoundly interact undertaking and requires a lot of planning before one can even begin writing the first word. As an example, in Rune of the Apprentice I used C.G. Jung’s psychology of archetypes and the collective unconscious to adapt Joseph Campbell’s theory of the Monomyth to create the foundations of a contemporary “Modern Myth.”
As I wrote the actually story, however, I needed to constantly reshape and mold my “Hero’s Journey” adaptation to fit with the specific character arcs of Rune of the Apprentice’s hero and heroine, respectively. In short: In Rune of the Apprentice, these two aspects of the story—World and Character Arc—are intimately intertwined and constantly evolving together. Just that alone is very difficult to pull off well, and has nothing to do with the actual word craft of writing!
Can readers look forward to returning to Aleksi’s story or is it a standalone story?
This is the first in an epic installment of novels in a series called The Rune Chronicles. The second book is called Oath of the Apprentice. I hope to have it completed soon! The most common thing I have heard from readers so far is, “when is the sequel out, we want to read it now!” This obviously makes me very happy and I am so glad people are enjoying it.
What’s next for you? Any appearances or conventions planned?
I am a HUGE convention cosplayer and have been to many different Comic Con’s across the country, in addition to Dragon Con, Balticon, Awesome Con, etc. I also go to video game conventions, too. My next big ones will be Big Apple Con and Winter Con, but I also will be in South Maryland Comic Con. Come say hello if you are there!
Is there something else you’re passionate about other than writing and books?
My main passions are meditation, martial arts, writing, and video games. I am a long time meditation and martial arts instructor and try to infuse my mindfulness practice in all that I do including my writing! Hopefully this meditative foundation and martial authenticity is strongly felt in Rune of the Apprentice.
As a book reviewer, I’m all about the book enabling; I can’t help but want to make people read all the good books out there. But I can always use help. What are your top recommendations of books we should look out for in the coming months?
First off, if you are looking for epic fantasy and have not read The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jorden, Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss or The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, then you should start there.
But if you have, or are looking for something NEW then I suggest a few from several different genres from my publisher Inkshares: The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz is an awesome demon and dark intrigue themed urban fantasy set in Chicago; A God in the Shed by J.F. Debeau, is a chilling tale of group of friends who inadvertently trapped an ancient trans-dimensional god in their backyard shed; and The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein, a sci-fi novel set in 2471 New York where teleportation has become the elite mode of transportation and advanced nanotechnology has made everlasting life possible; and lastly, The Catcher’s Trap by Ricardo Henriquez, a terrifying dark-fantasy book about emotive protagonist captured by supernatural being and forced to face his inner demons.
Finally, I have to stay true to my roots and ask a librarian question to finish off with: Do you shelve your books alphabetically, by genre or do you have an ingenious system?
Wonderful question! I shelve them by theme. So I have all my psychology books together, then philosophy, religion, etc. For non-fiction that is relatively easy, but for fiction I have them separated not only by theme, but also by feeling. With each book you get a general emotive quality through the narrative, and when you are done that feeling stays with you. I have my books separated by that kind of feeling.
While I can comment on how Rune of the Apprentice made me feel, I am most interested in where you all would store it on your feeling bookshelf. Let me know!
Bio: Jamison Stone was born in Massachusetts and raised throughout New England on healthy diet of magic, martial arts, and meditation. He lives with a loving wife and wolf, but expects to have their pack grow soon. When he is not getting distracted by video games, Jamison is the director of Apotheosis Studios. Rune of the Apprentice is his first novel; however, there are more on the way. Jamison is also the coauthor of Heart Warrior, an emotive memoir coming in 2018. To learn more about Jamison and his various projects visit his website: www.stonejamison.com You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.