Author DJ Stearns Interviews Robert J.R. Graham

Author DJ Stearns of The Allies & Adversaries Trilogy Interviews Robert J.R. Graham

 

First tell me a little bit about yourself and your book.

I’m the author of The Seventh Journey series and also a freelance writer focusing on self-development and personal mastery.  I also host several websites and have been writing science fiction and personal development articles since 1990.  I’ve dedicated much of my time to uncovering the deeper truths of life, and have interwoven a great deal of my own adventures in self-discovery, vivid dreams, and unique life experiences into a fast paced fantasy fiction series.

Having spent many years reading, and researching into esoterics, science, and various belief systems, I found that my understandings brought me peace.  All of my current work reflects this understanding, either via my articles or my works of fiction.  Much of my motivation to write stems from a desire to share these thoughts with others.

In the Seventh Journey Series, I’ve integrated over 20 years of research into various topics such as quantum physics, eastern mysticism, psychology, philosophy, martial arts, and many other subjects leaving no stone unturned.  As an avid student of Dan Millman, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and many others, I’ve combined the best of these theories into an action packed science fiction and fantasy series.

 

Tell me about when you started writing; Was it something you always wanted to do? Were you suddenly inspired by something?

I started seriously writing at the age of 13.  I began a story (which I may one day complete) that involved a similar plot line to Seventh Journey.  The story involved a scientist who developed an artificial intelligence, and a bridge into a virtual reality world.  I wasn’t able to complete my first novel due to other budding interests which took precedence, but the urge to write stayed with me.

Early on, I was inspired by a wild imagination, and various movies or books which touched on similar topics I’ve mentioned.  I can recall much of my youth was spent playing with toys, and imagining intricate story lines for my heroes.  Combined with a natural talent for communications and writing, I was able to quickly translate my stories to paper.

Since the earliest days of youth, I’ve gone on to write award winning short stories, articles, and poems which showcase these thought provoking concepts.  My main motivation for this work was to share my ideas, and hopefully provide fresh perspectives for others to enjoy.  Between the ages of 24 to 26, I finally buckled down to create the series that had been growing within me for years.  I’ve titled this work “Seventh Journey.”

 

How long did it take you to write the book? How many more do you plan on there being?

The first draft of book 1 took me approximately 2 years to write while working full time in the technology field.  In my experience, some have said this was incredibly fast, while others asked what took so long?  So as with all things, it’s a matter of perspective.  The subsequent years were spent working on refinement, editing, and publishing.  I even had a rough draft available online entitled “7th Journey” which I used for peer reviews and feedback.  This version is no longer available for purchase.

I spent a great deal of this time pitching literary agents, publishers, and working with independent editors before publishing with AuthorHouse, my current publisher.    In total, book 1 took me seven years from start to finish.

The question around how many remain in my series is an interesting one.  My fan base will also help decide that, but I’ve initially planned on three books.  When I envisioned the creation of Seventh Journey, I felt I needed three books to tell the full story.  Once this is complete, I’ve thought about creating further works in the Seventh Journey universe, as I like the themes, characters and villains.

I also plan to eventually move away from the Seventh Journey series, and create some non-fiction works revolving around “Personal Mastery.”  This is the ability to reshape yourself into the highest possible version of you, you can imagine.  This is the process that I’ve continually subjected myself to, and have found it tremendously beneficial, and so I’d like to share this process with others.

 

Do you think that technology that we continue to develop can become dangerous? In what ways?

Technology without compassion is always dangerous.  Compassion can also be read as; Spiritual or Self Awareness.  When we, as a society develop technologies beyond our abilities to use it responsibly, we step that much closer to extinction.  For example, the atomic bomb in the hands of an uneducated, radical extremist would surely be used to hold the rest of humanity hostage.  It’s only when we’ve collectively evolved beyond this radical thinking, can we develop technologies to aid humanity and not destroy it.

Even today, most foods, technologies, and vehicles for transportation or communications are untested.  No one really knows the effects of GMO foods, cell phones on our brains, Wi-Fi particles flying through our bodies, magnetic rays pulsating through the air, or even microwaves in our homes.  We’ve advanced a thousand years in the last hundred, but we have no idea how all of these chemicals or technologies will affect us long term.

We only seem to notice the rise in sickness, cancers, and autism or other illnesses, yet we fail to look at our environment, drugs, or technologies as cause.  This is the result of a society centered on profit making, instead of the unified evolution of our species.  Awareness of our actions and stopping our continued denial is our only hope.

 

Do you believe in other dimensions?

Absolutely I do.  All of us enter different dimensions each night.  We call this sleep.  Do you really think that dreams are simply chemical reactions of a sleeping mind, or is it perhaps something more?  The Seventh Journey Series begs the reader to ponder these ideas, just as I have over the last 20 years.

 

What was the most difficult part of writing “Seventh Journey?” What was your favorite part of writing it?

The most difficult part of writing the Seventh Journey revolved around its villains.  The villains of the story are a critical focal point, revealing deep secrets and causing the reader think.  I’ve imbued them with many of the faults currently within our society at large, and they work with these characteristics in very interesting ways.  My villains discuss our limited perspectives, and cast doubt on our entire way of being.  They say the harsh things that a hero could never say… but this helps us deal with… and understand our own actions in a new light.

My favorite part was writing the vivid dreamscapes experienced by my main character, Jacob Cross.  These frequent trips into the other dimensions in Seventh Journey allowed me to stretch my imagination, and create rich worlds full of fascinating characters and experiences.  The best reader feedback is usually related to these otherworldly journeys.

 

What advice would you offer to other sci-fi/fantasy writers?

Write from your heart, and write what you know.  Use character traits from those around you, and use every life experience as an opportunity to build your story.  Make sure your story has a strong love subplot, and try to integrate current world events.  People also like to read things that give them knowledge about interesting topics, such as other cultures, and perspectives, so work that in as well.

Even though you’re writing a sci-fi/fantasy, try to be realistic as you’ll relate to a wider audience.  Even though Harry Potter is based on magic and sorcery, people can relate to the choices the characters are faced with, so use real life challenges as a foundation.  People also want to believe in something more, something greater than the mundane world we all seem to agree to live in… this is why fantasy is the second best-selling genre after romance.  Appeal to these ideas, and you might just have something.

 

What was your first interview like? Did it make you nervous?

My first interview took me approximately three days to prepare.  It was an interview with TogiNet Radio, and although it came off pretty well – it took a great deal of preparation.  I forced myself to reduce my story description down to a few paragraphs, then sentences, and finally words.  Key scenes were compressed to mental images for quick recollection, and major themes were compressed to single words.  This allowed me to communicate the story, its concepts, and major themes in a short window of time.

I was certainly nervous, as the minutes leading up to the phone call seemed to take years.  To prepare, I also listened to several hours of previous TogiNet Radio interviews to get acquainted with their interview style.  All of this for a 15 minute interview, and once it started, it was over before I knew it.  For those who would like to listen to my first interview, I’ve provided the link.

 

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’d like to take this opportunity to direct your readers to my primary website: www.RobertJRGraham.com

RobertJRGraham.com is a magazine style blog with nearly 3000 articles on Health, Personal Mastery, Martial Arts, Business, Theories, Paranormal Phenomenon and many other topics.  Much of my research is displayed on this site, and is a fantastic resource for people who wish to better themselves, or even for writers who are looking for topics or source material.

For those who would like to purchase Book 1 of the Seventh Journey Series, you can find links to my paperback or eBooks on www.RobertJRGraham.com as well.  Thank you for the opportunity to connect with you and your fans.

The Seventh Journey is available now:

HardcoverAmazonUS  AmazonCA  Barnes & Noble  Chapters/Indigo

Paperback: AmazonUS  AmazonCA  Barnes & Noble  Chapters/Indigo

e-book: Nook  Kobo  Kindle  Googlebooks

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