Sunday, November 6, 2011

Featured Author: MJ SCHUTTE

"ENERGY" - by MJ Schutte

About the Book
Review
Author Interview
GIVEAWAY!! - Cool Swag


"ENERGY"

As teenagers, Brighton and Lilian live quiet, peaceful and uncomplicated lives in a remote mountain village called Four Mountains. They soon discover that their friendship has developed into something deeper, but before they can explore their feelings for each other, a dark secret about Lilian’s past rips their world apart. Brighton finds himself fighting for the girl he loves as well as his own life while simultaneously discovering an even bigger secret about himself. 

REVIEW for "Energy"

I can honestly say that this book hooked me from the very first page.

“Energy” is filled with take-your-breath-away shocking moments, heart stopping suspense, surprising twists, humor, plenty of action, romance and adventure. All the ingredients necessary to keep you turning the pages as fast as you can. It is a well-written, easy to read book, with a unique and interesting plot, which takes you on a journey to a world where even the moralities of the good guys can be twisted by power and greed.

I fell in love with the sincerity and personalities of the characters – even some of the evil ones - very early in the book. It was easy to relate to the characters and I often cried and laughed along with them. Although the story is fast-paced, it never leaves the reader behind.
“Energy” is going to be a bestseller in no time and therefore I happily recommend this fantastic book to young and old alike!

BookBaby's star rating 5/5


MEET this week's FEATURED AUTHOR


MJ SCHUTTE lives in a small town in South Africa’s North West Province with his wife and three children aged 17, 15 and 12.
Reading has always been a passion of his and writing a book was an “impossible dream.” Tracy, his wife, was instrumental in his decision to write and publish “Energy”, his debut novel.
In an interview, when he was asked about a favorite food, he replied: ‘Ice cream is not only acceptable for supper, it’s actually a very good idea.’
Find out more about this exciting new author by visiting his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/EnergyNovel and to be the first to know when his next book, “Birth of a Wizard”, will be released.
MJ is also a participating author in the Big Christmas Book Giveaway on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Christmas-Book-Giveaway/173058306114806
  
MJ's BIRTHDAY:  10 November


INTERVIEW with author MJ SCHUTTE

ABOUT “ENERGY”

Q: What sparked the idea for “Energy”?

A: In most fantasy books, the reader is expected to simply accept that wizards exist and that they command magic. I wanted to take a step back and explore where magic comes from and thus the idea for "Energy" started forming in my mind.
Is magic not simply the gift of energy manipulation?

Q: Who designed the cover and how much input did you have regarding the design?

A: The company that helped me self-publish "Energy" did the artwork, but the entire idea came from me.

Q: Is “Energy” your first book?

A: Yes, it’s my debut novel.

Q: Which of your characters in “Energy” are your favourite?

A: There are things about every character in "Energy" that I like, even Seth, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would be Mischief.

Q: What was the hardest part of writing “Energy”?

A: Getting started and believing that I can do it.

Q: Did you learn anything from writing “Energy” and what was it?

A: As it is my debut novel, I learnt an enormous amount about everything involved in publishing a book.
The biggest shock for me was that once the novel is written, the work is only half done!

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in “Energy”?

A: I’ve often thought of changing a few things, but have decided against it every time.
No, I would not change anything.

Q: What were the challenges involved in bringing “Energy” to life?

A: One of the biggest challenges was the editing. Since I know the story so well, it’s almost impossible for me to edit my own work. Giving it to my editor and then having to wait patiently, almost drove me insane!

Q: What are your expectations for “Energy”?

A: Honestly, I have no expectations. I hope that readers find the concept interesting and unique and that it will become a bestseller in years to come, but it’s a hope, not an expectation.


ABOUT MJ

Q: Where are you from?

A: I live in Brits, North West Province South Africa with my wife and three children.

Q: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

A: Not really. I’ve always loved reading and writing. My father encouraged me to read a lot when I was young, so I have to say he had a lot to do with my interest in writing.

Q: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

A: Most definitely Willow Cross.

Q: What book are you reading now?

A: I have just finished “The Dark Gifts Birthright” by Willow Cross. Next on my list is “The Dark Gifts Inheritance”, also by Willow Cross.

Q: Who are your favourite authors?

A: There are so many good authors out there, I don’t think I could choose just one.
Raymond E Feist, Terry Goodkind, Terry Brooks, Janny Wurts, Clive Cussler, to name just a few of my favorites.

Q: Do you ever experience writer's block and how do you deal with it?

A: To be honest, I have not really experienced that. Sometimes I struggle to formulate my thoughts properly, but it’s mostly because I’m over tired or distracted. By the next day, I am back on track.

Q: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

A: I don’t work according to a schedule at all. Some days I write for an hour and some days I do 14-16 hours.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

A: I listen to music, play tennis and spend time with my children.

Q: List four "Good to Know" facts about you. 

A: I had a 14 year career in the IT industry and until recently my wife and I owned a guesthouse.
On my back, just below my right shoulder, I have a tattoo of one of the characters in Energy. (Who can guess which one?)
I love ice cream and milkshakes and playing with my children. My wife often remarks that she has 4 children, not 3! (Me being the 4th)


Q: Do you have anything you want to say to your readers?

A: I am currently involved in a project called “Save Rhinos Today” in partnership with my sister.
We are raising funds to help stop the senseless killing of these magnificent animals by way of a book auction on
www.facebook.com/saverhinostoday
A signed hardcover copy of Energy is one of the books available.
This is one of only 11 signed hardcover copies.
I would like to ask all the fans to have a look at this facebook page and spread the word about it.


ABOUT WRITING

Q: What is your writing routine like?

A: I do not have a specific routine.

Q: Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what way(s)?

A: None of the characters is based on me, but people who know me will notice my slightly sarcastic, dry sense of humour in one or two of the characters.

Q: What are your current projects?

A: As mentioned before, I am involved in Save Rhino’s Today.
I’m also busy with the second book in the series, "Birth of a Wizard".
It is with the editor currently and we hope to publish it early next year.

Q: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A: I would love to, but it would be a spoiler for "Energy". All I can say is that "Birth of a Wizard" is even more fast paced than "Energy" and the concept of energy manipulation is explored and broadened further.
One of the characters also develops another special talent which I hope readers will find interesting.

Q: Name one entity that you feel supported you (outside of family members).

A: My very good friends Louis and Adele and their children Lize and Carla from Australia.

Q: Do you see writing as a career?

A: I really hope that this will become a successful career for me.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A: Starting is the most challenging part.

Q: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

A: Not yet, but I hope to.

Q: Do you write an outline before every book you write?

A: I don’t write an outline down although I do have one in my head.

Q: Have you ever hated something you wrote?

A: I like to go back often and read what I’ve written. Sometimes, a little voice inside my head screams at me as I’m reading and I end up deleting as much as 15 000 words.
I write and read again until the little voice stays quiet.
(Please don’t tell my doctor this!)

Q: What is your favourite theme/genre to write about?

A: Definitely fantasy.

Q: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

A: I love reading reviews on "Energy". Sometimes the things people say hurt, sometimes it makes me smile, but when I write, I forget about it all and go spend time in my own world for a while.

Q: How long does it take you to write a book?

A: "Energy" was written in 6 months, but the planning took at least 2 years.
"Birth of a Wizard" took 4 months to write.



GIVEAWAY!! Cool swag for "Energy"

To enter the giveaway for some cool "Energy" swag, all you have to do is answer the following question:

Which character in "Energy" does MJ have tattooed on his back, just below his right shoulder? Is it:
A)   Brighton
B)   Mischief
C)   Seth
D)   Lilian

Now all you have to do, is post your answer in the comments section on this blog; and also leave an e-mail address where you can be contacted if you are a winner.

Easy right?

To purchase your own copy of "Energy", click on the Amazon.com; GoodReads; Barnes & Noble or SmashWords link on this page.


Giveaway ends Saturday, 12 November 2011
Winners will be selected using random.org


8 comments:

ladyvampire said...

Congrats on Energy! This sounds like an awesome book. And as for my guess, I think the tattoo is of A) Brighton. Thanks!

LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

Brittany C. said...

I'm excited to read your series! My guess is B) Mischief ;)
brittanyrose40 AT yahoo DOT com

LittleMissBookWorm said...

I would LOVE to win your book!

My guess is: C) Seth
Not sure to be honest! i hope i win!

Contact me at: cheeky_chantel123@hotmail.co.uk

Nina said...

I'm gonna go with B) Mischief.

3monkeyz@att.net

Active Mother said...

I say Mischeif.... how do you find out? i read the whole post and i didn't see it anywhere

Jesica Helgren said...

The last post was from me... just forgot to add my info: jesicaj1@yahoo.com

BookBaby said...

Hi everyone, thanks for your entries! Keep them coming and don't worry about the answers - just take a wild guess.
Please go and "like" MJ's Facebook page and / or the Book Baby page ("Find us on FaceBook" tab at top left on this page), as the winners will be announced on these two pages this coming Sunday.
Don't be shy now - we still have lots of swag to giveaway! So enter!!
Thanks!! ~~BB

BookBaby said...

WINNERS of the "Energy" by MJ Schutte swag giveaway.
Here they are: Aprille Shadowspeak; Brittany C; LittleMissBookWorm; Nina & Jesica Helgren. Congratulations you guys!!