Check out this author spotlight for Jay Willis!
You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
“My goal as an author is to create an engaging and fun body of work to sustain a generation through their life as readers of Fantasy: from intelligent chapter books to sprawling epics.”
From an early age, I was fascinated by story-telling and wrote my first books in grade school by hand using typing paper packets stapled together for me by my mother. An avid Dungeons & Dragons role-player, growing up in the 80’s obsessed with Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, my reading and writing interests have always skewed toward the fantasy and science-fiction genres.
I am a graduate of both Capital University and Capital University Law School. I’ve been a licensed attorney for more than 25 years. I’m a former Judge and now work as an Assistant Prosecutor.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
Autumn. October is my favorite month. I love Halloween and Fall has always been my favorite time of the year.
Library or museums?
Too tough to choose. If I had to pick one, I’d say Library. The sheer power of the written word astounds me and entering any library brings me peace, joy, and serenity.
Witches or wizards?
Wizards. My first Dungeons and Dragons character in Basic (Red Box) D&D was a Magic User. It’s a good bet that almost anything I write will revolve around magic in some way.
Plotter or pantser?
Plotter. I outline because I love worldbuilding and it’s the only way I can stay organized and build my stories without them crumbling to dust.
Standalone or series?
Series. My favorite genre to read and write is Epic Fantasy. I crave intricate and expansive world-building and enthralling characters. Standalone can’t accomplish that as well.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
My favorite trope and idea to explore is The Chosen One and anything to do with Prophecy. And Magic. I live for magic.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I write Fantasy. Having just completed publication on the first trilogy in my epic fantasy, The Sphere Saga, I’m in the process of pre-writing/ outlining the second trilogy. I hope to begin the first draft on the first book in the new trilogy soon. The working title is Order of the Sphere.
At some point soon I also intend to complete the first draft of Excalibur Company, the second book in my Middle Grade/Teen Arcana Chronicles series. I’m hoping to publish it by the end of the year.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
My most recent release was War of the Sphere which I released in December 2021. Available on Amazon in ebook, paperback, and hardback
The lines have been drawn. The battle for the realm has begun. Can this young woman become the leader who can stop the spread of evil?
Dashira Eisenheart never planned to head a rebellion. But when three millennia of magic suppression end to unleash devastating forces upon the world, she launches into a fight for her people. And every day the war over the Sphere-Blessed continues to rage, the closer her homeland edges toward utter annihilation.
Struggling to control her own abilities and teaming up with the all-powerful Three, Dashira hunts for magical artifacts to swing the conflict in their favor. But a dangerous trek reveals shocking secrets about the nature of reality that could tear apart the very fabric of time.
Can this rebel warrior save the future before the present is ground to dust?
War of the Sphere is the thrilling conclusion to the groundbreaking first trilogy in The Sphere Saga epic fantasy series. If you like deep worlds, intricate characters, and vivid depictions of all-out combat, then you’ll love Jay S. Willis’s mind-altering story.
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
My own experiences always serve as a framework in the stories I create. I don’t think it’s possible to divorce my writing from my own perception of the world and my own experience. I was a history and political science major in undergrad. That combined with a law degree and over 25 years as an attorney offer a lot of perspective on a host of different things.
My mythology growing up was and still remains Star Wars. Joseph Campbell’s Power of Myth and The Hero with a Thousand Faces served as George Lucas’s framework for building a mythology for my generation.
I also grew up on comic books (Marvel Comics For the Win). The Avengers has always been my absolute favorite comic, way before the MCU and Marvel movies were a thing.
My strongest fictional writing source of inspiration would be Robert Jordan. The Wheel of Time drew me in and has never let go. Since devouring The Eye of the World I have always wanted to be able to craft my own captivating setting and characters so I can have my own worlds where my imagination can reside. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn has had a profound impact on my storytelling as well. Otherwise, Eddings Belgariad and The Mallorean, Feist’s Magician series, and the original Dragonlance Chronicles and by Weis and Hickman served as my foundations in Fantasy.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I wish I had a consistent routine. Between work and family obligations writing time is always at a premium. I definitely know the “flow state” exists and I’ve been blessed with the ability to attain it, but not always. The most consistent part of my routine when I manage to eke time out to write (after establishing a general outline) is to dive in and start from the beginning and work through the story. I tend to write chronologically through my stories for the most part. That’s just how my brain tends to work for some reason. After I get the story going I usually go back and review/re-read the last section I wrote to warmup without getting to deep into revision.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?
Spend more time reading and allow yourself to make time to write. Most importantly, recognize how important writing is and focus on it. (And stop playing World of Warcraft. I really wish I’d kicked that habit sooner and spent more time writing.)
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!
I mostly post on my Facebook page or my website, but here are my links: