Check out this spotlight for author DJ LeJeune!
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!
Hi! Thanks for having me. My name is DJ LeJeune, and I aim to send my readers on near and far future Science Fiction adventures, blended with a dash of thriller and a lot of character. I won the Grand Prize for the Summer 2020 Writing Contest at Short Fiction Break. I enjoy gaming, tech, and Donatello, because he’s the MVP of the Ninja Turtles.
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!
Cat or Dog – Cat. Or a Wiener dog… they’re like the cats of the dog breeds.
Tea or Coffee – Coffee, because… c’mon. But only black—no cream, no sugar—just like my grandmother taught me to drink it.
Plotter or Pantser – Hybrid. I do a lot of advance work to plot the story, but I can only get so far before those efforts stall.
So as I’m writing the first draft, I’m discovering a good deal about how characters react and what certain settings look like. Then when I begin work on the second draft, a new round of plotting comes in.
Book or Ebook – I’ve gotten to love the convenience of an ebook. Most my family and friends are still all about a physical book, though, which I get.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
Stories about ancient mysteries or some far-off, newly-discovered space artifact that’s been there for tens of thousands of years. That sort of thing. It’ll usually have some hook of unknown awe/fascination that grabs me and makes me want to read.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I primarily write science fiction, but my current work dives deep into fantasy, too. I published my first novel, Path of Relics: Aether Shard, last year, and I’m working on the sequel, which I’ll publish later in 2023. Path of Relics is in a sub-genre of scifi known as Gamelit or LitRPG.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
Path of Relics: Aether Shard is like a mix of Ready Player One, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones.
The blurb describes the book fairly well:
He entered the contest to win cash…
Now millions could die.
Random gigs and ramen noodles… that’s how out-of-shape gamer Terry survives the job-starved future of 2044. Until he’s accepted into the Path of Relics tournament—the most anticipated virtual reality RPG event of the decade—where he has the chance to win some real loot.
But does he have a fighting chance against the world’s top Active-VR athletes?
Not to mention the ancient dungeons, puzzles, scorpion-wolves, and all-too-realistic NPCs the game world throws at him. And just how advanced is this “Portal Rig” that lets him physically experience the fantasy world as if he were transported there?
Worse, could his suspicions be true?
Are the strange and deadly malfunctions plaguing Manhattan somehow triggered by Path of Relics?
Now, outmatched and exhausted, can Terry’s mysterious ability to level-up quickly and his meager martial arts skills help him avert catastrophe in the real world?
You can get it here:
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 real-life inspiration usually has to do with technology. I love reading about this or that new advancement that might revolutionize the world, both in the near term and far future. That sort of stuff tends to inform my stories.
Fictional influences run the gamut, but I’ve always loved Issac Asimov’s writing style. His prose is clear and easy to read, but not over-simplified. He just tells a good story without drawing much attention to himself as the writer. I like that.
For Path of Relics in particular, I took tons of inspiration from Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth. There’s such a sense of “journey” to that movie. The main character visits so many strange places, and it just has this epic feel. I tried to get across that sense of being transported to another world in Path of Relics.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I write mornings, mostly. I work in Scrivener and use the Pomodoro technique where I’ll set a timer for 25 minutes and just write. I’ll take a five minute break then do another sprint, although my breaks tend to stretch beyond five minutes.
I’m still holding down a day job (mostly work from home), so I try to get my word count done early before things get busy. It’s working well so far.
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?
That self-doubt and uncertainty are a part of the process, and you just need to push through. I’ve always wanted to be a published author, but I never went for it thinking I wouldn’t be good enough. Then when I finally started my novel, it took me over two years to publish it, mostly due to procrastination. I put off doing the work for fear of how poorly I might do the work.
I’ve met several writers now (I’m in an online writer’s group), and realized most authors struggle with this. I’m better about forcing myself to move forward now, even when I don’t know exactly where the story is headed. Or when my writing seems a hollow version of the vision in my head.
It’s about taking things a little at a time and improving the story each step along the way. Most people can’t hold in mind all the parts of their story and grammar rules and everything else to get it out in draft one. That’s fine. That’s what revision is for.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!
And again, Path of Relics: Aether Shard is available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited here: https://www.amazon.com/Path-Relics-Aether-Seeker-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B0B9RRJ2MQ