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An Interview with Jase Jay Hartly


J.J. Hartly is more than an author; he’s a seasoned storyteller entwining epic fantasy, where ancient magic dances with the grit of the modern mundane, and science fiction, where advanced technology develops limitless human potential, and weaving it together into a tapestry of science fantasy to inspire his readers with hope and imagination.

Having traversed life’s twists and turns, Jase Jay Hartly draws inspiration from the individual paths of our unique and personal journeys. He guides his tales to balance the complications of real-world hardships with the benefits of fantastical dreams in a desire to make each reader smile and think.

As J.J. unveils his tales to readers of all ages, he beckons them beyond the mundane to explore uncharted worlds where reality and fantasy fuse—an individual adventure and social experience waiting to be discovered in his stories and shared with humanity.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

My mother was my biggest fan from the stories I wrote in high school in creative writing. She was a voracious reader, so I knew she was being honest with me when she would tell me I was a great writer and always asked if I’d written anything new for her to read. We would spend entire summers sitting on her porch, quietly reading our separate books while sipping on our sweet sun tea…not feeling compelled to talk, but still enjoying each other’s company.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

I grew up reading classic science fiction at first, like Asimov and Heinlein, but slowly felt my imagination ignite from the magical fantasy tales of Tolkien and Pratchett. I later fell in love with video games and when Final Fantasy came along, melding science fiction and fantasy, I knew I had found my genre: science fantasy. I don’t feel there are enough tales in the genre and so I hope to correct that tragedy and bring science fantasy into the limelight.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I knew I needed a word that blended science fiction and fantasy together and Final Fantasy used the term ‘magitek’ so I wanted to be unique (or so I thought) and called mine ‘magitech’ (magic and technology fused). I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, so it was a quick decision to name my first book Magitech Wars; it was a process over many years to produce my subtitle though and it went through dozens of variations before I settled (just a few weeks ago actually) on The Maiden’s Voyage.

I loved the idea of the play on words since this is a story of a young farm girl setting sail on a magical adventure into my Akasha Realm Universe.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

“Children of the Sky” by Imagine Dragons, “Rewrite the Stars” by James Arthur, “Traveler’s Song” by Aviators, and “You Say” by Lauren Daigle.

I listen to mostly instrumental music when I write because I get distracted by lyrics and want to sing along otherwise.

Describe your dream book cover.

Something that speaks to the adventures of my protagonist, Faybel, her love interest, Lukos, and the evil dragon queen Morta that they both have lost parents to. It needs to show magic happening while surrounded by advanced technology.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked for over 30 years in the coffee industry. I wake up about 3 a.m. every day because my internal body clock makes me from having opened coffee cafes for so many years. I’m not an ‘early bird’ or a ‘night owl’ so I made up my own group I call the ‘Maven Ravens’ for those of us that thrive in the ‘wee hours’ of the night/morning.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

I’m all about being a ‘Learner for Life’ so I read books about the art and craft of writing, tips, tricks, and techniques that other authors found useful or insightful. I like to re-read bits and pieces of classic sci-fi and fantasy to inspire me and ignite my imagination.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

My ideal readers are those that believe humanity has a brighter future and aren’t buying into all the dystopian destinies others foresee. Dark Ages happen, but so do Renaissances. I want my tales to inspire hope and smiles, individuality strengthened through community, and balancing humaneness with the advantages created by technology.

I want readers to know that no matter how dark the present might seem, it has been darker before, but with hope and determination, we can make a brighter future for this world.

I believe we can work together to take ourselves to the stars and carry our inspirational light into the darkest despair of our omnipotent universe.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.