Jay Earl Robertson is the Cariboo’s latest author — self-published and happy to get his first work under his belt.
Earlier this year he saw the first of five fantasy fiction books he plans to write become a reality. War of the Frozen Fire arrived back from Virtual Book Worm recently and Robertson is pleased as punch.
If you love the twisting plot of light and dark forces battling it out with humans, elves, dwarves, fairies, were-beasts, gargoyles, orcs and underworld characters in the manner of Lord of the Rings, Robertson might be the author for you.
And if you get into his lively plot of the defenders of Mastasia trying to solve the mystery of the frozen fire threatening to destroy their world, don’t be dismayed. War of the Frozen Fire is just the first of a pentalogy (five volumes) Robertson plans to write.
His fantasy fiction has been a long time coming.
“It was in 2000 when I did an outline for the whole thing as a 23-year-old,” he says.
He lists the other four volumes that are a work-in-progress at the moment. “Blue Moon over Wishwater, Book of Blades, Amethyst Morning and Cions of Shadowdawn.
“The outlines are mostly done but the other books aren’t published yet.”
Robertson, who works in the dairy department at Williams Lake Walmart and was training to be a phlebotomist (someone who draws blood from people), finally achieved his dream of becoming a published author when he discovered Virtual Bookworm.com, a self-publishing company in Texas associated with Amazon Books.
He says when he sent his manuscript to Virtual Bookworm, they liked it right away.
“They had three editors look it over.”
He says he went to them because they screen the works submitted to them and they pay the highest royalty he could find.
“I own all the rights and get paid a royalty on any books that are sold.”
He says he is supposed to get a royalty cheque once a month as long as it is $25 or more.
“I’m not sure how much I’m going to get because I haven’t received a royalty payment yet.”
It cost Robertson $865 to self-publish and for that price the company did the editing, designed the cover, set up the ISBN number, and sent him five paperback copies of the book.
Getting copies of the book is fairly straightforward because it is print-on-demand from the publisher, virtualbookworm.com. It costs $14.95 for the 380-page paperback, plus shipping and handling, and $9.99 for a Kindle e-book edition.
It can also be ordered from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca for a slightly higher price, and Robertson is checking with local bookstores to see if they are interested in carrying it.
So far Robertson has tracked sales of his book to Europe, Canada and Texas. He has friends in Quesnel who ordered the book and got it right away. While the Kindle price is cheaper, he says his friends want the paperback version so they can get him to sign it for them.
“I know lots of people in Williams Lake and Quesnel who want a book.”
Robertson says he loves Stephen King and is a great fan of Terry Brooks, the author of the Shannara Series. “I’m interested in writing Sci-fi and scary stories.”
Meanwhile he is whittling away on his pentalogy, setting time aside each day for writing. “If I can type 1,000 words a day I’ll get it done. In the five-part book I know where everything is going to go.”