Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview: Author Raphyel M. Jordan (Prossia)

Author Raphyel M. Jordan pays a visit to TeamNerd to chat about his novel, Prossia, a science fiction story centered around aliens. He gives an inside look as to why he chose to write a book minus humans, what makes him such a big nerd, and which science fiction author he would want to tag team with.
Annabell: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Raphyel Jordan: I'm just a guy who likes to let his inner dorkism show through the story he writes. :P

Annabell: What are some attributes that would qualify you as a nerd?

Raphyel Jordan: Hmm, lemme see. Video games? Check. Comics? Check. Anime? Check. Why, I even played old school RPGs here and there! You know, the one where you have a notebook and a dice? Yep. That serious. :P

Annabell: Describe the plot behind Prossia.

Raphyel Jordan: Prossia is the tale of a young alien girl named Aly. There's a danger lurking among the friends she's sworn to protect when she gets drafted into a galactic war with them. This danger is worse than any enemy weaponry, any being known in the galaxy, and it has the potential of crumbling both hostile and allied forces. The worst part is this: That danger is Aly, herself, and she doesn't even know it. I'd like to think of Prossia as being that classic coming-of-age story we can all relate to since many of us had our perspective of the world turned completely upside down when we left the "bird's nest."

Annabell: You essentially went to school for your first passion, Graphic Design then jumped into the world of writing. How did Graphic Design inspire you into writing your debut novel, Prossia?

Raphyel Jordan: Actually, I wanted to be an animator for the majority of my life, but that never came to fruition. I've been drawing since I was three years old, if not younger. Since the animation thing didn't work out, I figured graphic design was the next best thing since I could implement my life-long passion of drawing with it. When I was a kid, I used to do "graphic novels." So, in a sense, what I did with Prossia really wasn't anything new to me. It just involved a lot more words and thought! :P

Annabell: Prossia is centered around aliens without any human characters. Why did you decide to create a story absent of humans?

Raphyel Jordan: For starters, I knew the things I wanted these characters be capable of doing was going to be impossible by human standards unless I went the way of the genetically enhanced super human soldier, or something like that. Those stories have been done countless of times, and done so well that I needed to do something different. I also thought it would be cool to see how advanced sentient life would conduct itself. Oddly enough, the way they govern one another is very human-like in my story, but a lot of their customs are different due to their natural habitats and biochemistry. On top of that, it was just a blast being able to do all of this world building from scratch.

Annabell: The cover to Prossia is pretty cool! How did you approach creating it?

Raphyel Jordan: Uh oh. You just asked me a good art question! LOL! Thank you so much for the compliment, btw! The cover is actually inspired by an older illustration I did of Aly, called "A Soldier's Burden." In the original pic, I wanted to show Aly being weighed down by putting on the heavy toil of war. Soldiers give up so much of their, well, humanity, so the rest of us can keep ours.

So, with the cover, I wanted to convey a similar message, but put more emphasis on what Aly's protecting. . . and absolutely how terrified she is. She's only a seventeen-year old whose only main concern was making it pass high school. She didn't volunteer for the war, but was drafted! Who wouldn't be scared?! In the image, she almost has a "What am I doing here?" expression on her face. I also "cheated" with her armor a little bit for the same purpose, making it seem slightly bulkier than her form can manage. And, I hate to break it to ya, but I have plans on the cover's getting revised in the future. Sorry. :P But I promise, it's gonna be for the better.

Annabell: Since you love to draw, would you ever consider creating a book specifically filled with illustrations of the characters in the book Prossia? Or perhaps creating covers for fellow Indie/Self-Published authors?

Raphyel Jordan: I won't lie, the thought of making a Prossia art book has crossed my mind, but I'm afraid I'm too boggled down with the storytelling aspect at the moment. But who knows what the future holds.

As far as doing covers for fellow indies, I'll be more than happy to do so! I'm actually doing similar business in regards to that as we speak. Just gimme an email, and we'll work something out.

Annabell: You grew up in a conservative Christian household. What did your family think when you told them you were writing a book about aliens?

Raphyel Jordan: LOL! It wasn't that weird at all, actually. Why, I even had a book signing at the church I was raised in! It's sci-fi. SCI-FI. Besides, people have noted a lot of spiritual values in Prossia. And while I can't deny that my upbringing and beliefs deeply shapes a lot of the morals in the story, I didn't want it to come along as being too preachy. Sure, there's the action in the battles and all that jazz, but Prossia's mainly about unity within diversity, so I wanted there to be lessons worth having if one looked at the text hard enough.

Annabell: Would you ever write a book in a different genre outside of Sci-Fi? Why or why not?

Raphyel Jordan: Hmm, I dunno. I can't say I have anything outside of the genre on my to-do list right now. What I enjoy the most about sci-fi is the exact same thing I enjoy about drawing; that broken down wall of freedom and visual creativity. Even if I couldn't draw, I could still describe the physical realm my unique creatures dwell in. The only other best option for me would probably be fantasy, but I think I'm just too much of a current space geek to give that genre its due justice.

Annabell: If you could tag team with any Sci-Fi author to write a novel, who would you choose and why? What kind of story would you write about?

Raphyel Jordan: Ooh! Ooh ooh ooh! I've thought this one out before! That would definitely be my friend aka mentor Kevin J. Anderson. Without giving anything away, there's a lot of stuff going on in the Prossia Universe that I just can't tackle on my own. When the dust is settled, I think it would be such a cool thing to look back at some spots or events that were probably overlooked, and have bestselling authors like Kevin just have at it.

Annabell: Thank you to author Raphyel Jordan for stopping by and giving us a fun look at his novel, Prossia!

To learn more about the author and his work, check out his website.

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