Our Interview with MJ Schutte!

Image of MJ Schutte                                       Energy - The Awakening (The Energy Chronicles: Book I)

MJ lives in Brits, a small town in South Africa’s North West province, with his wife and three children.
After reading his debut fantasy novel, Energy, his wife asked how he thought of everything that happened in the book and he answered: “There is an entire world that exists only in my mind. All I have to do is close my eyes and listen.”

                                             From the author:

From a very early age I loved reading fantasy.
There has always been a question that burned in my mind though:
Where does magic come from?
The idea for “Energy” was sparked by this question.
Nothing can come from nothing.
If a wizard does something magical, like create fire, there has to be something behind the magic.
That something is energy.

My debut novel, Energy – The Awakening, is the first in a trilogy called The Energy Chronicles.
In this book the talent of energy manipulation is discovered and explored.
Some people have the talent to feel and take energy from other living things.
In rare cases this talent is very strong enabling a person to take, give and manipulate all forms of energy, even the temporary energy of an arrow in flight.

From the first chapter the reader will be drawn into Brighton and Lilian’s world, sharing the happiness, sadness, tragedy and love they share as they fight against all odds and great evil to be together.
Brighton faces seemingly insurmountable odds in his battle against evil and even has to cheat death to be with Lilian.
He is forced to use his talent to its fullest extent, and even beyond what he thought was possible, to save the people he loves.
Lilian also faces tough choices as she has to choose between her love for Brighton and saving the world from yet another evil tyrant.

In book II, Birth of a Wizard, the concept of energy manipulation and some other special talents are explored as well as the inevitable perceptions of magic and unwanted reputations that follows.

                                             Bio provided by author’s site

I had the very great fortune to get an opportunity to interview MJ and learn more about him and his fantastic book Energy! I loved the book and sought him out to interview him. Fortunately for us, he agreed! So please grab your favorite warm beverage on this windy chilly afternoon nad give a warm welcome to MJ!

1.    What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
I love books that are full of suspense, twists and edge-of-your-seat-moments. I wanted to write a book like that and looking at the comments and reviews I’ve received on Energy, it would seem it was a success.
 2.    Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I don’t have any notes or lists. The entire Energy Chronicles Trilogy is like a movie playing over and over in my head. I just close my eyes and watch for a while before I start writing.
3.What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
Previously I was lucky enough to have plenty of time to write so I wrote whenever I felt inspired. Unfortunately reality caught up with us and both my wife and I had to start working again to earn a living so now I have much less time to write. I may have to work according to a schedule once I start writing the third book in the trilogy.
4.   Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
If I have to choose just one I would go with Raymond E Feist. I read Magician many years ago but still remember how I used to take the book with me everywhere I went so that I could sneak a few pages every so often!
5.    It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
Proof reading and editing my own work is impossible for me! Luckily my wife, Tracy, is very willing to help me out with this.
6.    Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
I wish I had more time to read! I have a number of books on my TBR list but I simply don’t have the time to get to it.
7.    How did you get started on writing in the dark fantasy genre? etc. Is there personal life experience in the writing?
Magic and sorcery have fascinated me from a young age, but I’m also a logical thinker. Nothing can come from nothing. If a Wizard can throw fireballs, where do those fireballs come from? Everywhere around us is energy. Does it not make sense that there must be energy behind magic? Is magic not simply the ability to manipulate energy? These questions have burned in my head for many years and eventually I decided to write a book about it. The story I want to tell is too long for a single book so I create The Energy Chronicles trilogy. 
8.    Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
Amazon.com is providing great tools for new authors like myself to get their books published. If we were to rely on traditional publishers I believe that an enormous amount of good books will never be published or read.
9.    Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
At the moment I work almost exclusively on Facebook. Soon I will have a website where fans can read about my books, upcoming events and what I am planning for the future.
10.    Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
Once The Energy Chronicles Trilogy is done I will continue writing. I already have ideas for another few books.
11.      Who would be your first choice to play Brighton and Lily from your book “Energy”?
I have not really thought about this. Are there any fans out there who would like to apply for the roles?
12.If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
Since I love tennis and have also played the sport for many years, I would love to meet Roger Federer. My question to him would be “How do you stay so calm on the tennis court?”
I believe he is the greatest tennis player the world has ever seen.
How about it Roger? Fancy a game of tennis?