Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: I am a former Software Engineer who grew up in Richmond Massachusetts, I am now retired and live with my wife and mother-in-law in Western Mass. I have four grown children, one son and three daughters, three of whom still reside in Massachusetts. I have a B.S. in Mathematics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and have done graduate work in both Applied Math and Computer Science. I’ve been an avid reader (mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy) since grade school. My first novel was a long time in the making (nearly 20 years) and has been split into two books (Enimnori: Arrival being the first) with the second (Enimnori: Discovery) now available as well. Book 3 (Enimnori:Challenge) was released August 15, 2023 with book 4 (Enimnori:Crisis) well under way.
Thanks so much, Jeff, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
Jeff Webber: My first book Eninnori:Arrival is the story of how a modern engineer gets accidentally transported to a world where magic is real. It is about the transition, his adjustment, and how he helps his new friends solve a major problem (and some minor ones).
JSC: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
JAW: I don’t have all that many yet, but I have read all of them. The worst one was a 3-star review on Amazon which wasn’t that bad, so I haven’t had to deal with any real negativity so far.
JSC: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
JAW: Science Fiction is my favorite genre, with Fantasy a close second. So I am writing what amounts to an SF story where they just happen to use magic. Like you might say Jim Butcher Dresden Files are detective stories where he uses magic (although he uses it a lot).
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
JAW: I try to plan a little bit, but mostly I just go with the flow. It sounds creepy and weird to a non-writer, but often the characters tell me what they want to do (or at least what they don’t want to do)
JSC: Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
JAW: The idea came first, with the main character a very close second.
JSC: How did you choose the topic for Enimnori: Challenge?
JAW: In all honesty, it was something that I would like to read.
JSC: What was the weirdest thing you had to Google for your story?
JAW: probably all the research I did into black powder weapons from the age of sail. Things such as range, penetration, powder charge, weight, etc.
JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child?
JAW: Absolutely! I kind of suck at sports, etc., so I was always the quiet weird kid reading in the corner. Even in class, this bugged the heck out of some of my teachers because I could always answer their questions, and did well on the tests.
JSC: What qualities do you and your characters share? How much are you like them, or how different are they from you?
JAW: Well, my main character is kind of what I would like to be if my body didn’t suck. If you are familiar with my sense of humor, for example, his will seem awfully familiar.
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
JAW: Well, the first three books have been published and I am working on both number four, a prequel, and a short story about the back story of a couple of the characters. I don’t have any plans at the moment to write anything except more in this series.
And now for Jeff’s new book: Enimnori: Challenge:
After being accidentally transported from Earth. Scott Hathaway first manages to save his new home with the aid of his modern knowledge. Now Scott is very busy learning how to use his newly discovered magical abilities, but what will happen when Landbelow’s interstellar origin becomes a problem? And how will he deal with his growing concerns about the family he left behind?
Morgan almost looked angry. “Scott, I think you still have skewed notions about magical strength from being around Brandon so much. Please remember that he is EXTREMELY powerful, and you shouldn’t judge yourself in comparison.” He stroked his beard for a second. “Actually, that does bring up another topic I want to discuss with you.” He glared at Scott for a moment, then chuckled. “In light of your progress so far, I am declaring your Student stage to be at an end. I sent the papers to the guild today.” He held up his hand as Scott started to speak. “Furthermore, in one week, you will be promoted to Journeyman.” He sighed. “In all fairness, you probably should have started as an advanced apprentice to begin with, for which I apologize.”
Scott was stunned. “Are you sure this won’t cause bad feelings or something? I can live with this for a while if needed. You’ve been very understanding,” he said ruefully. “I do realize that this situation has been hard for you as well.”
“No, I’ve thought about it, and given your age and advanced meditation skill, anyone who dares to complain can…how did you say it once…’go suck an egg’?” Morgan grinned broadly, rose and held out his hand. “Congratulations. Just don’t say anything about the Journeyman thing till next week when we have the official ceremony. You can take off the Student hat and armband immediately.”
Scott rose, took Morgan’s hand, and said warmly, “Thank you.” He hesitated. “I know you think we have too many projects going as it is, but I have something that’s been on my mind for quite a while….”
Morgan looked at him sourly, then suddenly burst out laughing. “I had a feeling that I might regret making you a Journeyman, but I didn’t think it would be before you were actually promoted. After next week, there isn’t much to keep you from working on whatever you want to, so go ahead, give me your idea. What bizarre subtlety of the way things work are we going to exploit now?” He couldn’t seem to stop laughing. “Are we to levitate the Count’s castle to the top of the cliff, or build something to find the best spot for growing apples? No wait, you want to create something so that one of your telescopes will keep watching one of the moons all by itself, as the moon moves across the sky….”
Scott couldn’t help but laugh as well. “You know that might not be all that hard…there’s something called a servo motor….”
This set Morgan off again. “Argh! Save me from the monster I have created!” After several minutes he managed to stop, and wiped his eyes. “By the powers, I haven’t laughed that hard for a long time.
Thank you my weird and wonderful friend!” He sighed heavily. “I might as well hear it.”