Today I am interviewing Jon Ray, author of the new fantasy novel, Gorp: Dungeon Overlord, second book in the Gorp the Goblin series.
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DJ: Hi Jon! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jon Ray: I recently moved to Sydney, Australia from Los Angeles, California. As of last year, I published my first novel and became a fantasy author with the Gorp the Goblin series. The following is my About the Author you’ll currently find on the back of my books: Jon Ray is a writer, director, and actor in film along with a large assortment of other titles when it comes to entertainment. Since the age of 13, he has played and enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons normally running his own games as the Dungeon Master for others. Originally from Tyler, Texas in the U.S., Jon currently resides in Sydney, Australia where he prospects for gold in the outback when not writing.
DJ: What is Gorp: Dungeon Overlord and then the Gorp the Goblin series about?
Jon: In the first book, “Gorp: Goblin Janitor”, a small goblin named Gorp goes in search of better employment. As in his homeland, raids on human villages have gotten a bit tiresome and Gorp doesn’t really hate the humans as much as other goblins. *Spoiler Alert for the first book* Gorp ended up getting made the Dungeon Overlord at the end of the first book. This is where book two picks up in “Gorp: Dungeon Overlord”, a few months after the first book ends. In this book, Gorp rules over Ye Olde Dungeon and all the monsters inside. Just as life seems to be going good for Gorp, a new threat from the west arrives in the form of a full scale orc invasion. This green force threatens not only the human settlements in the area, but Ye Olde Dungeon, as they make their living off the misfortunes of unlucky adventurers. Without them, the balance and tide of power would shift unfavorably too all within. In this book Gorp eventually meets both the human and fae kings of the realm and together they fight back the orc forces to save the world as they have known it.
DJ: What were some of your influences for the Gorp the Goblin series?
Jon: In almost all my fantasy, I’m very Dungeons & Dragons centric. I also pull from my time in the Society of Creative Anachronism and attend any Medieval or Renaissance Festival I can chance upon.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Jon: Gorp is the main character and the one I find the most compelling. He’s a green big nosed goblin, often misunderstood by his own kind, but even more so by the humans who he more identifies with than his own kind. He was born of a higher breed among the goblin tribes back home, but his level of understanding and compassion make him an enigma among the goblin races. To survive, on the outside he still keeps the appearance of a goblin, but inside, there isn’t much goblin within him.
DJ: What is the world and setting of the the Gorp the Goblin series like?
Jon: For the world in the Gorp the Goblin series, I wanted to keep everything tongue in cheek and generic. It’s a place that could be almost anywhere in any fantasy setting. The outcrop of land is only known as The Kingdom and is mostly occupied by humans. There is the forbidden Dark Forest, where in book two we learn is where the fairy folk make their home. To the southwest are the little halfling type people who are great hand craftsmen. There is one royal family with the main castle far to the north and another outside the main port city of the area. In the middle is a small lumber town and not far from here to the east is Ye Old Dungeon, which is where all the local adventure and action happens. I’m also a cartographer and have created maps for the towns and The Kingdom in my books.
DJ: How have the reviews been from readers, bloggers, and reviewers for the first book of the Gorp the Goblin series? Is there anything that your audience seems to be particularly enjoying or is eager to find out more about?
Jon: Originally, the first book, “Gorp: Goblin Janitor” was to be a stand-alone novel. My one bucket list item I wanted to do in my life, write a fantasy novel. I didn’t really plan on making it a series. Then I started getting early reviews of my book and a few readers wanted to know when the next book was coming out. That right there convinced me I should reconsider and maybe turn it into at least a trilogy. I’ve since decided that being an author is one of the main things I want to do in my life and it’s actually changed my direction in life a bit. I now have plenty of worlds, characters, and stories to tell.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Gorp: Dungeon Overlord?
Jon: Going back into that world and bring Gorp back to life again. Also, getting to see what happened after he took over the Ye Olde Dungeon. Also, I get to tie up some loose ends from the first book that were open ended. I’m also putting a few of those in book two, that will get resolved or touched upon in the third book.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Jon: Since Gorp the Goblin is told mostly from the alternate perspective of the monster side, the reader will get to see what goes on behind the scenes within the dungeon. Not just when adventurers are attacking and looting, but during their downtime and daily lives. I hope it gives the Hack’n’Slash types, something else to think about next time they power through a dungeon. Be it Dungeons & Dragons or an online game.
DJ: Did you have a goal when you began writing the Gorp the Goblin series? The series is not yet complete, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Jon: In short, alternative perspective is what I would call this type of series. We can to read into the lives of the otherside. The evil ones, the monsters, anyone not hailed a hero. With the main character Gorp, there is the old messages not to judge a book by its cover and you never really know a person, until you’ve walked in their boots.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Gorp: Dungeon Overlord that you can share with us?
Jon: I leave that up to the reader. It’s really hard for me to quote my own work.
DJ: Now that Gorp: Dungeon Overlord is released, what is next for you?
Jon: Depending on when this interview gets released, it may still be in edit and final steps of publication. But I do plan to have it out soon and am finishing it up at the moment. I’ve already got an anthology project that’s set in another world of mine called Agrobathe. This is and will become my Middle-Earth in the fantasy genre. I’ve already been world building on it on and off for over 10 years now. “Agrobathe Stories” will be the name of the anthology series, made up of short stories within my fantasy world of Agrobathe. I’ve already collected about seven short stories to go into this first volume and plan to publish it once I have 15 – 20 stories. I’ve also got a new Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game book series also set within the world of Agrobathe that I’ve been working on and plan to try and get the first book in that large series out sometime later this year.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/jonray
Author Newsletter: https://www.facebook.com/JonRayAuthor/app/100265896690345/
Lulu Author Spotlight: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lordjonray
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Gorp: Dungeon Overlord and the Gorp the Goblin series that we haven’t talked about yet?
Jon: The entire story for Gorp the Goblin has been planned out for the entire three book series. An interesting fact, each one was or will be written during a NaNoWriMo in November. I wrote the first book as part of my first ever NaNoWriMo in 2010 and won, writing over 50k words in 30 days. I then sat on it for about 6 year, before I finally decided to edit and publish it. Then last year Nov. 2017, during NaNoWriMo I wrote most of the second book Gorp: Dungeon Overlord, but plan for this one to be a bit longer of a book and taking longer to finish it. This November 2018, I’ll write the final book in the series called “Gorp: Defender of the Realm” and will have it edited and published sometime early next year. I don’t use NaNoWriMo to write all of my books, only for this series.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
Jon: You can also find my stories in other fantasy anthologies, magazine, and online publications as I often submit to these in addition to writing my own books. Also, if you’re in the Sydney, Australia area, check out my Facebook Author page to see when I will be holding a book signing. I sell signed printed copies of my books around the New South Wales area in person.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** Gorp: Dungeon Overlord is published by LJR Publishing and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
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Gorp the goblin through a series of unlikely events finds himself in charge of Ye Olde Dungeon as the new Dungeon Overlord. Gorp has made great improvements and increased the efficiency of dungeon operations, but a new threat from the west brings an unwelcome change to the realm in the form of an orc invasion. Not only is the dungeon in trouble of being overrun by orcs, but King Gilden blames Ye Olde Dungeon as the cause of the invasion. That is until the Fae Kingdom offers an alliance after Gorp helps rescue the fairy princess who has been lost in the City of Tents to the south after a bad break up.
Jon Ray is a writer, director, and actor in film along with a large assortment of other titles when it comes to entertainment. Since the age of 13, he has played and enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons normally running his own games as the Dungeon Master for others. Originally from Tyler, Texas in the U.S., Jon currently resides in Sydney, Australia where he prospects for gold in the outback when not writing.