Today I am interviewing Jay Allan, author of the new science-fiction novel, The Emperor’s Fist, fourth book in the Far Stars series.
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DJ: Hi Jay! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jay Allan:Sure. I’ve been writing since 2012, mostly military science fiction and space opera, though I do have a fantasy novel floating around out there, too.
DJ: What is The Emperor’s Fist and then the Far Stars series about?
Jay: The Far Stars series is set in a universe dominated by a brutal empire. The Far Stars is a distant cluster of roughly 100 systems, separated from the empire by a vast navigational hazard called The Void. For this reason, it is a wild frontier, and also the only place in the galaxy where people are not under the emperor’s boot. At the end of the last book (Funeral Games) the people of the Far Stars drove the emperor’s forces out of the sector. The Emperor’s Fist is about the response to that.
DJ: What were some of your influences for the Far Stars series?
Jay: Well, there’s a little Star Wars in it, I suppose, more in superficial ways. There’s definitely some influence from pirate movies and the like, things like Captain Blood. A lot of my stuff is pretty gritty military SF. Far Stars is definitely more space opera (though not without some grit).
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?
Jay: Arkarin Blackhawk is the main character. He’s the product of an imperial genetic engineering program, and he was created to serve as one of the emperor’s top generals, a role he filled for some years before breaking his conditioning. He’s highly skilled, both as a warrior and a tactician, but he’s tortured by the terrible things he’s done, and plagued by the imperial conditioning that still remained within him. His struggle to escape who he was is at the center of the entire series.
DJ: What is the world and setting of the the Far Stars series like?
Jay: The Far Star is separated from the rest of the human-occupied galaxy by a navigational hazard called the Void, which makes travel to and from the sector very dangerous. The Far Stars cluster has about 100 inhabited worlds, ranging from highly-developed to rough and tumble border planets.
DJ: How have the reviews been from readers, bloggers, and reviewers for the previous three books of the Far Stars series? Is there anything that your audience seems to be particularly enjoying or is eager to find out more about?
Jay: I’m fortunate that the reviews have been good.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing The Emperor’s Fist?
Jay: It had been a while since I’d written anything in the Far Star setting, and I really enjoyed getting back to those characters.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Jay: Based on my experience, I’ll be asked when book five is coming. But, seriously, I think they’ll be talking about how some of the characters developed since the end of the original trilogy.
DJ: Did you have a goal when you began writing the Far Stars 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?
Jay: Well, I originally conceived it as a trilogy, which told the story of the defense of the Far Stars against imperial conquest. I’d briefly considered a second trilogy about the imperial response, but then I decided that would be better told as one book, and so The Emperor’s Fist was born.
DJ: Now that The Emperor’s Fist is released, what is next for you?
Jay: I’m currently pretty deep in my newest series, Blood on the Stars. I’m also working on a few new things that aren’t quite far enough along to talk about.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jay-Allan/e/B0092YHO9K/
Author Newsletter: http://jayallanbooks.com/newsletter/
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about The Emperor’s Fist and the Far Stars series that we haven’t talked about yet?
Jay: I’ve always tried to keep a lot of my heroes interesting, and not the kind of pure and unspotted paragons of virtue we see so often. Blackhawk is definitely a flawed hero, and one who has done some terrible things in his past. I really think he’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve created.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
Jay: Just that the Far Stars is probably one of the lesser known of my series, and if any of my readers are interested, the best place to start is book one, Shadow of Empire.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Jay: Thank you!
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***The Emperor’s Fist is published by Harper Voyager and is available TODAY!!!***
Buy the Book:
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About the Book:
In this thrilling new installment in the Far Stars saga, a reluctant hero with a bloody past must reunite with an old love to battle an evil emperor willing to destroy all their worlds if he cannot control them.
When the Far Stars came under imperial attack, Astra Lucerne—the daughter and successor of the Far Stars’ greatest conqueror—Marshal Augustin Lucerne—rallied her father’s confederation forces to defend their worlds. They were joined in the fight by former imperial general Arkarin Blackhawk, a warrior whose skills and brutality made him infamous, and who has, for two decades, sought the redemption he knows is unreachable.
Now, with the imperial foothold in the sector eliminated, the Far Stars is free and almost united. While Astra’s forces continue to depose local tyrants and warlords, Ark and his crew have slipped back into the shadows. Though his heart belongs to Astra, Ark cannot get too close. His imperial conditioning remains under control, but it is still volatile, and the temptation of power threatens to unleash the dark compulsions that made him the most merciless of the emperor’s servants. He cannot risk allowing Astra to see the darkness inside him.
But while the battle has been won, the war may not be over. A petty smuggler makes a discovery that can enable the emperor to strike back and crush the resistance—unless Ark and Astra join forces again to stop him.
About the Author:
Jay Allan is a USA Today bestselling author of roughly 30 science fiction and fantasy books, including the bestselling Crimson Worlds series and the Far Stars trilogy published by HarperCollins Voyager.
A lifetime northeasterner, Jay currently lives in New York City, where he writes from his apartment…and continues to fill small notebooks with ideas for future books.
He has been a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy for many years, a writer of the same far more recently. His tastes are varied and eclectic, but most often he will be found reading military and dystopian science fiction, space opera, alternate history, and epic fantasy. He is also an avid historian, and is as likely to be reading non-fiction as a novel.
Jay writes a lot of science fiction with military themes, but also other SF and some fantasy as well. His works tend to feature complex characters and lots of backstory and action, always with an emphasis on world-building and extensive detail.
Among other things, Jay writes the bestselling Crimson Worlds series and the Far Stars series published by Harper Collins Voyager.
Jay was an investor and real estate developer for many years before becoming a full-time author. When not writing, he enjoys traveling, running, hiking, and reading. Jay loves hearing from readers and always answers emails.
Join Jay’s mailing list at at the bottom of this page for updates on new releases, and follow him on Twitter @jayallanwrites for a slightly more frequent look at works in progress and thoughts on the genre in general. Or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.