Jeff Wheeler took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, and a devout member of his church. He is occasionally spotted roaming among the oak trees and granite boulders in the hills of California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is the author of The Covenant of Muirwood Trilogy, The Legends of Muirwood Trilogy, the Whispers from Mirrowen Trilogy, and the Landmoor Series.
1) How difficult was it to make the decision to quit your job to write full time?
It was certainly a leap of faith but it didn’t happen all at once. I didn’t make the decision until after signing a second book deal with 47North after seeing how the first books had done. My wife and I like to sit down every year and make goals for 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years and then revise them annually. In one of our goal sessions, I had written down that I’d become a full-time author within the 5 year segment. And it happened. At the time, it felt rather ambitious. But there’s something to be said for making goals and working on them.
2) If you were fountain blessed with one gift which one would you want and why? How do you think you would refill your fountain magic stores?
I’ve always loved to read and had the desire to write books since I was a teenager. I think I would hope to be fountain blessed with the gift of writing that makes people feel my stories are real. As for refilling that power? Nice back scratches!
3) I have to admit I was and am a huge nerd so I have to ask. In D&D what was your chosen class and race? Did you always use the same name?
Ok, so we’re going nerdy are we? My favorite character to play was a half-elven thief acrobat named Jared Ray Blackman. I wasn’t very good at coming up with names back then. It was my favorite class because of the evasion skill (this was old, old school…BTW) where if he was hit, there was a certain percentage chance that he could evade it. Loved that and had some close escapes. I ended up turning this character into Jaerod, the wise Sleepwalker mentor, in my Landmoor novels, which was based on some of my D&D campaigns as a youth.
4) Do you identify in any way to Owen, the main character in the Kingfountian series?
In many ways. First of all, he’s based on my son (including the spot of white hair on the side of his head). I’ve had dreams about him as a character which created plot points. But in the new Kingfountain series, he’s a dad, like me, and so I can relate to him very much and his desire to get back home to his family.
5) How challenging was it for you to get Owen to be a strong protagonist and still be believable as 8 years old?
I wasn’t sure I could pull it off until I re-watched The Sixth Sense, a movie I think is superbly creative and interesting. The main character in that movie was 8 years old. I thought if he could pull it off and make it so gripping, so could Owen. My publisher was really nervous at first. But we took the risk together and the rest is history.
6) Do you read your reviews? Do you respond?
I read all my reviews actually. The ones on Amazon anyway. I prefer to respond to messages sent directly to me on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, or my blog. When I was younger I used to write to my favorite authors. I loved hearing back from them. It meant the world to me. So I try to be nice and return the favor. Plus, it’s just great hearing from fans. It really makes my day.
7) What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Watching period dramas in all varieties (Austen, Dickens, movies like Amazing Grace, Somewhere in Time, the list goes on and on!). Always looking for something new that is well done. I’m a hopeless romantic you know.
8) What are your ideal surroundings for you to write?
I have a view of the Grand Tetons from me den. But to be honest, it’s not the view that inspires me. I need quiet and eliminate distractions by using a white noise machine and noise-cancelling headphones. It might sound strange but it works for me and gets me into a flow state faster than anything else I’ve tried.
9) What would you like fans and future readers to know?
How much I appreciate their support and kind words. My career would not be possible without all the individuals out there who take the time to read my books and tell their friends and relatives about them. Wish I could give every single one a smile and a handshake. Or a hug. I’m a hugger.
10)We recently found that the Kingfountian series is not over, that another prequal is on its way. Can we expect more from this world after this?
That remains to be seen! I’m focused on my newest project right now, a five-book series. Something quite different than what I’ve done before. Something longer too. My story ideas usually take three books to write. Doing something five books long is breaking new ground for me. Can’t wait to share the news when it’s time. I’ve heard from my publisher that the cover art is underway. I’ve also seen the back jacket blurb. Soon. Very soon.
11) Do you have anything to share with us about any world you may be currently working on?
It is very very cool and you will like it very very much. My first readers all loved it. It will be called the Harbinger series. There are two protagonists. That’s all I will say right now until I’m ready to announce it. Soon. Very soon.
To purchase Jeff Wheeler Kingfountian series or any of his other series click Here
Thank you again to Mr. Wheeler for participating in our Q&A. Can’t wait for your next book in the Kingfountian series and to see your new world.