Laura Lond is the author of The
Adventures of Jecosan Tarres: The Journey
(Xulon Press, 2003). Here she discusses her writing and
the challenges facing new writers today.
EBG: Who is Jecosan
Tarres and what sort of scrapes does he experience in
The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres: The Journey?
LL : Jecosan, or Jeco, as
he goes by in the book, is a 12-year-old village boy working
as a blacksmith’s apprentice. Taught by the local
priest, he knows the truth and tries to serve the Lord
of the heavens the best he can—which is not easy
in the surroundings where the majority of people do not
care about such things and live their lives the way they
One day, Jeco is visited by a special messenger who commissions
him to go to the capital city of Kanavar, join the king’s
service and somehow prevent the coming war. He gives another
short instruction that sounds more like a vague prophesy
that Jeco is supposed to figure out when he gets to the
king’s palace, and warns him that “the journey
will not be all bright and rosy.”
This proves to be true. Since the boy must reach the palace
at a certain time, the dark forces are doing their best
to stop or at least to delay him. Jeco loses a dear friend,
gets arrested and accused of a crime he didn’t commit,
and ends up in the iron mines from which there is no escape…
Unless the heavenly power steps into the picture.
EBG: What age group
is the book intended for? Since the main character is
a boy, is the story intended for children? Or is it suitable
for adults who enjoy a good, clean adventure story as
LL: I did not write it specifically
for children, though the novel is perfectly child-appropriate,
and kids enjoy it as well as adults. I would say it is
a story for all ages. At the moment, my youngest known
reader is 8, and the oldest is 101.
EBG: How are the themes
of the Christian faith illustrated in Jecosan’s
LL: One of the central themes
is being called and staying true to your calling no matter
what, even if things go wrong, and you no longer know
what to do. Sometimes God lets us reach the end of our
rope—and that’s not a pleasant place to be—but
if you hang on, He will catch you right there. This is
what happens to Jeco.
Another theme is the spiritual warfare, the battle between
the Light and the Darkness. Although we do not actually
see spiritual beings fighting, the whole story is shown
in the light of that battle. There is God’s will—for
Jeco and for his country; and then there is the dark force
that wants to achieve the opposite.
EBG: What is the greatest
benefit that you hope readers will receive by reading
LL: First of all, I hope
they will enjoy a good story. And I want this story to
offer encouragement—encouragement to do the right
thing, to trust God and hang on to the end, even though
it might feel like all hope is lost. I have been there
myself, more than once, so I know the need.
EBG: How did you get
started writing The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres? How
long was the process from starting the book to publication?
LL: I began working on Jecosan’s
story about ten years ago, so it’s been quite a
long project. I had started and finished a few other projects
in between, which of course slowed down this one. Having
a full-time job, I could only write in the evenings, on
weekends and holidays… Okay, I confess: sometimes
I would write at work too—when my boss wasn’t
around and when I’d have all my regular tasks done.
I was caught once, and although I didn’t get in
trouble, my creativity was shut down for a few days after
EBG: Do you have any
tips or suggestions for beginning writers, especially
in the field of Christian fantasy fiction?
LL: Well, with five major
publishers totally controlling the market and encouraging
the policy of NOT publishing new authors, it is very hard
to get your book in print. So my biggest advice would
be this: Be strong, and be ready to fight for your dream.
Do not let those rejection letters break your spirit—Frank
Peretti had received over 50 of them (or was it 70?...)
before he got "This Present Darkness" published,
now a huge bestseller. Keep working and keep writing;
don’t give up. Pray. When depression kicks in, kick
it back out. If God gave you this gift, He wants you to
Now regarding the writing craft, particularly fantasy
fiction. It is no secret that most fantasy authors are
inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien;
the temptation to use similar plot lines, settings, or
characters may be great… Fight it!! Nobody wants
another Middle-earth or Narnia re-packaged. You can create
your own world, and your readers will love it.
EBG: What are some
of your favorite books and authors?
LL: C.S. Lewis is definitely
number one, I love both his fiction and non-fiction. I
also like Frank Peretti, Stephen Lawhead, and Terri Blackstock.
As to classics, I enjoy Charles Dickens, his writing is
so rich. Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky shows remarkable
psychological depth, as well as spiritual insight... I
could go on and on, I love reading.
EBG: When not writing,
what are some activities you enjoy?
LL: Reading! That’s
the only activity I can enjoy without feeling guilty for
not writing—I tell myself that I need it to sharpen
my writing skills (which is true). I guess I was just
born to write... On a more serious note, I do have some
hobbies, of course. I enjoy British comedy ("Keeping
Up Appearances" with Patricia Routledge is one of
my favorites); I like to watch a good movie with my husband,
no particular genre, just something that we both would
enjoy. I also love parks, I could just walk in a park
all day. As to sports, I’ve never enjoyed any except
for bicycling and swimming. I exercise once in a while,
just to stay in shape, and that’s about it.
EBG: The Adventures
of Jecosan Tarres: The Journey is the first book in a
trilogy. What is the title of the next book and when should
we look for it?
LL: Book 2, The
Palace, is already completed,
and I hope to have it out by Easter 2004.
EBG: Is there anything
else you’d like to add for readers at the Edenstar
LL: I would encourage the
readers to endorse authors whose books they enjoy, especially
new authors. As I’ve already said, it is extremely
hard make it in the publishing world these days. Money
rules, and if you don’t have any to promote your
book, you’re out of the game—unless your readers
step in and help.
So I would like to ask readers: if you’ve read a
great book, please take a few minutes and do something
to spread the word about it. Leave a review at websites
like Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble, share about the book
on a Christian forum, tell your friends, send them a link
to the author’s website. It will not cost you anything,
and it will be a great help to the author.
EBG: Thank you, Laura!
Contact info: Learn
more about Laura Lond at her web site, laura-lond.tripod.com.
November 28, 2003