Jonathan L. Ferrara was born in San Pedro, California to an Italian fisherman and a mother from New York. Growing up with one older brother, Jonathan had several hobbies: finding the best hiding spots to jump out and scare his mother, discovering new fantasy book series, and imagining outrageous, whimsical worlds full of magic. He is now happily married, residing in California in the City of Angels. He has two wonderful children-his dog Koda and cat Merlin.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin. What was your inspiration for it?
A: I’ve always had a love for fantasy stories and I always knew I wanted to write my own. Growing up as catholic I went to church like a good catholic boy, and was even an alter boy. I loved the history of the religion and I began to see a connection between Catholicism and fantasy, which led to the birth of this story. The Seven Deadly Sins fit perfectly with the two.
Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.
A: Nicholas Blackwell is only sixteen-years-old and is somehow connected to the City of Demons, he just doesn’t know why. His family’s secret is hidden there and he has to challenge each of the Guardians of the Seven Deadly Sins to discover it.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
A: The best way to describe my experience when writing this story was that I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, discovering this world as it unfolded around me. This story truly had a mind of its own and took me for a ride. I was just as surprised as the readers when I discovered Nicholas’s family’s secret. before and after work, including my days off, I spent writing this story. I made my coffee, listened to some inspiring music to get my creative juices going, and wrote until my fingers were sore. It took me three months to write the first draft of the story. My personal editing took months after, but the main story took three months.
Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?
A: The main setting for The Blackwell Family Secret takes place in the City of Demons. It would be hard to write anything but exciting in a fun, whimsical world filled with outrageous creatures.
A: I don’t actually. I think writing has become such a part of me and my everyday. Sometimes I do get anxiety when I’m thinking about the story when I’m not actually writing yet. There are times when plots and characters are working out the way you want them to. In that case, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed.
Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?
A: When I’m not at work I’m writing. I usually give myself a few hours at night to eat dinner and relax with a show or book, but other than that I’m on the computer writing. My significant other is an artist so usually we’re both being creative at the same time. We do make sure that Friday nights are date nights though.
Q: How do you define success?
A: Doing what you love and being proud of it. Even if a writer wrote a book, perfected it completely, and decided to keep it just for themselves I would call that success.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
A: I couldn’t even imagine that. Personally, I couldn’t see myself with anyone who didn’t understand my passion and didn’t support it. I would say find someone who believes in you, if not, fight for your dreams regardless to what others say.
Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?
A: I do agree to a certain extent. I wouldn’t say writing is horrible, but I would say it was exhausting. There needs to be a drive. Something inside you forces you to write until it’s complete.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: Only that the Guardians of Sin are waiting to be unleashed!
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Blackwell Family Secret:
THE GUARDIANS OF SINS
by Jonathan L. Ferrara
URBAN FANTASY, Young Adult
5.5×8.5, 224 pages
Publication date: December 5, 2014
$15.95 trade paperback, ISBN 978-1-940076-19-5
$5.95 E-book, ISBN 978-1-940076-20-1
Publisher: Dragonwell Publishing
Distribution: Ingram Book Company
www.dragonwellpublishing.com / AMAZON
Nicholas Blackwell has no idea he is supposed to fulfill a destiny. All he knows is that he draws trouble like a magnet. Orphaned at eleven when two demonic men killed his parents, he copes with the strict rules of his new home, St. Christopher’s academy, unaware that he has been the real target for the killers and that his guardian angel has saved him in the nick of time. And now, his problems are only beginning when a mysterious serpent lures him into the woods and tricks him into a demonic ritual that will unleash the Seven Deadly Sins to destroy the humankind. Nicholas has no choice but to correct his mistake–or die trying. Aided by Amy, a shy but determined girl who seems to know more about his task than she should, Nicholas’s quest is to travel into the City of Demonio and defeat the Seven Guardians of Sin. To succeed, he must confront demons, monsters, and lost souls, learn the mysteries of the Chapel of Dreams, discover the true meaning of friendship and love, and face the darkest secret of all: the Blackwell Family Secret.
“The Blackwell Family Secret: the Guardians of Sin” is a debut young adult urban fantasy adventure with a Christian theme.