Author Interview – Jean Kilczer – Satan’s Forge

It is my pleasure to re-post my interview with my friend Jean Kilczer for her fifth book in the Star Sojourner series Satan’s Forge.

JEAN Satans Forge

Short author bio: While majoring in art in high school – yeah, they let us do that at Prospect Heights H.S. in Brooklyn, with nude models, too, I realized that the creative juices were flowing in a different direction: science fiction and fantasy writing. One evening, I took pen in hand and wrote a short science fiction story titled: The Aliens. “Well,” said I, “that wasn’t so hard,” having no idea how poorly written it really was, and how skewed was the science in the fiction. But it launched me into a love of writing and a passion to become the best writer possible so that anyone picking up one of my twelve books on Amazon, will enjoy a good read.


Book Synopsis: There must be forces at work that prevent our hero, appealing, nice guy, astrobiologist Jules Rammis, from returning to Earth and studying Blackroot, the intriguing plant/animal he discovered on planet Halcyon.

This time, it’s a rapacious Altairian slave overlord and master of Lithium Love Mine on planet New Lithnia. And Jules, with his sacrificial hero nature, will risk life and limb to dethrone the demigod and free Terran and alien slaves who are being tortured and worked to death, along with the mine ponies.

It keeps our guy up to his ears in trouble and danger, but Jules is used to that from previous adventures around the star systems. In fact, I’m afraid it’s becoming addictive.

Again, his team is involved: Joe, the gruff but savvy older leader who is forever concerned about Jules’ recklessness; Huff, the bearlike Vegan, a strong but simple soul who thinks of Jules as his cub; Chancey, the brash Harlem tag, and gentle Bat, the Southern medic who chases after our reckless hero with his medkit.

This time, spice is added to the mix in the form of Sophia Rella; beautiful, smart, and head over heels for our tall, blond hero.

Is it possible that Jules has finally met his match? Sophia adds a feminine quality to the team, but she’s no camp follower. As headstrong and resourceful as Jules, but more grounded, Sophia is embraced by the team as a member.

Jules just might want to keep her around in future adventures.


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. A life lived with honor. My protagonist, Jules Rammis, while reckless and often leaping before he stops to think, always goes for the honorable decision, even if it means sacrifice on his part.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

For me, it’s plotting. Sometimes I don’t know what will happen on the next page. I keep Roger Zelazny’s advice in mind: The fantail of possibilities, and decide what will move the plot, show character, deepen the theme, and be the most satisfying to the reader of all those fantails. There is always a reader looking over my shoulder. I like to think it’s the ghost of Zelazny, my favorite popular author and teacher, though he didn’t know it. We lost him way too soon.

What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book and how did you overcome it?

With Satan’s Forge being the fifth book in the Star Sojourner series, there are now seven completed and I’m working on the eighth, the challenge is to have my protagonist grow without changing his personality. In each book, Jules develops his telepathic abilities a little further, and sometimes in different directions. I bring back previous characters, too, Jules’ team, and introduce new ones in each book.

Do you have a favorite line or scene from your latest release?

My favorite line from Satan’s Forge is when Jules, his girlfriend Sophia, and Jules’ alien buddy Huff, a loyal, naive, but wise Vegan from the planet Kresthaven, who takes every word literally, is asked by Jules to top a hill and look for a stream or a pond in a desert trek where their water is running low. Huff returns to Jules and Sophia looking dejected. “I looked in all directions every way,” Huff says, “but I could not find a stream or a pond.” Jules pats his shoulder and says “That’s OK, buddy, you tried.” Huff responds “Yes. Only a lake.”

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?

With the traditional publishing houses so closed to new writers, Amazon has opened an alternative world for independent writers. The competition is fierce, which is why we all try to promote our books. You have to be passionate about the writing life. My friends and I on the writing threads have the passion, but we all hope for the success of our books, too.

How are readers/reviewers reacting to your book?

Satan’s Forge got fifteen very good reviews. Readers seem to like Jules and Huff the best.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?

I Write with passion and honesty, and Learn how to promote your book. It’s the other half of the battle. Wish I knew how.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I think it’s inborn to want to express yourself in some creative way. Having started in art, and then switching to writing, I can see some similarities. Both artists and writers face a blank page or canvas, and try to put something on it of Truth and the human condition.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?

I have the Star Sojourner series on Amazon: The Loranth, Halcyon Nights, Spears of the Sun, Blood of Denebria, Satan’s Forge, TangleRoot, The Siege of New Terra, which is finished, but not yet published. My non-series books are: Kraken’s Keep, The Empty Hands, and a children’s fantasy trilogy called Snowflake’s World: The Deadly Sulphur Mine, The Enchanted Portal at Haunted Lake, and The Quest for New Eden. I’m currently working on The Stars Like Ice.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I write to please my readers, to take them out of the daily routine and/or problems, and go on a wild science fiction ride of “What If,” for a while, in a world that is hotter and usually more dangerous and exciting than our mundane Earth. LOL.

Thank you, Ch’kara. Blessed Be.


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