Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today on Novels On The Run I have a fun , yet informative interview with the smashing debut author , JAY KRISTOFF author of STORMDANCER.

PLUS some AWESOME signed giveaways 
by Jay Kristoff.

You won't want to miss these giveaways.




Michelle:  What fifteen words describe Mr Kristoff?

Jay:  A very angry nerd who is nowhere near as cool or funny as he appears.

Michelle:  What ten words would you use to describe The Lotus War Series as a whole? You can’t use dystopian, Japanese, steampunk or fantasy.... well, I got to make it harderJ

Jay:  That is kinda hard :P Ok, here goes: 
Girl and griffin in epic fight to save the frackin’ world.
That’s eleven. The “frackin’” isn’t technically necessary, but can we keep it anyway?

Frack away... I kinda walked into that one, lol!

Michelle:  You have several stand out characters in Stormdancer, Yukiko, Buruu and Yoritomo. Yoritomo is a strong, intelligent, powerful , dangerous character. When he speaks, you listen. No smart mouthing back to this guy, you kiss the dirt and pray. When writing Yoritomo’s dialogue did you find yourself sitting up a bit straighter , being theatrical when you reread your writing back to yourself, feeling the power of your words, waving a cardboard chainsaw katana in the air, or head down bum up you didn’t need to 3D your words, it was all in the fingertips, the power just came naturally?

Jay:  It was mostly natural. Probably because I’m a closet megalomaniac with dreams of riding a griffin at the head of my massive army of nerds.

I’m a Roman history buff (nerdnerdnerd) and I kinda based Yoritomo on the emperor Nero - a kid who came to power too soon with all the hopes of his dynasty pinned on him, who just started testing the limits of absolute power. I really like exploring that concept – what it would do to a person.

If I was king of the world, for example, there’d be no such thing as dubstep. Everyone involved in that scene would just be rounded up and dropped into a huge Hunger Games style death match. The victor would be eaten by polar bears. On live TV.

Michelle:  I have snooped for a book trailer and have not been able to find anything. If finances were limitless, would you like to see your book trailer as animated or non animated? Go the green screen or tap Jason Chan on the shoulder and get him to slave away with ideas.

Jay:  If finances were unlimited, I’d have Katsuhiro Otomo (author/artist/director of Akira) do me an animated trailer. Jason Chan could do character design. Rage Against the Machine would reform to write a special soundtrack for it. The only place you could watch it would be on a specially built supersonic jet. And while the money tap was on, I’d buy myself some kind of rocket pack and hide it in the expenses as “sundry costs”. 

Michelle:  Could you please give us a quote from book two? No names/spoilers needed.

Jay:  I’ll give you an Aristotle quote instead (nerdnerdnerd), which is kinda the basis for the whole second book, and one that I ripped off shamelessly.

“Your anger is a gift.”


Michelle:  You wrote a most helpful , rather intelligent, and down right humorous way to look at writing outside of your gender, aptly titled, ‘5 Tips on Writing Outside Your Gender’.  YA Highway

Jay Kristoff
I learnt , yes , I am not a 532yr old vampire, but what stops me writing like I am a 532yr old vampire....nothing. So, we have ascertained from your mere looks, ( I’m looking at the movember facial feature you have) , you are not a 16 yr old Japanese girl, so therefore no boundaries should be in place for you to not be able to write as though you are one....right. Writing is about creating. I must tangent for one second, as I did laugh out loud at you being mistaken for Dave Grohl.....hehe!! I must admit I thought that the uber second I saw your image...back on track again. What? It was mentioned in the above article @ YA Highway. 

I for one am very glad you didn’t write ‘in your own shoes’, cause I KNOW you aren’t a Griffin.....*cracking up at myself*. I do have a question coming, even I have forgotten what it is.

J.K. Rowling chose her author name to sound like a guy author. We know about the famous little boy she wrote about with the glasses and a wand ( yes, I could have said Harry Potter ) What is your opinion of authors feeling the need to have their author name hide their gender?

Jay:  It kinda sucks, but I’ve seen readers say they won’t read books written by authors of a particular gender. I once had a woman tell me “You will never know what it’s like to be a teenaged girl, so don’t pretend to.” And some authors overcome that ridonkulously (totally a word) sexist objection by adopting gender neutral names in the futile attempt to mask their identity. But this is the age of the internet – that shit’s just not going to work anymore. Why lie? Just ignore the lunatics who “don’t read books written by XXXX”.

I try to write the best I can to the truths I know. People are essentially people, no matter the gear between their legs. We all want the same things, at the heart of us. Love. Happiness. Shelter. Friendship. Chocolate ice cream. Bourbon.

Mmmm, bourbon…..

*nods* Mmmmm , bourbon:):)

Michelle:  Graphic Designer by trade for 10 years, you understand art and design. Now correct me if I am wrong, you had input into only the US cover, if my spy notes are correct? Jason Chan, the most awesome illustrator, did a downright wicked job of the US cover . It is a crowd pleaser! The fans may go crazy getting Yukiko’s sleeve art. It was a truly most wicked design he did on Yukiko, it’s going to win some hearts. Have you branded yourself with Yukiko’s artwork or something from the book? Something that would set you apart from Dave Grohl. Not that there is anything wrong with being his doppelganger. Kinda cool , really.

Jay:  I had input on the UK cover, I just had a lot more with the US cover (for which I am exceedingly grateful). I do have a STORMDANCER tattoo, designed by the same awesome artist we used to design the kanji watermarks in the US edition of the book (her name is Araki Miho). I wrote a blog post about getting it HERE 11-11-11. ( This is very funny)
If I ever hit the NYT list (lawl), I’ll get Yuki’s fox sleeve on my arm. I’ll do a vlog about it. How’s that for a promise?

Holding you to it as I know you will get there! You may want to start waxing that arm...if you are of the manly hairy variety:)

Michelle:  Your favourite word is ‘Beautiful’, awww.....niceJ
Your favourite curse word rhymes with ‘truck diesel’, hehe!! Quite original .( People go forth and snoop, ye shall find it) You like to find a positive in a negative. So do I . Keeps the mind moving forward. What is one thing that Jay dislikes with a passion? It can be anything in the whole wide world.

Jay is Australian
Jay:  Wow. Hard question. Especially since I’ve already covered dubstep.

I dislike being told I can’t do something. That I can’t write a certain way or dress a certain way or talk a certain way. People who use the word “can’t” at me are not my favourite people. Unless their reasoning is like, physics or something. If someone tells me I can’t drink a whole bottle of liquor without vomiting like the little girl in The Exorcist, yeah fair enough, I’ll wear that.

Michelle:  The most influential person and your most brutal critic is your wife. I have a friend who is an author in the UK and his wife is nicknamed ‘The Hacker’, most affectionately of course, she is his strongest and most honest critic. They have this great team thing going on. Do you have a team thing, with your wife, in regards to your writing?

Jay:  For sure. STORMDANCER wouldn’t exist without her, if only for the fact that I’d probably have starved to death writing it.

I’ll usually get her to take a look when I’m about half way through the first draft, just to see if I’m headed over any cliffs. That way if I get stuck later on, I’ll bounce ideas off her and she’ll have context. Once I’m done, I’ll give her the whole thing to read, and I edit based on her notes. Hard experience has taught me she’s right nine times out of ten – one time I didn’t listen to her, I wrote myself into an 80,000 word dead end :P

I try to keep the twists a secret so I can get a genuine reaction from her when she reads them. There’s a particularly brutal twist in book two that made her call me some very rude names, which I consider a win.

Michelle:  I have to ask. The Japanese influence that you have breathed into Stormdancer, what type of research did you do, apart from watching the flicks. How did you choose your names? Cause, we aren’t talking, Ethan, Sam, Ash here.

Jay:  Drank lots of sak√©. Ate pocky until my eyes bled. Had my friends yell curse words at me in Japanese while I trawled Wikipedia and watched anime.

Japanese names are infused with far more meaning than western names, so for quite a few of the characters, I chose a name that suited their personality or an aspect of their story in the book. “Yukiko” means “Rare Child” for example. I tried to instil some sense of character in each, but a few I just chose because they sounded cool.

Michelle:  What inspired, made you think of a chainsaw katana?

Jay:  Probably playing too much Warhammer 40K as a kid (nerdnerdnerd). J

Michelle:  The Battle of Los Angeles by Rage Against The Machine was your constant music while writing Stormdancer, now, truly I am not a stalker, honest, I am just being an informed interviewerJ

Could you please name three songs that you would love to see on the Stormdancer soundtrack, if there was one? I like to think when there will be one. A little bit about the why, without spoilers, if possible.

Jay:  My taste in music is extremely obnoxious. The stuff I listen to would flay the paint from the walls inside your average suburban home, and it’s kinda unsuited for a Japanese SP film. Trent Reznor and the Chemical brothers both do awesome movie soundtracks though, so if you know their numbers, hook me up. In the event we can’t get Trent on board, the entire Battle of Los Angeles album could be the soundtrack and I’ll be happy.

That’s a lame answer. But honestly, some of the CDs in my collection could make orphans of your children.

Michelle:  Again, truly I am not a stalker. Jay does not believe in happy endings. You are frightening me. You like to kill!! I feel nervous for certain characters, but I will not put any questions on you about that. Jay played air guitar for 15 minutes in his excitement upon receiving publishing news. Will you do anything special, keep a manly scrapbook of the day, base jump off a building, possibly manly squeeee from a mountain top when Stormdancer hits the shelves? Basically have you any plans or anything special you will buy for yourself as a pat on the back for job well done Jay? Not being nosey.....maybe a tadJ

Jay:  It’s not that I like killing characters. I just think that victory without sacrifice is cheap. Besides, I like the idea of people being scared for the characters they love. Makes them love those characters more.

I get three launch days (US, UK and AUS) in the space of a couple of weeks, so I need to space out the binge-drinking or else I might, you know, die. But I imagine there will be air-guitar. No base-jumping though – knowing my luck I’d die right before I became a squintillionaire.

(Totally a word).

Michelle:  Thankyou so much for your time.

Enjoy the awesomesauce that comes with being published. I am sure there will be many more cherries on top in the future for you. Bask in the glory...and I shall repeat.

Dude, you can write!

I leave you with this little linky 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Prints will look like this with an amazing signature on them:
These are examples only!!
 I sent a few different designs of his wallpaper to him to sign.
 I will decide which ones to put in this giveaway when I receive them back. 
So, it will be a surprise which ones the winners receive:D
Also the sizes vary.
Could be 5"x 7"
Could be bigger!


A little dubstep and a guy who is an amaaaazzzing performer.
Gotta watch this!



  1. Haha! Love the interview! It's always nice to know some stuffs about the author and not just about their books. Though I'm excited about Stormdancer! I've only read a few books written by male authors.

  2. I loved the discussion about the Japenese influence, since it's such a great part of the story. It also really amuses me, how Jay Kristoff describes his whole preparation for the book. :D

  3. Great interview & awesome questions! :)

  4. Great interview. I loved it all :) I love the Japanese influence and his input about the covers :) ( Entered as Natalie Cleary)

  5. What's not to love?! The interview was amazing, very informative and funny with all those "totally real words" that we all know are not xD
    I can't wait to read Stormdancer... days can't pass fast enough :D

    Thanks for the giveaway and the great interview ;)

  6. Always enjoy your interviews Michelle, I know you take the time to write the questions and do your research, they're always make a different, and fun interview.

    It's great to hear how the story came about and hearing about Jay's tattoo, his personality shines through and I think that's just as important as the book itself, I think you enjoy a book more when the author is a genuinely nice person with a personality.

    The prints that you'e done are lovely and would look awesome framed and hung as a piece of art. I've loved all things Japanese since I read Memoirs of a Geisha, it's very beautiful. I just have to decide on what cover I want now!

    Thanks Michelle :-)

  7. I really liked it when he talked about his music taste. I love Rage Against the Machine so he has officially landed on my "Cool authors" list.


  9. Basically how cool of a nerd he is!

  10. It was great to learn more about him and I agree the tattoo is great. :) I'm really excited for this release. :D

  11. The interview was amazing, very informative and hilarious, hey I learned some new words. Looking forward to read Stormdancer. :) (Ileana-Rafflecopter)

  12. The interview was very funny and I love the "nerdnerdnerd" parts :D

  13. I love sake and his tattoo! He also looks a little bit like the vocalist from Foo Fighters. Now I haven't read this but I Ak hoping that his Japanese influence extented to the Masamune-Muramasa myths. Thanks for the giveaway Matey!

    1. Braine, You sound to intelligent for me, the who? Masamune-Muramasa myths, lordy I need GOOGLE!! lol!! Yup!! Dave Grohl is the lead vocalist of Foo Fighters:D

      You are welcome Matey:D:D I aim to please...laters baby:D


  14. He does look like Dave Grohl!! haha

    Funny and cool interview,

  15. Thanks for dropping by everyone, Jay is a very very nice lad and he was very kind to take the time to sign these prints I have for you all to have a chance to win. It will be an awesome keepsake for you:D

    I know how cool is his tattoo!!!??

    Dave Grohl's doppleganger to boot:D

    Thanks for taking time to read interview, he is a fun answer..er ( that is so a word)


  16. p.s. He puts the 'cool' in being a nerd, raises the status a whole lot:D


  17. It's nice to know something about the author and to know what author like, hobby etc.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the great interview ;)

  18. I thought is was an amazing interview! It's nice to have learned about this new-to-me author that's everyone has raved about! One thing that stunned me from the interview was the changing names to hide an authors gender question. I've never heard that before nor have I ever thought to be bias like that. I guess it stunned me to learn a lot of peeps do that though. I love both of the book covers! I'm really excited to get my hands on a copy! Hopefully soon. *crosses fingers* Thank you for the chance to win it! :)
    DeAnna Schultz

  19. I love discussion about the Japenese influence and Stormdancer´s tatoo. Thanks for hte interview! This interview was the funniest I ever read!

  20. Great interview and the Japanese influence is definitely awesome! I'm a big fan of this book now plus it has simply awesome cover

  21. Favorite part of the interview: (Quote by Jay.)
    "It’s not that I like killing characters. I just think that victory without sacrifice is cheap. Besides, I like the idea of people being scared for the characters they love. Makes them love those characters more."

    I adore that. It is honest, and I very much agree with it. :) I just loved everything about the interview :D Thank you so much for this interview and giveaway. <3 *Fingers crossed.* :)
    Love, Carina

  22. Thanks for all the lovely comments. Jay was fun to interview. I am still waiting for signed goodies , they won't be far away:)


  23. Lol.. great interview its always good to havea laugh ! Even if he openly admits he is a nerd !! Love it !! and an aussie one at that !

    Will be adding this to my pile ! love the covers and the interview certainly gives the reader a lot more about the author which is always great !


  24. Love the tattoo! I like the way he answers, he sounds funny, the japanese influence answer made me laugh :)
    Thank you for the international giveaway!

  25. Awesome read! I loved all the questions and answers! I can't wait to read the book!

  26. I love learning more about an author's process (and getting a glimpse into the things that influence their writing like music) and this interview was chalk full of those details as well as humor too - it rocks!


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