In the book publishing process, no one works more closely with the author and the work than the editor on the project. Very few ever get to know a story and characters on the same level, save the author, and fresh eyes that didn’t create a world offer a different perspective. For a bit of fun, we turned the interview thing around a bit, and Jason R Jones, author of ‘The Last Pantheon’ series sent some questions to his editor, Robyn Stone-Kraft. Here are the results.
Questions for the Editor of The Last Pantheon, Robyn Stone-Kraft
1 What do you feel sets The Last Pantheon apart from other fantasy tales?
The characters and their interactions. Epic fantasy series with a million plot lines spread across a large number of books aren’t entirely new and original. Nor are vast casts of characters. I’ve read a few, or I wouldn’t be in this line of work. But it’s rare to come across characters and interactions in those ambitious series that really stand out, that are vivid. Usually, they’re all just in there to fill plot holes, but the characters in this series actually move, talk, breathe, interact, build their relationships with each other. Hands down, the main cast (and several supporting characters) are the best parts of the series.
2 Without giving away anything (no spoilers) what plots or morals do you feel lay hidden in the writing?
Hah- a tricky one! I feel like it’s important to point out that I’m a loud and proud Slytherin before getting to anything that has to do with morals. I’d say some major things that stand out are the standard (because they’re important) – loyalty, honesty. But also, the book doesn’t shy away from the emotional and mental repercussions of such things. Being loyal and honest isn’t always easy, but it is important. Notable is the story of James, and what he goes through- and how his new friends deal with standing by him.
3 What are some of the strong suits of the writer, Jason R Jones?
I read this book three times in under a year. Usually I only read my favorite books once a year. The important thing is, I enjoyed it every time (even though I was reading it for work!). The story is interesting and compelling, the pacing is good, and, as mentioned, the characters. I really cared about what happened to them.
4 What, if anything, can you discern about the author after reading his works?
This is a passion project, and one he has spent a lot of time on. Despite the scope he’s working with (18 books planned!) he knows where things are going. I’d also say he’s no stranger to personal struggles, but that’s not exactly an original thought about any author, ever. Also, he’s devoted to his son(s). Some of the most tender scenes take place between a character telling a story to his infant.
5 What mistakes does he fall prey to when writing?
This seems like a loaded question. Obviously, he’s not respectful enough towards cats, though he promises he’s working on it. Otherwise, I’d say the standard- knowing the story and characters and details better than his readers can, and so leaving out some of those things that allow a story to make more sense. That’s where I come in. Also, when working on a huge series, typos happen, and so do run on sentences in fight scenes. It’s just a rush to get it all on the page, I suspect.
6 What can the readers look forward to in upcoming installments?
Well, I have read the second book now, and there are some interesting new sects hinted at, new creatures and characters introduced, and new twists to the plot. Also, getting to know each of the characters better as each book focuses a bit more on one or another main character.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the easiest editing work ever, and 10 wanting to throw yourself from a cliff halfway through, how difficult is Jason R Jones to deal with? Why?
Yikes. Not that it matters now, as I’m on board for a looooong haul, but… Content/story/enjoyment/working with author -wise, I’d say a 2-3, mostly based on length. Actual in depth editing and cleaning up the writing… more like a 7, maybe, but I like a challenge.
Overall- I am, absolutely, recommending the series to my friends that read the genre. It’s a fun read, and well worth checking out.
The first book in the epic series, ‘Of Spiders and Falcons’ is up for pre-order in the Oloris Bookshop now.