1--What is the title of your latest release?
THE GARDENS OF BYZANTIUM
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Love. War. Majesty. Intrigue. Vengeance. Mystery. Tragedy. Two star-crossed lovers from warring nations seek their oasis. A Historical Romance set in a unique time and place, the heart of the Eastern Roman Empire during a titanic struggle for survival with the Persian Empire.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
I was reading about the great palace in Constantinople while listening to music, a serenade by Antonin Dvorak. The combination of the words and the music conjured up a very vivid scene in my mind of the gardens in this palace at Constantinople, the city formerly known as Byzantium. I thought it would be a fantastic setting for a story: a romance, of course.
4--Would you hang out with your heroine in real life?
I think I would have to jump at the chance to hang out with anyone who was alive in the 7th century.
5--What are three words that describe your hero?
Stoic, honorable, and vengeful.
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I’ve learned that when you find a groove while writing, it’s best not to bother slowing down to edit, check notes, or reread prior sections. Just write until you run out of steam. You can prune whole sections or cross-check and edit later. Alteration can be done any day, but creation is more capricious, it seems.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
Both. Edits are done constantly. Format edits can come last.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I write in multiple places, sometimes even in the car, often emailing myself a paragraph or two to plug into the draft at my desktop later when I return home. I have a reclining desk chair that has become very uncomfortable and should have been replaced long ago because my children use it as a jungle gym.
10--Who is an author you admire?
Just one? Albert Camus.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
I would like to name one of the many wonderful literary classics that has made a profound impact on my life. But if I am being honest, it was a simple non-fiction book called Memory that I read when I was a child that probably had the greatest impact. The book described ways to improve your memory and explained why we remember certain things instead of others. Some things I read about in that book I still utilize regularly.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)
Fortunately, when you self-publish, you don’t need to worry about that!
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
I read different genres for different purposes, but overall, I think science fiction would be the frontrunner.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
How can someone have a single favorite movie? One that comes to mind is The Last of the Mohicans. It is masterful and very moving.
15--What is your favorite season?
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
Alone. A great TV series about human endurance and primitive survivalism, an interest of mine.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Free time is in short supply lately, but I enjoy playing the guitar and the piano to unwind.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
Well, I have several other books underway. The three closest to completion are another historical romance (set in the aftermath of the Mexican-American war), an allegory, and a sweeping science fiction work encompassing pre-history all the way through to the near future.
The year is 622 A.D., and the Persian and Byzantine empires have been fighting a war in the deserts since before she was born...
Asana's life has been one of turmoil and change. Every year found her uprooted and brought to another foreign land to live an austere life in a garrison with her father, an officer in the Persian Army. But the middle of a war is no place for such a gentle soul.
Before long, she is swept away from her family and forced to flee on the back of her beloved horse. Fate leads her into the hands of a handsome and mysterious Roman soldier who sequesters her in a beautiful palace in the heart of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire.
She begins to fall for him, and at last it seems as though she may have found an oasis of happiness in her war-torn world. That is, until news of a Persian army marching toward the city upends her life again, setting in motion an unstoppable chain of events that bring the story to its breathtaking and tragic conclusion...
Romance Fantasy [Author Self-Published, On Sale: October 24, 2023, e-Book, ISBN: 9798218219819 / ]
Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, J.F. Hughes graduated college with a degree in Business. He works full-time as a property manager and moonlights as a music teacher. Creative at heart, Hughes has been actively pursuing his passion for writing and is excited to launch his debut fiction novel, The Gardens of Byzantium.
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