Max Xylander Blog Tour Kick Off – Interview & Giveaway

Tour Schedule

Author Jon Thomason

Jon Thomason lives with his family in San Diego, after many years living in the beautiful Seattle area. He has a successful career in high tech where he’s been fortunate enough to participate in many big-name industry releases.

Storytelling permeates everything he does. In the moments when Jon is not helping build the story of the tech world, he can almost always be found working on a project: writing, photography, videography, graphics design, or 3D art.

And he’s always careful to conceal his jinni magic abilities, though perhaps might slip one day and be discovered…

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INTERVIEW

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
While I’m wildly curious about finding the REAL story in history, I have to choose the future so I could bring back the coolest gadgets ever!

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
As a child, Rip Foster and the Gray Planet (how’s that for obscure?). Somewhat older, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I was big into Dungeons and Dragons as a teen.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’ve been lucky enough to live in what I think are two of the best places to live in the world (and I’ve been a lot of places!). The rainy, but spectacularly beautiful Seattle area (where Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is set), and friendly, sunny, San Diego, California.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Oh yes. It depends on the day or the hour, though. I definitely have a lot of Philip in me: sarcastic and critical. I have Max’s curiosity, even if I’ve probably grown out of her anger management issues. I have Aaron’s sense of adventure (which we’re going to see a lot more of in the coming books), but probably not Brynn’s fashion sense.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
This is tough because there are hundreds of novels that I dearly love. I think I would choose “Foundation,” by Isaac Asimov. Beyond just groundbreaking and ahead of its time, Foundation laid the groundwork for decades of Science Fiction. Also, the amazing intelligence and work ethic of Mr. Asimov are something for anyone to aspire to. My second choice would be the Lord of the Rings, by Tolkien. The staggering depth of the canon, including lineages, languages, and depth of the peoples he imagined were such that all fantasy and gaming since dares rarely to diverge from his vision of the arcane arts.

What do you do in your free time?
It’s really very rare that I have any! My day job is as an executive at a Fortune 200 company. I am active in the community and in church, try to spend as much time as possible with my family–and still find some time to write! What time I have free between things usually finds me at the computer working on a project in photography, graphics design, video production, 3D modeling, or my first love, computer programming.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
Up early, off to CrossFit. From there to a day at the office filled with meetings, technical supervision, and keeping customers happy. Often rushing after work to help coach a youth sports team (football, basketball, or baseball), home for dinner, Then back onto the computer for whatever project is most urgent. Collapse into bed. Rinse and repeat.

Favorite places to travel?
I travel extensively for work and also with my family. I speak fluent French, so a trip to the Continent is always high on the list. But lately, I’ve particularly enjoyed travels to Asia. The fast growing economies are a marvel to behold in person. Wandering the busy streets of Shanghai, seeing the Blade Runner-esque view from a restaurant high in a gleaming tower in Shinjuku, Tokyo, or seeing the fashion in the Gangnam District of Seoul are all experiences not to be missed.

Favorite sport?
To play? Basketball. To watch? Nothing can approach the NFL as a spectator sport. Hopefully they can do something about the issues surrounding concussions, though.

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Easy: having nothing else to do besides sitting at my computer working on a project, hopefully involving a book.

How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you start the book?
Too long! I’m convinced the “ultimate killer story idea” is percolating in there and will one day come out!

If you could take over the world, would you?
No way. Funny you should ask this…this might be the theme question of Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud. Just like Philip, I much prefer to leave alone and be left alone!

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
With music, definitely.

Where do you write?
I write wherever I can. I can’t be picky about it. My favorite place to write is from a business class seat at 35,000 feet with flight attendants bringing me food and nuts, and with no internet to distract me, or make it necessary to do work (other than writing). Unfortunately, United Airlines plans to bring WiFi to their transcontinental flights very soon. Noooo!

Who or what inspired your last book?
Several things: our daughter had a rare form of leukemia as a child (she’s doing fabulously well today!) and this got us thinking about the miracle of life, and what if that bone marrow transplant might have had an even more powerful effect…

If you were President for a day,what is the first thing you would do?
It could never be done in a day, unfortunately, but I’d radically simplify our tax code to eliminate as completely as possible the patronage and corruption so prevalent today and the various industries built up for no other purpose than to digest federal and state funds. Innovation and hard work should be financially rewarded, not earmarking or other legislative means of transferring taxpayer funds to enrich individuals.

How do you go about revising/editing?
Simple: over and over and over again. I’m very much a perfectionist about my prose and find that it takes me several passes to get text that I’m happy with. And then getting out final proofreading errors takes many more passes.

How do you overcome writer’s block?
When it strikes (though it’s not frequent with me–my problem is more in finding time to write), I will usually skip to a different scene and write it. Or I’ll give up and hope for inspiration. A walk or some exercise usually helps. Some of my best ideas come in the shower.

140 Characters or less Tweet about your book.
Have you met Max? Hurry! She has to  learn how to use magic to save the world—our world. And then there’s the wickedly sarcastic Philip…

If you were not a writer, what would you like to do?
I’ve been fortunate enough to do many of the things professionally that I love to do: I’ve been a programmer and engineering manager for many years, which is truly my first love. I’ve been a professional photographer, web designer, graphics artist, and videographer. The one thing I always wanted to do, however, that was never possible was to be a fighter pilot. Isn’t a fighter plane pretty much the ultimate gadget?

What drives you insane about the writing process?
Honestly, I love to write, even the editing process. There’s something satisfying about getting even the very last errors out of the text. What absolutely does drive me insane is selling it! I’d much rather write than sell. But to be remotely successful, I believe a self-published author needs to spend nearly half their time on marketing. And this makes me insane 🙂

This or That

TV or Movies? Movies
Hot or Cold? Cold…read the first chapter of Max to see how!
Black or White? White
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird
Print or Ebook? Ebook: who could resist having 1,000 books in your pocket? But I miss the feel of pages.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Regular or Diet? Regular: when I have sugar water, I want the sugar!
Coke or Pepsi? Coke. Classic Coke.
Horror or Romance? Romance, for sure
Action or Drama? Action, definitely. But a plot, please!
Pizza or Pasta? Pasta. With Alfredo sauce
Skittles or M&Ms? M&Ms. Peanut
Sweet or Salty? Salty
Summer or Winter? Summer
City or Country? City
Harry Potter or Twilight? Harry Potter
Gum or Breath Mints? Breath mints
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? Spontaneity
PC or Mac? Mac
Beach or Pool? Beach
Shoes or Sandals? Shoes
Cats or Dog? Gryphons!
Apples or Oranges? Apples
Cause or Effect? Cause
Heads or Tails? Tails
Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
Truth or Dare? Dare
Text or Talk? Text
Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert

Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud

Max has anger management issues. But she has a secret, too. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a loser skate punk and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?

Philip just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher’s mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn’t you use it to escape work in any way possible?

Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he’s determined to stop them. The problem is that there’s this new girl. And she might be not be on the right side of things. She’s really talented and pretty, but she might be able to destroy everything he believes in. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to learn to be world class with the magic sword while he figures out what to do.

Brynn never gets out. Her grandfather won’t permit it. Her only access to the outside world are high fashion magazines, so she has an unusual idea what she should wear. She’s dying to get out and travel. And adopt animals. Any kind of animal. Is she a lonely future granny with cats or are her ridiculous clothes actually the next fashion craze? What possible role could she play in the destiny of the world?

Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is a fast-paced fantasy adventure for all ages (10 and up) and is the first of a planned trilogy. Fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and conspiracies set in a modern everyday world will not be able to put the book down. Jon Thomason is a debut author and paints a vivid world of magic right under our noses and delivers rapid-fire action that keeps the pages turning.

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Praise

“Impressively inventive and enjoyable…vivid storytelling and exceptional characterization…Max’s personality is layered and complex…conveyed flawlessly…keeping readers intrigued and engaged…writing style is smooth, and a subtle sense of humor comes through…narrative tension builds at a good pace and easily flows toward a satisfying and exciting conclusion…parents are likely to both approve of the story and enjoy reading it themselves…talented writer…sure to find an appreciative audience that will eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.” — ForeWord Clarion Review

“Thomason shines in his heroine’s characterization…magical” –blueink Review

Blog Tour Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash plus a copy of Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud
Print copy to US only, Ebook Internationally
Ends 3/31/13

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Tour Schedule

March 11th
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Interview
Magical Manuscripts – Review
Mom with A Kindle – Interview
Book Readers – Excerpt
Vonnie’s Reading Corner – Spotlight
Taking Time for Mommy – Spotlight

March 12th
Getting Your Read On – Review
Sher A Hart: Writing As Art – Guest Post
Reading Away the Days – Excerpt
~Oh, The Books You’ll Read! – Review
The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection – Interview
FanGirl Hostess – Spotlight

March 13th
Too Clever – Author Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt – Review & Tens List
Jessie’s Book Place – Spotlight
Musings of a Blogder – Review
A Blog Hop Place for Books – Spotlight

March 14th
Spellbindings – Review & Tens List
Crafty Zoo with Monkeys – Guest Post
Free eBooks Daily – Spotlight
Peace from Pieces – Interview
Cheri Schmidt – Spotlight

March 15th
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Character Interview
Why Not? Because I Said So! – Review
The Bunny’s Review – Tens List
Clean Teen Reads – Spotlight
Robin Lythgoe – Guest Post

March 16th
Fantasy Books – Spotlight
Froze8’s Blog – Tens List
Crazy Four Books – Review

March 17th
Cuzinlogic – Interview
Geo Librarian – Review
Indie Author How-to – Interview
Books, Books the Magical Fruit – Interview

March 18th
Mythical Books – Review
Bookworms Avenue – Spotlight
Suzy Turner, YA Author – Interview
Christy’s Cozy Corner – Review

March 19th
Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Excerpt
Contessa at the Crossroads – Review
Auggie-Talk – Review

March 20th
Curling Up With A Good Book – Review
Of Thoughts and Words – Guest Post
The Reading Retreat – Review & Interview
Book Bliss – Tens List

March 21st
Sarah Ballance – Tens List
My Random Life – Spotlight
Simple Wyrdings – Review
LOVE. WITHOUT YOU – Guest Post

March 22nd
T.L. Clarke – Spotlight
Christy’s Cozy Corner – Review
From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Excerpt
izz Pingles Bookish Place – Spotlight