But before we get inside this book let me share some information about J. O. Jones.
J.O. Jones was born in Nigeria and like others around him he never knew he could be published and that people could read his stories. He just knew he wanted to write especially after reading Prince Caspian by C S Lewis. His favorite author is Chimaamanda Adichie: Half of a Yellow Son.
In the tenth graded he wrote his first novel titled The Survivors, and went on to write two sequels and drafting the last four. And now he is ready for readers to go on a journey through his book The Septavalent Stone, which he says, is for 14+, who love fantasy books of Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore’s WHIZZARD.
To start the interview off let’s find out about how he came up with the concept.
How did the concept of The Septavalent Stone come to you?
The concept is very tricky; if you do some research you’ll find bits of African myths joined there. The idea of the elders for example, is in my culture. I also have Ukrainian myths infused in there. The stone idea grew from the need to thicken my plot; I did not think it would be realistic for a bunch of supernatural men not to have a weakness.
What is The Septavalent Stone and how does it play a role in the story?
The Septavalent Stone is a mystical stone with the stolen powers of seven supernatural beings combined in one. When it gets stolen, the quest for these supernatural beings to get the stone is what makes up part of the plot for my story.
The Septavalent Stone has 2 main story lines happening at the same time. One story line follows Eshury and one follows Andrew. Can you tell us a little bit about each story line?
Eshury is a young boy who discovers he has the same supernatural abilities, his motivation in my story is the quest to master these abilities, and he makes a lot of costly mistakes while doing so.
Andrew on the other hand seems to have no motivation at first till he discovers that the school his mother has sent him to is not an ordinary medical school, and that she, his mother, is not all aprons and cooking spoons, but that in fact there is so much more to her than it seems. The quest to find these answers becomes his drive as we read further.
I think Zachary is a cool big brother and just want people to be introduced to him. Can you tell us a little about Zachary?
Zachary is Andrew’s brother. He is a big teddy bear of a brother who seems at times nonchalant and un-serious but he can be overly protective. For plot reasons, that is if there will be future books, I cannot say more on him but one thing you can be sure of is that their mother is not the only one hiding her true nature from Andrew.
Norgards is a very interesting medical school with it’s rail car system and school policies. Tell us a little about the school and how you came up with the concept.
I just needed to do something amazing that hasn’t been done, (not quite sure if I achieved that). I have always been a fan of roller coasters, amusement parks. Have you seen the schematic diagram of the human vascular system? Join these two things, (roller coaster and human vascular system) and voila you have a transport system that is quite efficient.
As for the feel of the book, I love all things ancient. I watched a lot of movies, which I think brought about the rocky and cavy nature of the school. I loved Odysseus, Clash of the Titans (the old version and new one). Do you remember The Fellowship Of The Rings, the part were Gandalf did not want the monster to pass? I wanted my school to have that kind of dangerous and yet efficient sort of environment.
I do love ancient things in my fantasy stories. It seems to give the world history. And Norgards does have an ancient feel to it. But why did you choice a medical school and not a magic school or some other type of school? I, Myself would just generally assume that a magical school would be a school of choice with so much magic in the world.
I chose a medical school because it just had to be. I would not do a magical school justice and besides what would my characters learn there. Medicine I think is unique, and the way I have done it, I think people will love it. Every ailment anyone has ever suffered will be added and twisted so it is relatable. So if Mr. A in the real world had a headache that made him weak and lie down all day, and would have to take aspirin to calm the headache, for Mr. A in my own world having a headache might cause him to spit fire, and cause a relocation of his eyes, ears and nose and the only way to calm it is to have his head surgically and temporally severed so it can be cradled and rocked, then fitted back in. You get me, that’s part of the concept.
One of the main issues the students of Norgards have is racism. Can you tell us where the racism came from and how it affects Andrew, Zachary and Aloysia?
The racism is not really that bad in the book in fact, it’s the kobolds that express this more to the foreign students than any other person. I think it is a normal thing for a foreigner to feel kind of “racisized” at one point in their life when they are in another country other than theirs.
I found it very interesting that the rail car system was ran and maintained by kobolds. Can you tell us a little more about what kobolds are and how they came to be in charge of the rail car system?
Ever heard of bluecap, knocker or coblynau. They are all mythical creatures associated with mining and metal work, considering how dangerous and technically impossible the transport system is at Norgads I thought it was only reasonable that technically impossible creatures run it.
I haven’t heard of bluecap, knocker or coblynau so I will have to look that up. But I have heard of wallpaper and one of my favorite things about the book was the wallpaper. It comes to life in the most interesting way. Can you tell us about the wallpaper and how you came up with that concept?
In as much as I might have a hard time putting it down on paper, I am obsessed with anything magic (I hope my parents never read this). Throw in mythology from any country, and I am good to go. So you see, the idea of the wallpaper came to me while writing chapter nine, the one where Aloysia is introduced. I went to a friend’s house, and saw that he had the most bizarre looking wallpaper full of lions and stuff, and then it hit me. WHAT IF YOU WERE ASLEEP AT NIGHT, AND THEY CAME TO LIFE.
You have seen nothing though, you have no idea what one of my characters, Alex’s wallpaper can do.
With so many interesting wallpapers will there be a wallpaper shop and will we ever get to visit it?
Yes most definitely there will be a wallpaper shop visited. But it’s going to be later if all things go well. I have drafted the scene somewhere.
Well if you ever want to give us a sneak peak of a scene please fell free to share with us. But before we end the interview I would love to know what your favorite part of the story is?
I love the chapter of the THREE FRIENDS and THE BROKEN DOOR ROOM. My best character is Aloysia and Mrs. Ugabi, but I can’t tell you my worst because you’ll be shocked.
I love Mrs. Ugabi because she is a mad woman, and in that madness there is a lot of good. I love Aloysia because she’s so determined, and very protective even though the people she finds herself trying to protect are at times way older than her, (her dad) or her age mate, (Andrew).
Is there anything else you would like us to know about The Septavalent Stone?
This is the first in what I hope will be an interesting series, for readers. Thank you JMcManus for giving me this opportunity to contribute to your website. If you are a Christian, then this is me proclaiming that your website has only begun its journey of going to greater heights, thank you.
This website is at the beginning of a wonderful journey and I’m happy to have you be apart of it. Are you working on any other books that you would like to share?
I am working on the sequel, and if all things go well, it should be out in two years or less. It’s been plotted down; I’m halfway through the first chapter already. And if things go as planned, and if I don’t change anything, I’ve abbreviated the name to K.O.O. I hope my fans (I pray I have some, any amount is okay for me) would be interested enough to guess, there’ll be lots of giveaways to those who come close.
For those who want to find out more information about you where can people find you and your books?
I’m on twitter as jacobolisajones.
I have a blog in which I talk about all things that might interest me: http://theseven-piecestone.blogspot.com.
I have a fan page on facebook J.O jones.
Well thank you J.O. Jones. I wish you much success with The Septavalent Stone and all of your books I know you will be publishing in the future!
And for those who would like to find us on twitter please just follow @InsideTheBook.
Have a great day!