Jonathan Yanez

Jonathan Yanez: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Update on The Beast Within and The Elite Series


The Publication Process

     The Beast Within is going through the final stages of publication and Limitless Publishing has hired a wonderful editor to do the job. I just received the first three chapters from her yesterday and she's amazing at what she does. As long as there are no giant catastrophes and the zombie apocalypse is held off to a later date The Beast Within should be through the editing process in the next few weeks, with an e-book release date in March and a hard-copy release date in June. All of this is subject to change of course. 

     Mean while the team at Limitless Publishing has really embraced The Beast Within and has not wasted a second in the cover art process. They had the cover art done early this week and I'll be able to share it with you all tomorrow, Friday February 1st. I know I'm biased but it looks great and I just want to thank the artist and team that spent so many hours putting it together.

     Last but not least I wanted to let you know how book two in The Elite Series is coming along. I started writing the book last week and I am 20,000 words through thus far. I have a goal for myself to write 4,000 words a day. Right now my days look something like this, train at the gym 3-6 hours, then I workout myself for about an hour, then 4-5 hours of writing. I know it may sound like a lot to some people but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm hoping to finish book two within the next two weeks and then spend many more weeks after that revising, revising, and revising some more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Guest Blog by N.M. Pondus: Inspiration 

I was honored that Mr. Yanez asked me to put something together as a guest blogger about what inspires me to write. First off, I suppose I should let you know that my name is Nemo Pondus and I write, as of yet still unpublished, Urban Fantasy books based on the Trojan War hero Diomedes.

My primary inspiration comes from my varied interests and my eclectic background. I am truly a jack-of-all-trades and master of none having been a scientist and a magazine editor among other things. Once I left the magazine world about six years ago, I began my own business. Unfortunately the business I chose is highly seasonal, leaving me weeks with very little constructive to do with my time.

About two years ago, inspired by modern authors like Tolkien, Jim Butcher and David Morrell, and armed with a lifetime of studying and reading mythology and folklore, I began writing to fill my down time. My interests left me little doubt as to the genre I wanted to work in -- fantasy, or more specifically urban fantasy.

I relied on what I knew to get me started. The idea for my first book, Humanity's Fist, came from an odd combination of my varied background and research on Strigoi -- the original folkloric form of modern vampires. I'm not really that into vampires, but I couldn't help but think about what would happen if you actually did shoot a creature that bullets, supposedly, couldn’t kill.

Specifically I couldn't help but imagine what would happen if something immune to normal weapons were hit by a modern large caliber rifle with high explosive armor piercing rounds? The damage these things are designed to inflict on structures or vehicles is immense, on personnel, it’s positively devastating. I don't care what the target was, it would suffer, if, of course it existed in the real world.

I continued to explore classical mythology, folklore and fairytales discovering stories about interactions between myths and supposedly real people, most notably in Greek and Roman mythology. I became enamored with the Trojan War and its heroes and their interactions with their deities and mythic creatures. Along the way, I came across a hero that no one ever talks about despite the fact that he was the most feared and skilled warrior involved in the war. His name was Diomedes, the only human in those stories to ever wound a Greek god in battle (several actually, including Ares, their god of battlefield chaos). He managed his epic feats with the help of another deity -- Athena, who was so taken by his honor and drive on the battlefield that stories say she offered him immortality and then stories say he just disappeared. My stories pick up where those left off under the assumption he was immortal.

The more I looked around, the more I found other stories like Diomedes', and tales about a myriad of creatures and beings with ties to the modern and real world. It also helped me a bit to tie my writing to things I was familiar with because I could make the real things I wrote about more realistic. Stuff I'm not as acquainted with, I research until I feel comfortable with it, but I don't shy away from an idea just because I'm not as familiar with it as I'd like. That's the scientist in me. I enjoy ripping into concepts and ideas and figuring stuff out. Plus I want the real stuff in my stories to be as authentic as possible. To me, it ruins the story when a writer clearly isn't familiar with the details of what they're writing about.

While I really enjoy reading urban fantasy along the lines of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, I couldn't help think about trying to do more than just place a fantastic world inside the universe as we know it. What I really wanted to do was use mysterious or unexplained real events and then make connections between myth and reality along the lines of Dan Brown and Brad Meltzer but combine that with a fantasy world rather than try to keep it strictly in a “real” world. That's what I try to do anyway.

I find my inspiration for my stories in a variety of places and I never know where they'll come from. I try to stay open. For example, at an art museum recently, I ran across a painting called "Il Ridotto" by Pietro Longhi and I began doing research on the masked and anonymous Ridotto parties in medieval Italy. The concept will undoubtedly appear in a future book. Exactly how, I don’t know yet.

Similarly, while watching TV I saw a brief spot about the Axe Man murders in 1918 New Orleans. In letters to the police, the murderer claimed to be supernatural and was never caught. The more I checked into it, as grisly as it sounds, it turns out there are a myriad of unsolved axe murders at the turn of the 20th century around the country. You better believe that'll be a future story line.

My point is inspiration can come from virtually anywhere and you have to be open to it where ever it may hit. The really fun part is being creative and figuring out how to use it, even if you can't see it right away. For me, it helps if your world is partly fantastical, too, because that allows possible explanations to things that seem to be unexplainable. And if its rooted at least in some small part in reality, the line between them blurs, making the possibilities that much more fun. For example, the massive countywide blackout in San Diego County in September 2011 presented an ideal backdrop to the beginning of my second book, still in progress -- The Hanner Brid. Sure, official reports said it was human error, but I say differently!

One last example as a way of explanation: In my first book Humanity's Fist, the main villain is the witch Medea from Greek myth -- you know, the one married to Jason of Argonaut and Golden Fleece fame. He dumps her and she becomes infuriated and kills his new wife and his new wife's father, some stories say she even killed her own children from Jason. She flees east with her remaining son Medus to the steppes of what is now eastern Iran. Presently there are any number of tribes in the area that claim decendency from Medus -- people historically called the Medes -- including members of a very real modern terrorist organization called Jundullah.

Et voilà, there's a story line ripe for the picking. All I had to do was make some connections to my fantasy world and figure out a way to use it in a story. I didn't even have to make it all up!

Finally, I keep track of any ideas and concepts that I find. Like I said, I never know when ideas might mesh with one another or fit into a storyline that does inspire me. It’s all valuable fodder for stories that just haven't been thought up yet. Whatever you do, keep track of your ideas and keep writing!

N.M. Pondus

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thank You


    I want to take a quick time out from all the updates and status blogs on my book and the publication process to say thank you for all the support I've received. It wasn't until after a writing conference in the end of October 2012, that I really made a commitment to social networking and building a platform. It was always something I shied away from and tried to avoid. Realizing how important it was after listening to numerous speakers, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and the result has been amazing. 

     It has only been three months since I opened a Twitter and blog account and even more recently, on the recommendation of my publisher, a Facebook page and Goodreads. I won't bore you with all the numbers and stats but with a Twitter following of more than 3,500 and a blog with visits numbering in the 4 digit range, you can see how blessed and humbled I feel with the response. 

     This has all been during the phase of searching for a publisher and the anticipation of the book being released. I want you all to know that I don't take this opportunity lightly and I am planning on doing all that I can to ensure I don't waste the opportunity I've been given. Thank you again for all the support you've provided and as we enter the next phase, the publication process, I will be passing along all the most up to date information on The Beast Within

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How The Beast Within Got Started


     As long as I can remember I have had a passion for reading and there is nothing I enjoy more than losing myself in a good book. It was due to this reason that I elected to become an English major when it was time to go to college. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with my degree but I knew I liked reading and writing so English seemed the appropriate choice. I attended BIOLA University and while working two jobs was able to attend all summer school sessions and interterm classes allowing me to graduate at the age of 21. I've never lacked drive or motivation, my problem has always been not knowing what path to place my ambition.

     With that lack of direction and the need to make money as soon as I graduated from college I began to interview. It wasn't long before I was offered a job by what we ex-employees like to refer to as "The Green Machine" also known as Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I know, not exactly what I went to school for but it was a paycheck.

     Five years later found me working my way up the corporate ladder, married to a beautiful woman, and all the financial stability one could ask for, there was only one thing wrong... I wasn't happy and I felt God telling me, "This is not what you were meant for". My priorities were changing. Once I was happy to just make money, regardless of where I was working, now I was realizing that there is so much more to life then the all mighty dollar. So in June of 2012, I quit.

     Now, I would not recommend quitting your job with nowhere to go, but I just couldn't take it anymore. With the loving support of my wife I turned to what I loved the most reading and writing. I asked myself if I could work sixty plus hours a week working for a company that i didn't necessarily feel passionate about, how many hours could I put in doing something I actually loved?

     As a result the first draft of The Beast Within was finished two months later and in September of 2012 I began actively searching for a agent/publisher while immersing myself in the writing world; conferences, writers groups, open mic events, etc.  With The Beast Within completed and the days of writing eight to ten hours gone, I began looking for a part-time job while the agent/publisher search continued.

     I've always enjoyed physical exercise and I love pushing both my body and mind past whatever limit I can. The natural choice for me was to seek employment at the gym I was already going to five times a week. I asked what certificates I needed to be a personal trainer, they let me know the three that were necessary and it just so happened they were looking to fill a personal training spot. Aiming my stubborn will at the certificates necessary I was able to pass all three tests and God opened a door for me in the form of employment at the gym starting November 1st, 2012.

     I'll spare you the details but many doors were shut on the way to finding representation for The Beast Within, but I couldn't give up, I wouldn't give up. Then last Tuesday January 15th I received a phone call from Jennifer O'Neill at Limitless Publishing offering me not just a contract for my book but a contract for the series!

     Since then you can imagine my excitement and how blessed I feel. Now as I direct my drive and determination to The Beast Within's release and writing book two, I feel at peace and I know this is where I am meant to be.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Status Update on The Beast Within


The Beast Within signs with Limitless Publishing

     So what is the current word on when your book is going to be available?

     Well I'm so glad you asked. On Tuesday, January 15th I was taking my older sister out for lunch for her birthday when I received a call. It was Jennifer O'Neill from Limitless Publishing. The previous week I had sent Jennifer a query letter for The Beast Within and the first four chapters. A few days later she had emailed me back and asked for the full manuscript. Now, as I tried to contain my excitement, she was on the phone asking for not only the rights to publish The Beast Within, but she was offering me a contract to write two more books in the same series!

     I think it's still sinking in. If you're a writer and aspiring author I don't have to tell you about the long process to publication. It doesn't happen over night and you will most certainly have a love/hate relationship with your project but if you keep your head up, if you are relentless in pursuing your goal, you will succeed.

     I also want to thank everyone for all of the support I had during this process; God, family and friends. I couldn't have done it without you. I'll be keeping you up to date on what's going on with the book and the publication process and you'll be the first to know the release date.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Beast Within from Connor Moore


The Beast Within in Connor's Words

     Today I have something new to share with you. I wanted to provide a brief overview of The Beast Within but not from my voice, from the main character's point of view. What follows is Connor's own words on the path his life has taken.

     My name is Connor Moore, I've just graduated from high-school and if my up and down relationship with Katie, or what to do about college wasn't enough to worry about, now I have a far greater more complicated burden to bear. 

     Fate has chosen to cross my path with Larentia Abelardus, a dark-haired mystery woman who has information about a father I never knew. She has a story to tell, a story that questions everything I thought was true; about me, about my family, about the history of the world. 

     Concealed throughout the pages of time, there has been a powerful race of human-like creatures manipulating mankind. This Elite race is made up of five ruling families who have obeyed The Law and continue to keep their identities a mystery. Now, after centuries of secrecy, an ancient foe is forcing them out of hiding and because of the blood that flows through my veins, my destiny is tied to theirs. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Writers Helping Writers

              I have been invited by fellow author, N. M. Pondus, to answer questions about my current book and then to tag five other authors about their Next Big Thing. If you are interested in having your work posted on my blog or would like to be tagged just drop me a post. 

Pondus is author of Humanity's Fist, the first in the Son of Tydeus series of novels   about Diomedes, Trojan War hero turned protector of the human race, crossing mythology and folklore with current geopolitical and military events.

You can read N.M. Pondus' Next Big Thing here: after December 30th

 Here goes!

What is the title of your book?  The Beast Within 

Where did the idea come from for the book? It was a culmination of a few different ideas; Judges in the Old Testament, the next level of the human species already living among us and a shadow power controlling history.

What genre does your book fall under?   Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  The villain would be played by Michael Fassbender, not sure about the lead role though.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  Once eighteen-year-old Connor Moore stumbles across an almost human species, he is faced with history's darkest secret, a daunting future and a love life he can't even begin to explain. 

Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? I'm currently in the process of searching for an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? One month, the first draft was easy, the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc... were the hard ones. 

What other books would you compare this story to?   The Chronicles of Narnia, The Brothers Grimm stories, The book of Judges in the Old Testament. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?   The inspiration for The Beast Within came from my desire to write something different, something that hasn't been done before and although it is a fictitious novel make the reader wonder how far from reality it really is. 

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?   It's different, it doesn't involve; angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, wizards, zombies, ghosts, dwarves, elves, robots, dragons, etc... 

Next post will be more of The Beast Within I promise.