J P Haldenwang was born on August 18th, 1983 in Barnegat, New Jersey. He is the author of Frigg’s Giant, his first self-published novel that came out in January of 2019. He hopes to publish the first book of his Tome of Light series by the end of the year. Although new to becoming a published author, he has a small but loyal fan base that anticipates whatever he plans to publish next. He credits writers such as George R R Martin and CS Lewis as his biggest inspirations.
Jonathan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I started writing when I was 5. Started to get serious about it in the early 2000s. I knew I wanted to be an author by the time I was 19 or 20. I had always written for fun but really started taken it seriously after I graduated High School.
What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
What keeps me going is the creative aspects of it. I believe that writing is the closest thing to being God you can be. I enjoy knowing that I control the outcomes of a story. I decide who dies, who lives, who accomplished their goals, who ends up together and, ultimately, who triumphs in the conflict of every story. Sometimes in life, you do not have a chance to accomplish what you want to, despite how hard you try, but in the pages of a book, I control the outcome.
You recently released your debut novel, Frigg’s Giant. What is your novel’s genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
Frigg’s Giant is a YA fantasy novel about the power of friendship between two unlikely individuals. It stands out because it comes from the point of view of an 8-year-old girl mixed in very adult situations and her ability to mature throughout the story to understand what must be done in order for her kingdom to survive.
What were your goals and intentions in this book and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My goals and intentions of the book were to show that friendship can be found in the most unlikely of places and you can never judge someone by who they are or what they look like. I feel like I achieved this greatly based on the feedback I’ve received from my reviews and interacting with many of my readers who have messaged me or seen me in person.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? What was the most difficult part of your artistic process and seeing the book to completion?
The most difficult part of writing the book was being authentic with the perspective of an 8-year-old girl. I had always written about characters that were adults and could write their dialogue as well as their motivations really well because they were close to my own. Having to go back and almost pretend to me immature and not knowing the magnitude of certain situations made the process a challenge, but I feel overall I accomplished my goal.
You have already had a great response from readers of Frigg’s Giant. Were there any comments/reviews by readers that surprised you?
Being compared to George R R Martin, CS Lewis, and Christopher Paolini was a bit of a surprise, although, I’ve read many things from Martin so I shouldn’t be shocked about that comparison. I think I’m in good company if readers feel I write like them.
What can we expect from you in 2019? Anything else you would like to add?
My next book will be the start of my fantasy series Tome Of Light that I expect to be out by the end of the year. I started this series back in 2005 and put it on hold a few years back to do a standalone book, which ended up being Frigg’s Giant. This series I believe will be the books that define me as a writer and I can’t wait to get the first book out to see how my fans, as well as other readers, respond to it. It is a fantasy on an epic scale that will take me many years to finish and that has taken me a long time to try and perfect.
It has been a pleasure, Jonathan! Please tell us where fans can find you online.