Thursday, May 5, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Jeremy Flagg

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Do you listen to music when you're writing?

Absolutely. I get easily distracted by people speaking or hearing a weird sound in my house. However, when my music is in, I can go into a hyper focused state. I also find music really helps set the mood for me. I’ve never been able to understand how somebody writes in silence. If I’m writing a chase scene, I need some good chase music. If there is a death coming up, or a really dark scene, I slip in some slow deep music. I think it helps give me some mood to add into my book and definitely helps the movie reel going in my head while I’m writing.

What are you reading now?

I just opened the front of my favorite book, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson for the 10th time. I’m not sure how I first discovered this book, but since then, it has been one of my favorites. Hiro, the reluctant protagonist and the blend of cyberpunk and religion always fascinated me. Each time I pick up the book, I find something new and exciting about it. I’m looking forward to see what I may have missed the first nine times!

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

I think I take two major concepts, comic books and science fiction novels and blend the two. I grew up loving the idea that people have superhuman abilities and along with that I was reading scifi novels. I combined the two into a dystopian future where superheroes aren’t the norm and they’re feared. I tried to apply what I think would actually happen in this situation. It doesn’t end well for everybody involved, because that’s the reality, as I know it.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The best advice I had ever received was to keep writing. On a daily, sometimes I feel what I’m working on is crap and I should just wait until I feel in the mood. However, if we waited for what we wanted, we’d never do it. So keep writing. Overall, you will write some books that are horrible. They will be not your best idea and they may never see the light of day. However, simply by writing it, you’ve learned a lesson and now that you got the story out of the way, it’s time to start a new one.

The worst advice? I get a lot of bad advice. But I guess nearly all of it revolves around finding your “passion.” Writing can be your passion, but you need a certain amount of distance when it comes to your work as well. Passion doesn’t sell novels. Passion doesn’t pay your bills. So it’s important to remember that writing can be a passion, but it is also a business. I see far too many hopefuls think if they simply write it, they’ll be living sweet. It’s hard work and you have to enjoy the business as much as the writing.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The main character originally started out as having some traits of my own. He has an art background and so do I, however that’s about where it ends. The first character you meet, Eleanor, she however is based very much on my great-grandmother. I don’t have many memories of her, but I do remember her being a caring and sweet woman and I tried to infuse that into the gentle old lady at the start of the book. This also was a strong reason why I decided to write her as a unique character in her own series that will appear in the next year. For now, each of the characters are their own and it’s like meeting new people as I write them.


Twenty-six-year-old painter Conthan Cowan takes art to a shocking frontier…

His debut exhibit features the transformation of his high school friend, Sarah, as she went from a shy, soft-spoken girl to a Child of Nostradamus—an individual gifted with extraordinary abilities. Living in a society where the Children of Nostradamus are captured by the government, Conthan’s exhibit draws attention from officials and protesters alike.

A government psychic may be dead, but that doesn’t stop her from manipulating the future…

The deceased White House aide is only remembered for her failed assassination attempt on the president decades before Conthan was born. Foreseeing her own death, she scribed letters to bring together specific Children of Nostradamus on a mission that will change the world.

On the night of the gallery exhibition, Conthan receives one of those letters…

Whispers from the past direct him to visit Sarah, the subject of his paintings, who like many Children of Nostradamus, is being detained in a government research facility. It’s there he finds himself aligned with a rogue group of Children on a mission to prevent a dark future.

As a dark future unfolds, there's only one hope to stop the destruction of the world...

The Children of Nostradamus.


“Class I identified,” said the Corps soldier. “Immediate termination.”

Conthan looked up, confused, and realized that the gun was pointing directly at his face. He watched as the soldier pulled the trigger and the pain surged through his brain.

“Not today.” It was his voice, but he wasn’t speaking.

He realized he wasn’t in control of his actions as he held up his hand and pushed the pain through his body to his palms. The black spot returned and he watched as the laser emerged from the gun and vanished into another dark hole. He could see a similar spot appear just to the side of the soldier. The laser projected outward from the darkness, searing through the soldier’s head.

Conthan felt the pain release his body. He fell to the ground. He lay next to a gasping Jed Zappens. Conthan turned his head to see the man. “I’m sorry,” he muttered.

Jed sucked in a ragged breath and blinked several times, tears beginning to stream down his face. He reached into his breast pocket and dragged out an old folded envelope. “For you,” he said through clenched teeth.

Conthan voice had left him. He wanted to scream for a medic but he couldn’t find air enough to fill his lungs. He started to reach for the envelope but hesitated before snatching it from the dead man’s hands. He crushed it in his grasp as he watched the light vanish from the artist’s eyes.

“Run,” said a voice.

Conthan rolled his head to see that there was nobody left standing in the alley. He sucked in air and tried to sit upright. “Hello?”


He had killed a Corps soldier. He was now marked for death. As he ran, he could hear the echo of the soldier’s words. “Class I,” he had said. Conthan couldn’t shake the feeling that life as he knew it was over.


I’m high school graphic design and marketing teacher, at a large suburban high school in Massachusetts. Working as a high school educator and observing the outlandish world of adolescence was the inspiration for my first young adult novel, “Suburban Zombie High.”

My inspiration for writing stems from being a youth who struggled with reading in school. While I found school assigned novels incredibly difficult to digest, I devoured comics and later fantasy novels. Their influences can be seen in the tall tales I spin.

I took the long route to becoming a writer. For a brief time, I majored in Creative Writing but exchanged one passion for another as I switched to Art and Design. My passion for reading about superheroes, fantastical worlds, and panic-stricken situations would become the foundation of my writing career.

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo in 2006 and continue to write an entire novel every November. Now I am the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison to the Massachusetts Metrowest Region. I also belong the New England Horror Writer’s Association and to a weekly writing group, the Metrowest Writers.


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  1. What comes first for you--the story or the characters?

  2. I am grateful you have taken time to bring us this great giveaway, thank you.

  3. Really great post, I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing ;)

  4. Really great post, I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing ;)

  5. I really loved the excerpt, thank you for sharing!