Author Chat with E.J. Miranda (Julian Fox, The Dream Guardian), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US/Canada Only)
Today we're excited to chat with E.J. Miranda author of
Julian Fox, The Dream Guardian.
Read on for more about E.J. and her book, an excerpt, plus an giveaway!
Meet E.J. Miranda!
J. Miranda is an avid reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and a passionate author. Her great sense of humor and love for nature have granted her a rebellious writing style: Her approach describes the adventures of life, but in such a way that each reader can have an individual take on the matter. Her inspiration comes from her curiosity about other countries’ cultures and peculiarities. A few countries in particular which spark her curiosity are Colombia, Italy, Costa Rica, England, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, and the United States. Her favorite places to visit are historical sites and museums, locations that allow her to explore important and even overlooked details. She currently lives with her husband in Colombia, but frequently travels to Houston to visit her daughter and son. E.J. Miranda has a degree in tax accounting, but she prefers interacting with people to calculating their taxes. To learn more about her life and work, visit www.ejmiranda.com.
Meet Julian Fox, The Dream Guardian!
It is said that dreams are just that: only dreams. But believe me, this is not always true. Some dreams are as real as the dreamer.
Thanks to their dreams, dreamers can receive the special visit of eternal wisdom that has inspired the creativity of great inventors, scientists, musicians, and even writers throughout the ages.
This creative wisdom is not always the type that appears to the eager conscience. Sometimes, a Defiler, a destroyer of dreams, is the one who tries to appear before the dreamer. These creatures were once humans, but they allowed their pain and desire for revenge to take over and seek the same miserable fate for the one who dreams.
You must not fear — Dream Guardians, also known as Kelsdrant, will always protect the one who dreams, even with their own life. They are people of flesh and bone, just like you and me, or at least they are on Earth.
The following story is dedicated to the fun, extravagant, and enlightening life of Julian Fox, the Dream Guardian.
Be prepared, dear reader. It is time to dream, laugh, reflect, and even maybe cry.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: Tell us a little bit about your background and where the inspiration from this book stemmed from.
I believe that reading inspires any writer. I have been reading since I was a little girl, and one day, many years ago, I decided to put my own words in front of readers. I am inspired by my desire for sincere support and respect as a response to the intolerance that we can still see today. I hope Julian Fox makes readers laugh, reflect, and realize there are other ways of writing, debunking the myth that everything has been written.
YABC: How has living in Colombia influenced your writing style and the types of stories you’re interested in telling?
I have had the honor of living in this beautiful country for almost two years. During all of this time, I have continued writing about Julian Fox’s adventures. The happiness of this Latin-American country has been very stimulating for me, especially to come up with the pranks between Julian and Nicholas. I must also say that Cartagena, a wonderful city I visited many years ago, inspired me to write the story of a brave Colombian Guardian who will always be remembered by all the present Dream Guardians.
YABC: How did you approach the book’s genre when creating a unique blend of history, fantasy, mythology, romance, and humor?
I have been wanting to create my own world for a long time. Julian Fox’s personality, sense of humor, sense of justice, love for his family, and respect for others echoes who I am. I respect and admire every book I have had the fortune of reading, and I believe every book to come must be as authentic as the writer. In my particular case, I write about stories of the past so the reader can reflect on how much we as a humanity have evolved and how much we still need to change. In this book, I also express my love for the beauty and complexity of mythology and, as an homage to past writers’ imagination, I created my own take on mythology, giving it a meaning and a purpose for me and my dear readers.
YABC: Do you think female readers are yearning for new fantasy stories that will connect with them? Did you intentionally craft your tale to appeal to a female audience?
I write to the feelings, decisions, and consequences that are born from our free will. I write to the strong heartbeats that make us humans, not to a specific gender. I dedicate my story to our laughter, strength, and courage, and I hope one day respect and understanding prevail between us, just like it does between my Dream Guardians. I know my goal is too big but it is my dream, and I know many readers out there, regardless of gender, share this dream with me.
YABC: Your writing often takes place across a wide range of settings: Paris, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, China, Greece, Spain, Mexico, Italy, and Argentina. What is your take on global writing and how do you choose which locations to represent? Have you traveled to every place you write about?
I have had the opportunity of traveling to many cities around the world. I chose Paris as Julian’s birthplace after my first trip to this mesmerizing city. The same happened during my stay in Spain. I chose Seville, one of the main epicenters of the Spanish Inquisition, as the main scenario for the story of Juan de Villanueva. Many cities have inspired me, mainly for their past, their history, and their culture and how it has changed over the years. I believe a society’s culture is what makes its history, and it is important to learn from our past mistakes to avoid repeating them today. I must say that Moscow, China, and Greece are still on my travel bucket list.
~ Excerpt ~
Excerpt of Chapter 3: Alminrach Kelsdrant
Solidarity transcends the differences caused by fear.
The excitement became smiles, and the happiness turned into an invitation. Enthusiastic about the upcoming tour, Brenda joked with Julian,
“I will serve as a tour guide.”
They happily walked the few feet that separated them from the Palace. The end of the road revealed the surprise, and the magnificent edifice made one’s heart alternate between feelings of fascination and disbelief. Born of marble and sculpted with the most exquisite inspiration, what towered before them was a work of colossal proportions and delicate details.
The Guardians slowed their pace to admire such grandeur. Brenda took a deep breath and proudly presented it to her pupil:
“Julian, this is Alminrach Kelsdrant, our Palace.”
The surprised Guardian admired it in silence until he could speak:
“It’s exactly the same as the Parthenon, only much bigger.”
“You're right, Julian, but the construction of our Palace precedes the appearance of man on Earth. As you might guess, it served as the inspiration for such a magnificent building.”
“How is that possible?” Julian asked in amazement, without lifting his eyes from the Palace.
Brenda simply replied:
“All in good time, Julian. What I can tell you is that in Mikangly Greydalash you'll find many surprises and the origin of many things you've seen or read on Earth.”
Julian nodded and continued to observe the Palace in awe. The entrance was preceded by a series of broad steps made of the same material. He counted at least fifty large, smooth, and round columns supporting a magnificent roof decorated with bright marble tiles. Wide open windows exhibited immaculate glass panels. The corners of the cornice were decorated with two strange creatures that he had never seen before in his life. The Palace’s façade exhibited realistic statues of men and women; they almost seemed to be alive. Brenda brought him out of his reverie to explain what he was seeing:
“These sculptures represent some of the Kimralch, and the beings you see on the ends are statues of our animals. The forests of Mikangly Greydalash are home to a diversity of amazing creatures, and little by little, you will come across them in your explorations.”
A group of three Guardians came out of the Palace and caught his attention for a moment. They wore trench coats similar to Julian’s, but their swords were different. Walking up to Brenda and Julian, they greeted them with a solemn reverence. Brenda and Julian responded in the same way, and a second later, they disappeared into thin air. Julian realized he did exactly the same thing when he left that place.
The Kelsdrant’s attention returned to the Palace. The perfection of its whiteness flashed in his eyes, showing him its ancient beauty once again. Brenda pointed at the broad steps and invited him to climb up.
They ascended the steps slowly until they reached the huge hall, which exhibited three big carved and polished wooden doors. Wide open, they seemed to welcome the new Kelsdrant.
The tour guide and her companion went in to begin the anticipated journey. The first thing they saw was a hall with a great high ceiling and gleaming marble walls and floors that were traversed by hundreds of Guardians. Some talked among themselves, while others entered or left the innermost rooms located to the right and left sides.
Brenda pointed at two beautiful wooden double doors that were open and said:
“Julian, the first door you see is the entrance to the Hall of the Scribes and Writers as I often call them. There, you will find ordinary gatekeepers, like me, who live here or on Earth, and also many Kelsdrants who love the art of writing. They collect our adventures and return them eternally recorded for the future. They have permission from the Kimralch to enter the Hall of Mirrors, but I'll tell you more about that later when I show it to you.”
They walked towards the entrance and Julian peered in to see what was inside. He counted about a hundred fine wooden tables occupied by just as many Guardians who were absorbed in capturing magical words on paper. With each stroke, they became witnesses to history. All of them wore long blue robes and sandals of the same color.
A Guardian with beautiful black locks and bronzed skin approached and greeted them.
“Hi, Marian,” Brenda said, “I want you to meet Julian Fox.”
The two shook hands with kindness. Brenda continued her introduction:
“Marian is a Keshintarc. This is her home. A good part of our story has been written by her hands. Julian is our new Kelsdrant, I must say that he is an excellent swordsman and will surely give you a lot to write about.”
The new friends blushed at the exchange and thanked Brenda for her kind words. Then, Marian spoke to the Guardian about his noble peers.
“Brenda has been very generous in her opinion of me, Julian, but the truth is that many hands besides mine have given life to the books in the library, so you'll find a diversity of styles in the scriptures. Some scribes are often more passionate than others, but they all capture the true facts and that is the most important thing for you, the protagonists and the readers.”
They said goodbye to the scribe after Julian promised to return when the opportunity arose. They continued their journey to the next room. Brenda pointed to a door similar to the previous one.
“Julian, this is our library.”
They went into a room even larger than the previous one. Huge wooden shelves covered most of the walls. These shelves contained such a quantity of volumes that Julian couldn’t even guess how many were there. The book collection along with the impressive size of the room made it clear that it was the largest library he had ever seen.
He looked at one of the top corners of the shelves and wondered how they got up there to take out or replace the books. He fixed his attention on the center of the room, seeing hundreds of elegant wooden tables occupied by Guardians just like him.
Many wore black trench coats identical to his, but others wore loose white shirts and pants that matched their shoes. The girls he saw wore beautiful robes that fell to the knee, some white, others blue, and all of them wore sandals that matched their respective colors. His eyes wandered over nearly all their faces to take in the multitude of colors, and that same joy was apparent on all of them.
He felt for the first time in his life the grace of brotherhood as Guardians of all races converged in one spirit: friendship. Amazed, he watched as they talked among themselves, Guardians who came from countries that on Earth had long ago been beaten down by their differences and where the war had won over the words.
A soft flash crossed his mind, letting him appreciate something he had not noticed before.
“Brenda. They are speaking one single language and I understand everything!” He exclaimed.
Then, a new lesson, the most important thing that Julian would hear, came out from the bottom of Brenda’s heart.
“Here, there are no barriers to impede connection and coexistence,” Brenda said wisely. “Not the pettiness, nor the human limitations that have spread so much suffering on Earth. The light shines in our hearts to offer the best of their very essence, and receive the rewards of those around us. All those who are here have overcome the love of origin, race, color, gender, and creed. Reason has become infinite to transform itself into the essence of living in peace. Respect for life, freedom, and the greatness of others live in all of us. Equality prevails like an ancient treasure, and the generosity of understanding allows the miracle of the desired consideration of others. Mikangly Greydalash belongs to all the Guardians of the world, and they travel through it freely to save lives, no matter whose life is it. We are Kelsdrant because our real power doesn’t come from our strength or abilities, but the willingness with which we are born and from which we are able to die.”
The gratitude shone in the eyes of the Guardian, and a reverence for his teacher showed he recognized her worth. A sweet voice greeting Brenda distracted them. Julian turned his head to see a beautiful young woman before him. Brenda once again made a formal introduction between the two:
“Julian, meet Sophia.”
“Sophia, this is Julian, our new Kelsdrant.”
A smile and a welcome hug took Julian by surprise. He felt immediately that he knew her from long ago, and trust was instantly born between them. Brenda kept on talking to the new friends:
“Julian. Sophie, as we all call her here, is responsible for our library. She is a Keshintarc like me, but she lives here. In her, you will find a great friend and also the gentleness of wisdom when you need it.”
Sophia was almost as tall as him and her golden curls cascaded over her shoulders, framing a face of angelic beauty. Unlike Brenda, she wore a long white dress that reached her ankles. A golden belt adorned her hips, and she wore gold sandals. Sophia chimed in to explain what he was seeing:
“All the Kelsdrant that you see here come to investigate or to learn from past events. They also bring new information about something they think should be documented. We believe that even the smallest detail of a story is important, so everything is recorded. I hope to have your trust, and that you come whenever you want or when necessity warrants a visit. I will always be here to help you as much as I can.”
Another Guardian came up and interrupted them with a bow. He wore an elegant loose white shirt, pants of the same color and matching shoes. His dark skin made a flattering contrast with his clothing. He carried an old book in one of her hands and in the other a golden sword. He apologized for the disruption and thanked the Guardian:
“Sophia, thanks for the book.”
He placed the book on Sophia’s palms, then greeted Brenda with a bow and introduced himself to Julian:
“Hello, my name is Rajib.”
Julian extended his hand at the same time and introduced himself. From that moment on, a new friend was added to his list. Friendship in Mikangly Greydalash had defeated the conventionalisms imposed by time. That was the real magic and the secret of its power.
Julian Fox, The Dream Guardian
By: E.J. Miranda
Release Date: Septemer 18th, 2019
Five winners will each receive a copy of Julian Fox, The Dream Guardian (E.J. Miranda) ~ (US/Canada Only)
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