Behind the Words with S.J. Hermann - Author of THE MORIUM TRILOGY

May 6, 2015

Today, we will go behind the words with the author of the supernatural thriller, Morium.

Thanks for sparing the time for this Interview, S.J., and congratulations on your book, Morium. 

What were you doing before you published your first book?

I was a starving artist.  Well, I did manage to sell a few paintings and win one award. Other than that, I had a day job that pays the bills.

Who is S.J Hermann, the man?

My age will remain a guarded secret. Actually, I am 47 and live in the suburbs of the great city of Chicago. If I were to sum up my personality, I would have to say that I'm a kid at heart. I get excited about the next Star Wars and Star Trek movies, as if I were still ten years old... not that that’s a bad thing. It keeps me young. 

I never considered becoming a writer, though I would write down ideas for a story as they came to mind. It wasn’t until my first book that I felt I had a good enough story to tell.

I am an avid fan of anything zombie. Sunday nights you will find me parked in my favorite chair with my eyes glued to The Walking Dead. I am afraid of heights, and yet, I will go on any amusement park ride, no matter how tall. Send me five steps up a ladder and I’m quaking in my shoes. Put me on the tallest rollercoaster and I’m fine. Go figure.

What is your inspiration for Morium? Tell us how it was conceived.

Bullying and the mental effects it can have on teenagers were my motivating factor. Being bullied myself in high school, I was able to pull those emotions and put them in the characters. It was tough time living through that, so I thought to myself, what if I gave them supernatural powers? What would their morals be?

The idea for MORIUM was born over a year ago, with a scene of a teenage boy using supernatural powers against another boy in front of his terrified girlfriend. Originally slated to be a graphic novel, I wrote half the script until I realized that I could never translate the emotions that these teenagers felt into a comic book.  With a blank notebook, I wrote what I called the Moralius, the original title.  This rule book is where the basic core of the story is laid out. I setup rules for each character, on what they would and would not do - what their moral beliefs would be. It's a guideline, but you can expect changes as I write the novel. One of the characters, Stacy, was changed from being just as timid as her friends, to the smart ass she is in the book. 

How do you keep track of the scenes and conversations?

At first it was a mess of scribbled notes in a notebook. For the latest book, I switched over to index cards and write each chapter down, then rearrange them in the order I think will best make the story flow. I find that it makes life as a writer easier. 

For dialog, if I am alone, I will actually enact the roles of my characters and talk to myself out loud. I am sure that it would look strange seeing me sitting at my laptop having a conversation with myself. If I am at the library, I try to sit in an isolated corner and mumble to myself. Is it weird? Probably. But then again, I’m a writer, I’m allowed to be just a little strange.

Do you have a writing ritual?

I only really have two rituals I stick to. I want to have a cup of hazelnut coffee by my side and while I’m writing a particular scene in a book, I try to find music that suits that scene. 

How does writing affect you personally? Why do you write?

There are times that a story is constantly on my mind. When I lay in bed that is all I can think about. As to why I write, I enjoy it. I hope to write stories that readers find interesting.

What is your dream for Morium?

Oh boy, this should be an easy answer, but it’s not. That teenagers sixteen and over who read this book see the dangers of bullying. What it can emotionally do to a person and the consequences that can result from it. Also, being strongly addicted to something is never good and that it even destroys friendships.  Which I guess brings me to my next point - that friends are an important part of your life. When you feel that you have no one else to turn to, your true friends will always be there.

What's next? What books are in the pipeline?

The 3rd book of the Morium Trilogy, to wrap it up. I do have several ideas in line for the next book which will not be a series. 

What is your advise for new fiction writers?

Write. Write, oh, and write some more. Never give up, keep fine tuning your craft. Have an editor look over your work. Get plenty of beta readers to test your new book. Build your audience and get your name out there. Blog, Tweet, and if you do jump onboard Google +, join up with The Alliance of Self Published Authors. They are a great group of authors who work together to help each other. 

Who knows, you may have the next bestseller sitting in your mind.

Thank you S.J. for taking us behind the scenes. It's interesting to know how a writer comes up with these wonderful stories.

Morium: Dark Horizons is available on AMAZON. The story of Lexi and Nathan's battle with their powers continue. 

Learn more about the MORIUM TRILOGY




Follow S.J. Hermann:


Twitter: @Writing_Novel


A SHORT SYNOPSIS

Morium is the story of Alexandria and Nathan... and Stacy. Three teenagers who were bullied all throughout high school. They kept their torment a secret from their family and tried their best to cope in their own way. They only had each other. But hope was in sight.. they will be graduating soon. The vision of a new life away from the bullies and the constant humiliation, gave them something to look forward to. If only that day comes sooner.

One day, they saw an object fall from the sky and went to investigate. As they touched the rock, a strange power entered their bodies. Suddenly, they're not helpless anymore. They can get revenge for all the suffering and pain they had to endure all these years... How will they use these powers?

Morium is Latin for conduct, character, morals. This book discusses the moral dilemma of doing what's right against getting revenge. When your dignity has been shattered and your life has been a living hell... what is RIGHT?




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