Blog Tour 1st September â 5th September
Day 3 features Ethan Walker
Book: Ethan Walker's Road to Wonderland
Author: LJ Stock
Genre: New Adult
At nineteen, the world has so many possibilities.
Ethan Walker was a typical teenager in that respect. He was happy, living at home with his family and partying when the mood struck. He was in no rush to grow up. His life was a blank page just waiting to be written, but that couldnât last forever.
Unfortunately, reality came knocking at Ethanâs door, forcing him to face truths heâd never allowed himself to see in the past - truths that soon robbed him of his innocence and youth. With the life heâd always known gone forever, Ethan found himself battling demons in disguise, only to find his own weakness was his worst enemy.
When temptation turned to indulgence, and the ghosts of his past encouraged him to dig deeper, Ethan sought salvation in the form of violence. His fists and fortitude became his bread and butter, but the new turn in his life rejected the familiar and opened the door to more evil.
Inevitably, the darkness tried to sink him, and there was only one constant light that somehow seemed to shine brighter than the promise of escape: the mystery girl with the golden hair.
In order to survive, Ethan had to dig deep and find a strength in himself not even he was sure existed. Only when he found himself on a path to Wonderland did he start to see a future beyond his past. All he had to do to get there was learn to breathe and not get himself killed in the process. Road to Wonderland Series book 5 (all books are standalone reads)
From a young age L.J. Stock was led by her imagination. From the moment she could read she fell into worlds where trees could talk and little girls could move things with their minds.
In no hurry to grow up, she found stories all around her, in the forests of Plym Bridge, the moss covered hills of Dartmoor, then, as she grew older, the wide spread city of Houston, where she currently resides and works. A constant daydreamer, she hopes that one day, her passion can become something more than just a hobby for her.
Still led by her imagination, the worlds have slowly grown from childish adventures to urban fantasies and romances. With inspirational authors such as Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, John Grisham and Stephen King guiding her through her life so far, L.J. Stock has finally decided that it is time for her to go for gold and try land herself on someone elseâs future list of favorites.
Putting words on paper is as essential as breathing to her, but on the rare occasions that she isnât writing, she can be found with a video game remote in hand or curled up on the couch with her pup and a good book. Music is also such an important part of her life, itâs a wonder there isnât a background soundtrack playing wherever she goes.
A good girl to most, a bad girl to a few, L.J. believes that every genre should be attempted and is more than likely to have tried to release three hundred seriesâ ranging from vampires and werewolves, to dystopian and even classic romance, before she reaches even middle age. At least, thatâs the plan for now.
Wonderland Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RTWSeries?fref=ts
The Road to Wonderland Series Available as ebooks and paperbacks
The Road to Wonderland Series:
Max @ Amazon UK Releases 16th October
H.A. Robinson interviews L.J. Stock
*Plonks down on your super insanely comfy couch and rustles a bag of crisps to steal the love and snuggles of your hound before plucking out a notebook and pen and rounding on you.*
Sooooooâ¦ How are you, Miss Author Lady?
Youâve had rather a prolific year with the releases of four books since last December. As somebody who works full time AND makes all the graphics for the other books in the series, how on earth do you manage to create so many amazing words? Are you secretly superwoman?
*Pulls legs up under me and pulls hair up in an attempt to look studious.* I wish. Iâd have a better figure and get things done in half the time. *Giggles* Truth be told, though, I donât think about it anymore. I have a to do list, and I chip away at it in between a full time job and my writing. It needs to get done, although I do have to say it sucks when I sit down to put my feet up and feel guilty as sin for doing it, but I wouldnât change a thing! *Looks up and grins*
Oh and Iâm very well thanks. That was rude of me. *Slaps forehead*
*Snickers* Yeah, so rude. Honestly. Iâll have to get Jared in to sort you out.
Your books feature an insanely diverse array of characters, from a grieving young man from Manchester who turns to drugs, to a young woman working three jobs to support her younger brother after losing loved ones and getting caught up in a Motorcycle Club in Texas, right through to a bubbly, submissive woman living in Louisiana. Where do your ideas come from and how on earth do you keep track of all those voices in your head?
*Rubs forehead and smiles* You missed out a couple, but I thank you for not giving away spoilers *winks* Itâs hard to say where they come from. Iâm going to dig a bit deeper into Ethan here for a minute so bear with me. Essentially, Ethan was a pre-existing character from the mind of Victoria L. James, and I was gifted him to shape him into something. He was actually an exception that proved a rule for me. From the moment I took him on, he was an extraordinarily loud voice in my head. He flung images at me and wouldnât shut the hell up. He was so layered and detailed that it was like he took the steering wheel whenever it came time for him to appear.
With other stories, itâs a lot more complex. They come from dreams or daydreams, music or pictures. Then these sudden characters make dynamic appearances and paint very vivid pictures in my head. Itâs chaos, and as much as Iâd like to say itâs organized, itâs really not.
It sounds like your mind is an insane and wonderful place to be. I wouldnât mind a sneaky peek into that brain of yours. As this is a Wonderland blog tour, Iâm going to ask a couple of questions about Ethan Walker. In his story, you wrote some pretty heavy scenes fuelled by the drugs he finds himself addicted to. The scenes are stunningly written. As a writer, did you have to do a lot of research in order to write those scenes and how emotionally draining was it to write something so dark?
I actually agonized over those scenes. *Grins and shakes head.* Iâve never tripped a day in my life, unless you count the really good drugs they gave me when my gallbladder got infected. I did do a lot of research, though. I also watched a lot of documentaries, and pulled from some personal conversations Iâve had in the past. Put it together with my vivid imagination and itâs basically what you end up with in the book. Iâm still not sure how close to reality it actually is, but it felt real when I was writing it. I had a pounding heart and a headache after Iâd finished, and I took a few days off before I went back to writing.
It sounds like it was a real challenge writing such heavy scenes. I know when some actors play roles, they totally immerse themselves in the characters in order to create the role more convincingly. When you write, how much do you lose yourself in the moment of what youâre creating and how hard is it to come back to the real world when youâre done?
This is a brilliant question. For me, it depends on a couple of things. The first, my surroundings, and the second is the music. If I am in a setting where there are going to be no interruptions and no distractions, I can lose myself completely in the moment. If the right music is playing, then immersion is a guarantee. I think I lost almost six hours once, living in a completely different dimension, surrounded by their scenery. By the time I resurfaced, it took me two hours to snap out of it. I was so spaced out I didnât even answer to my name. It doesnât happen often, but in the right conditions I quite happily let myself go.
You talk about music a lot, and you know I love your Facebook song of the day posts and playlist. Can you write to any sort of music or are there specific genres or bands that you return to again and again?
I do talk about it a lot, donât I? lol *grins* I can write to any sort of music, but the trick for me is what Iâm writing. I have a broad, eclectic taste in music that ranges from classical to death metal, but it has to fit the scene. Everything I write has its own playlist, mainly because it sets the tone for that particular world. For Ethan, there was a lot of music that *scratches head* this is going to sound ridiculous *laughs* but it made me feel a little spacey and disconnected. A lot of his book - no spoilers, I promise - was about him finding himself. It was about his growth as a person and learning to accept his faults. So rather than letting myself slide into it comfortably, I kept the music eclectic, moving from high to low, fast to slow to shake me up. *Snorts* If you didnât already think I was six shades of squirrel crap, you do now, huh?
*Laughs and pokes her with a toe then snuggles back with the dog* I donât know about squirrel crap but you definitely have the markings of a creative genius. So far, youâve released books in several different genres and nailed each one. Is there a genre that youâre the most fond of writing, and is that genre reflected in what you enjoy reading?
Youâre so kind, but Iâm starting to think youâre crazier than I am! *Sticks tongue out* I love writing in general and I pretty much follow where the characters go. Iâve actually started a manuscript not knowing where the hell it was headed. I know thatâs probably breaking every rule out there or something, but I like to think you go where you have to in order to get the story told. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be fantasy. You get to make up your own laws, your own rules, and in some cases, your own worlds. Keeping track of that is much more complicated than writing a romance because you have to make your own parameters, and then remember them all and keep them relevant. In the end, though, I think you have this intense satisfaction. You have a globe and cast of characters that couldnât have possibly existed without your imagination.
Though the problem with that is also having to survive some of the choices and deaths. You have to commit to it sometimes, even when you really donât want to!
Ah, yes, character deaths. As an avid reader, Iâve lost count of the number of times Iâve cursed authors for killing off my favourite characters. (*Coughs* J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Iâm looking at you, people!) As an author, when it comes to having to put those words on the page and bring an end to a life that youâve created entirely inside your head, do you feel it as keenly as the reader does? Or even more so? These are, in effect, your word children. Thatâs got to hurt. How do you deal with that and move forward with writing?
Youâre killing me with these questions, H. *Scrubs face with hands and laughs* I can only speak for myself here, and itâs not as easy as youâd think to answer. I have had characterâs deaths plotted from the beginning before, and some that only occurred to me just before it happens. I think for me, it hurts worse to write it than it does to read. I have a lot of unreleased manuscripts, so Iâm going to tread carefully here, but Iâm a notetaker and I will sometimes play a scene over in my head for days before even attempting to get it down on paper. I was driving home one day when inspiration hit for one death scene and I voice noted it, and you can hear me crying. It broke my heart to do it.
When I finally did get it on paper, I think i stopped every couple of minutes to blow my nose, then when I was finished I watched Step Mom, and ate a tub of ice cream.
Iâm gonna go right ahead and lighten the old mood up at this point. I know you live in Texas where the sun shines all the damn time and you melt the moment you walk out of the door in summer. If you could go to any place in the world, free of charge, where would you go and why?
Oh man, loaded question. Yes, this is the one I flounder onâ¦ If it was just for me, and not taking account of all the people I want to visit and spend time with, I would say the redwoods in California. To see those giants rising above and disappearing into the sky, I canât imagine it. Forests have always held a mysticism for me anyway, but giant trees? Iâm so there.
I know you recently went on a trip to Colorado and came home all fired up to write your next story set there. Do you find seeing different places and interesting people fires your imagination and are you as bad at people watching as I am?
Very fired up, and very loud, too. *Rolls eyes* I think thereâs inspiration in everything. Colorado was beautiful. It had everything that I love - trees, mountains and formations of red rocks that have no rhyme or reason to them. I think being able to remove yourself from where youâre most comfortable and experiencing new things really can help with writing. Especially when youâre writing something like urban fantasy. When youâre used to the people and scenery around you, I feel like elements of that bleed into your work and your characters, so expanding your horizons and seeing new things can help shape new worlds and give characters more depth.
Wow, itâs been absolutely incredible to get a sneaky peek inside that amazing brain of yours. Youâre an absolute inspiration to me and I know you are to many others, too. For the last question, Iâm gonna go generic and do a few quick fire questions to round the interview off.
Favourite colour? Besides Black? Purple
Favourite food? Spag Bol
Favourite flower? Lily
Favourite movie? Poltergeist
Favourite book? Pass
Favourite pastime? (When not writing!) Binge Watching TV shows or photoshop (Itâs a tie)
Favourite drink? Iced Tea
Favourite quote? âIf youâre going through hell, keep going.â - Winston Churchill
Biggest phobia? Spiders/clownsâ¦ If thereâs ever a clown spider or a spider clown Iâm done for!
And what the piss do you want for your damn birthday? *Snickers* Now you have to answer me! PASS *Smirks*