Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Random Thoughts - Jana Oliver

Roughly a dozen years ago, I had the honor to become a friend of Jana Oliver’s. She was a guest at a Deep South Convention in Birmingham along with Sharon Green, Catherine Asaro and I. She was promoting her first book, THE LOVER’S KNOT, and was an articulate and interesting person. As an aside, the only other person to become an instant friend was the late dgk goldberg. Kelly Goldberg left us too soon and had many more books left to write.

Anyway, Jana followed up her debut with two novels of well written fantasy before turning her hand and heart to other matters. Her three novels of time travel (SOJOURN, VIRTUAL EVIL, and MADMAN’S DANCE) were well received and caused her fan base to grow and look to her for more and exciting adventures. The Time Rovers Series is now available for Kindle and Nook in case you missed them.

In answer to her fans and some pestering friends, Jana has embarked on a Young Adult series published by St Martin’s in the US and Macmillan in the UK. There are three volumes out so far – THE DEMON TRAPPER’S DAUGHTER (FORSAKEN in the UK), SOUL THIEF (FORBIDDEN in the UK) and FORGIVEN. The fourth volume, FORETOLD, can’t arrive too soon for those fans that are anxiously awaiting the conclusion, but hopefully not last adventure.

The Demon Trappers Series takes place in a near future Atlanta that has demons popping up and causing mischief everywhere from the library to killing people and destroying property. Even The Vatican has a dog in this fight and is known to shoot first and ask questions later.

Riley Blackthorne is our main character and she is still in school, learning her craft from her father (who is killed by a demon in the first book), and dealing with teenage angst, boyfriends, and fighting the demons from hell who seek her out and call her by name. It’s not the type of popularity that you want to have.

Jana has grown as a writer and tells a tale that appeals to adults and teens as well as anyone who likes a good story filled with action and tremendous story telling.

I don’t know why, but I was thinking about this last night as I was trying to go to sleep. Somehow my mind was wondering in its PTSD state and I began to think about the demons of PTSD and war and the problems facing our Vietnam vets and the new vets that are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jana’s stories of Riley and her friends show how you have to face your demons yourself. Sometimes, you have some friends that can help you out but the demons can grow and your friends are unable to help, so you must dig deep within yourself to come up with the strength and ability to maintain control and keep the demons from taking over.

If you haven’t read Jana Oliver, now is a great time to start. I don’t know how well her books are selling here in the USA, but the British and Australian editions have been flying off the shelves and a German edition is on the way.

Thanks, Jana, for helping an old veteran face his demons and for giving him and the world a cast of memorable characters. Riley is right up there with Michael Valentine Smith as the most memorable characters in my reading life.

No comments:

Post a Comment