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J.N. Chaney is the Amazon bestselling author of The Variant Saga (B01MRCAMW0), The Renegade Star series (B077RHM2QD), and more. Chaney has a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and fancies himself quite the Super Mario Bros Fan. He migrates often and was last seen in Avon Park, FL. Any sightings should be reported, as they are rare. If you would like to stay more up to date with his work, head on over to his Facebook group “JN Chaney’s Renegade Readers” located at www.facebook.com/groups/678620228994951. You can speak directly with him, have discussions with other readers about whatever you like, and get all the latest up-to-the-minute news on the Renegade Star series and anything else he's working on. You can also learn more about his books at jnchaney.com

 

 

Tell us about your newest books, The Renegade Star series?

 

Renegade Star is a series about a smuggler who takes a job escorting a nun back to her home planet. In transit, he discovers she's carrying unusual cargo, which ends up being a young albino girl with strange tattoos. He ultimately has to make a choice. Does he save the two runaways or turn them over to the government for an easy payday? He's in a load of debt, after all, so there's a lot of incentive for him to walk away. With this series, I wanted to tell a story about a man finding his family, or whatever that means for someone like Jace. He isn't a hero. He doesn't want to save anyone. He just wants to get paid and keep his ship in the air. It's really all he's ever wanted. When he meets Abigail and Lex, he really has to decide who he is and what kind of person he wants to be, and I think that choice surprises him. 

 

What was the inspiration behind the series?

 

It started because I wanted to write a space western. Something in the vein of Cowboy Bebop or Firefly, but with a treasure map and a quest to find something. After sitting on the idea for a bit, I realized the ultimate prize could be a planet, which ultimately became Earth. I took a trip to Orlando with my girlfriend, and we were talking about a video game I'd recently played. In it, you meet a shop owner who used to work for the Yakuza, but left when he adopted a baby. The baby had a scar on his neck. The dad decided to get a tattoo of a salamander on his own neck in the same spot to make his son feel better. As we talked about that, I began to come up with the idea for Lex, and how Jace might find her and she would have those strange tattoos on her. The rest of the story avalanched after that, coming together very quickly.

 

You’re also currently co-writing with  Michael Anderle and Sarah Noffke, in the Kurtherian Gambit Universe with the Ghost Squadron Books. What is both the easiest and, the hardest things when co-authoring books?

 

I would say the hardest thing about co-authoring is deciding who does what. Do both of you write together, taking turns on the manuscript? Do you each take different character perspectives? Does one person write the book and the other edit? It's tough to find the right balance that will make everyone happy, but if you can find what works for you, then it can be really rewarding.

 

How do you connect with your readers?

 

I have a newsletter I use, for the most part, but there are other ways. I like to engage directly with fans, so I have a small facebook group I frequently post in. The hardcore fans are there and engaged, constantly replying to posts and getting to know each other. The group is called JN Chaney's Renegade Readers. 

 

As a self-published author, you obviously must do your own marketing. What tools have you used that’s been successful?

 

I've been fortunate enough to land several Book Bubs, but I largely stick with facebook ads. Aside from that, a lot of people just seem to find the books on their own.

 

What do you think is one of the biggest advantages of being a self-published author over a traditionally published one?

 

Definitely the lack of oversight and the ability to publish more than once or twice a year. I wrote six books in 2017. I'd like to do 8-10 in 2018. When you're self-published, if you can manage to make a living on it, the sky is the limit. I know people who publish once a year, and I know people who publish 16 books a year. It all depends on how many stories you have to tell.

 

What’s one piece of professional advice you wish you could give to your younger self?

 

Start writing as soon as you can. I waited until I was 30 to publish my first book. I should have been doing it when I was 23.

 

What can we expect from you after you finish up The Renegade Star series?

 

My next series will be called Star Seed and will focus on a younger character (18 years old). It'll take place on another planet, with almost no space travel, so very different from the current books.

 

What is one question you always wish you were asked during an interview, and what would be your answer?

 

No one has ever asked what I'm reading. The answer is Red Rising. It's a great book. Another one would be We Are Legion. Check them out if you're into sci-fi. I love both stories.