Author Spotlight Jay S. Willis


Tell our readers briefly about yourself.


My goal as an author is to create an engaging and fun body of work to sustain a generation through their life as readers of Fantasy: from intelligent chapter books to sprawling epics.

From an early age, I was fascinated by story-telling and wrote my first books in grade school by hand using typing paper packets stapled together for me by my mother. An avid Dungeons & Dragons role-player, growing up in the 80’s obsessed with Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, my reading and writing interests have always skewed toward the fantasy and science-fiction genres.

I am a graduate of both Capital University and Capital University Law School. I’ve been a licensed attorney for more than 25 years. I’m a former Judge and now work as an Assistant Prosecutor.



What books do you have available? Can you give us a short description of them?


Dream of the Sphere

Book One of the Sphere Saga

Three thousand years of tradition torn asunder. When the truth comes out, will a hero emerge to pick up the pieces?

Dashira Eisenheart takes ultimate comfort in her community. So she’s thrilled when her brother ascends to the coveted order chosen to protect the world from safely sealed-away, millennia-old, dangerous magic. But her faith in her beloved parents’ loyalty cracks after she spies her mother sneaking about town to meet with the enemy.

Striving to stay focused on her own academic studies, Dashira becomes caught in family tensions that soon reach a boiling point. And as her father’s Brotherhood and her mother’s rebel group head toward a cataclysmic clash, the young seeker finds herself trapped by conflicting choices.

Will she face her fears and accept her role in a grand destiny?

Dream of the Sphere is the intricate first entry in the expansive The Sphere Saga epic fantasy series. If you like gargantuan conflicts, jaw-dropping twists, and deep explorations of humanity’s beliefs, you’ll love Jay S. Willis’s hard-hitting tale.


Dawn of the Sphere

Book Two of the Sphere Saga

Thousands of years ago, magic ruled their land. When the mightiest among them rise up, will they bring peace… or rain down destruction?

Axamar Sulvastra discovered his powers on the day his brother died. Instead of saving a life, his accidental outburst robbed him of something truly precious. And now he fears the Red Rage pumping through his veins could either free the world or send it to its doom.

Working hard to control his abilities at the Academy of Arcane Studies, Axamar quickly bonds with two other gifted and potent mages. But as jealousies erupt and unchecked power festers, their irreparable discord could cost them everything when a devastating plague threatens to ravage the planet.

Can Axamar unite The Three to repair the realm before all life is obliterated?

Set three millennia before the events of book one, Dawn of the Sphere is the second book in the immersive The Sphere Saga epic fantasy series. If you like complex interpersonal intrigue, powerful backstories, and blockbuster battles, you’ll love Jay S. Willis’s mind-blowing origin story.


War of the Sphere

Book Three of the Sphere Saga

The lines have been drawn. The battle for the realm has begun. Can this young woman become the leader who can stop the spread of evil?

Dashira Eisenheart never planned to head a rebellion. But when three millennia of magic suppression end to unleash devastating forces upon the world, she launches into a fight for her people. And every day the war over the Sphere-Blessed continues to rage, the closer her homeland edges toward utter annihilation.

Struggling to control her own abilities and teaming up with the all-powerful Three, Dashira hunts for magical artifacts to swing the conflict in their favor. But a dangerous trek reveals shocking secrets about the nature of reality that could tear apart the very fabric of time.

Can this rebel warrior save the future before the present is ground to dust?

War of the Sphere is the thrilling conclusion to the groundbreaking first trilogy of The Sphere Saga epic fantasy series. If you like deep worlds, intricate characters, and vivid depictions of all-out combat, then you’ll love Jay S. Willis’s mind-altering story.

The first book in my Middle Grade/Teen Urban Fantasy series, The Arcana Chronicles is available now:


Blood is Thicker than Magic

An ancient family feud. Strange magic. Can one uncertain boy heal an eldritch rift?

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Waldera is struggling with life's changes. Realizing he has feelings for his best friend is hard enough, and the idea of confessing them to her is even more terrifying. But when he's attacked by an evil spirit and turns a flashlight into a lightsaber to vanquish it, the young teen faces a whole new level of confusion.

Discovering he's heir to powers from both his grandfather and his dad, Daniel finds himself caught in the middle of a long-running family rivalry. And with his best friend afraid of his growing abilities, fulfilling a prophecy is the last thing he wants.

Can Daniel defeat his own fears in time to become the master of magic he was born to be?

Blood is Thicker than Magic is the page-turning first book in The Arcana Chronicles Middle Grade/Teen urban fantasy series. If you like everyday heroes, unexpected destiny, and coming-of-age adventures, then you'll love Jay S. Willis's riveting tale.

I also have three Childrens Fantasy books in my Adventures of Blacktooth the Pirate series available:


Blacktooth’s Treasure Chest

Sunk by his nemesis, marooned alone on a desert island, can Blacktooth escape and avoid certain death?

Pirate life may be perilous, but it’s probably different than you’d think. Blacktooth is a friendly pirate. He enjoys reading, eating, and searching for treasure with his crew. The Adventures of Blacktooth the Pirate recounts what it’s really like to be a pirate.

In Blacktooth’s Treasure Chest, his nemesis Dog Breath Dirk is mad because he lost The Great Pirate Challenge, so he sinks Blacktooth’s ship and maroons him alone on a desert island.

Can you guess how Blacktooth earned his Pirate Name? What valuables does he keep locked away in his treasure chest? Will Blacktooth escape when Dog Breath Dirk returns to finish him off and steal his treasure?

Blacktooth’s high-seas adventures are fun for kids of all ages and reading doesn’t have to be like walking the plank.



Blacktooth and the Legend of Skull Mountain


A treasure map leads Blacktooth to the fabled Skull Mountain. Can he defeat the guardian, or will Blacktooth die trying?


Our friendly pirate captain gains a treasure map marking the location of the fabled treasure of Skull Mountain. After Blacktooth visits his favorite library to research the legend, he and the crew of the Crusty Claw discover Skull Mountain, but the treasure has a dangerous guardian and won’t be easy to plunder.

Can you guess what perils await Blacktooth the Pirate on Skull Mountain?


Blacktooth and The Great Pirate Challenge


Surviving The Great Pirate Challenge is never guaranteed. Can Blacktooth lead his crew to victory, or does certain defeat, or even death await them?

In his most exciting adventure yet, Blacktooth and his crew compete for the Pirate of the Year title in a crazy contest full of misadventures with Dog Breath Dirk cheating and trying to sink the Crusty Claw.

Will Blacktooth become Pirate of the Year? Why does Funalota Island have three queens? How many shrimp can one pirate eat?



Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?


I write primarily Fantasy which may veer in, around, and through various subgenres. Although, at times my Fantasy starts to blend more into Science Fantasy.


Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?

Planner. I outline on a macroscopic level then tend to discovery write getting from point to point chronologically on my outline.


What is your writing routine like?

I definitely know the “flow state” exists and I’ve been blessed with the ability to attain it, but not always. The most consistent part of my routine when I manage to eke time out to write (after establishing a general outline) is to dive in and start from the beginning and work through the story. I tend to write chronologically through my stories for the most part. That’s just how my brain tends to work for some reason. After I get the story going I usually go back and review/re-read the last section I wrote to warmup without getting to deep into revision.

Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?


Vrom Krazstar from my Epic Fantasy Sphere Saga is my favorite character. His entire life has been a struggle learning how he fits into the world. Vrom’s intelligence is beyond measure but he often lacks the wisdom to comprehend how relationships work on a personal level. He is very much an outsider observing the world trying to discern what it means to be human. Vrom is one of the most powerful mages in the history of his world and he has a special affinity for Necromantic magic which endears him to me greatly. Vrom allows me to spin what I hope is a fresh new perspective on Necromancy in Fantasy. Necromancy does not always need to equate to evil.


Where do you get your ideas for world building?


The Cool Factor is important. What’s fun, interesting, sparks a sense of wonder and can generate conflict? Magic is always at the heart of my worldbuilding. Everything I write, for the most part, centers around Magic in some way. I also find a lot of inspiration from creating maps.


Do you add romance to your writing? Is it steamy or clean?

Yes, if it serves the story. Clean.


What was your favorite scene to create?


In the second book of my Sphere Saga, Dawn of the Sphere, the three main characters, Axamar, Lornai, and Vrom are together during the birth of Axamar’s twin sons. They become known as The Three, nearly destroy their world, and are at the very heart of the series. This special moment they share during and immediately after the birth marks a tense but ultimately joyous respite and brief reunion just before their lives careen completely beyond their control and alter their relationships and their world forever.



Where do you get character inspiration?


My characters often exhibit my own hopes, fears, and foibles. I sometimes pull different character traits from people I’ve known or encountered. For me, my characters are the primary focus and they drive the story. Conversely, every character needs to serve specific purposes to make a story work.


What genre do you prefer to read?

Fantasy


Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?


Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Orson Scott Card.


Do you have any recurring themes in your book?


Family is everything.

Moral absolutes are dangerous. More specifically Faith and Hope are crucial in our lives but both can lead to ruin if not managed properly.

Personal responsibility and owning the consequences of our actions is paramount.



What does your editing process look like?


It depends on the book. Generally, after I complete the initial draft I’ll make several passes focusing on specific issues such as character arcs, pacing, description, continuity, and theme. After that I run the entire manuscript through Autocrit online to help clean up; eliminating filler words, reducing unnecessary adverbs, etc. After that I send the manuscript to an editor for proofreading. Once I get it back I make a final pass before performing the sacred ritual of proclaiming the book is finished at last.



Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?


No. I don’t usually drink or eat anything while I’m writing.


When is your favorite time of day to write and why?


Whenever I can actually find time to devote only to writing. Working a full-time job unrelated to my writing and family/life obligations tends to make finding writing time difficult.


What is your favorite vacation spot?


Walt Disney World in Florida


Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?


Marvel. Vision has been my favorite character since I started reading The Avengers as a kid.


What hobbies do you have?


I love games. Board games, TTRPG (Dungeons & Dragons), all the Fallout videogames. My family watches a LOT of movies.


Where can our readers find you?


I mostly post on my Facebook page or my website, but my links are below:




Book Links:

The Sphere Saga (Epic Fantasy)

Dream of the Sphere: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/fd662894-0997-11ec-91ae-3bcf36f0d254

Dawn of the Sphere: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/fb2fbe46-0cad-11ec-8f59-53a9e6604e6d

War oft he Sphere: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/50020406-0cae-11ec-8193-6f352131baf9


The Arcana Chronicles (Upper Middle Grade/Younger Teen Urban Fantasy

Blood is Thicker than Magic: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/477a0c56-a85a-11eb-942b-2bcf3c611443


The Adventures of Blacktooth the Pirate (Children’s Fantasy Chapter Books)

Blacktooth’s Treasure Chest: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/6770eb1e-a85b-11eb-9688-fbb04bca7f69

Blacktooth and the Legend of Skull Mountain: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/6770eb1e-a85b-11eb-9688-fbb04bca7f69

Blacktooth and The Great Pirate Challenge: https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/fd823b4e-a85b-11eb-9518-23e6b7207219



Contributor (3 articles) in Putting the Fact in Fantasy (Release: May 3, 2022): https://www.amazon.com/Putting-Fact-Fantasy-Authenticity-Writing-ebook/dp/B09BTRLC2N


Social Media:

· https://www.jayswillis.net

· https://www.jayswillis.net/newsletter-signup/

· https://www.facebook.com/atlaslawauthor

· www.twitter.com/atlaslaw

· https://www.instagram.com/atlaslaw/

· https://www.tiktok.com/@jayswillis?lang=en

· https://pinterest.com/atlaslaw


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