An Interview With Jon Ray, Author of 'Gorp: Goblin Janitor'

1. Can you tell us a little bit about Gorp: Goblin Janitor?

Gorp the goblin is fleeing his lands in search of better employment. With only a cloth map to guide him, he sets out across the sea to secure work at Ye Olde Dungeon working for the sinister Dungeon Overlord Jamalin Spellslinger. Once there, along with a group of misfit monsters, Gorp is hired on as a janitor to clean up the messes left behind by the horde of fortune, glory, and treasure seeking adventurers. But all is not well within the dungeon as the Red Dragon has ideas and an agenda of his own.

2. What's your background with writing? 

I started in screenplays and eventually moved over to novels after writing Gorp: Goblin Janitor, which was my first novel. I've since gone on to also write short stories for anthologies, and am currently working on my first game/CYOA type book series.

3. Who are your inspirations/influences? 

J.R.R. Tolkien would be one of my main influences, but I also love the Dragonlance series and William Gibson.

4. What was it like working with LJR Publishing?

As I also own and run a publishing company, it came about as a necessity to publish my own works as well as Fantasy and Sci-Fi works of other authors later down the line. At the moment LJR Publishing only publishes the works of author Jon Ray.

5. Who was responsible for the cover/book design? 

I created the book cover, but the artwork for the book was commissioned by me through artist Simon Tjong (Simon Zhong). I held an online interview process of over 100 artists before settling and deciding to work with Simon who later went on to illustrator all 3 novels in the Gorp the Goblin trilogy. You can find more of Simon Zhong's work here.

6. What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity? 

Aside from running marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and the LJR Publishing website. I also attend book signings at local markets and medieval faires here in Australia where I get to meet my readers and sign copies for them. I've had return readers find me at events to buy the next copy of the series and it's a great feeling to see their eagerness to continue the story into the next book.

7. Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews/etc.?

I have a heartfelt story at the 2019 Winterfest Medieval Faire, just outside of Sydney, Australia. While there a little boy about the age of 10 came up to me and just smiled. He then took his tie to look over both of the two books I was doing a book signing for at the time. Afterward, he left and I thought that was the end of it. But a minute later he returned, smiled again and told me "Well Done" on becoming an author. He then shared that he wanted to be an author someday, to which I encouraged him and said to never give up his dreams.

8. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there? 

Writer's Tower Blog I cover current projects, events, and writing tips of my works here. Anything author-related is shared here.

9. What projects do you have planned for the future?

I'm in the middle of finishing my first Sci-Fi novel, which will be the first book in a new series called "Dark Dwellers". It's an apocalyptic tale that follows six protagonists from around the world on the day the end of the world as we know occurs. I've also got the first volume in a new fantasy anthology series called "Tales of Agrobathe" that I'm still writing stories for. The entire anthology is written by myself with all the tales set within a fantasy world I've spent the past 10 years world building. I plan to set many future literary works within this world. I also keep a page for what I'm currently working on to keep updated.

10. Is there anything else about you we should know? 

I'm a writer, director, and actor in film along with a large assortment of other titles when it comes to entertainment. Since the age of 13, I've played and enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons normally running my own games as the Dungeon Master for others. Originally I'm from Tyler, Texas in the U.S., but currently reside in Sydney, Australia where I prospect for gold in the outback when not writing.