Born in Amarillo, Texas, J.S. Wayne has lived, worked, or traveled in approximately two thirds of the North American continent and has amassed a resume that could kindly be described as “eclectic.” He currently resides in the Texas Panhandle with his wife, a vicious attack cat, and a terrier puppy who believes socks are a threat to national security. In his laughably sparse spare time, he enjoys reading, scary movies, strategy games, and collecting obsolete weapons. His professional writing credits include two current novels, Shadowphoenix: Requiem and Wail; a short story, “Angels Would Fall,” which has been contracted by Noble Romance Publishing and was just released April 18; and a host of poetry and work-in-progress novels and short stories, including a nascent graphic novel with artist extraordinaire Bill Fish, who created the covers for J.S.’s first two novels, his website, and took the photos J.S. uses for various publicity needs. He maintains a home page at www.wix.com/jswaynesite/herebemonsters and a blog at www.jswayne.wordpress.com.
Dreams and visions are my stock in trade
Cryptic runes and sigils flung into the cold blue fire
Of the magick mirror through which I see and am seen
Building dreams of romance and nightmares of horror
Erotic meetings in shaded places and lust in broad daylight
Lover and warrior, I mix phials and filters
With the mortar of language and the pestle of my mind
Every phrase, word, and letter fraught with meaning
Text, context, subtext, and back again
To form the picture in the mind
Denying sleep, laughing, as I create that
Which will stir the heart...or freeze the very marrow
Flinging my magick webs and spells
To make you laugh, weep, shiver, or tremble
With these bizarre little squiggles I force your reaction
A game of chess as foreplay and your emotions the prize
A modern-day Merlin, robed in black
Sending new imaginings to produce a new idea
A new view of the world.
If I succeed only one time, with only one person
And my words reverberate with that soul
Long after the grimoire, the tome is closed
Then I have succeeded to my satisfaction
At the sorcery I weave for your entertainment and edification.
Seems a little over the top, doesn't it? But it's true, in its own, admittedly melodramatic way.
Writers create magic. From the basic building blocks of language, we create entire universes and destroy them just as readily. We give these universes Gods, people, laws, and form. The people that we engender in these worlds of the mind live, love, grow, suffer and die as we see fit. And in doing so, we have the potential to wreak very real changes in the people, and hence the world, around us.
Take as a basic, cookbook example the stressed-out banker who goes out after work and picks up the bloodsoaked horror novel he’s heard so much about. The next day, he might have gone smooth out of his mind, purchased a rifle, and gone into work the day after that shooting. But because he found catharsis in the horror novel and the demented little fantasies worked out there, he feels a little bit better. He doesn’t beat his wife or kids or drink himself into cirrhosis and a coma at thirty-five. Instead, he lets fictional characters bear the brunt of his frustration and irritation. Maybe he even experiences a sea change in his perspective. Would anyone argue that the seven, fifteen, or thirty dollars he spent on that novel was money wasted, given the potential outcome if he hadn’t found that outlet?
Another example is the woman in a position of power, who finds that all her subordinates, and even people on her level, find her offputting simply because of the title she holds. She may be as hot-blooded and passionate as any woman, but she feels like she can never let on because she’s afraid that by doing so, she may compromise the power she wields. So she goes home and in the privacy of her own office/living room/bedroom downloads that hot new erotic romance novel she overheard a couple of the girls talking about by the water cooler. Losing herself in the imagery and the tacit permission to be sensual that such a work offers, she allows the passionate side of herself to surface. She might even place a phone call to someone who reminds her of the hero and who she would never have dared to approach without the catalyst of the feelings the book stirs in her. A good time is had by all, a new love blossoms, it is hoped, and she goes to work the next day glowing and a little easier to be around.
These may be somewhat extreme examples, but the reality is that a million stories like these are acted out daily. Stories, fantasies, and books that they read change them. They learn something new. They consider a different point of view. Maybe they even go so far as to make a fundamental change in their life.
What all of these have in common is that somewhere, at some time, someone sat down and put together words in a certain manner to convey a specific mood, concept, idea, or emotion. The way they did it resonated with these particular people in such a way as to force a conscious change in their thought process, mood, or feelings.
Okay, you may ask, this is all very intriguing, but what’s so magical about it? After all, people write things all the time. I write out a grocery list every week, but it has never inspired any life-altering event for me. What’s the difference?
The difference is very simple, but to explain it, we must first set a working definition of magic to properly place these events in context.
Donald Michael Kraig, the author of Modern Magick: 11 Lessons in the High Magickal Arts, defines magic as any change in a person or their environment which is occasioned by will, using means not currently understood by Western science.
But wait! Science tells us about brain chemistry and function and how these affect our thought processes. So we already know and understand why we feel what we feel at a certain time. No need for some half-baked Gandalf wanna-be to wave his wand and make us feel something different.
Perhaps. But the point is that the writer's creation stimulates the reader's brain, oftentimes without their even being aware of it. We literally create the world we desire, and in doing so, in a very real way, we change lives. And if that isn't magic, then I don't know what is.
I want to extend a very warm thanks to Gianna for letting me take the stage here today. I can't wait for next time!
Thanks JS! I can’t wait either! :) Here's the cover of JS's latest release, Angels Would Fall:
Isn't that a gorgeous cover? Definitely drool-worthy! lol You can get Angels Would Fall at Noble Romance Publishing: https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=270
JS also has a short story in the Red Roses & Shattered Glass Anthology:
You can purchase the anthology here: https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=260 There are some seriously hot stories - you don't want to miss a single one!
Check out what Cherie De Sues is up to over at Bianca Sommerland's blog. Click the button below to continue on the tour!