Escana’s an Amazon hit

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A Coleraine author’s first book has become a chart hit on the online book-seller Amazon.

JR Karlsson’s Escana broke into the top 20 on Amazon’s epic fantasy chart after selling close to a thousand copies in e-book format.

JR started writing fantasy at the tender age of nine after being introduced to ‘The Hobbit’ by a school dinner lady.

Born in Ballymoney, he grew up in Portstewart and now living in Coleraine, he went to North Coast Integrated College and then on to the University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus.

He now intends to make writing his full-time career: “I’ve had other jobs in the past but after various redundancies I’ve decided to concentrate entirely on this and see where it takes me,” he says.

JR says that Escana is the story of an author falling into the world of his own creation.

“He watches the plot he wrote unfold through the eyes of his protagonist, someone he has almost no control over.

“This character has been tasked with murdering six powerful individuals to prevent the collapse of an empire. All is not as it seems though and things come to a head when the plot of the unfinished novel runs out entirely.

“My influences for the book are largely literary, I suppose in a sense everything we’ve read and consumed holds sway over the creative process in some small way. I think fantasy writers such as Stephen Donaldson, Robert E. Howard, George R.R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkien have been the most influencial with this particular work.”

One comment from a reader on Amazon described the book as “a brilliant romp through the world excitement an intrigue.”

JR said he was pleased with the sales of the book so far.

“So far it has sold close to a thousand copies entirely in e-book format over Amazon. I’m enrolled in their Kindle Direct Publishing scheme which allows for a five day promotional period where I offer the book for free.

“This allows the writer to develop a base of people who are willing to read the work and provide feedback which in turn (if positive) attracts more readers to purchase it outright. It’s a very meritocratic system, if your work is good when you get your foot in the door then you’ll have success.”

The author plans to release another book next month. “I’ve already written another book while I was going about publishing this one,” said JR.

“It’s a shorter work that’s more swords and sorcery than high fantasy but I’ll be releasing that next month as soon as the cover art is complete. “