Today I am so pleased to welcome James Peters to Joyfully Jay. James has come to talk to us about his latest release, Black Swan Empire. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!


A Choice of Style

When I wrote Black Swan Planet, I wanted to tell a story with the main character as the butt of the jokes to allow me to really use my self-depreciating sense of humor. However, there were things the reader needed to know that Raka, my main character, would have no way of knowing. This was my breakout novel, and I figured if nothing else, I wanted it to be memorable and fun, so I might have broken a few unwritten rules when I picked this style.

I decided that spread amongst the standard chapters in this book you might find a chapter consisting of a single page diary entry, or a police report, or a message calling for help, or anything that could be collected and presented to the reader to experience as they happened in the story, even if the MC would never see them.

I have received some push-back on this. One of my author friends really did not approve of mixing viewpoints the way I did it, and he made it clear to me — several times, and I applaud him for his point of view and standing his ground. Technically, he’s right, and I’ve had a couple readers question the way a transcript was presented. Having said that, I’ve had more positive comments regarding the “sometimes quirky” form of storytelling and have carried it forward in the rest of the trilogy and in other books. I find it a fun way to tell a story, and I hope that if it still makes me — the author, smile after reading it ten times, then maybe the reader will see the value in this method.

My intent when I write is to entertain the reader to the point they never lose interest in the story and want to put the book down. Considering the outrageous circumstances Raka gets himself into, it just seems fitting that his story be told from more than one point of view.


black swan empire coverRaka Varoule, Maven Blackheart, and Marco return for one final adventure in Black Swan Empire!

When Maven nearly starts WWIII as a result of an international nuclear incident, she and Raka are forced to flee from Earth and return to the Galactic Empire, but they aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms. They are quickly drawn into a plot that just happens to involve the assassination of Emperor Caligula himself.

With the help of some old friends and a few frenemies, they face their biggest challenge yet when the entire Empire is on the line.

Series Blurb:

Raka Varoule is a second-rate investigative reporter and just an average citizen of the Galactic Empire. When he weasels his way on the Emperor’s own Star-Cruiser and exposes the illicit activities of this very adult party, his life takes a minor change of direction.

Escaping with the help of a leather-clad dominatrix, the Emperor’s own ganja runner, and a chimpanzee wearing assless chaps, Raka makes it to a barbarian world some call “Earth”, only to find himself very alone and very vulnerable.

Raka survives and has a series of hilarious adventures before learning that it’s up to him to protect Earth from an Imperial retrieval team, set to destroy everything. He’ll need the help of his Imperial companions to do this, but can he trust them?

Buy Links:


James Peters fell in love with Science Fiction at a young age, becoming hooked on the works of Asimov, Anderson, and Pohl (among many others), as well as the mixed bag of anything labeled Science Fiction on television or at the movies while growing up. While in grade school, he was given an assignment to write a journal about anything he wanted. He quickly filled the pages with a Buck Roger’s type adventure of robots, spaceships, and pew-pewing lasers, discovering his inner passion to write.

He writes with a gritty blend of character-driven action, wry humor, and social commentary that transports the reader through wild worlds of speculative fiction and fantasy. He’s known to cross the borders of different genres into new territory, along with an occasional ‘wink and nod’ to pop culture and other authors, then shock the reader with an unexpected turn of events.

Sit back, open your mind and enjoy the ride. Your adventure awaits.