The R.J. Tolson Interview
We are blessed here at ANF Extra to interview a young man who has built a mini empire in the world of publishing. His name is R.J. Tolson, and before long, his is a name that’s sure to garner lots of attention as he’s already built quite a resume for himself as the CEO of his own company. He took time out of his busy schedule to discuss his present (and future) plans with us.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was 6-yrs-old and I just turned 21 today, 5/15, so 15 years.
What inspired you to write this book?
There are many books that have made a difference in my life, most prominently Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Plato’s Republic, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, D.J. Machales Pendragon, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
What steps did you take to publish Chaos Chronicles Book 1: Zephyr The West Wind?
Originally I had been posting my chapters on a website called Wattpad, where I quickly had a reading count by thousands. By the time I finished, and before I took off the novel from the website, I had millions. I decided to hastily self-publish, only to find a few months later by chance that one of my online readers happened to be a publisher at the Universal Kingdom Print publishing house. I signed on with them, and re-published Zephyr. The republishing process took almost a year, as the book was dwindled down from 800 pages to 400. In reference to self-publishing, I think it is a great platform for literary work that has revolutionized the way literature can be spread across the world. It’s a great start when done wisely.
What’s your favorite part in the Chaos Chronicles Book 1: Zephyr The West Wind?
The scenes that involve Zephyr and his encounters with the embodiment of his true self, Sora. It makes readers think deeply. Such scenes not only push readers to think about the characters, or even just themselves, but how they both relate to each other and how they may relate to others.
This excerpt from Zephyr The West Wind, Chapter 4, is a favorite, too.
“The Barghest was a black oversized dog with gray hairs that covered it’s whole body. If it were just that, maybe I wouldn’t have been so scared. The demons face was similar to the shape of a monkeys while it’s pointed ears stuck straight up into the sky. It’s mouth was so large that it had to keep it’s head below the rest of it’s body so it would not tire out, and it’s mouth was filled with human like teeth only five times larger and sharper. The yellow eyes, combined with the completely blood red face and gray hairs just seemed to paralyze me.
Of course, that was one of the natural effects the Barghest had; It shocked it’s prey into paralysis and ripped them apart before the shock wore off. I guess you could call me lucky, but the demon seemed to want to take it’s time with it’s new food. It slowly walked on all fours towards me as it wagged its scruffy tail, until it was only a few feet from me. The Barghest itself only stood as tall as five feet, but the intense glare of hate it gave and feeling of fear only made it seem bigger.
The Barghest whipped it’s head up as it stared at the dark blue sky and opened it’s grotesque mouth, letting out a loud ear piercing sound. As it howled, the sound seemed to strike fear in the surrounding area as it was so quiet after the demon closed it’s mouth the only sound that I could hear was the growl from it’s muzzle. Oh great, I thought to myself. Everyone else is just as scared as I am, but they were all just spectating. Lucky them.
Before I could continue my thoughts, the Barghest opened it’s mouth, crouched it’s legs, and lunged straight for my head.” –
Outside of writing this book, I understand you’re involved in other projects. Would you mind sharing what those are with us?
I’m the CEO of RJTIO and divisions RJTINC, Forever Trust Charity and RL Infinity International, and President of Sages of Essence and Living Writers.
Do you plan on attending any events soon? If so, please tell us where you will be?
Emmy & Tony Award winning actress and Academy Award & Golden Globe Award nominee Cicely Tyson and the Tyson Community School of Performing & Fine Arts have invited me to be a guest speaker on Friday, May 16, 2014 at the Tyson Community School Secondary campus in East Orange, NJ. (Note: this event has already taken place)
How can the readers contact you if they would like to receive a personal copy? Do you have a website?
What advice do you have for someone just starting out as an author?
First, I suggest you do your research. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run, as well as give you far more opportunities because you will know what to look for. I also advise posting your work on a safe social literary website like I did, because you will be able to get feedback on your book and see what it feels like to get both bad and good criticism, as well as ideas and a chance to improve your writing before putting it out into the world officially.
Is there anything else you would like to say in closing?
In all honesty, looking back on the journey it feels like it went by way too quickly. I remember coming up with a way to make money using the limited resources I set for myself, and the skills I could use in making my ideas a reality, and then things took off. Now, it wasn’t easy. I learned a lot of my ethics and drive from my Grandfather, a great businessman in his own right. I worked all day, especially during my “free time” during high school, which at that point was hard considering all of my friends had been doing activities. And as I advanced in the business world, I found because of my age, and sometimes my race as well, that people often looked down upon me. Coincidentally, they still do, and from that I learned to take each of those experiences and make it a challenge. From those continuous challenges, I was able to get to where I am now through hard work, hope, and determination.
Eloise S. Woods, Esq.