Thursday, October 17, 2013

Author Spotlight: J.R. Simmons - Teen Read Week Blog Hop

This week, I'm thrilled to bring you an Author Spotlight that is also part of the Global Teen Read Week - Inspiring Teens Blog Hop. Authors Vickie Johnstone & Greta Burroughs have set up an AMAZING week of authors and giveaways and writing challenges to get your teens reading!! You can get the full schedule of events here and today, I'm excited to introduce you to J.R. Simmons, author of Ragesong, who not only has an interview for you, but also a GIVEAWAY down below.

Welcome J.R.! Why do you think Teen Read Week is important?

Encouraging kids to read and expand their minds prepares them for the future. It shows them that anything is possible and helps train their minds to think outside of the box.

How do you think we could encourage youngsters to read more?

Get them easier access to books. More effective advertising. A lot of our time is spent advertising in places where kids usually don't frequent. Most children I know spend their time online looking for toys, videogames, or other things that appeal to them, so though advertising in blogs and Goodreads might reach a few, it won't reach many. If we are able to show them cool books in schools or other places that they frequent, then we might spark their interest a little more.

When you were a teenager what books did you like to read and did you have an all-time favorite character?

I loved fantasy. I was especially partial to David Eddings. I also enjoyed reading John Grisham.

Were you writing as a teenager? If so, what were you writing and what inspired you? Did a person inspire you to write?

No, I didn't start taking writing seriously until I was an adult.

Do you think today’s teens are in a better position if they want to be a writer than you were all those years ago?

Yes, the internet and Youtube provide countless tutorials and guides to help with the writing process.

What advice would you give a youngster who enjoys writing?

Do not get overwhelmed by the process. Break each bigger step into smaller steps and work your way through to the end. Do not give up!

What is your latest book about?

It is book two in the Ragesong series. It continues Jake and Sam's adventures in Fermicia as they attempt to start an uprising to combat Brael's growing power.

Are you working on anything new at the moment?

I am about to take on a writing project with other local authors. We will be creating a series of novellas about some mythological Guardians of Atlantis. I will be writing the part of the antagonist.

What do you love about being an author?

Seeing how my mind continues to expand as I constantly come up with new ideas. Reading the positive feedback that comes from people who sincerely enjoy reading what I write.


When the peaceful kingdom of Fermicia is enslaved by a power-hungry renegade, its only hope lies in a band of unlikely heroes: two children whose musical abilities allow them to harness the power of Ragesong, and their shape-changing guides.

Jake starts his first day of junior high completely oblivious to the fact that he has been chosen for something incredible. That same afternoon, he learns that he has been marked as one with the power to save an entire kingdom. Through the course of his journey, Jake discovers that his advanced musical abilities are peculiarly connected to a mysterious power known as Ragesong. Joined by a shy, young girl with similar musical talents and two Changelings that hold a fierce loyalty to their homeland and king, Jake must learn to harness this ability in order to survive the dangers of a hostile new world.

Amazon US -

Amazon UK -

Barnes and Noble -

iTunes (through iBook App)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Delivery of all prizes is the sole responsibility of author JR Simmons and not Karen Pokras Toz)


JR Simmons lives in Northern Utah with his wife and 4 boys. He loves spending time with his family and coaching his kids in all their different sports. He is an avid gamer and is very excited that his boys are picking up on his hobby. JR was recently introduced to triathlons and has since found that he loves the sport. Most nights he can be found either sitting down with a good game or hunched over his iPad writing.

Goodreads -
Twitter - @jrsimmons_3
Facebook –
Website –




  1. Thank you so much for hosting, Karen. And thanks JR Simmons for taking part. I read and really enjoyed this book. Good luck with your writing both of you :)

  2. Fantastic blog post, Karen and JR. Thank you so much!

  3. Great post! I'm sure my nephew would love JR's book. Actually, thanks for the Christmas present tip :)


For the latest book news, sign up for my newsletter!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...