Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: The Lightrider Journals (Eric Nierstedt)

The Lightrider Journals Blog Tour
April 17-30

Joseph Hashimoto is happy with his ordinary life. A man who believes in fairness and just action, Joe’s greatest love is his family. But as he moves about his days, he is completely unaware that his actions are carefully observed. With one momentous decision, Joe’s ordinary life is about to transform into an extraordinary existence.
While attempting to save a little girl from danger, Joe is killed in a violent explosion. Instead of dying, however, his soul is brought before the elemental Architects of the Universe, who tell him he has been chosen for a sacred duty. Reborn as Lightrider, the earthly representative of Light, Joe is given leadership of the Elemental Knights, a group of half-man, half-animal beings. Charged with maintaining a delicate balance between good and evil, Joe must police both sides and destroy anyone who threatens to ruin it. As Joe struggles with his conflicting emotions and longing for home, he must face his greatest threat—the ancient Chaos Demons.
In this fantasy tale, a man inadvertently thrust into a world of cosmic forces must come to terms with change and accept what needs to be done for the good of all

Buy Links: Available in ebook, paperback and hardcover from each site.


Barnes & Noble:


What people are saying
“More than just the usual good versus evil theme, it focuses on good not always being right, and evil not always being bad, but there needs to be a balance between the two.” – DB ~ Amazon Reviewer

“I really felt like I was on the sidelines watching it all unfold.” – Ren @ A Little Bit of R&R

“From the first page, I found myself not wanting to stop reading. The story and characters had me completely engrossed, and I think it is a book I'd find myself reading over in years to come.” – Kristen Bapst ~ Amazon Reviewer

The book was not only believable but spiritual as well as suspenseful. The writing is amazingly descriptive which bring the pages to life in your mind. The imagery is so clear, I could see it on the big screen as I flew through the pages.” Anonymous Barnes & Noble Reviewer

Author bio:Eric Nierstedt grew up in Garwood NJ, and spent most of his life absorbing the epic tales of fantasy from Terry Brooks, Stephen King, and even the tales of comic books and video games. His writing began soon after, as he honed it through writing for the local paper, and maintaing his own blog ( When he graduated from Kean University, his began his first novel, while also being selected for the NJ Wordsmith Competiton. Eric wanted to tell a story of a group of characters, anchored by one central narrator, that battled forces of destruction. And he also wanted to use his own thoughts on the nature of good and evil- how the two are defined by each other,
"When I started the Lightrider Journals, the big fantasy novels of the day were Twilight and Harry Potter.  I wanted to avoid being another copy of those at all costs.  So I combined all my major influences- Terry Brooks, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Stephen King's The Dark Tower.  As I wrote, I wanted to explore a concept that wasn't discussed much in any popular fantasy- the idea of showing good and evil as forces both responsible for and essential to life as we know it. I also wanted to show a more natural form of magic, and show fantasy existing in the real world, which would turn out much bigger then people think.  And finally, I wanted to tell a story about what I was feeling stepping out in the world for the first time- how a man can adapt to a sudden and tremendous responsibility- not just his successes, but his losses as well, and how he learns to live with them.  And of course, throw in liberal amounts of magic, characters that would resonate with people, and a sprinkling of humor.  I think anyone who reads it will be able to have a good time with all the characters and action, but also see a different version of the neverending battle of good and evil.  And most of all, I hope they leave the book with a better idea of how they can face that which seems insurmountable."

Facebook Page:!/TheLightriderJournals

 What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The very first spark of inspiration was actually a 1990’s anti-drug special I saw, which involved all the cartoons of the day teaming up to save a drug-user.  It seems silly now, but I was thrilled to see so many different characters together, and even as a young kid, I wanted to tell a story with a big group like that.  As I got older, and really started to look at writing seriously, I kept the idea in my mind, and after many years of reading, TV, and even video games for inspiration, I had formed enough of the story outline to commence writing.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I probably shouldn’t say it, but if I had to pick, it would be Nightstalker.  I’m a huge Batman fan, and writing my own dark hero, but with something of a sense of humor to him, is a great thrill.  I also admire much of his personality-his directness and confidence that he knows the right thing to do and doesn’t hesitate to do it.

Which came first, the title or the novel?

The novel was first.  I developed the main plots of the story relatively early, and hence the characters’ personality and traits were pretty well-realized before I needed to name them.  It quite a while to get them right; I wanted to incorporate their elemental powers but didn’t want them to sound like cartoon heroes.  But when I had Lightrider down, I knew it was going to be his life story, so what better thing to call it then a journal?

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

The scenes are hard to pick from, but the part I’m very proud of is the battle with the Chaos Demon mixed with Joe’s homecoming.  It was really unique to mix action scenes with the drama of Joe coming to terms with not being able to come home.  Switching back and forth allowed me to flex different writing muscles- coming up with new ways for the Knights to fight, as well as really dipping into human emotions and making people feel for Joe.  The fact that I was able to switch between them and not lose the narrative thread is something I’m very proud of.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

From a writing standpoint, to keep things flowing.  I had a tendency to write good action scenes, then pause them by going into someone’s head for their inner thoughts.  It took me a while to learn that the reader needs to stay in the scene- if Arnold stopped shooting and narrated his thoughts, people would just leave the theatre, and you don’t want them to put your book down.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Everything.  The cover was done by Derrick Fish, a very talented comic book artist in Florida.  He and I spent a long time going over every detail of the cover, and it really shows.  The colors are fantastic, the scene looks very dynamic, and there’s a wonderful sense of fantasy and otherworldliness to it as well.  It’s just such a great piece of work, and I’m very thankful to him for putting so much effort into it.

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013?

I tend not to follow upcoming books- in general, I go into bookstores, and look around until I find something I like.  I think finding a good book should be a bit like finding buried treasure- you need to dig around.  Besides that, when books are recommended to me, I tend to lose my interest in reading them- they just don’t live up to the descriptions.  However, I am looking forward to Terry Brooks’ new Shannara series- he was a major influence on me.

What was your favorite book in 2012?

I would have to say Commando, the Johnny Ramone autobiography.  I loved the Ramones, and while Johnny had a reputation for being a merciless taskmaster, hearing the history of the band in his own words does make you realize how vital his hard work was to keep the band going.  How he managed to put up with all that craziness as long as he did amazes me, but the real kicker is the last chapter, where he details the cancer that eventually took his life.  It’s a simple read, but it can make you laugh, cry, and maybe go out and learn three chords and start a band.

What’s up next for you?

Right now, I’m currently working on the sequel to Lightrider.  I always envisioned this as a trinity, so I had a second book already visualized.  Most of it is completed, but I still need to finish and edit it.  I’m planning to really expand on the Lightrider universe- get into the Architects and their history, how Joe got to where he is in writing the journal, and try to delve into the Knights I couldn’t do as much with in the first story.  And of course, have plenty of magic and epic enemies.  Maybe some romance too, if I can get it to work. 

Is there anything that you would like to add?

That I’ve really enjoyed the ride getting my book out, and I hope that people will find it to be a fun fantasy read that maybe has something they can relate to.  That maybe people can look at the book and use more of today’s options to get their own stories out, instead of always waiting for uninterested publishers.  And that even if they don’t, they can still buy the book. 

The tour wide giveaway is for a Signed paperback copy of The Lightrider Journals.

Tour Schedule

April 16- Kick off-  A Little Bit of R&R
The Lightrider Journals -
Paranormal Goddess & Friends -

April 17 Guest post - Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom -

April 18 - Interview - Curling Up With A Good Book

April 19 Excerpt- Books, Reviews, Wine and Cheese

April 20 - spotlight - BookEnd 2 BookEnd

April 21 - spotlight - Confessions of the Paranormal -

April 22 - spotlight - Kristina's Books and More

April 23 - excerpt - Contagious Reads -

April 24 - spotlight and excerpt - Bex 'n' Books

April 25 - Review - Pamela Foreman -

April 26 - spotlight -  Girls Heart Books -

April 27  guest post - Chelsea Starling -

April 29 - Guest Post - Library at the END of the Universe -

April 30 Author Spotlight - Read Between the Lines -

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