We’re part of T.J. Akers blog tour for his new fantasy, The Final Paladin, and couldn’t be more thrilled to see this awesome new book hit the market. Akers is guest-blogging for us today and sharing about a very special ‘partner’ is his writing journey.
Take it away T.J. Akers!
A lot of people think authors hide in some dark office, sweating over a typewriter—wait, we don’t use typewriters anymore—sweating over a keyboard all by their lonesome. That is not true of this author. My furry sidekick’s name is Rowdy, and I sit in a well-lit, sufficiently ventilated room in my home dedicated to books. Yes, I really have library in my house, and Rowdy is a part of that room.
It’s true I like cats, but I am a dog person and always have been. Just look at the old picture when I was younger (and no, it can’t be high def because it’s an old picture). Those three dogs (from the center to the right) are Queenie, Precious, and Tammy. (You can’t see Tammy very well because she’s behind Precious. The cat’s name is Thad, and my sister is holding him.
When it comes to writing, Rowdy is my secret weapon. His favorite place in our house is beneath my writing desk. If I get frustrated during a session, he will nudge my knee for me to pet his head and calm down. If I’ve sat too long, he will poke his nose on my calf to get up and take him out. I can ask him anything about my plots and usually get a good answer—Rowdy is a speculative reader. Our cats tend to be far too critical when it comes to my writing, but then Gracie prefers cozy mysteries.
I’m a big believer in adopting dogs and cats from animal shelters, and when my fifteen-year-old border collie mix died, I really wanted another dog. My wife immediately said no when I asked, but I did the only rational thing a dog person can do when told he can’t have a dog—get one. So, thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I searched all the shelters in the state of Minnesota for an Australian Cattle dog (or mixed breed) and didn’t find one. So I had to expand my search to Iowa, and that was when I found Rowdy (then known as Apollo).
According to the shelter in Sioux City, Iowa, Rowdy was rescued from a kill shelter along with his brother Zeus. They were only puppies, and their mother had been adopted. Rowdy (then Apollo) had been adopted twice before from the Sioux City shelter but was brought back the first time and retrieved the second because of abuse. I have to say Rowdy’s opinion of human beings when I found him wasn’t very high, especially his opinion of men. He seemed to like me well enough since he sat next me the whole time I auditioned for him as his forever owner. He let me rub his belly, but his affections weren’t easily won. The only person he instantly liked when I got home was the one person that didn’t want him in the house, my wife. He has worked very hard to win her over; he even adopted the Minnesota Vikings as his football team. If that isn’t loyalty, I don’t know what is.
When I explained to my wife the last home he was placed in mistreated him and the shelter had to retrieve him, my wife warmed up to Rowdy a lot more. For me, it took him a month to where he wouldn’t bark and growl when I walked by, and three months of daily walks to get him to relax around me. We’re inseparable now. On weekends, he’s in the car running errands with me, unless I go someplace where he has to stay in the car by himself for more than twenty minutes. If it’s too hot, he stays home. He pouts when he doesn’t get to go, so it takes a two-mile walk later to console him. For such a small dog, he sure can hold a big grudge for a long time.
It’s hard to ever think of writing anything without Rowdy under the desk making funny little growling noises at me and putting his cold nose on my ankle.
T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his
favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers. Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult sections. Librarians have always been his heroes. He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical.
Learn more at:
Life for Peg Bowman is rough in the infamous slums of Five Points, New York, but her
brother’s murder changes everything.
Thrust into incredible worlds beyond any story she’s ever heard, Peg meets Sir Godfrey, an eleven-hundred-year-old knight from Charlemagne’s court, trainer of Paladins. He reveals to Peg her family’s ancient obligation to protect the Key of Apollyon, a relic of immense power. She is the last descendant of the Paladins and his only hope for keeping it safe.
When Godfrey confides her brother was murdered because of the Key, Peg rejects her
calling and demands revenge, a luxury she can ill afford as otherworldly creatures seek her death to claim the Key’s power for themselves.
Can Godfrey and his faithful retinue—Chim the Hobgoblin, Rebecca the Jewish Maven and healer, and Jack the sometimes human and sometimes seven-foot Black Dog—keep her safe and convince her that her calling is worth pursuing? Or will she succumb to the Key’s lure and wield it for revenge?
And don’t forget the Facebook Party. There will be heaps of giveaways and a chance to chat with the author!
Follow the blog tour!
- Monday, November 6th, Visual Post of Five Points, New York, Liv K. Fisher, www.livkfisher.blogspot.com
- Monday, November 6th, Review of The Final Paladin, Gretchen Engel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com
- Tuesday, November 7th, Guest Post: “5 Lies People Believe About Poetry,” Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com
- Wednesday, November 8th, Interview with T.J. Akers, J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com
- Wednesday, November 8th, “Barnyard Bullies & Biting Mustangs: Behind-the-Scenes Feature with Author T.J. Akers,” Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com
- Thursday, November 9th, Visual Post: “Knights, Knights, and More Knights!” Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com
- Thursday, November 9th, Review of The Final Paladin, Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com
- Friday, November 10th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Steve Rzasa, www.steverzasa.com
- Saturday, November 11th, A Dive-in Review of The Final Paladin, Cathrine Bonham, www.dolphin18cb.wordpress.com
- Sunday, November 12th, Sneak Peek: The Final Paladin, Lisa Gefrides, www.lisagodfrees.com
- Monday, November 13th, Interview with T.J. Akers, Author of The Final Paladin, Bruce Weller, www.bruandmir.com
- Tuesday, November 14th, Release-Day Feature and Giveaway, T.J. Akers, www.tjakers.com(Release Day)
- Wednesday, November 15th, Authors and Their Four-Legged Friends, Jebraun Clifford, www.quillsandinkblotts.wordpress.com
- Thursday, November 16th, A Celebration of The Final Paladin, Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com (Facebook Party Day)
- Friday, November 17th, Guest Post by T.J. Akers, Bokerah Brumley, www.superbokerah.com