The Juniper’s Tree Trilogy Has Come to an End︱The Journey of Writing a Full-Length Series

Thank You to the Readers

Thank you! Everyone who purchased and took the time to read my book. I am really thankful for those who took the time to leave me feedback and reviews, too. 🙏 Thank you again, I am eternally grateful to you all. It brings tears to my eyes, to know that people actually enjoy a story that I put my whole heart and soul into writing.

If any of you are interested and want to read a three-part series, the last novel will be free-to-read on January 18, 2021. If you want to catch up, here’s the link to my Fiction Press account: https://www.fictionpress.com/u/1143214/

Thank you again to those who read and pre-ordered the novel.

Special Q&A

⚠️ These are spoiler-free answers, if you haven’t read my books, yet — I hint at some things, but that’s about it ⚠️

Q: How do you come up with names for your characters?

A: It was a culmination of spiritual intuition, some of them were personal choices, and others were just puns. Like “Alise” (“a lease”) — you’ll get the cruel innuendo after you read the first book. “Warren Graves” is an anagram, props to those who have figured it out. The name “George” means martyr. And “Juniper” is a reference to the “juniper tree” in the Bible, she’s a protector… to the best of her ability, she tries to be. In my new series (“Suffer, My Desire”), the name Monét Blanchard literally means white money — I hope that giving that away doesn’t provide you with too much of a red herring. But, her subplot gets pretty crazy, so I doubt revealing that alone will lead to any meaningful predictions about her character.

Q: What songs remind you of each book in the series, and why?

A: I’m probably going to sound like a huge nerd for saying this, but for the first book (“Apotheosis”) — I was listening to “Forever Lost” (MYTH & ROID), “Goodbye Happiness” (Hikaru Utada), and “The Spaniards” (William Patrick Corgan). During the second novel (“Lovers”) — the bad guys are these crazy, plasticine television personalities… they both have dual sides to them, and yet, the two of them happen to be the perfect couple (so, in their insanity, they both understand each other, like Bonnie and Clyde). I was listening to a lot of Avenged Sevenfold during the production of that book, particularly “Afterlife” and “Roman Sky” — I was also listening to “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones, too, the single reminded me of Warren Graves as a character, so it kind of extended into the third book as well. “Endeavor” (Shaylee and Florence McNair) reminded me of Elizabeth Gardner’s struggle to accept her destiny, as well as Juniper Jamison’s stalwart determination, and “Sweet Lies” (Kanako Itō) reminded me of the Ashton Williams character. In the third book (“Nothing in the World”) —  I was listening to Hikaru Utada’s Hatsukoi album a lot during the second and third books, so “Yūnagi” bilaterally bridged the conclusion to the story, it became an accidental anthem for the inevitably bittersweet ending. The main song that reminded me of Nephthys during her remembrance of the past were “Static” and “Every Other Ghost” (Mili), I have been really obsessed with the Millennium Mother album for years, so Mili has been a big influence on certain creative aesthetics that I like.

Q: Writing rituals?

A: I just write what comes to mind. I don’t write notes, because keeping them around is confusing, if I get a great idea — I just outline the premise and then write down everything I can remember. If an idea is lost, it means that it wasn’t worth keeping. Good ideas are the ones you obsess over. I knew that I should start writing this series, when I started becoming more engrossed with my original characters than some of my favorite fictional characters of years past.

Q: How do you make the covers for your books?

A: They are just photographs. The cover for the first series is a picture that @SakihataLily took during a beautiful day. I decided to use it, after asking for their permission, because just looking at the scenery gave me a sense of emotional catharsis. The spin-off series cover was a picture that I, myself, took. I was stuck in traffic on a highway road and this vehicle’s engine just exploded and there were plumes of smoke rising up, I thought that I would use it for something someday. I’m not a very good artist, the only things that I’ve ever been told that I’m extremely good at is writing and singing, so I just took the indie route. I hope to start a fundraising page, after I code a BETA version of the visual novel that I’m working on… I would love to see my characters come to life, with the help of a talented artist.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the 真柏Project universe?

Note: The characters in 真柏Project, mean “jun • ni • pa”

A: It’s weird, last March, I was at a very low point in my life. Some very bad things happened, followed by indecent behavior from people I though were nice, normal people — not only did the betrayal occur, but I witnessed very heinous crimes that shook me and made it so that I could never see sex-trafficking adverts, without feeling sick to my stomach. Not only that, but a cruel display from people who are so wealthy, that they frequently get away with murder. I began questioning whether Biblical “goodness” was something deemed beneath people of a certain status. It was a full-blown crisis. And so, I was forced to question my immediate reality, so it was weird. One morning, I just woke up and the entire trilogy was written in my head. All three books. It was like God had handed me the blueprint, answers to my concurrent anguish, and I just ran with it. Some of the plot points and characters were archetypes that I had experimented with before, but… in that one day, I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to make the story about.

Q: What techniques do you use while writing your characters?

A: I have always been more of an introvert, so sometimes I just mimic how I’ve seen average people interact with one another. I also employ the use of the “Kinoko Nasu” approach and transform my ordinary characters into legendary beacons of light (or darkness). I often like to show how an extraordinary an average person can become, with the power of sheer will and an indomitable human spirit.

Q: What already fictional world would you compare you story to?

A: I originally got the idea got the idea for the underpass from an area that exists in a Colorado Mountain range — a mysterious, guarded tunnel. It sparked my creativity, I think the idea of wise elders came from my fixation of the 東方Project franchise. I would say that the rest was a culmination of the thousands of media productions that I’ve consumed over the years. When I originally proposed the original idea, seven or eight years ago, a friend told me that it reminded him of “Pan’s Labyrinth” — I still haven’t watched that film, but the twin (“doppelgänger”) motif came from the South Korean, psychological horror film: “A Tale of Two Sisters” (2003) and Luna’s conception was partially formed from the egg motif in “Kara no Shōjo” and somewhat due to Winslow Leach’s bizarre helmet-mask in “Phantom of the Paradise” (1974).

Sneak-Peak into “Suffer, My Desire”

I decided to just preview the new main character (“Aria Adler”) VS the old (“Juniper Jamison”), in this segment. Juniper is a fiery, force-of-nature but Aria is much more subdued and apprehensive, she’s more pragmatic in that sense. Juniper would blindly punch her way out of the enclosure of a cube, whereas, Aria would contemplate the dimensions of the object, before attempting to escape. Aria is a realist and has to carry the burden of re-living the memories of both the dead and living, through anamnesis. She attempts to live a humble and modest life, and dissects mysteries and crimes for the betterment of those around her. Her biggest flaw is that she puts others before herself and smolders in the confinement of her own thoughts, she has a difficult time asking others for help. Whereas, Juniper’s two major flaws were a) her impulsivity (which also saves her, in many instances) and b) her tendency to want to run away from hard truths, especially, if they involved her past or self-actualization. Juniper Jamison is a reckless savior and Aria Adler is a problem-solving, savant. 

Published by eggheadluna

H.E. Rodgers is the author of the Juniper's Tree series, also known as the 真柏Project. MyAnimeList: https://myanimelist.net/profile/Egghe... Twitter: https://twitter.com/EggheadLuna #真柏Project #JunipersTree

3 thoughts on “The Juniper’s Tree Trilogy Has Come to an End︱The Journey of Writing a Full-Length Series

  1. Your brother will be here the week of March 14th for his 28th Bday. Let me know how you both can see him 😉 he’s really turned out to be a sweetheart. He’s gone through a lot. I’ll let him tell you. We all love you both. Thank you. We respect your journey. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keep writing what you want to write! The Juniper’s Tree (trilogy) is so spectacular and a must read for all those who want something so fresh and unique! Gripping and captivating! Where the readers imagination is fully satisfied. Thank you, Hartley, for pouring yourself into this unforgettable project. Truly from your heart, your beautiful, strong spirit! With humor and wittiness sprinkled in the mix.

    Liked by 1 person

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