Blog Tour: Author Interview: The Tale of Valiant Hero Kenta by Ezra Jonah Jacobs

May 22, 2013

Author: Ezra Jonah Jacobs
Date Published: March 22, 2013
Kenta Takeyama is a 16 year old martial artist who possesses superhuman strength and abilities and the Takeyama -ryuu fighting art. He desires to become the most powerful shogun on the Nikkoujima (Sun Light Islands), as there are much more powerful men in the world. He lives with his father Tesshin, who trained him in the martial arts, and his mother Amaya, who is the former princess of a royal family and master fighter; his little sister Mana, who wants to become a famous play actress and open her own production studio, as well as his pet bear Kumomori, whom he had since he was 4. Kenta finds that it’s time to follow his dreams of becoming a great and powerful shogun (using his power to protect people and build more homes and villages, help the poor and starving, rather than just for pomp and circumstance. He wants the people to live in peace and prosperity with no fear, as the world is already entering another age of war. Essentially, he wants to change the country). And so, with his parents’ permission, he decides to travel to Senkyou to enlist in the military and become a true samurai warrior. He feels confident that the can do so after going through many trials and travels through his childhood, and training under the tutelage of his father in his family’s martial arts styles.

During the first part of the novel, after a little love fiasco with his childhood friend Yumine who has a crush on him and sparring with some buddies, he travels the lush and vibrant island and helps many different people out. As Kenta reaches Senkyou, he meets new rivals and friends, such as Natsumi, a new love interest and Hayate, a mysterious ninja who wants to raise up his own organization of ninja mercenaries. During basic training, he discovers that the capital is being attacked by powerful youkai. The powerful beasts appear and disappear in a flash, even the temple priests are having trouble. Does the Great Tengu King of the Gogonji mountain territory know anything about these attacks? Do our heroes stand a chance against these swift and powerful foes? What is the reasoning behind all of this carnage?

Note: The genre is apart of the 'wuxia' (martial arts fiction) works of literature. It is a ancient style originating from Tang Period China (5th century AD). The style places great attention to detail during fight scenes (punches, kicks, combinations, throws, etc.) as well as giving attacks exotic names, a convention originating from Chinese martial arts. It may take some getting used to, yet will very quickly become easier to follow as you read. -Ezra

Author Interview

 The author of The Tale of Valiant Hero Kenta, Ezra Jonah Jacobs, is stopping by the blog today! He's answered a few questions for us! Read on to know more about the author of this fascinating book!

1. What sparked the idea for your novel?
I wanted to create something new in the literature world. I’ve really only been seeing the same format romance stories for a while now. I wanted to create a novel with more of a masculine edge (though romantic, since I’m both a fighter and a lover). In the past I’ve noticed that a good 70% of young adult novels have a target audience of females, and usually deals with issues from a strictly feminine perspective. I wanted something like a boy book, though fun for both males and females. It’s not that girl books are bad, but it’s like the world forgot that men need something we can relate to as well. Also I wanted to create something new in the sense of genre. I think it should be really fun for the fans. How the action in depicted should really excite people.

2. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
He’s pretty unique in the sense of him being a light hearted guy with a pretty laid back personality, yet firmly determined in going after his goals. His strong ambition is a driving point throughout the story. He later discovers different manifestations of power within himself that helps him further his goals. His strength is another driving point. Though he is extremely powerful, there are many more powerful people in the world he inhabits. As a result, we find that he develops stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally as a young man trying to find himself in the world.

3. What is your favorite part of the book?
Definitely the final battle! But I also loved the part when he first encounters Hana and the rest of his friends for the rest of the story. Also his relationship with both of his parents. I think that’s important for young characters.

4. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book.
A couple of the characters are based on real life people in the annals of history. I’ve decided to keep the real names of the characters because of that. Also the fighting is firmly based on things I picked up from real fighting styles. Also, the whole story is really just a metaphor, yet I’ll let the fans figure that out (:

5. How personal is your writing?
Well, I like to get extremely in depth in my writing. Sometimes I feel as if I’m just a inhabitant in the world I wrote and am just hearing two characters speak. Or even like a spirit watching two characters interact in this physical world. Because the main characters has a little of myself in him (as well as several other people I greatly respect), I think I can easily see the world as he sees it. Though, sometimes, he does stuff that I wouldn’t or says things that I wouldn’t think to say. As for the other characters, they are like beings I have known since they were children, so it’s easy to show their personalities and know what they would say or do in certain situations and circumstances.

6. How did you first start writing?
I first got the idea to write when I was in the first grade. My teacher was reading the class a book, and I thought how interesting it would be to create a world and create interesting characters to inhabit it. How it would be to send stuff against him, not out of spite, but to strengthen them and further develop their characters and power. How fun it would be to see their lives unfold as well (I know, I was a deep kid…). But, I first got serious with the notion of writing while I was in college. That’s when I first made the conscious decision to become a author.

7. What do you do when you are not writing?
I enjoy reading (both books and comics), doing karate and wushu, working out, playing video games, drawing and taking walks.

Thank you so much Ezra, for visiting with us today! It's been a blast!

The book sounds super interesting, don't you think so? I somehow love books with detailed fight scenes. If you know me, you now that I like details, and fight scenes are just the best!