Read Part One here.
Read Part Two here.
Airship Ambassador: When people read The Jupiter Chronicles, what would you like for them to take away from the story and the characters that they could apply to their own lives?
Leonardo Ramirez: Don’t hold on to your pain. Look to tomorrow with hope that there will be better days ahead.
AA: How did elements of your own life and experiences play into The Jupiter Chronicles?
LR: Like Ian, I grew up in the poorest of circumstances in a single-parent family. For certain seasons of our lives we lived on donations and hand-me-downs and at one point we were even homeless. It was tough and it took an extremely long time not just to get out of that but to heal from it.
All that to say, that I understand and have lived through the emotions that go along with living in those conditions so I was easily able to access that and add it to Ian’s character. I am also a 3rd degree Black Belt in American Karate. Creating a form of martial arts that is indigenous to this universe was a treat.
Finally, I have the most amazing relationship with my daughter who is a blast and that helped me to create the character that is Callie. As I mentioned before, my wife is a Children’s Librarian and an amazing one at that. She was instrumental in honing in on the type of audience we wanted to reach.
AA: Those are some strong trials and triumphs. What was one memorable story while writing this story? Any laugh out loud or cry in the corner moments?
LR: My father passed away from Alzheimer’s a few short years back. Before that, it had taken years for us to build our relationship back up after having left us when I was a boy. I got to see him one last time before he passed and the look in his eyes of pride in his son as well as gratitude and relief was one that I’ll take to my grave. He wanted to know that I had forgiven him. I had and got to hold his arm as I walked him to the place where he would lay his head. It was healing for both of us.
AA: Are there any plans for more stories in The Jupiter Chronicles series?
LR: The Ice Orphan of Ganymede is the second book in the series and it’s been out for some time. I am currently working on the third book, The Orb of Terra. I’ve already got a title for the book after that. It’ll be called Doom Rising. If these do well, I may execute plans for a spinoff series later on.
AA: What kind of research and balance went into creating The Jupiter Chronicles world?
LR: I took a page out of John Lasseter’s playbook when he said, “You can never have too much research.” The aforementioned Jupiter Chronicles Universe Guide is currently 22 pages long and full of descriptions of every weapon, ship, robot, medicine places to visit that you can imagine. It is very well fleshed out.
AA: How long did it take to write, and rewrite, The Jupiter Chronicles? What were the deadlines and publishing schedule like for you?
LR: It took about six months after the research. The marketing aspect of launching the series gave me a soft launch-date of August so I did have to adhere to that deadline. I had also arranged for blogs and reviewers to release their blurbs and reviews around the same time so it was important that I stick to that deadline.
AA: Every author I’ve talked with has a different journey to seeing their works in print. What was your publishing experience like?
LR: My first work was a graphic novel simply called, Haven. It was about a descendant of Dante Alighieri who like those who came before her, fight against the nine circles of hell who have infiltrated our society. That work was published traditionally. Although I cherished the experience and still have a great friendship with my publisher, it was hard to not have any type of input over the direction that property took and even worse not knowing if anything was ever going to happen with it. It was part of a massive roster of other books that were pitched to studios but with no focus placed on it.
I never knew what was happening with the property and that included sales numbers. After learning all I could about the publishing industry, I decided to publish my next work, The Jupiter Chronicles, myself under the Leonardoverse banner. That way I’m always aware of exactly what is happening with the property and where it’s going. There is also an animation studio that has done work for Marvel that wants to see it become an animated movie and/or series. That takes a lot of money so we’re seeking other avenues to make that happen besides crowdfunding.
AA: If someone likes “X”, then they’ll like The Jupiter Chronicles. What is “X”?
AA: What do you think puts this story on someone’s must read/have list?
LR: There’s a list!
Steampunk and/or SciFi loving parents who want to pass on their passion to their kids.
Kids who don’t like to read and need a starter series to get them reading.
Parents of kids who are experiencing living in a single-parent/poor situation.
AA: Those are some good reasons! If The Jupiter Chronicles were made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
LR: Now that’s a fun question! Let’s see…
Callie Castillo: Kaitlyn Maher
Peter Castillo: Diego Luna
Camilla Castillo: Leven Rambin
Lord Phobos: Benedict Cumberbatch
General Ardor: Edgar Ramirez
AA: If The Jupiter Chronicles had a soundtrack, what would it be like?
LR: This one is easy. Whenever I’m working on JC I crank up Audiomachine. Reaching comes to mind as well as Blood and Stone.
We’ll pause her in chatting with Leonardo. Join us next time when he talks about the writing process.
You can support Leonardo and our community by getting your copy of The Jupiter Chronicles here.