*Book Blitz* & Author Q&A - Toonopolis: Gemini (Toonopolis Files #1) by Jeremy Rodden

Toonopolis: Gemini
(Toonopolis Files #1)

by Jeremy Rodden

Publisher: Portmanteau Press, LLC
Date of Publishing: May 30, 2011
Genre: Fantasy
Suggested Ages: 10+

Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. As the center of the Tooniverse, it acts as an other-worldly rest stop for these creations.

Gemini is a teenage human boy who is thrust into Toonopolis through his father's scientific research program. He loses part of himself in the process and immediately begins a quest to regain his lost memories with the help of his Tooniverse guide named Jimbob the Talking Eggplant.

After an altercation with a mysterious Shadowy Figure, Gemini's mission is changed, and he begins a new quest to defeat Shadowy Figure and protect Toonopolis from his nefarious destruction. Along the way, he meets new friends, discovers just how diverse and strange Toonopolis is, and learns lessons about compassion, forgiveness, redemption, and being true to oneself.

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Meet the Author Q&A - Jeremy Rodden



What made you want to to write books?
I've always been a fan of reading and writing. The one book that really made me want to be an author was Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (a little less well-known than her Ramona books, which are also fantastic). In the story, a young boy writes letters back and forth with his favorite author. I envisioned myself as the boy but also knew I wanted to be more like Mr. Henshaw, an author, when I grew up.

Where does your inspiration come from?
The wonderful thing about creating an "other" world like Toonopolis is that I can pull from a plethora of inspirations. Toonopolis is inspired by cartoons, of course, (especially some of the great sardonic cartoons of the 90s like Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures), but also comic books, role-playing games, fantasy stories and more. Each section of Toonopolis has a theme to it (Supercity for superheroes, Camenot for Arthurian/epic fantasy, even Romantica for romance-themed creations), so I am able to pull from virtually any source I want for my stories!

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I wrote bad poetry and heavy-handed short stories through my broody middle school years and continued well through high school creating stories and characters. In fact, Toonopolis was first created in high school as an interactive fiction game with friends (and a lot of online strangers who became friends over the years). As a teenager, I participated first in online competitive writing games centered around professional wrestling (called e-federations). I wasn't a big wrestling fan, but it was an outlet that allowed to create characters and write for a closed audience in a competitive environment. It was quite a great springboard for me in my teenage years.

What's your daily routine?

I wake up around 6am (7am is sleeping in for me) to begin caring for my children. My youngest son will be 2 in June so I still have baby-level care to deal with. My two elder sons are in school so it's all about waking them up, getting them fed and dressed, and dropping them at school. Then my glamorous life as a homemaker leads to laundry or housecleaning or food shopping or going to the gym. My only "free" time comes in the form of a mid-day nap wherein I try to finally get some writing done! By the afternoon it's time to get the boys from school, work on homework, then dinner, then bed. In the evening I get my next "free" time to try to write (if I am not so mentally exhausted that I just fire up a video game or TV show). Rinse and repeat for a few years and you have the fantastic life of a stay-at-home dad trying to also be a writer.

How long does it take you to write a book - From the first word to completion?
This is a tricky question. I wrote the first draft of this particular book, the first in my series, in about three months in 2010. By all accounts, this is pretty fast for a first draft (especially when you are a stay at home parent of two little boys). The process of editing and preparing for publishing (with a three-month stint of pitching my completed manuscript for agents and publishers) took about six months. I wrote a follow-up/spin-off novella for a character named Anchihiiroo in my first book in about a month in 2011 and it took a good two months or so to prep that for publishing. The sequel to Gemini (Chi Lin) has taken far longer due to life and sidetracks but will have taken nearly six years from conception (initial outline) to completion (final publishing-ready product).

What do you do in your spare time?
What's this "spare time" you speak of? With three boys at home and a house to run, I find it hard to find "spare time". In what little I can squeeze out, though, I do a lot of reading (audiobooks were a great discovery for me a few years ago), some TV watching (not a ton, but some), some video game playing (a lot of Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm at the moment), and I play softball as my "get out of the house" activity. I also volunteer in my local community as a CASA volunteer and as an instructor in a workplace readiness program for teens on probation for minor offenses.

TV shows - what's your favourite, past and present?
Oh that is quite hard. I went through a long stretch of time where I barely watched any TV (my poor college years when I couldn't afford cable and had to work full-time and then had my first child at 24 years old). As life has stabilized, I've found time for some shows. As for current TV, I enjoy Doctor Who (ninth doctor was my first), the CW DC superhero shows (Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl), and some of the great adult-oriented animated shows like Bob's Burgers, Archer, and Rick & Morty.

Do you have any future projects you're working on?
My primary focus is continuing the Toonopolis adventure for Gemini and Jimbob the Talking Eggplant that picks up where the Gemini story left off. Chi Lin is a real world unicorn who transports himself and his maiden (a 12th century Indian girl named Avantika) to the Tooniverse to escape death. The main antagonist of the series, Agent Mimic of The Agency, has hatched a plan to control Chi Lin and use his magical powers to cause destruction in Toonopolis and, by extension, the Real World. I expect this work to be published by late fall/winter of 2017. I have an unrelated urban fantasy series for a New Adult audience called War of the Forgotten that is also tumbling around in my brain. It is about modern-day pagans (Wiccans) and deals with more adult themes such as polyamory, cultural acceptance, and being a 20-something year old in a city environment (Philadelphia). This series has been brewing a long time and I've written one chapter of the first book but Toonopolis takes priority for now.

Follow Jeremy Here:


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