About Author

J.D. Ruffin

J.D. Ruffin

J.D. Ruffin is the author of the acclaimed, action-packed Kingdom War series, an epic fantasy launched in 2021.

J.D. was born in March 1970 in Nashville, Tennessee, and never really enjoyed reading until a friend loaned him a dog-eared copy of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Fellowship of the Ring. From that day, he was hooked, discovering fantasy authors Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, R.A. Salvatore, Terry Goodkind and many, many others. Not long after, Brad Thor, Vince Flynn and a host of other thriller/suspense writers entered the picture and captured his imagination.

J.D. attended David Lipscomb University, studying speech communications and political science. Becoming an author was never part of the master plan, but…

As a fourteen-year-old nerdy boy, J.D. and his friends would gather around the D&D dice for hours on end, trading reality for fantasy, if only in their minds. In his quest to “stump his friends” with an impossible campaign, he dreamed up a storyline that captured his imagination. Then… well… nothing happened. He grew up and went to work in a completely different world.

Too many years later, that story he dreamed pulled at the corner of his mind, demanding to be heard… to be written.

Hence, an author was born.

J.D. Ruffin's Books

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The Rise of Irina: The Kingdom War Prequel
$0.99 kindleeBook,
The Rise of Irina: The Kingdom War Prequelby J.D. RuffinPublish: Mar 22, 2022
The Kingdom War Series Box Set
$9.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
The Kingdom War Series Box Setby J.D. RuffinPublish: Feb 08, 2022Series: The Kingdom WarFantasy Teen & Young Adult
Heir of Magic (The Kingdom War Book 1)
$0.99 kindleeBook, Paperback, Audio, Signed Paperback,
Heir of Magic (The Kingdom War Book 1)by J. D. RuffinPublish: Sep 14, 2021Series: The Kingdom WarFantasy
Heir of Magic: The Kingdom War, Book 1
$17.46 kindleeBook, Audio,
Heir of Magic: The Kingdom War, Book 1by J. D. RuffinPublish: Oct 21, 2021Series: The Kingdom WarFantasy Teen & Young Adult

J.D. Ruffin's Series in Order

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J.D. Ruffin Interview On 12, Sep 2022

"Born in Nashville, Tennessee, J.D. Ruffin was a double major, in Political Science, and Speech. Becoming an author was never part of the master plan, but years later, that story he dreamed of pulled at the corner of his mind, demanding to be heard. During a pandemic, he decided to cure his boredom by writing. He is the author of The Kingdom War Series, an epic fantasy launched in 2021."
How much time did you spend in Nashville, Tennessee?

I was born and raised in Nashville. At 28, it was time to leave the nest, so I moved to Atlanta.

Why did you choose to study speech communications?

Ha. Because I had no idea what I wanted to do, and it was easy. I was a double major, Political Science and Speech. The PoliSci was a passion back then, and I even ran political campaigns for a few years after college.

Inspite of not planning to become an author, what motivated you to become one?

I suppose it’s the same with any art form. If the flame burns inside, you can’t help but do it. Sure, it took decades of life to realize the passion wouldn’t be ignored. Maybe I’m a little slower than the average writer; but once I put pen to paper that first time, I was hooked.

Do you miss gathering around the D&D dice for hours with your friends?

Yes and no. The camaraderie was the best part. Any marginalized nerd will understand that. Sure, the game was fun and an escape, but the friendships were far more important than the dice.

What challenges did you face while publishing your debut novel?

Lord, what didn’t I face? Most of my challenges were born out of not knowing what I was doing. The publishing industry is more overwhelming than I imagined. I tried going the traditional route, getting an agent and seeking a publisher, but that’s a tough road in normal years. Throw in the pandemic and it was nearly impossible. That’s why I ended up going indie. There’s great freedom in being an independent author, but everything is on your shoulders, too. You have to learn it all—and get good at it all. That’s an incredible task.

What do you enjoy writing the most about poetry, short stories, novellas, and novels?

I’ve only written novellas and novels, so I’ll leave the poetry to the bards. My day job doesn’t use the creative side of my brain much—and I’ve been doing it more than 20 years. Writing is an outlet for that side, the drive to invent and imagine I never knew I needed.

What inspired you to write your book, The Rise of Irina: The Kingdom War Prequel?

Irina is the main antagonist in the Kingdom War series, yet we don’t get to know her well. We certainly never learn why she turned dark and wanted to do naughty things. The Rise of Irina allowed me to explore that story. It was fun.

What are some of the references you use while writing your books?

I create tons of spreadsheets with timelines, character notes/profiles, maps, etc. There’s rarely a day I don’t Google crazy terms. My search history would frighten the stoutest law enforcement person. For one character, I even set up two sessions with a friend who is a clinical psychologist to better understand what that character would’ve felt after several incredible events.

Who inspired the character of Irina in Shadow of War?

A woman at work. I really can’t say more. She’d kill me.

What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Getting in their head. I think like a guy. Some of the most helpful feedback from beta readers has been women telling me, “A girl wouldn’t say that” or “a woman doesn’t think like that.” We all need guidance when working with characters who are different from us, whether that difference is sex, race, background, religion, etc.

What is the best way a fan has ever shown an appreciation for your work?

One reader took my book to several local public and school libraries. He sent me pictures of him and the librarians once their copies arrived and had been properly catalogued. It’s surreal seeing my work in places like that. But the best is when I get a note from a reader who says something I wrote touched them or moved them in some way. There’s nothing like that.

How does writing make you feel? When you're not writing, what does a normal day for you look like?

Normal days are boring. Work, work, work. Writing is my escape. I get to enter a different world, watch a story unfold, and take dictation. If I give my imagination completely to the task, the characters write the story on their own. I’m just a stenographer at that point.

Which is the next book you are working on? Is it a series or a stand-alone book?

I’ve started a series called Isles of Jade & Fire. Think Game of Thrones set in ancient Japan/Asia. This will be a series, though I’m not sure how many books yet. It’s still in its infancy.

For aspiring writers, what are the best writing competitions to enter?

My advice will clash with others on this. I would suggest waiting to enter contests until your second or third book. Every author (myself included) thinks their first book is amazing. We’re in love with it—until we’ve written several more and read that first one again and realize how little we knew of our craft. There are so many distractions. Shove them aside and focus on writing—every day—no matter what. Get better every day. Winning stickers and awards feels good, but it doesn’t make us better or build our back list. Writing does.

When did you join AllAuthor? How has your experience been?

It’s been about a year now, I think. AllAuthor is a great resource. The MagicTool is fun. Honestly, that’s the thing that made me join. I needed a tool like that. I’ve since learned about the other arrows in the quiver and am happy I joined.

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