10 November 2020

Special Guest Interview with J. A. Boulet, Author of The Strong Within Us (The Olason Chronicles Book 2)

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Nathan Olason picks up the pieces of his life in 1893 and becomes a devoted father and grandfather. Except something from his past is holding him back.

I'm pleased to welcome author J. A. Boulet to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book 

My latest book, The Strong Within Us, was an emotional journey for me, like nothing else that I have ever experienced. It is the sequel to The Strong Amongst Us (The Olason Chronicles Bk1), during which the Icelandic explorers landed in the developing nation of Canada in 1875. Book Two picks up the story in 1893 and stretches all the way to WWI, following Nathan Olason throughout his life with his grandson Mike. 

As the nation is gripped with the uncertainty of war, Mike makes the gut-wrenching decision to enlist with the infantry, travelling to the gruesome muddy battlefields of Vimy Ridge. Nathan fears the worst and is plunged into a personal hell of grief, fear and letting go. My book, The Strong Within Us is a powerful story of bravery, war, family bonds, love and fighting your way through the past.

I loved writing this book. My characters are fictional but somehow breathe life into the pages, jumping out and pulling you into their lives with a force that is to be reckoned with. I hope my book makes you cry, laugh and see the world with hope again. 

What is your preferred writing routine?

I write normally in the evening and well into the night, sometimes only stopping to take a sip of water at 1 am. But I can only edit during the day, lol. Brains are funny!

What advice do you have for new writers? 

Never give up, EVER.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books? 

Interesting question. I don’t think any individual action is the best way. Social media is key, in-person signings are important, talking to readers is a wonderful way to form connections, although, I think everything together forms the best awareness. Similar to putting all your retirement funds in one basket, in order to raise awareness of your books you need to utilize as many different platforms as possible and gain returns from worldwide exposure, not just one basket.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research 

The target practice during WWI! I found it intriguing and unusual that these soldiers were in the “butts” as they called the dugout where the soldiers hand operated the pulleys to raise the targets up and down. When I asked Roy Boehli, from the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Museum, to describe exactly what the “butts” were, he instead sent me this picture.


What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

Definitely the Vimy Ridge battle scene. It was technically difficult because I have never experienced war myself so I had to immerse myself in research for weeks before I even wrote one word. Then I had to go over it, edit and polish it up several times before I felt it was perfect.

What are you planning to write next? 

Book Three of The Olason Chronicles. I started it last week but had to put the brakes on in order to research and get the dates right. The outline is still in draft version and evolving as we speak, lol

J. A. Boulet

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About the Author

J. A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of war, courage, love and strength.  J. A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her father was enlisted with the Hungarian military and fought bravely during the Hungarian Revolution, changing sides to stand up for what he believed in. He was granted asylum in Canada and built his family here.  J. A. Boulet was born many years later, raised with strong morals and values, which she stands behind to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in settlers, healing, family bonds and military history. She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a crested gecko named Mossio. Find out more at her website https://jaboulet.ca/ and follow her on Twitter @love_walk_life

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