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Featured Author: Jake Yaniak

August 5, 2014


My name is Jake Yaniak. I was born and raised in New Jersey; and I am New Jerseyan through and through, wherever life may take me.

For Christmas one year my parents bought me a Lord of the Rings computer game. I started playing it and was so inspired by the story that I put the game aside and did not touch it again until I had read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Those books sparked within me a love of reading in general and a love of fantasy literature in particular.

My favorite genre, however, is philosophy, particularly as it relates to ethics and metaphysics. This, together with my love of the fantastic, is the inspiration for my writing.

In my reading I have seen how ideas affect history. For this reason it has been important to me to not simply tell a story, but to show how the characters interact with different ideologies and ethical dilemmas. I want my readers to at least understand, even if they do not sympathize with, the villains of the story.

I have also written a philosophy book entitled Morality Is The Problem, which takes a hard look at the logic of ethical judgments.



cover artThe Punishment of the Gods

The god of light and the god of darkness strive to gain control over the land of Weldera. Caught in the midst of this struggle, young Daryas Galvahirne finds himself torn from his homeland by forces beyond his comprehension. Tortured by dreams, and terrified by the uncertainty of the future, he discovers, much to his horror, that a great deal of this future has come to rest upon his own shoulders.

Find it on Amazon!


Why did you choose to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish partly because I felt in some sense that my novel was ‘in between’ categories. I felt it might be too spiritual or philosophical for an ordinary publisher, and not quite orthodox enough for a religious publisher.

Mostly, though, I decided to self-publish for the same reason I decided to write in the first place: I had a story in my head that wanted to get out.

I didn’t write it to become lauded or loaded, but to tell a story, and to share ideas. The freedom of self-publishing assures me that it is, in fact, my ideas that are being expressed and my story that is being told.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

I’ve certainly been inspired by several fantasy writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, but during the time that I spent writing my fantasy novel I read almost nothing but philosophy works. I intentionally abandoned the fantasy genre for the better part of a decade so that my story would be more original – although reading the work of John Locke more or less convinced me that nothing is truly original…

When I wrote the dialogue for one of my main villains, for instance, I definitely had Thomas Hobbes’ ‘Leviathan’ in mind. I named one of my characters ‘Whately’ after English logician Richard Whately, whose Elements of Logic has proved supremely useful to me.

In the end I attempted to create a world where ideas drove the story as much as the people (a world not altogether dissimilar to our own).

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

I am in the process of editing The Rise of the Gods – a prequel to The Punishment of the Gods. The series is called The Hidden Name.

I have also written a book on meta-ethics entitled Morality Is The Problem and I am currently beginning something of a supplementary work to more fully explain certain implications of my philosophy.

I am also working on a separate fantasy trilogy, and I now have the first two books completely written.

Anything else you would like to mention?

All of my books are currently available for free on, if anyone is interested in reading them. My author profile there is

If you enjoy them, please remember to leave a review if you can. It can be very difficult for independent authors, who do not have all the resources of a big publisher, to get reviews. My website is and the Facebook page for my fantasy novel is I also have a goodreads author page here, where all my books can be added to your shelf.

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