Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

Ragesong: Awakening eBook Release!


When the peaceful kingdom of Fermicia is enslaved by a power-hungry renegade, its only hope lies in a band of unlikely heroes: two children whose musical abilities allow them to harness the power of Ragesong, and their shape-changing guides.

Jake starts his first day of junior high completely oblivious to the fact that he has been chosen for something incredible. That same afternoon, he learns that he has been marked as one with the power to save an entire kingdom. Through the course of his journey, Jake discovers that his advanced musical abilities are peculiarly connected to a mysterious power known as Ragesong. Joined by a shy, young girl with similar musical talents and two Changelings that hold a fierce loyalty to their homeland and king, Jake must learn to harness this ability in order to survive the dangers of a hostile new world.

“Ragesong is an action-packed thrill ride that is both brilliant and captivating. This story will not let you go until the last page. Simmons has created something magical that teens will call AWESOME!”
-Mikey Brooks, author of The Dream Keeper

“Ragesong: Awakening is a fun adventure that middle school students will easily connect with. The novel is fast-paced and exciting, and the ending leaves you wanting more. Once entered, Fermicia is clearly a place that readers will want to stay.”
-Kaylee Snyder

“Ragesong is aimed towards the young adult audience, yet Mr. Simmons handles them with a patient tone and a bold taste of the medieval world filled with combat, magic, politics, and mystery. Also, as a gamer myself of far more years than I should admit to, it was a nice frolic through memory lane with some memorabilia sprinkled throughout the tale. Lastly, Ragesong leaves you wondering if your worldly talents may have more magic to them than meets the eye.”
-Justin S Beecher

20130819-221053.jpg    BIO: JR Simmons lives in Northern Utah with his wife and 4 boys. He loves spending time with his family and coaching his kids in all of their different sports. He is an avid gamer and is very excited that his boys are picking up on his hobby. JR was recently introduced to triathlons and has since found that he loves the sport. Most nights he can be found either sitting down with a good game or hunched over his iPad writing.

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Twitter: @jrsimmons_3


My Anomaly

So this guy calls Microsoft to report a bug with their software that is causing a work-stoppage. He has the bug documented and is able to duplicate the error and everything. When he gets on the phone with the technician, he politely walks the phone rep through the issue and the technician follows along.
When he arrives at the bug, he points it out and the technician is also able to duplicate the error and agrees with him. “Yes sir, that sure looks like a bug. Please allow me to talk this over with my supervisor.” The guy, being a reasonable man agrees to stand by as the technician puts him on hold to talk things over with his boss. Five minutes later, the technician addresses the man. “Sir?”
The man of course responds and the technician proceeds to say. “Sir, I am sorry, this is not a bug, it is an anomaly.”

So, I have always struggled with my attention span. Unless there is something that I am personally invested in, I find myself mentally checking out not long after something starts. Before you start…I know the technical term for this, and though my wife would agree with you, I refuse to admit until I am professionally diagnosed that I have ADHD.
This particular…shall we say, character anomaly…makes it very hard to concentrate in meetings and to focus on things that aren’t interesting to me. However, the awesome thing is that I can devote myself completely to something that I truly am really interested in. If I am sitting down with a good videogame, I can play for hours. Games that make this list would include most Final Fantasy games and other RPGS, and recently Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us (if anyone ever wants to talk videogames, feel free to hit me up as I am always up for a good videogame discussion/debate). It is also easy for me to sit down and read…as long as I am enjoying the book and I am invested in the characters. I can also sit down and watch a movie through without breaking a sweat.
Most recently I have found that I can use this…anomaly…to great effectiveness when I sit down to write. Vague outlines suddenly blossom into fully blown scenarios in my head and I find that my fingers can’t move fast enough to keep up with my mind. It seems that there is a constant war.

Fingers: Slow down!
Brain: No! You keep up!
Fingers: We are going as fast as we can!
Brain: Well go faster!
Fingers: We are cramping up, cmon give us a break!
Brain: If you take a break I am going to forget everything that I just came up with and we will have to start again.
(Enter Le Beautiful Wife)
Wife: J.R. you’ve been down here for two hours. It is bed time. You have work early in the morning.
Me: Can’t I have ten more minutes?
Wife: You’ve already said that three times. Come to bed.
Me: Fine…
Fingers: Phew, finally.
Back and Butt: I can’t believe you couldn’t take the time to readjust in the seat at least once since you sat down.
Brain: Fine! Quit now. That’s ok, I’m sure I’ll remember all the stuff you didn’t write down tomorrow morning.

Of course Brain is a big, fat liar and come the next day, all of my great ideas are gone and I have to come up with them again. But, that is the good thing about my…anomaly. The next time I sit down, things start over and the process continues. Creative writing is an outlet for me. It allows me to let pent up ideas out. By the end of a writing session I am usually so exhausted that I can’t even think straight (so of course I try to play my turn in Words With Friends and Scramble against my wife).
Over the years I have spent a lot of time with creative writing. I would always get hip deep in a story (with every intention of finishing it) before a new game would come out, or a big vacation, or big race…you know, the next shiny object. Then I’d go off and chase that and when I returned, the interest had faded from writing. I am not sure what switch flipped that allowed me to finish this first book, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth. Good thing there were no gift giving opportunities. I may find myself in trouble come holiday season 2013…stupid ps4.

Quick Introduction

My name is J.R. Simmons. I am the husband to a beautiful wife and the father to 4 good lookin’ boys. I am a computer scientist and I work for Hill Air Force Base. I have a lot of expensive tastes, but I have a good wife that is able to reign me in when the “I wants” start to take over. I love to spend time with my family, read, write, play video games, sing, perform, and socialize.

I’ve been married to my lovely wife for over ten years, and I have twin seven-year-olds, a three-year-old, and a baby who is almost a month old. We live in Roy, UT and life in the Simmons family is pretty sweet. Especially when me and the three older kids are out in the backyard sword-fighting on the tramp or having movie picnics. My wife has more refined tastes and so we usually play card games or watch the weird, yet strangely hypnotic, murder mystery shows on TV. The youngest, well he isn’t in to much yet, so he just kinda sits there.

I am LDS and I really enjoy the peace of mind that the truths of the gospel bring. I enjoy the time I spend in church and the chances I get to work with everyone there. I am currently teaching music to the children and it is absolutely awesome. That’s right, you read that correctly, a male primary chorister…

Recently I wrote a book called RAGESONG: AWAKENING. I was fortunate enough to be picked up by a great publisher who is throwing herself into the book wholeheartedly. We are looking at a September release date and it has been a very exciting process. The book is currently awaiting a second edit and we are in the process of preparing a cover. The artist that is doing the cover is incredible and it has been hard waiting for things to progress.

That is another thing about me. No matter how many patience lessons life throws at me, I keep failing. I am a “right now” kind of guy and I really struggle to wait for things. I can’t count the times that it has been necessary to wait for something, but I always struggle with it. It is a good thing that my wife is patient with my lack of patience.

Let’s see a couple more things about me. I was recently introduced to Triathlons and I have found it to be quite an enjoyable (and yes, semi-expensive) sport. Nothing beats an open water swim. So far I have found the bike and the run tolerable, but totally worth it for the chance to get into the water. I am what is kindly called a “Clydesdale” triathlete (that is how they refer to us…husky fellows).

I am also a technology nut and I love to have the latest gadgetry. It is an expensive habit that at times drives my wife nuts, but there you go. I am addicted to the soft hypnotic glow of a touchscreen device and my latest dilemma is whether I want to wait for the elusive new iWatch that is supposedly coming or go for the Garmin 910xt (a triathlete’s dream watch). Man…first world problems.

Well, that is me in a nutshell. Life is pretty good and I can’t wait to see what is still coming. I enjoy meeting new people so feel free to hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.