Your Next Favorite Author–J.L. Sullivan!

J.L. Sullivan

About the Author

J. L. Sullivan writes young adult stories inspired by gritty urban environments and the fantastical tales that percolate within abandoned buildings and desolate alleys.

In high school, he wrote for a local newspaper before venturing into creative writing in college. He is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and currently lives in St. Louis with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Princess Penelope Picklesworth.

Avis: Welcome, John! It’s so nice to host a fellow YA author on the blog today! I just want to say happy book release day (May 16, 2022)!

I thoroughly enjoyed your novel, From Brick & Darkness. Your creative brain must have been in heaven as you built this world for Bax, and what a conundrum to unleash the Jinn and not be able to control it. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say, I loved your page-turner!

I’m sure your fans will want to know more about you, so let’s begin! Here’s the first question: 

Have you always wanted to be an author?

John: I have. In sixth grade, I wrote a science fiction story. Every Friday, I’d distribute 12 pages, comprised of three chapters, to my friends. I watched way too much TV as a kid, so of course, my story had cliffhangers right before school breaks and a climax at the end of the year like a season finale.

For our first wedding anniversary, my wife somehow found those pages, had them bound, and gave it to me as a gift. It was very entertaining to read how my sixth-grade-self wrote romance subplot!

Avis: I would love to see that romance subplot! LOL! In your case, watching too much TV paid off, and your humble beginnings have set you up for your life as a published author. I love that your wife created a book from those first writings, too. That leads us to our next question, which you have partially answered:

Does your family support your career as a writer?

John: Absolutely. I’m a lucky parent in that my daughters are avid young adult readers. Since I write young adult stories, I’ll often ambush one of them or their friends and ask questions like, “If you could wish for anything, what would it be?” Or, “I need some good superhero names that don’t exist, but should—go!” Plus, they are incredible beta readers of early drafts. Partially because they read a lot, but mostly because they won’t hesitate to tell me how a section is boring or tell me to “get back to it” because they want to see what happens next.

Avis: Wow! Lucky you, and how convenient to live with your target audience and bounce ideas off them as you’re writing! That sounds like the original fan-club! Every writer needs that kind of support. Our next questions is:

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

John: I currently have a job in addition to writing, but have always written and can’t imagine not. Years ago, an author at a conference told me successful writers must enjoy the process of writing, not just the outcome of being published. Successful writers find excitement and happiness in learning the craft. Such a true statement. I find that writing grounds and centers me. I’m not a golfer, but I liken it to that. It’s what I do in my off time for enjoyment and am always striving to “improve my game.” 

Avis: I agree. The love of writing must be the impetus behind our creative life, and the work we produce will shine with that dedication to the craft!

It’s such a pleasure to get to know more about you as a writer, and I can’t wait to read your next book because From Brick & Darkness is amazing, and I know readers will love it!

For more information about J.L Sullivan and his future projects or to find links to purchase your copy, follow the links below. His books can be found wherever books are sold!

Also scroll down for a full review of From Brick & Darkness.


J.L. Sullivan’s debut YA urban fantasy From Brick & Darkness takes readers on a wild ride. When an old man gives Baxter Allen a purple ring, he enters a world he can’t control, and everything he does to fix it makes it worse. Jinn, Djinn, or Genie, all these words conjure magical creatures who grant three wishes. Just rub the lantern, and we will have riches beyond our wildest dreams, but Bax doesn’t get a lantern, he gets a ring, and he doesn’t get instructions, no user’s manual, nothing to tell him what to do.

Bax, lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his mom in an apartment across the hall of from Ashley, the annoying. If only Scarlett still lived there, his life would be perfect. The only thing that would make it better was if his father returned. Why wouldn’t his mother talk about the man who’d abandoned them so many years ago? All these things are running through his mind as he rushes home from playing video games with Jason, his best friend. An old homeless-looking man sits on his stoop. He holds out his gnarled hand and presents Baxter with a ring, tells him it’s from his father, and disappears.

He shows the ring to Jason who helps him decipher what the ring means. Bax hopes the ring will reconnect him to his long-lost father and clasps it in his hand, brushing the purple stone. The smell of burning hair fills the air, and a creature that looks something between a Hobbit and an Ewok stands before him. Its high-pitched voice says, “It is Djinn,” because Djinn speak of themselves in the third person, and the story is off and running.

“Janni” helps Bax discover an ulterior world filled with magic and pure evil when Bax needs Djinn more powerful that Jinni to do his bidding Jinni, Ashley, and Jason research the world of Djinn and Genies and Ashley proves her superpower is in finding information. But in spite of Jinni’s warnings, and his obvious fear, Bax summons the more powerful Djinn, Ifrit. What happens next is mayhem at its worst, and Bax finds himself trying desperately to put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak.

When people start dying and ending up in intensive care, Bax fights sleep because that is when Ifrit can read his subconscious and through Ifrit’s own interpretation, wreak havoc on the people Bax loves and would never dream of hurting. 

Sullivan creates an urban world where the magical and terrifying exist just under the surface and in the shadows. His characters leap off the page and make us care. We fear for Ifrit’s next victim, and root for Bax as he puts himself in danger to save his friends and family.

Sullivan’s From Brick & Darkness shows the inner workings of an ordinary young man who does extraordinary things to put the world right again, and with the help of his friends and his Jinn, he does just that. This page turner will suck you in and have you reading into the night to find out what happens to Baxter, Jason, Ashley, and Scarlett. The old saying, “Be careful what you wish for,” is the motto of this story, and what a story it is. This is a full five star read and comes highly recommended! 

Published by avismadams

I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascades. I am a published author of fiction and poetry. My debut YA novel coming out soon. I also write picture books, and short stories. I teach English at a local college, and I love any activity in the great outdoors, especially if it includes my dog Zero!

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