The Ansgari Rebellion Series
by Joshua K. Johnson
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War changes everything.
On the world of Zaria, Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.
The King of Ansgar, secure in his belief that his loyal nobles and fearful subjects answer to his every whim, seeks to gain favor with friends across the sea. But his decision to send armies thousands of miles away will test that fear, and loyalty.
In war, little is held back; in revolution, nothing is safe
He found the door exactly where Auberon had said it would be: plain oak, set in an unremarkable arch. Raedan dismounted and pressed his right hand to the door; he could feel the magics that held the door closed.
The particular spell that had been bound to the archway was different from one magic-user to another, but there were only a handful of spells that could be used on something as plain as the door that stood between Raedan and the library beyond.
He touched the onyx at his throat with his left hand and began whispering the first spell. It was the most common of binding spells, and Raedan very much doubted that it would work. He was right. The magic in the door pulsed, but did not dissipate.
Raedan found the spell on his fifth attempt. It was an obscure spell that Damon had only mentioned once in passing; Raedan had studied it more in his own time. Had he tried to force the door, he would have found himself unconscious.
There was a small, dark room on the other side of the entrance. Raedan left the door open, so the faint glow from the moon would give him some light. Dust covered every surface in the small room. The bookshelves were largely empty, but one contained several thick tomes. Raedan pulled them off of the shelf.
He traced the inlaid title on one of the books and smiled. He returned to his horse, tucked the books into his saddle bags and climbed back into the saddle.
Raedan turned back toward the gatehouse. The wagons would be arriving soon.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Joshua K Johnson author of The Cerberus Rebellion and The Hydra Offensive.
Hi Josh, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I’m in my early 30s with 2 kids and a sister that lives with my wife and I. I’m currently working on completing my BA in English (Writing Studies). My wife calls me a workaholic because I also work 2 jobs and still dig out time for writing.
What were you like at school?
I was the bookworm who sat in the back and listened.
Were you good at English?
I’ve always had a fairly good grasp of English. I was never a math person, that’s for sure.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
In addition to working on Book 3 in this series which I intend to self-publish as I have the previous 2, I’m working on a standalone novel set in the same world that I want to shop around to agents and publishers once it’s complete. Ideally, I’d like to write full-time.
Which writers inspire you?
It’s difficult to write Fantasy, especially Epic Fantasy or any of its offshoots, without admitting the George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien had a major impact on my writing styles. Outside of that, David Weber has been a writer that I’ve followed for a long time as well.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is special?
Raedan is a man without a place. He’s the second son of a noble, and when he was younger a ritual was performed that caused him to absorb the magic of a powerful griffin. Now he is going to live to be about 500 years old and has the ability to manipulate emotions and shadows. A lot of the story revolves around him coming to terms with his potential for magic as well as his place without the society around him as a powerful noble and military leader.
What are you working on presently?
I have Book 3 for this series in the writing stages and that other standalone novel that I mentioned above.
Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I think Raedan would be a difficult person to cast. He’s a big man (about 6’6”) and massively muscular. I think a football player, a wrestler or a bodybuilder would have to be cast.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was about 12, and really that was the result of boredom as my family moved into the country and there wasn’t much to do.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I really just try to squeeze my writing in wherever I can. I do have some time on the weekends set aside specifically for writing, but it’s not a lot so I try to add more wherever I can.
Where do your ideas come from?
I seem to have a lot of ideas spawn from listening to rock music, and especially modern covers of older rock songs. I also draw on concepts from history like the American Civil War.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I write a thorough outline and then develop chapter summaries before I actually start writing. I do, however, leave room for adjustments and change as the writer takes off.
What is the hardest thing for you about writing?
Trying to find a balance between too little and too much information.
Do you read much and who are your favorite authors?
I read a fair amount. My all-time favorites are George RR Martin and Tolkien. David Weber’s Honor Harrington series is another great diversion.
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Both? For books early in a series I’ll read the ebook first. If I like it, I’ll buy the hardback books and then continue from there.
What books are you presently reading?
I’m actually in between books, but I am reading Othello and Caesar by Shakespeare.
Please tell us about the covers and how they came about.
The Cerberus Rebellion’s cover is meant to show the last stand of a group of soldiers as they try to hold back the tide of an enemy advance. The Hydra Offensive cover, in contrast, shows the rebel soldiers advancing on an enemy position.
Who designed your book covers?
The Cerberus Rebellion art was done by HeavyCat Studios and The Hydra Offensive art was done by Trevor Smith of Trevorsmith.com. My wife did the typography on both.
Do you have a video trailer for your books?
The Cerberus Rebellion has a trailer. I did the compilation, I had a voice actor for the voice-over.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I think with the right exposure and in limited runs a free book can work. I saw a lot of success when I launched The Cerberus Rebellion, but I currently have one of my short stories available for free from most the ebook retailers but it hasn’t gained much traction.
How do you relax?
Writing is actually my favorite way to relax, usually with a drink.
What is your favorite quote?
The die is cast from Julius Caesar
What is your favorite movie?
It’s a terrible movie, let me admit that first, but I’m really a fan of Wing Commander.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
My website (www.gunpowderfantasy.com) has a lot of information about me and my works including links to all of my work.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Joshua Johnson is the author of “Gunpowder Fantasy” The Cerberus Rebellion and the creator of the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. When he isn’t working or spending time with his family, he writes novels, short stories and novellas.
He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and young children.
Books on sale for 99¢ during the Tour.
Joshua will be awarding an eBook containing short stories set in the same world as the series, The Chesian Wars to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.