I love fantasy fridays!  I love the covers, the new worlds, and the awesome authors who craft them.  And we're back this week with Joshua K. Johnson, and his new book, The Cererbrus Rebellion.

The Cerberus Rebellion

One hundred years of peace and prosperity. 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.

Eadric Garrard was raised to believe that as the rightful King of Ansgar, his loyal nobles and fearful subjects answered to his every whim, no matter the cost or consequence. His decision to send his troops thousands of miles away will test that fear, and loyalty.

Raedan Clyve was ordinary until an Elven ritual involving a griffin’s heart turned him into something more. Twenty years later, he still struggles with the magics that rage through his body. His mentor holds him back from his full potential and he faces pressure to find a suitable wife and father an heir.

Hadrian Clyve has picked up where his father left off and works to expand his family’s influence amongst the Ansgari nobility. His aggressive negotiation of alliances and shrewd choice of marriage agreements has earned him respect, and resentment. When his King calls his troops to arms, Hadrian has other things in mind.

After a century of scheming and decades of preparation, Magnus Jarmann is ready to bring his family’s plans to fruition by launching a war of independence that will free his people and return his country to its rightful place among the nations of Zaria. The King’s call to arms creates an opportunity that Magnus cannot afford to miss.

In a war, little is held back; in a revolution, nothing is safe.


Now, your host has to confess to a moment of embarrassment.  I fired off my interview all pleased with knowing we were going to learn all the ins and outs... and then realized, do'h, that's a romance interview.  So, faithful readers, give Joshua a HUGE hand for taking it in stride and making this sound intelligent :)  And if he wants to come back and talk some more about The Cerberus Rebellion, on a topic that he's passionate about, I heartily welcome him!   Joshua, Briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.
Joshua: I started when I was about 13. My family moved out to what I considered the middle of nowhere, so I needed something to keep me busy. I started with Sci-Fi and only occasionally dabbled in fantasy. The only hurdles I've had to overcome were finding the time to write and finding a path to publishing.

Obviously you write in the fantasy genre. Is that your favorite genre to read? Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?

Joshua: Fantasy is one of two genres that I would consider my favorites and that I read and write in, though I don't have anything out for Sci-Fi yet.

Of the books you have published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?

Joshua: The Cerberus Rebellion is my favorite published piece.

What are your published titles and please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next.

Joshua: I have short stories set on the same world as The Cerberus Rebellion: The Sithean Betrayal, The Red Dragon's Gold and The Gathering Storm. I'm working on the sequel to Cerberus, The Hydra Offensive, and I have 4 more novels (and dozens of short stories and novellas) planned to follow them.

(Perhaps he'd like to return and highlight some of the short stories!)
Okay so -- The Cerberus Rebellion -- Tell me about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?

Joshua: The idea for this story came from a piece of flash fiction that I wrote one day on my phone. (You write on your phone?  Claire is seriously impressed!) I called it “Griffin Steampunk” and the world was originally much different than it is now (I have the original posted on my blog). I did a fair amount of research into mid-19th century America including firearms, travel and other technologies.

Modified off Steampunk... yep, I want to read it even more now!
Let’s talk heroes – What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.

Joshua: I don't think I really ever go into it, but my “main” character (Raedan) wanted to grow up to be his brother's representative at court. As a child, he liked the intrigue of politics, especially because his father was a masterful politician.

All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about your hero that makes your heart go pitter-pat?

Joshua:  I wouldn't say “pitter-pat” but Raedan's ability to ride griffins is unique in this universe; that's definitely unique.

(See look at that -- what a champ!  Thanks, Joshua :) )
Riding griffins sounds like a wonderful twist to riding dragons, and highly creative.  I can't think of too many fantasy novels I've read where griffins are introduced with much depth.  Nice!

If your hero doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?

Joshua: Probably a wolf or an eagle of some kind.

Okay, back to you -- In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing a novel? Why?

Joshua: The hardest part for me is avoiding the info-dump. Conveying enough information to flesh out the world without overwhelming the reader. I think this is difficult, for me, because I know that the worlds I'm writing about have so much to offer and I want to show that to my readers. Give them a world that is full and engaging.

I think that's difficult with any author who really likes to world build.  I struggle with it sometimes also.

Many writers describe themselves as "character" or "plot" writers. Which are you?

Joshua:  Definitely “Plot”. You could put a variety of characters into my story and it would work.

If you write in multiple genres, Do you find it challenging to shift? Or is it a natural process?

Joshua:  Both of the genres that I write in are very creatively open (Sci-Fi Space Opera and Fantasy) so it's a relatively natural shift from one to the other for me.

Let's take a peek!  Please note how rich this is.  
~~@~~   The crackle of musket fire drifted up from the trenches; only a few quick shots at first, but quickly followed by full volleys. Flashes of light marked the battle in the trenches and Raedan listened carefully for the command to push his troops forward. He glanced behind him quickly.

The color guard stood resolute, the banners of Arndell and the North Griffin Cliffs at the front of the formation. A half-company of infantry had been assigned to protect the flags should they come under attack.

Wounded began to drift back out of the trenches. Some retreated under their own power; others were carried between two of their fellows. Raedan tried to count the men fleeing the battle, but quickly lost count.

Finally, the trumpets sounded again, ordering him forward.

“How's it look in there?” he asked a retreating officer. The man wore the gaudy orange of Sea Watch and the stripes of a captain. He had taken a round through his shoulder and was supporting a corporal that had taken a shot to the leg.

“The artillery did a job on them,” the captain said. “But they've still got some fight left.”

“All right, men! Let's take it to them!” Raedan started toward the trenches at the double time and his men started to trot after him.

The earthworks twisted and zagged one way and another, slowly leading the infantry closer to the fortress that loomed large above. The sun had finally set and flares were exploding high overhead.

Thank you, again, Joshua, for stopping in here today.  You're welcome to come back any time.
GIVEAWAY -- Joshua will be awarding .mobi copies of his short stories (details available at www.gunpowderfantasy.com/products) to one commenter at every stop. Grand Prize for one random commentor and host with the most comments: The Chesian Wars collection (all published 3 short stories and an additional prelude short story exclusive to the collection).  Follow the tour -- the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!  Complete tour dates can be found here.

About The Author:

Joshua Johnson is the author of "Gunpowder Fantasy" The Cerberus Rebellion (due to release in early July) 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 son.

Keep in Touch via:  Website  |  Twitter
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for hosting me and The Cerberus Rebellion! I hope you and your readers enjoyed reading the interview!

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