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: The Chesian Wars collection (all published 3 short stories and an additional prelude short story exclusive to the collection), so comment today AND follow his tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win prize!
Joshua let me pump him for information, so let's turn the floor over to him (and don't forget to answer his question at the end)!
Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?
I write in my particular brand of fantasy (epic fantasy with a twist; I call it “Gunpowder Fantasy”) because it's such a blank canvas. I'm able to build my worlds, populate them with plants, animals and people to my liking and take the story where I want it to go. I also write Sci-Fi for a similar reason, the ability to create my own worlds with my own technologies and creations.
What research and world-building is required?
For The Cerberus Rebellion, I had to do research and a lot of world-building. The Griffins & Gunpowder universe is set on a world that is part-Medieval and part 19th Century America. I researched 19th century weapons technology, tactics, attire and even social conventions to make the series more authentic.
My world building was extensive. Dozens of nations, half a dozen distinct races, unique flora and fauna. I built religions, national histories and designed the complex political interactions between the various nations.
Name one thing you learned from your hero.
I learned that where you intend for something to go, or how you intend for a character to be, isn't always how things turn out. Sometimes you have to send your character down the hard road for their own good and the good of the story.
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
I'm actually pretty straightforward in my writing habits. Though I will say that I tend to have better luck writing when I've had a cup of coffee, or bourbon, depending on the time of day.
Plotter or pantser?
85% Plotter/15% Pantser. I write extremely extensive outlines and detailed chapter-by-chapter summaries. But I provide my characters and the story room to breath, allowing them to change the flow of the story or the plot as necessary.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
My wireless mouse and a pillow.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
I'm working on Book 2 in the Ansgari Rebellion Series, The Hydra Offensive, and I'm getting some short stories and novellas set in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe sketched out.
Do you have a question for our readers?
Which would you consider a greater factor in giving a book that first look: cover art or title?
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.
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.
He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and young son.