Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Joshua K. Johnson and a Giveaway

Hi! Thanks so much for coming today. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm in my late 20s, married with an 18 month old son. I've been writing for more than 15 years but this is my first serious attempt at publication/distribution. I work nights for UPS and spend what little spare time I have with my family.

Tell us a bit about your book.

The Cerberus Rebellion tells the story of a revolution that tears apart the nation of Ansgar. The King calls his nobles and their levies to arms, intending to send them thousands of miles away to fight a war that they have no real interest in. Some of the nobles aren't happy with that decision (among others made by this King) and decide that running things themselves in preferrable to suffering under the boot of a king thousands of miles away.

It's set in a universe that I call Griffins & Gunpowder; this sub-genre (dubbed Gunpowder Fantasy) combines elements of epic fantasy (magic, scale, mythical creatures) with rifles and railroads while stopping well short of Steampunk

Is this part of a series?

The Cerberus Rebellion is Book 1 of a planned 6 for the “Ansgari Rebellion” series. I also have 3 short stories published in this universe and have plans for no less than 4 separate series and dozens of short stories and novellas.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part of the novel was the beginning; setting up the characters, bringing the conflict to them and seeing how they would react.

Why did you choose to write fantasy?

I chose fantasy because of the freedom that it provides. I can build whatever worlds I want, populate them with people and creatures that I choose and make things happen the way that I want to.

Do you ever have any conversations in your head with your characters? If so, can you give us a hint of what you might talk about?

I do “talk” to my MCs sometimes. When they through a curveball at me in the middle of a chapter or arc, I ask them where they are going with this or what they were thinking. Sometimes they walk me through to the conclusion; sometimes they tell me to sit down, shut up and write the chapter.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I'm reading “The Black God's War” by Moses Siregar; the short story Faith by David Adams is next and then whatever I stumble across in the Kindle Store.

I know this is like asking who is your favorite child, who is your favorite fantasy author (s)?

I would say that my current favorite fantasy authors are George RR Martin and David Weber. David Weber's Safehold series (which is technically sci-fi, but has a very similar feel to my world) is partly responsible for the way that the Griffins & Gunpowder universe evolved.

George RR Martin's worldbuilding is an inspiration; his willingness to kill off major characters is something that I may take to in my own writing.

What is your favorite fantasy book or series?

As I mentioned above, the Safehold series is up there,  but right now its A Song of Ice and Fire. I can't wait for the next installment.

Who is your favorite fantasy character?

I'm partial to Aragorn, but I also love Tyrion Lannister (both in the written form, and as portrayed by Peter Dinklage in the Game of Thrones series.)

Chocolate or Vanilla?

I'd have to go with vanilla. I have a rather rare “allergy” to chocolate (technically it's an “Inverse Chemical Reaction”). Where chocolate makes most people happy campers, if I have too much I become a rather unpleasant individual.

Do you have a special piece of clothing you wear when you write?

Does my son hanging on my arms count?

What is next for you?

I'm working on editing a Griffins & Gunpowder novella and I'm writing The Hydra Offensive,  book 2 in the Ansgari Rebellion series.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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. 



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.


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.

Joshua will be awarding .mobi copies of his short stories (details available at 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).


  1. Thanks for hosting me and The Cerberus Rebellion!

  2. I enjoyed the interview.


  3. Good interview. Book sounds interesting. Thank you for hosting.