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Monday, 7 December 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - Dragon Apocalypse by Josh Powell

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Dragon Apocalypse
Author:
Josh Powell
Genre: Humorous Epic Fantasy

Book Description:
On their way to apprehend a temple thief, Gurken Stonebiter, a templerager of the temple of Durstin Firebeard, and Pellonia, a little, but infuriatingly clever, girl stumble onto a quest to save a town from an evil dragon. The dragon is demanding sacrifices of maidens, and the town is fresh out. Can they discover a way to sate the dragon's bloodlust and save the town?

Along the way, Gurken and Pellonia meet up with Maximina, a half under-elven woman that also happens to be a tad psychic, a ranger with a dash of necromantic ability, a smidgen of samurai training, and just enough time living as a rogue to acquire the ability to sneak up on and stab a foe in the back. Maximina is full of clever ideas on how to gain a tactical advantage over her foes, and on occasion they even work.

During their adventures, Gurken, Pellonia, and Maximina face a snarky unicorn, do battle with a terrible frost giant, contend with a rival adventuring party bent on their utter humiliation, and confront the end of the world in the form of an evil sorcerer and a teeming dragon horde. Can they save the world one more time?

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Author Interview

1. Tell a little about yourself. What you do when you’re not writing? What are your aspirations for the future?
I’m a father of two wonderful toddlers, an almost five year old boy, and a two year old girl.  All of my free time is spent with them and my wife.  I am usually involved in one of three activities: 1) Family Time 2) Software Engineering 3) Writing.

My aspirations for the future are to provide as wonderful a life growing up as I can for my kids, and give them all of the opportunities to be good people and live good lives as I can.  Also, to have occasional date nights with my wife, as I love spending time with her.

As an author, I plan to finish The Berserker and the Pedant trilogy, and then write four more trilogies in this world, all interconnected yet independent.  I’ve started writing at the pace of two per year and hope to keep up that pace for the foreseeable future.

2. When and why did you start writing?
I would say I started writing with purpose back in grade school, though the purpose there was to score points on essay questions on tests without knowing the actual answer to the question.  I found that if I wrote for long enough, I’d at least get some credit even if it were a six-paragraph depiction of “I don’t know.”  These essays were my first works of fiction.
I learned the trade and discipline of writing three years ago, when I wrote my first book.  It was a programming book that rose to #1 on Amazon in each of its categories, beating out for a time the established leaders in those categories.

My first funny fantasy novel was published early this year, The Berserker and the Pedant.  It’s won a couple of awards (The Awesome Indies Seal of Approval and a soon to be announced summer readins award), and the audiobook was a finalist for the 2015 Voice Arts award for Outstanding Production thanks to the outstanding narration and production of Robert Kraft.

3. Have any particular novels or writers influenced your writing?
The list is long.  I would say I am most strongly influenced by Steven Brust’s Jhereg series for the sarcastic sense of humor of Loiosh (whom the series is really about), George RR Martin for his propensity to kill off characters (sometimes I kill my characters off multiple times, so I think that puts me one ahead on this ranking), and Larry Correia because his incredible action sequences are loads of fun (he inspires me to pick up the pace of the plot, instead of letting it drag on as epic fantasy sometimes does).

4. Give us some backstory behind Dragon Apocalypse. Where and when did you write it?
I mostly wrote it on my couch between the hours of 4 am and 7 am when the rest of the family was asleep.  Three hours of writing a day, woo hoo! I’ve picked out pieces of time here and there in my life to work on it, and my wife has even watched both of the kids for several days while I disappeared to the nearest coffee shop.  Writing is easier than watching two toddlers.  Far, far... far easier.

5. What was your favourite part of writing Dragon Apocalypse?
Seeing where the plot led.  I knew where the book started and what the final confrontation would be, but not how to get from A to B nor how the final confrontation would turn out.  It was also wonderful getting to know the characters, a lot of the charm of the books if from the friendship of the main characters and how despite their varied viewpoints and circumstances, how they come together to help each other.

6. What does your writing schedule look like?
4 am to 7 am, M-F and a few hours on the weekend when I can.  Also, some vacation days from work.

7. Which fictional character would you like to take to dinner and why?
It would have to be the main characters together in Dragon Apocalypse.  Each on their own would be less interesting, the humor comes from their interactions with each other.  It works with the characters from The Berserker and the Pedant as Gurken, the berserker dwarf with bad grammar upsets Arthur, the pedantic wizard, who corrects Gurken, who hates to be corrected. Pellonia, the enthusiatic little girl, interjects with snark which distracts the dwarf and gives a much needed reprieve to Arthur.

It works for the main characters from Dragon Apocalypse because Gurken, the berserker dwarf, and Maximina, the under-elven jack of all trades, both think they should be in charge but have, shall we say, less favorable characteristics that make them inadequate leaders, meanwhile Pellonia actually leads while they are too distracted with each other to notice.

8. Besides your lead, do you have a favourite character in the story?
One of my favorite characters is the blacksmith who appears early on in the book.  He’s a retired adventurer who uses his skills to make items to sell to current adventurers but has settled in a town without many adventurers and so spends much of his considerable time and skill making horseshoes.  He could have easily been a throw away character, but instead he really steals the scene.

9. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
Writing the book is the easy part, getting anyone to read it is harder!  I’ve gotten extremely positive reviews from everyone who loves to read fantasy that has read the book, but many lovers of books have a stack of to-read novels that could fill most of their available reading time for the rest of their lives.  Convincing someone that my book is worth not just a spot in the stack, but a slot at the top is a challenge.  It is worth that slot, by the way, if you like to laugh.  If you don’t forget it, you’ll hate the book.  There are many laughs.

10. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Find a job that pays well and do that, write as a hobby.  If that hobby takes off, great, you get to live the writer’s dream but if it doesn’t, you’ll still have that well paying job to fall back on.  I don’t know that focusing on writing will make you successful faster, I’ve spoken with many writers, editors, publishers, marketers, social media experts, and fans, and no one seems to have any idea what makes a particular work catch on.  There are things you can do to increase your chances, like write good books, but writing a good book does not mean it will sell, and, unfortunately, many books that are not so great end up as best sellers...  I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which series those are for themselves.  I’m definitely not talking about your favorite series, which if you love means you will love Dragon Apocalypse!


About the Author
JOSH POWELL, wielder of the Sommerswerd, destroyer of the thread, expeditioner to Barrier Peaks, discoverer of his magic talent, and venturer into the Tomb of Horrors is known for having survived a harrowing adolescence full of danger and fantasy. He's gone on to write The Berserker and the Pedant and Dragon Apocalypse and is currently working on the yet to be named third book in the series.

He also spends some not inconsiderable amount of time wiggling his fingers over a keyboard as a software engineer.  He lives with his wife, Marianne, and two amazing children, Liam and Chloe, in sunny California, where winter is, most decidedly, never coming.

Author Links:
***GIVEAWAY***


Blog Tour Organised by:

14 comments:

  1. What do you define as “manliness”?

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    1. I believe that the masculine and the feminine are qualities inherent in everyone. That both have positive and negative associations when taken to extremes. "Manliness" is a good quality when it embodies positive competitiveness, physical strength, bravery, and protection. "Manliness" is a bad quality when it triggers unnecessary aggression, domination of those weaker, being inappropriately brave (aka stupid).

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  2. This really sounds great. I enjoyed all your comments.

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  3. Enjoyed the interview, sounds like a terrific read, thanks for sharing!

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  4. Dragon Apocalypse sound like a good read ♡ Thank you

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  5. Great interview! Love the cover!

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  6. I enjoyed reading the interview, thanks for sharing! :)

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  7. Wonderful interviw! Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Turkmen and Pellonia sound like characters I'd like to get to know!

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  9. I love the cover and I would love to read this book.

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  10. Thanks for the intro to a new author for myself!

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