Who am I, and Why am I here?
First off, I want to thank Bruce for putting all of this together. I saw his post on the kindleboards and despite being an unpublished author, he apparently thought highly enough of my first chapter sample that he decided to include me.
Now, on to me! I’m Joshua Johnson. I’m a Sci-fi and Fantasy author currently living in Northern Illinois with my wife and young son.
I’ve been writing since I was around 12. I actually wrote my first story a few years before that. It was a short story for class and I did the illustrations myself. I don’t remember what it was about, but I do remember that it had castles in it.
I really got into writing at 12 when my family moved away from civilization as I knew it. I was already homeschooled, so my social interaction was rather limited. I turned to writing as a way to express myself.
My first “novels” were not-even-thinly-veiled plagarisms of stories, tv shows and games that I was interested in at the time. I spun them with my own stories, but they were pretty bad.
As I continued to write, I began developing worlds that were more and more unique. At around 15 or 16 I was building worlds that were totally unique, though my handle of the craft was still poor.
At about 18, I started college and working and for the longest time, I putzed around with an idea here or there. My first major attempt at writing was put up on fictionpress.com. I really liked the concept but wasn’t impressed with my execution of it. So I pulled it, rewrote it.
About the time that I finished with my substantive self-editing, I starting reading about ebook publishing and began looking around at that. I put my story out there to a couple of ebook publishers, but it lacked the polish that they were looking for. So for a couple of months, I shelved the idea.
Then came my short story which I provisionally titled “Griffin Steampunk”. (You can see the complete, unedited text here) I wrote that in April of 2011 and it sat there for another 4 months, festering. Over the summer, I slowly began changing the idea behind this world. I regressed the technology to the early-to-mid 19th century America (muskets, rifles, railroads).
I fully intended to keep this world strictly-human and focus on the story. But as I wrote, Elves and magic began working their way into the story. So I widened the world.
In October of 2011, I started writing my then-untitled novel (which I called “Revolution”). 6 months later, it became The Cerberus Rebellion and another 3 months later it was done!
Now, as I neared completion of Cerberus, I realized that my work didn’t really fit into the traditional fantasy genre. I was using railroads, telegrams and gunpowder firearms. But it wasn’t quite steampunk either; there aren’t any fantastic machines and steam power is used only for trains and isn’t really a focus of the story.
So I did some thinking and finally declared that my Griffins & Gunpowder Universe would be called Gunpowder Fantasy!
The thing that has surprised me about writing, something that has always surprised me, is how a story will twist itself and grow into something else. From the “Griffin Steampunk” idea to “Griffins & Gunpowder” my world has slowly made itself a world that I hadn’t seen coming.
And it hasn’t stopped. Recently, I decided to add Orcs to the mix and I had one day where no less than 4 spinoff/companion series blossomed in my mind. I can’t wait to see where this world takes me, and I hope you’ll join me on my journey.
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.
PS: Some shameless use of my son’s cuteness below: