April 14, 2011

Unread Interview: Marc Johnson

Please welcome Marc Johnson for this week's Unread Interview! Marc recently released his ebook Catalyst: The Passage of Hellsfire and he's been looking to promote it, so I offered him a spot on my "everyone is welcome" Unread Interview!

Unread Interview is a series where I feature authors whose books I couldn't accept for review because of time or logistics issues.
From Amazon
For centuries, the kingdom of Alexandria has protected Northern Shala from the monstrous creatures lurking in the Wastelands. Now, a dark force threatens that fragile peace.
Far from home, Alexandria’s princess is abducted. When a young villager named Hellsfire stumbles upon her and her captors, he rushes in to rescue her, alone and unarmed. His fear and fury unleash an uncontrollable magical force that grants him the power to save the princess—and change the world.
Hellsfire has never craved nor dreamed of power. But such magic as he now possesses has not been seen in Northern Shala for a thousand years, since the devastation of the War of the Wizards and the creation of the Wastelands.
Now Hellsfire must leave all he’s ever known, and make a dangerous journey to learn to master this wild, ferocious power—power he knows he is not ready to wield. More difficult still, he needs to master his emotions. If he can’t, the power will consume him, Alexandria will fall, and darkness will eclipse the land, destroying everyone he loves.

In the dead of cold, the spark shall burn...
You can also purchase Catalyst: The Passage of Hellfire at Smashwords.

Have you ever wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing "seriously"?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, since I was a little kid. While I’ve always taken my writing seriously, I would say when I started sending my work out to agents and publishers, that’s when I decided to go for it. I must have been about 15 or 16 then.

Do you read much? What kind of books do you usually read?

I read a ton. I usually read between 3-5 books at a time, averaging about a book and a half a week. The books I read vary. I try to read at least one non-fiction, but the rest depend on my mood. Sometimes I’ll be reading a sci-fi book and a horror one. Other times, I’ll be reading chick lit and historical fiction. I try to mix things up. Strangely enough, even though I write fantasy, I don’t read that much of it.

What are your favorite or least favorite scenes to write?

I love to write the scenes involving Hellsfire and Krystal. They’re the heart of The Passage of Hellsfire and if I do it correctly, I get a bit worked up over those two. It might be because I draw from my own experiences with women, while writing about that pair.

My least favorite scenes I hate to write are probably the ones dealing with the opening and exploration of a new city. I have to remember that while I can picture the city in my mind, others can’t.

Do you relate more to any of your characters? Why?

I probably relate to Hellsfire the best. I was younger and confused once, and felt frustrated at myself and world. I also wanted to make a difference and change things.

I also relate to Cynder because I’m a bit more cynical and sarcastic than I was when I was younger.

Which genre do you feel it would be a challenge to write?

They’re all pretty tough to write, but I would say historical fiction might be the most challenging. You have to base your book on events that happened and people that exist, yet records are sketchy and you don’t have a time machine to visit them. While you can take certain liberties, you should also be truthful. Also, people know the endings so there’s little to no tension. People have to care about your characters than the plot. It’s a very tough and delicate balancing act.

What inspires you? And how's your writing environment - music, place, etc.?

I would say my dreams inspire me since my ideas come from them.

My writing’s environment pretty sterile and boring. I sit in front of a computer in my cramped apartment. The only interesting thing is I put my feet up and recline my chair. I’ve left marks over the years because of that and have fallen from time to time. Sometimes I’ll have music or the TV on, and other times I won’t. I’m very fickle.

What would you say about the book - your words, no blurbs! - to convince someone to read your book?

I would tell them that if they liked Star Wars: A New Hope, The Matrix, or Lord of the Rings, that they would like my book. I think people could relate to my book because everyone can relate to a coming-of-age story, no matter its form. There’s also romance in it and someone once said that every story is a love story. It’s also an adventure filled with magic, wizards, and dragons for the people that like that sort of thing.

What are your plans for the future, writing-wise? New books, sequels, publishing deals, etc.

I plan on releasing one book a year for The Passage of Hellsfire. It’s only a six-book series and I gave myself a bit of a head start by having a few of them already written. They’re going to need a lot of editing and revising though. I also know where the story’s headed so none of that pesky writer’s block.

Thank you Marc for your time Good luck with your book and I look forward to reading it, as soon as I buy my Kindle (hopefully sooner, not later).