Saturday, December 8, 2012

Author Interview with Marc Johnson +Giveaway

Hey everyone!

Today I'm welcoming Marc Johnson, author of  The Passage of Hellsfire series to Melissa's Midnight Musings. I had the opportunity to review Catalyst the first book in the series about a month ago. You can read that review HERE

About the Book:


Publisher: Longshot Publishing
Published: March 19, 2011
Pages: 295
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:
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...

The Interview:

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? 

When I was about 6 or 7. I like to credit reading old Choose Your Own Adventure stories and Sideways Stories from Wayside School.

Where did the inspiration for The Passage of Hellsfire series come from?

When I was 13, I had a dream. I tend to remember most of my dreams yet for some strange reason, that one gnawed at me so much so that I had to write a story about it. It was supposed to be a short story, but blossomed into more. Now it’s planned six book series.

Who is your favorite author?

Do I have to pick just one? I love Stephen King, Steven Pressfield, Brandon Sanderson, and Sophie Kinsella. My reading depends on the mood I’m in. I never do stick to one genre for more than two books, and a lot of the times I’m reading multiple books at once.

Do you have writing routine? A special pen, a certain type of music, time limits?

I write after work and on my days off when I’m home. It’s hard though. With my new, normal job, I’m not used to writing only after work. I miss the late swing shifts and graveyard. Anyways, my routine varies. Sometimes I have music, TV, sports, or a show I’ve seen a million times on. Other times, I’ll turn off all the lights and work in darkness and silence.

 Do you enjoy edits/rewrites, or not?

I only enjoy them after I’m done. They are so painstakingly hard that I always feel like giving up. But I believe the end result is well worth it. I’m not one of those talented gifted writers whose early draft is readable. I’m one of those I-work-really-hard-at-it-writers that edit, edit, and edit some more.

The Passage of Hellsfire is a fantasy series. What prompted you to write fantasy books rather than any other genre?

I have a ton of story ideas sitting on my hard drive and in my mind. Strangely enough, The Passage of Hellsfire is the most normal of all the stories. I’m itching to write those others, but won’t until Hellsfire is finished. That said, I’ll still write an occasional short story or two.

I don’t really choose a genre than write it. I just have an idea I like then write. I have no idea what genre some of those stories would fall under.

Do you think you'll ever try your hand at a different genre? If so, which one are you leaning toward?

I’ll most certainly try my hand at a different genre. I like to think of it like one of my favorite shows, The Twilight Zone. That was a sci-fi show, but a lot of those stories could be classified in a whole mess of genres.

I love science fiction and history. I don’t know if I currently have the skill to write either sci-fi or historical fiction. I’d love to try my hand in one of them though. I think that in seven or ten years, I’d be ready for it.

Which character in the series was your favorite to write and why?

Cynder. I’m a bit of a sarcastic smartass and it’s fun when I can bring that out when I write him.

How do you come up with your character names?

Sometimes, I’ll pick names from a book or history that represents something and has a meaning. Other times, I’ll make it up because it sounds cool. Either way, I make sure I can pronounce it because I hate reading names I can’t say.

Please tell us a little bit about your journey to publication

I’ve submitted my manuscript for years but always came up empty. I have had one or two short stories published. I used to do some freelance writing before magazines went under. With all the changes in publishing, I decided to go the indie route because I believe I have more business sense and am more adaptable then traditional publishers.

What is the hardest part of being a writer?

Crafting an enjoyable story.

What is the main thought or feeling that you hope readers of your books will walk away from them with?

That they’re entertained. Whatever else they take away from it is just a bonus. Fiction these days are just another form of entertainment and I want to hit that mark. Secondly, I hope that they feel some kind of emotion when reading it.

 When you're not writing, what are your other hobbies/passions?

I’m a pretty huge Star Trek and Transformers fan so I’ll go to an occasional con or event when I can. My newest hobby is board gaming. I love playing games and testing my mind against the game and other players. What’s great is sometimes I can mix the two.

Are you working on any new projects?

I’m mostly working on the third book in The Passage of Hellsfire series, tentatively called Reawakening. There is a short story or two that have nothing to do with that series that I want to get out.

Quick Fire round:

Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Rainy winter days or blazing hot summer days? Rainy winter days
Hard Copy or e-book? ebook
Favorite book? Matilida
Last book you read? The Emperor’s Edge
What's a quote that inspires you? Clarity of thought before rashness of action.
What's your favorite comfort food? Anything sweet!

About the Author:

Marc Johnson lives and writes in the Bay Area. He has been reading his entire life and writing for almost as long. Until magazines went away, he used to freelance on the side, mainly covering all sorts of gaming. However, his first love has always been writing fiction. He loves stories in all its forms—movies, television, video games, comics, etc. He will always write fiction because it’s the only way to get all of the crazy ideas out of his head, and the cheapest too.

He has a lot of interests ranging from archery, poker, basketball, video games, and Star Trek. He loves stories in all its forms, be it movies, TV, comics. Some of his favorite books are Matilda, It, Lit Life, The Time Traveler's Wife, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Marc Johnson has written the young adult, fantasy book, Catalyst. It's the first book in his six book series, The Passage of Hellsfire. He plans to release them once a year, before he dies.(less)

Giveaway time!

Marc has generously offered to give away 2 e-copies of Catalyst to one lucky reader. 
The giveaway is international
The Giveaway will run until December 15th at midnight PST
You DO NOT need to be a follower of this blog to enter
There's only one entry option for this giveaway and it's an easy one!


Melissa's Midnight Musings will NOT be notifying the winners of this giveaway first. I will choose the winner via rafflecopter and then pass the winners' emails off to Marc Johnson who will then contact them regarding the sending of their prizes.

Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


kimbacaffeinate said...

I bounce around from genre to genre too, I like to keep things fresh when I read. I use to read only one book at a time, but with ebooks I've started reading one on my phone, one on my nook and one physical book :) Great interview!

Melissas Midnight Musings said...

I don't know how you do it, Kimba. I can only really manage 2 books at a time well. I have done three before, but then the plot lines have started to run together a bit. I'm a bit jealous that means you get so many books finished faster! :)

JuneA** said...

A sarcastic dragon named Cinder...oh yeah, have to read this! :)

I'm a "bouncer" too, but I do prefer to read one fiction book at a time. I occasionally start a non-fiction with fiction, but mostly do one book at a time.

Great interview-thanks for a chance to win!

Axis Of Anarchy said...

One thing I have never been able to resist is a good Fantasy novel with dragons. Whether it was Anne McCaffrey or Jane Yolen, all of them captured my attention in one way or another. I hope to add this one to my collection and be enraptured by another.