Interview with Joshua Johnson

Joshua Johnson

Interview Date: 5/14/2012


Joshua Johnson is a new author looking to break out into the publishing world.
He is currently working on The Cerberus Rebellion, a Gunpowder Fantasy set in his Griffins and Gunpowder universe.
He has been writing since the age of 13, with more than 2 dozen novels collecting dust in his basement. Someday they may get dragged out and typed up. Maybe.
He is married with a young son and spends what time he isn’t working with his family or working in the Griffins & Gunpowder universe.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing at about the age of 13 with notebooks and pens. There were really two events that prompted me to start writing. First was that I was pulled from public school and started homeschooling. I was working far ahead of my grade level and ran out of things to do during the day, so I started writing. Second, my family moved from our small house in the city, about an hour away. Now I lived out in the middle of nowhere and needed something to pass the time.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

This is a tough one. One the one hand, the ability to teleport would be amazing and save so much time. It would be a tie between that, and the ability to read minds.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

I was always very partial to Superman. Even now that I'm older, he's still near the top of my list.

Kev's response: I've always loved Superman as a hero.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

A large part of my inspiration comes from the memories I have of my grandma. She was always writing poetry and she was always encouraging me to follow my dreams and write. What motivates me? If I don't get them out of my head, ideas will bounce around in there indefinitely. So a semblance of sanity is my motivation.

Kev's response: Hmm, I find a bit of insanity to work well for idea generation, and to keep plots running amok!

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

Once I have the basic concept for a story, I plan it extensively. I start out with a one page summary, convert that to a chapter-by-chapter, one sentence outline and finally build a paragraph-or-so chapter outline.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

My time is extremely limited between two jobs, a wife and very young son. So I have a scheduled bit of time (Friday and Saturday nights and all day Sunday) that I work, inspiration or not. If I'm not "feeling" the current story, I'll work on editing or on a related story.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

My two favorite genres to write in are Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I'm especially fond of Space Opera. I read along the same lines that I read. David Weber is one of my favorite authors and I've taken a lot of inspiration, lately, from George RR Martin.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The ability to express myself and put my ideas into words.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Editing can be a bit tedious, but it's necessary.

Kev's response: Unfortunately. On the other hand, for senile people like myself, if I didn't have to read and re-read my story, I'd probably forget it!

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I'm a workaholic. Also, I can "gleek" on command.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I try to actively write one novel at a time, but ideas do tend to wander through and I'll tap them out for later use.

In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

I would advise that you employ dogs. They can be trained and most people don't think twice about them.

Kev's response: Ah, the "right under their nose" type idea. Hmmm.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I don't think that paper books are ever going to disappear. There will always be that segment of people that prefer to have the physical copy. I insist on having the David Weber Honor Harrington series in paper.

Kev's response: I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday who had never used a Kindle. He swore that he only wanted to read paper books. I've heard that exact same line from numerous people ... until someone gives them a Kindle. Then they swear by the Kindle.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently editing The Cerberus Rebellion, a Gunpowder Fantasy, and I'm writing short stories, novellettes and novellas as back stories.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Read up on marketing and definitely get involved with other self-pubbers.

Kev's response: Ugh. Marketing. The other monster in my closet.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)? is my website/blog. Once I get everything published, links will be put up to my works.

Kev's response: Joshua, I appreciate you joining me. Good luck on the Griffins and Gunpowder universe! (I love universe-creating series.)

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