REALMS OF EDENOCHT - AUTHOR Q&A with DS Johnson #Interview #BlogTour

 

Today's guest is Fantasy author, DS Johnson! Her new book is Realms of Edenocht Descendants and Heirs and looks like it's going to be a summer hit! We're very glad to have her here today to talk about her book, writing and what surprised her about getting her book published.  

 




Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?
This is the second book is this series so naturally it followed the first book. The first book came about when my son was a pre-teen and was struggling with finding something that he was interested in reading. We are fans of the computer MMORPG and I had already been sharing short stories of the adventures our online characters were experiencing with he and our younger son, so it was a natural progression for this to become the topic of the novel.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
I did a lot of research and decided to publish myself. I know it is a big risk, however I had seen several other authors go through the same process and had had great success and I wanted the flexibility of being in control of what happened. I also had heard that many publishers left much of the PR up to the author anyway and felt that if I was going to have to do most of it anyway, I might as well do it all. I might be wrong but so far I have enjoyed the process and have learned a lot.

Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?
I think the thing that has surprised me the most is how much the market has changed since the first book and how much influence Amazon has had on book buying. Years ago when I started the process of writing I also started looking into the process of publishing and the Indie market was new, Amazon was one of the first print on demand companies that marketed to self-published authors. They didn’t even offer other products. Then they changed their platform and the world changed. Every time they change how they regulate their structure of reviews vs. number of products sold or rankings, it changes how the world sees the success of products.
                                                                                     
Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
I do, I believe a quality cover plays a huge role in how a buyer is attracted to a book, however, I don’t think that the cover gets to do its job with the way algorithms used by Amazon rank the showing of said covers. When a book is purchased on Amazon a certain amount of times it bumps the book higher and higher in the ranking of the way Amazon places the book in the search or on the first x number of pages of the search. So even if you have a beautifully crafted cover, unless you have people purchasing the book, it won’t show up high enough in the search to even be seen. Other platforms such as Lulu, Nook, Kobo and B&N and IngramSpark don’t seem to have as much influence as of yet, however, I have noticed there seems to be a shift coming which seems to be more in their favor.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
I found this kind of fantasy was a bit challenging because even in fantasy there needs to be a certain level of believability. So as this world is a magical world built with the use of elemental powers, the need to be able to explain the processes and structures of elemental properties and then turn them into fantasy takes a solid understanding of the elements themselves. There’s also a substantial amount of action of differing kinds, sword fighting, hand to hand combat, fighting with elemental magic which require a solid knowledge base of fighting styles and terms in order to accurately describe each fight sequence and how to bring in the powers of the elements and make it believable as well as fun and exciting. The tip I would offer would be to take your time in doing your research and educating yourself on the principles that make up the rules and properties of the world you create, and allow for the flexibility of integrating the real world aspects into the fantasy world so that your reader has something to grasp and make real in their own imagination.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?
Book three is in the works and is scheduled to be finished mid-2020 as is a story of one of the main characters from the ‘old world’ of the story, which I hope to also have finished by mid-2020. I also have another series of books that is directed at first to third graders called Gardens of Tartary. It’s an easy reader chapter book series about the Shontie, a butterfly dragon and a princess and the magical journey they encounter as each Shontie is returned to the world. Currently there is only the first book but book two will be coming out shortly with several Shontie’s to return.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?
One thing that most people would be surprised about it is a fantasy, but it doesn’t have the usual and overused clichés and tropes you would find in most fantasies. There are some similarities such as characters using magic, but there are no elves, dwarves, orc etc. The wizard is a War wizard, which is a unique type of magic user and the other magic users are elemental in nature. I use terms that would be more familiar in the online gaming world such as ‘buff’ and I give names to my magic casts such as ‘’wind walk’. There is a twist of Rune magic and pyrotechnics with a flare of black powder and fireworks which you wouldn’t normally find in a fantasy of this kind.

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?
Ultimately I hope to offer a unique reading experience with the elements of the genres we have all grown to love. To bring the young reader through the growing process by incorporating life’s lesson and grow with them through the challenges the characters face. I hope to show that this read can be exciting, gripping and energetic while being motivating, witty and clean. 
  
Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?
I want to thank you for having me here and taking the time to get to know me and my work and I hope to be able to come back again with my next book. 



As a little girl, DS Johnson thought she was dumb. In the first, second, and third grades she was in the ‘Resource’ program or ‘Chapter 8’ as it is also called. Even though she was then put in the regular class, and she was such a young age when she had caught up with the other students, she knew within herself all too well by then, she was not a smart child. All the way through high school this girl struggled. She graduated with a glorious 2.9. Yes, it was heart breaking for those little numbers to reflect the great struggle and all the efforts she had put forth.

She went on to start beauty school, figuring she wasn’t college material. Suddenly, she learned that she wasn’t dumb after all. She was what is called a kinesthetic learner or ‘hands on’ learner. She LOVED it. She went on to do very well, for many years. Until, life got complicated. She had five children, a husband, and a disabled mother who now required constant care. While contemplating how to earn a little bit of extra income, now that doing hair wasn’t an option, a thought came to her.

‘Write a book’ it said.

She replied by looking around and with her finger pointing at herself, and said,
“Who me? I graduated high school with a 2.9 remember?”

The little thought came again, “Yes, you. Write a book.”

It so happened, that she told her younger sister a bedtime story almost every night as a child and had been telling her children nighttime stories for most of their lives, so she did. It took five years to learn from the internet, a few writing classes, some great blogs, a lot of practice, one very good editor and the awesome support of her family. But she did it. DS has a wonderful adaption of the intricately detailed structure of role playing games mixed with the vivid descriptions of the fantasy genre to create a unique world of elemental magic, wizards, sorcery and quest filled adventure unlike any adventure you have seen before.

Her latest book is the action adventure fantasy, Realms of Edenocht Descendants and Heirs.

Website: www.dsjohnsonbooks.com




Shaz, Edenocht's forbidden War Wizard, his elemental mage Serin and, miniature warriors, the Minca begin their unsurmountable task of securing the ancient artifacts, the Sev-Rin-Ac-Lava. Their first task of finding the sheath to the sword Shaz already has, takes them to the realm of their friends the Minca. The companions find themselves in a world torn open by earthquakes and melted earth as the evil Necromancer Semias Trevelis re-incarnates an ancient Runecaster to remake one of the ancient artifacts. The only hope in closing the torn and scorched realm is with the help of the two remaining descendants of the original mages of old, but Shaz doesn't even know about them, to begin with, let alone who they are or how to find them. Riddick, the Earth Sage, is deep in his own dilemma of figuring out his powers and the appearance of new Islands in the Turbulent Reef, is thrust from one realm to another until he meets back up with Shaz and the others. Can Shaz and his friends outsmart the cosmic powers at play and bring together the elements once again or will there be a ripple of desolation across the planet?

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