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Interview with a fantasy author DW Johnson on his writing plans + Giveaway

Dear Readers!
We are happy to present a self-published author of fantasy series, DW Johnson. DW gave us a candid interview, in which he talks about how and when he writes, how many books he plans to write in the future, and conversations he has with characters from his novels. 
The author has also generously offered a few giveaways for our Readers.

Enter to win Darkwater by DW Johnson. Win the book and publish your review of Darkwater on your BookLikes blog to receive Shadowmage, the second installment in the Xenkur Chronicles! Request your copy.


You are now writing the Xenkur Chronicles - could you tell our readers more about this series and the main character?


That is a tough question, I am not sure I can say any more without giving anything away.


I have noticed that you’ve published two books so far, both this year, in the space of about 5 months. How often do you write and how long at one time, to keep up this pace? 


I write 3000+ words per day, 6 days a week. No writing on Sundays. Which equates to about 3 chapters per week.


What does your writing schedule look like, if you have one? 


I write in the morning in the winter while it’s too cold to be outside, usually until lunch. Then I’m outside to take care of the homestead. I also write after dinner while my daughter is doing her homework.


Do you aim at publishing book three of the Xenkur Chronicles trilogy in early 2018 to maintain this timing (your website says "winter")? 


Yes, Book 3 is scheduled to be out mid-March 2018.


Darkwater: Epic Sword and Sorcery Action Adventure (Xenkur Chronicles Book 1) - DW JohnsonShadowmage: Epic Sword and Sorcery Action Adventure (Xenkur Chronicles Book 2) - DW Johnson


Why do you choose to write several series at the same time, as opposed to writing one until it’s finished, and then starting another? I see that now you are working on both the Xenkur Chronicles and the Iron League series. 


Honestly, it has a lot to do with my “idea creating” process. I currently have 63 book ideas in my head. That is 63 unique characters and scenarios for novels. So, oftentimes my mind will jump from one adventure to another. Writing several novels at once allows me to get my thoughts down before I lose them.


Right now I’m working on 3 novels at once. Amborlaine (a stand-alone novel) which will be out in February, book 3 of the Xenkur Chronicles trilogy out in mid-March, and Warden, book 2 of the Iron League series, which will be launched in April.



The Iron League series will be 10 novels in all. Although each of the Iron League novels can stand alone (you won’t have to read them in order), there is a reoccurring theme to the series. The overall plan is to keep the pace to where I am publishing 6 novels per year.


Can you tell us more about the The Iron League series, which you are also currently working on?


I can say this series will be 10 books in total. Each book can stand on its own, meaning you don’t have to read the book before it or after it. Yet there is a constant reoccurring theme (i.e. the Iron League) to the series.


Each novel has a lead protagonist. That individual will also have a minor character as a helper. The minor character ‘helper’ will be the lead protagonist in the following book. For example, Book 1 – Songweaver has Shariana as the protagonist. Her friend is Arastor. Arastor is a Dwarf ranger who becomes the protagonist in Book 2.  



When working on a few series at the same time do you not find that the plots and/or characters get mixed up? 


It happens, since the vast majority of my novels have female protagonists (only 5 of the 66 have a male protagonist). It usually goes that I mix up lead characters simply by typing the wrong name. I catch it immediately, but it does happen.


On your website you say that your goal is to publish 34 novels - how did you arrive at this number? 


I’ll have to correct that on my site. The total number of novel characters and ideas I have now is 66. I’ve completed 3 so I only have 63 to go!


When will novel number 66 be published? Are you planning 5, 10, 20 years ahead, maybe more?


I’m looking at 6 novels per year, so in 10-11 years I will finish all 66. I have no doubt I’ll come up with more ideas over the next decade, so I look at it as writing until my end of days. 


Who designs your book covers, as an artist yourself, do you personally design them, or only oversee the process? 


Yes. Only the editing is outsourced. From start to finish I design the covers. I write the blurbs, the novels, and do all the advertising too. I am the quintessential one-man-band.


I browsed the books you have read and see that you are mostly a fan of fantasy books. Why is this? Did you try other genres and not like them as much, or have you always been reading mostly fantasy? 


I go in cycles. Right now I’m into fantasy books. But I also read a lot of spiritual books, and technical books (like woodworking).


As a child, for example, did you like Tolkien and the Narnia Chronicles?


I didn’t read when I was young. You could say I was not a model student. I didn’t start reading until I was in my late twenties. By that time I had already been creating fantasy art for more than a decade.


Do you think childhood reading inspires writers to write in a certain way / genre? 


I’m sure there is some influence, but no more than TV or movies could alter a writer’s view. If it had a major influence then Stephen King must have had a pretty messed-up childhood. 


Who are your favorite fantasy writers, who do you admire, look up to? 


I don’t have a particular favorite. I find that I don’t like many of the popular fantasy writers. I have also found now that I started writing fantasy I am even more judgmental of others' writing styles. That may be terrible to say but it is the truth.


What tips and tricks have you gotten from reading your favorite books and writers, have they taught you anything in particular?  


I’m sure I have picked up a few tricks, but none come to mind. It’s probably more subliminal than anything.


Let’s move away from the real world for a minute since you are a fan of fantasy writing. If you could choose one character from a favorite book to have dinner with, or spend a day with, who would that be? What would you ask that person. 


This is the most difficult question for me, and I would say for any writer. I create characters that I would want as friends or mentors. I even love my antagonists, after all they are only doing things to survive, or grow, even if it is in an evil or narcissistic way.


I think my best answer would be to say I love the character that I have not written yet. That one is my favorite because he/she has limitless possibilities.


Right now I would ask:

Lacey, where are you running to?

Rollin, do you believe you can save the world?

Tanlen, do you think you can keep her from growing up?

Mokanar, will revenge ease your pain?

Aurora, did you think the surface world would be more peaceful?  


DW Johnson


Born, Douglas William Johnson, July 4th 1962, D.W. Johnson has always had an innate talent for art. His photographic quest began at age twelve when he won his first local art show. Four years later, he set off into the world of Fine Art Photography. After early success as a photographer and teacher Johnson branched out into other mediums.

Now he has taken his artistic career into the publishing world with novels. 

DW also creates paintings and photographs and has done so for 40 years. He lives in Kansas with his daughter, a large epileptic dog, two cats, and a barnyard of chickens and ducks. 


DW Johnson's books on BookLikes:


Darkwater: Epic Sword and Sorcery Action Adventure (Xenkur Chronicles Book 1) - DW JohnsonShadowmage: Epic Sword and Sorcery Action Adventure (Xenkur Chronicles Book 2) - DW Johnson