Author Interview – James R Johnson

Can you tell us about your main character? Marcus Tegerius Castimus is a relatively noble kind of guy.  His family is wealthy, but they have lost the clout they once enjoyed as contributing members of Roman society.  Castimus wants to serve in public office, work in politics, restore his family name.  He longs for the mob’s adoration for serving them well.  For all intents and purposes, Castimus isn’t all that different from young people today; he wants fame and power.  The problem with Castimus is that he wants others to give him what he wants.  He is always looking for that angle, rubbing elbows with the powerful who can say a word and grant his desires.  Castimus is a pretty green guy.  Naïve only scratches the surface.  Shallow would be a good term to use if you took away the negative connotation.  He has a long road to travel… and a lot to learn about himself and his place in the world.

How did you develop your plot and characters? As I researched story structure and such, I came across a wonderful resource called Dramatica.  The book is very detailed and breaks down the elements quite comprehensively.  I recommend it to anyone looking to understand the components of story.  So, I worked almost eight months just on plot, character makeup, themes, issues, etc.  It was a lot of work up front, but by the time I came to actually write the text, it was a piece of cake since all the heavy lifting was already done.

Who designed the cover? The book cover was designed by the Publisher, Delizon International Book Publishers.

Who is your publisher? Delizon International Book Publishers

Why did you choose to write this particular book? This story represents something that is very dear to my heart.  It is the idea of being true to yourself in the face of stressful pressure.  Situations like these always bring out the worst in people, but there are those who do it with tremendous grace.  Naturally it wasn’t always so.  There was a process behind finding the strength to be that strength for others.  That is what this story is about: finding the personal balance of self and sacrifice.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? The hardest part about writing this book is making the protagonist so green and naïve.  Every story has to start somewhere and go somewhere.  But starting at the beginning, Castimus is in a place that I found myself in many years ago.  Reliving those feelings and experiences for Castimus was rather uncomfortable.  But, like Castimus will find, these experiences form the foundation of who we become and why.

How do you promote this book? I have taken the digital road mostly for promoting the book.  While there have been signings and meet-and-greets, the bulk of my platform has been online.  Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, etc.  Of course, coming from a filmmaking background, I have also made a book trailer and commercial.  The screenplay adaptation is complete and being shopped around as well.

Will you write others in this same genre? For Gods and For Men is book one in a nine volume series.  Not only will I write again in the same genre, but I’ll carry the story forward.  Beyond this series, it is still too early to tell if I’ll write more urban fantasy.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? The point that readers should walk away with after reading the novel is that your goals and dreams are important, but you need to work hard to achieve them.  There isn’t a team of professionals who sole purpose in life is to give you what you want.  If you have a dream, find a way to make it happen yourself.  Initiative and instincts, everyone has them but not everyone uses them.

How much of the book is realistic? Well, if you can get past the immortals, the werewolves, and the vampires, yes, the book is realistic.  It is realistic in terms of character.  The way people are behaving and reacting to their circumstances and situations is true to life.  Of course those situations are a bit fantastic.  Then there is the actual location.  I attempted to portray Rome and Alexandria, Egypt, as authentically as I could.  I wanted the reader to feel the pressure of everyday life, the solace people turn to in that day, and the society they faced.

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Genre – Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG13

More details about the book


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