Johnny Lycan 2 is finished. Kind of.

I just put finished to the second book in the Johnny Lycan series. Well, an ugly, squawling, half-assed first draft anyway. Our boy finds himself in Las Vegas, and faces, among other things: a megalomaniac rancher, a honest-to-god Berserker, an ancient relic that may or may not be from Earth, a coven of bad-ass witches, and more about himself than he wants to know.

Believe it or not, book 3 is already outlined and will be started soon. Sorry about the delay between books. Turns out that between buying a house, navigating a global pandemic, a demanding day job and the general yukkiness in the air, I’ve learned something important. Existential dread is not great for the creative juices. You may quote me.

It’s aliiiiiiiive

Watch for Johnny Lycan and the Vegas Berserker coming in 2022 from #blackrosewriting (blessings upon them)

If you haven’t read Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk, there’s still time to be one of the cool kids who find stuff before everyone else and lords it over them. Read it here

Dragons, Dwarfs, and Maybe the Most British Name Ever

I love connecting with other writers. Not long ago, just after I interviewed Jamie Davis about his paranormal paramedic series, we had a chat on an app called Clubhouse. We were joined by a delightful woman, who had the most British name ever. If you were going to choose a woman’s name for a fantasy writer, could you do better than Gemma Clatworthy? Didn’t think so.

As it turns out, she has a new fantasy series, and it’s a lot of fun. What other excuse do I need to ask her some questions?

Alright, Gemma. Give us the wonder that is you.

I’m Gemma Clatworthy, an urban fantasy writer based in the magical county of Wiltshire in the UK. I started writing children’s books during lockdown 2020 (the first book I published is titled The Girl Who Lost Her Listening Ears, which gives you some idea of how lockdown was for us!). When I’m not writing, I enjoy crafting, playing board games, tea and chocolate – not necessarily in that order!

When we were talking to Jamie, I mentioned that Johnny Lycan would have no Fae in it… and THEN I found out they are all over your book. So, apologies. (But Johnny will run into a lot of strange things, fairies and elves won’t be among them. My book, my rules.) Now that I’ve groveled appropriately, what’s your new series about?

My Rise of Dragons series follows the adventures of Amethyst, a half-dwarf jeweller who just wants a quiet life. In the first book, Awakening, her best friend is kidnapped and she’s forced to confront a gang of cultists who want to raise a dragon…and things keep going pear-shaped from there! 

Bonus points for “pear-shaped,” which is one of my favorite Brit expressions. What are the roots of the story? It’s so much fun. What was it that hooked you?

The root of the story was really that I wanted to write a character that wasn’t a standard elf or werewolf, (Editors Note: Ouch, but I suppose I deserve that.) which seem to be the leads in a lot of urban fantasy. I was inspired by a friend’s character in a D&D campaign we played – she was a straightforward barbarian who rushed in without really thinking, took a hit and kept going, which is pretty much my main character in a nutshell! I set the story in modern-day Cardiff in the UK because I really enjoyed mixing the magical with the mundane and in a couple of my stories I’ve used real buildings… which may get destroyed by dragons!

Who do you read?

My absolute favourite author is Terry Pratchett – his Discworld series is amazing. I like to think I’m a diverse reader so I also enjoy Ellis Peters (Cadfael series), Phillipa Gregory, Lyndsey Buroker, Nicholas Eames and KM Shea. That’s just a shortlist though because I read a lot.

As you should. So, where can we learn more about you and your work?

You can find me at my website: www.gemmaclatworthy.com 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/gemmaclatworthy 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gemmaclatworthy

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gemma-Clatworthy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/Gemma Clatworthy

Of course, if you’re NOT sick of werewolves (ahem) Please check out Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. Volume 2 is nearly finished!

Get it from my publisher, #blackrosewriting or on Amazon

Jon Robinson’s YA Werewolf

Long time readers will know I’m not a big fan of YA as a genre. (You can read my rant about it here.) That said, introducing young’ns to scary stories is a time honored tradition. Hence my interview with eclectic author Jon Robinson. His first foray into Lycan-inspired fiction is Sunshine and the Full Moon. Like 14 year old girls aren’t scary enough…

Jon, welcome aboard. Tell us about yourself.

I used to write about video games, sports, and wrestling for everybody from ESPN to Sports Illustrated to WWE. But now I’m trading in my love of sweat and polygons for werewolves. That’s right … silver bullets, fangs, and fur. I’m all in. Sunshine and the Full Moon is my first novel, and the main character, a sassy 14-year-old girl obsessed with geocaching, baseball, and k-pop is inspired by my daughter. Her encounter with a werewolf is actually something I had a dream about, so I decided to turn that dream into a novel, and here we are.

Johnny Lycan started as a dream too, and look where that got me. Tell me about Sunshine…

A 14-year-old girl named Sunshine goes on a geocaching adventure and uncovers a werewolf den. Turns out, the town her grandmother lives in up in the California Gold Country has had a mysterious string of deaths, and Sunshine stumbles headfirst into the mystery. When a young girl in town goes missing, can Sunshine figure out the clues behind the creature wreaking havoc throughout the small town before it’s too late?

What is it about that form of magic or character that appealed to you? What are the roots of the story?

I’ve always been a big fan of werewolves. Vampires are cool, zombies are fun, but to me, werewolves are king! Anyway, I had this dream where there was a werewolf attack, and the creature bites down on a young girl’s arm, but the girl had a cast from where she broke her arm, and the werewolf’s teeth get caught. So you have this moment where it’s staring eye-to-eye with the girl, saliva dripping down on her as it tries to wrestle its way free. I decided to work backward from that point in the story, develop a plot and main character around my teenage daughter’s personality, and Sunshine and the Full Moon took on a life of its own. 

It’s interesting that you’ve written so much about sports. A lot of my short stories center around boxing, and yet here we are talking werewolves. Who do you read?

I’m a big fan of everyone from James Lee Burke to Shea Serrano. I also really love to read sports books that take you behind the scenes, like Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.

Where can we learn more about your work?

Check out my website: Jon Robinson Books

On Goodreads: Jon Robinson (Author of NXT) | Goodreads

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram @Jrobandsteal

Amazon Author Page:

Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk is available in paperback and Kindle, and available almost anywhere from #BlackRoseWriting. It’s an American Book Festival Finalist for Best Horror of 2020. “If Raymond Chandler wrote about werewolves.”

What if God Dozed Off? Interview w Leslie Swartz

Good urban fantasy usually starts with a good, “what if?” For just one example, what if an average joe who wanted to be a detective happened to be a werewolf? That’s a pretty simple one. Other stories are more ambitious: what if all the evil characters–Lucifer, witches and demons had to band together to save the world? That’s the kind of thing that goes on in the head of Leslie Swartz, and her new Seventh Day series.

Leslie, who are you and what’s your deal?

I tell people I’m a poet-turned-novelist which sounds pretentious but I think it’s important if they want to get a sense of how I write. My style has been described as blunt, honest, and evocative. I don’t write beautiful prose for the most part. I don’t spend too much time describing things like what characters are wearing or what color walls are painted. I write to inspire emotion. I want the reader to feel something.

As for who I am outside of my work, I’m a 41-year-old woman in Indianapolis homeschooling three kids during a pandemic. I’m tired. I get maybe an hour or two of free time a day that I usually spend watching easy TV to calm my brain down. My favorite show right now is The Challenge. Team CT for life!

What’s the big idea behind the first book in your series, Seraphim?

The Seventh Day Series is seven books of rowdy angels, vampires, witches, and Lucifer fighting monsters and preventing one Apocalypse after another. Really, though, it’s a story of found-family, complex relationships, trauma, and redemption. It’s character-driven, dark, funny, and chock-full of twists.

That’s a lot going on. Where did the idea come from?

“Wyatt” came to me in a vision when I was sixteen. I can’t explain it so I won’t try but he was very clear to me; steely eyes, dark hair falling in his face, angry and depressed but like, resigned to it. I didn’t create him so much as I just kind of became aware of who he was. So, I spent years researching religious lore and different mythologies. I’d have an idea and start writing but inevitably, I’d throw it out. No story was ever good enough for the character. So, one day I was watching Guiding Light and this actor, Tom Pelphrey came on the screen and he looked exactly like the character in my head. It was uncanny. Obviously, I became a fan and watched other things he was in.

Over the years, his facial expressions and his very precise way of speaking became part of “Wyatt”. Years later, I was watching an episode of Iron Fist and Tom Pelphrey did this scene that broke me in half. I lost it. Complete meltdown, hysterically sobbing on my couch for forty-five minutes. When I got myself together, I had all this renewed gumption to get these books started. I had a ton of plot ideas but none of them made sense if “God” was who I said he was. So, I was going over everything with my husband and he looked at me with this how-have-you-not-thought-of-this-before face and said, “What if ‘God’ was asleep?” Mind. Blown. Everything else fell into place. It all worked. That day, I wrote character bios, a few scenes, and outlines for the first four books.

Inspiration is a funny thing, ain’t it? What do you read?

I love Shakespeare, Poe, and Dickens, as we all do, right? Anne Rice and Stephen King are, of course, huge inspirations for me. I remember being in the fourth grade and relating so hard to “Gordie” from The Body. I started writing stories when I was four, so that character was everything. My favorite newer authors are Evelyn Chartres and J. Edward Neill. I love anything creepy with lots of twists and they deliver in those departments in spades.

How do folks find you to learn more?

There’s my Facebook Page

Twitter

Instagram

And my Amazon Author Page

Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk is now available in paperback and Kindle, and available almost anywhere from #BlackRoseWriting. It’s an American Book Festival Finalist for Best Horror of 2020. “If Raymond Chandler wrote about werewolves.”

A Psychic Detective on a Mission- Chelsea Callahan

Mashing up mysteries with fantasy is a time-honored tradition. Patient Zero, of course is Harry Dresden, but also includes others like Nate Temple and (ahem) Johnny Lycan. A new addition to this crew is Alix Deveraux, the creation of this week’s interviewee, Chelsea Callahan.

Chelsea, what’s your story?

I am a hermit. I spend most of my time writing, because that is where I’m happiest. I’ve always loved stories, in any form I can find them. I’m that rare bird, who’s always watching something, or listening to something. Silence, even when I’m writing, just puts me to sleep, or if it’s late at night, silence just creeps me out. 

I didn’t start out writing stories. I’m an extremely visual person so when I learned in 5th grade that you could take beautiful words and create this thing called poetry with it, I started there. Poem after poem I wrote, and then as I got older, those poems became short stories. Things that felt so long at the time they had to be novels….little did I know I’d get to college and write papers twice as long. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school though, that I began writing a story with the intention of getting it published. I’d finally gotten to the point of wanting to write my own story. My head was so full of all the movies, and television I’d devoured, I had to make a story of my own. I had to play with characters swimming around inside my head. 

One problem. I’ve always struggled when it comes to writing. Looking at me now, you’d never guess I used to hate writing and hate reading. My dyslexia, made both of those things a major problem while I was growing up. I still have problems with them. It’s hard to feel confident about anything you produce when your brain tells you what you’re seeing is correct, and the person reading it sees something entirely different. I can edit a thousand times, read and reread every word on the page, and still miss the most obvious of errors. I’ve gotten better thanks to the support of my mother, and my friends. It is possible to get better, to improve, but I know I’ll struggle with it all my life. 

I just won’t let it stop me from telling the stories I know I was meant to tell. 

Good on you. So what’s the deal with Alix Deveraux?

My most recent release is called Wicked Raven. It’s the first book in my Alix Devereaux series. 

The main character Alix, has been away from home for three years. She’s been traveling the human world and the fae world desperately hunting for the thing that killed her fiancé and nearly burned her alive inside their New York City brownstone. But after three years she’s tired of the chase, and has decided to come home, and pay her respects to her fiancé on what would’ve been his thirtieth birthday. What she soon discovers through a dead body left for her on Rhys’s grave is that The Raven has returned and she might just be his next victim. 

It’s a thrilling ride full of emotional trauma, murder mystery, magic, romance, and general mayhem. Out of everything I’ve written it’s my favorite so far, but it’s also not my only Devereaux novel. The first book I published, Eyes of the Grave, is the first book in The Rebekah Devereaux series. Which centers around one of Alix’s many cousins. This one in particular living down in New Orleans. Rebekah is a P.I. with a unique talent. With one touch she can solve a murder or prevent one. The problem is that when she touches this latest body, her visions say she herself is the killer. Trying to figure out what exactly happened to the dead girl in the cemetery, Rebekah has to balance keeping her potential involvement a secret from the cops, and repairing the rocky relationship between her and her husband. I mean honestly though how do you tell the man you love, all you can think about when he touches you is killing him?

Then of course there are five short stories out that bridge the gaps between the novels and provide some fun side adventures to expand the world. 

What is it about the magic system or the story that inspired you?

I fell in love with Urban Fantasy when I heard someone describe it as magic in the real world. An idea that just fascinates me. On a deep level I’d love to discover that the world I see around me every day is hiding a much weirder magical world right beneath the surface. I mean who doesn’t reach for something across the room and just wish for a second that their magic powers would kick in and the object would just zoom right over into their hand?

After watching things like The Magicians, Harry Potter, and Buffy. Then reading books by Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs I found myself asking, what if all of that was possible? What if witches could be all of these things, do all these things? What if all the stories were true on some level? How do you control a world like that? Those questions proved to be extremely thought-provoking for me, and my books were born from the answers. 

The magic system that exists in the universe of the Devereaux witches is largely a person to person design. It all comes from inside the witch, and burns calories, because what better way is there to explain the thin beautiful people in the world that seem to be completely unreal when you look at them. But beyond that, each witch, or mage expresses their power in their own way. The weaker the witch is the more standard their power becomes, but for witches like my characters Alix and Rebekah things start to get a bit varied. 

For example: Rebekah’s powers manifest heavily in telekinesis, and through her touch. If you surprise her, and brush any bit of your skin against hers she’s overtaken by a vision of your death. Or at least how you will die based on the decisions you’ve made up to that exact point in time. Alix’s powers rely more heavily on spell work and sheer force of will. Then there’s a third cousin Shado that appears in Eyes of the Grave who’s power leans more heavily on healing energy, or healing auras. They’re all part of the same family, by blood, but each one has their own spin on their power. 

I love this type of magic, because it truly means you never know what to expect. Each person has their own identity, their own power. Which is also why the manifestation of that power comes with color, gestures, and words, or some combination of those things. People use spells in different languages. It’s all up to the user. Just as it’s up to each person in the real world how they handle themselves. Magic or not, we all have power, and we all use it a little differently than the person next to us. 

Who do you read, that people should know about?

Cassandra Thompson and Halo are two Indie authors I encountered through Twitter, who are not only wonderful writers, they’re also fantastic people. Julia Quinn I’ve gotten hooked on thanks to the new Netflix show Bridgeton. Jacka I discovered randomly on the shelf one day when Barnes & Noble didn’t have the Dresden Files book I needed, and I wasn’t able to put the series down until I ran out of new books. Sarah J. Maas is a true master at having her characters deal with emotional trauma. No matter how far from “Human” they are I’m always amazed at how real her creations feel. It’s inspiring. Holly Black is a fae queen in disguise I’m almost positive. Then of course, Anne Rice is a classic gothic horror, and supernatural powerhouse. How can you not love her work? Deborah Harkness and the All Souls Trilogy are brilliant. There’s so much history, and romance, and mysterious magical adventure. I can’t get enough. 

But it was Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs that really inspired me the most to get into writing Urban Fantasy books. Their work truly defines the genre. 

How can people find out more about you and your work?

Well, I am The Writing Druid on most social media platforms. You can find me in order of most active to least active on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, Facebook, and tumblr. 

You can also catch some reviews of my favorite tv shows or movies on my website, as well as any news about my upcoming books! That link is http://www.thewritingdruid.com 

All of my work is available through Amazon, but I’ve got some of the international links here as well. http://www.thewritingdruid.com/novels 

You can find the links to my short stories here. http://www.thewritingdruid.com/mybooks 

Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk is now available in paperback and Kindle, and available almost anywhere from #BlackRoseWriting. It’s an American Book Festival Finalist for Best Horror of 2020. “If Raymond Chandler wrote about werewolves.”

Paramedic to the Paranormal- Jamie Davis

One of the trends in Urban Fantasy that fascinates me (and makes me insanely jealous) is the number of authors cranking out series after series of fun reads. While they might not be great art, they’re fun. It’s kind of the Kindle version of the old pulp novels (and I mean that in the best way.) Ultimately, it’s what I envisioned for the Lucca stories and for Johnny Lycan, but you know… day job, life and stuff.

One such author is Jamie Davis, the author of 40 books including his new series, Extreme Medical Services. Imagine being an EMT and having to pick up an overdosing vampire and you get the idea.

Jamie, what’s your deal, man?

When I get the question “tell us a little about yourself” I’m usually stuck for an answer. I mean, there’s so much to tell. I’m a husband, father, grandfather, nurse, and retired paramedic who has been telling stories in one form or another my whole life. My wife puts it this way: “He embellishes every memory a little more each time. You never know which version you’ll get.”

I think it’s because I see so many possibilities in the world and people around me. “What if” is a way of life for me and that’s where many of my books begin. In fact, my first series, Extreme Medical Services, started in the back of the ambulance late one night when I dropped off a particularly hairy patient. I remarked to my partner, “What if that guy is really a werewolf? It is a full moon.” Thus was born my books about paramedics for supernatural creatures.

Now, I have more than forty books, most of which fall into the category of what I like to call Fun Fantasy Reads. All are family-friendly and suitable for young teens and up, even though they are written for adults. I have heard from several readers who enjoy my books because they can share them with their kids. It gives them something to talk about in a time when we’re always so distracted by our screens.

What’s Extreme Medical Services about?

Extreme Medical Services as I explained earlier is book 1 in a whole series about supernatural paramedics. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What happens if a vampire or a werewolf needs to call 911?” then these are the books for you.

Of course, now you’re curious, aren’t you? That’s okay. There are plenty of stories there to scratch that itch. With 8 books and a prequel in the series already, I’m also currently finishing up book 9. All the books are also available as excellent audiobooks. They’re narrated by the superbly talented Roberto Scarlato and he really brings the stories to life with his amazing voice.

What is it about this world that you enjoy so much?

Dean Flynn, the newbie paramedic in Extreme Medical Servcies is as green as they come. Don’t get me wrong. He’s highly trained, having graduated at the top of his paramedic academy class, he just didn’t exactly know what he’d signed up for when the chief told him he had a special assignment in mind.

He’s thrown into the deep end as he meets patient after patient on his first days on the job, uncovering a whole new world he never knew existed, right there under the surface in the city in which he grew up. Now he’s an ordinary guy, saving lives, and making some unusual friends along the way. That’s a good thing, because there’s something sinister lurking behind the scenes that could endanger the patients he’s sworn to protect.

If this was set in Chicago, it sounds like he might run into Johnny Lupul one night. That would be hilarious. Who did this to you? What do you read?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about authors who’ve influenced me. I could list off the big ones, Tolkien, Robert Jordan, or Heinlein. Yeah, I read them, but I think there are others who had a bigger impact on me in different ways. Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series was probably the first that set up a modern world with a hidden magical realm ordinary humans couldn’t see. The concept intrigued me then and still does today. I still reread those books from time to time. I highly recommend them. They’re not just for kids.

Another writer who impacted me was David Weber. His Honor Harrington Universe (and it is expansive) showed me how really strong characters could draw you into a story, making you care about them and everything they do. I’ve laughed aloud, cheered, and shed a few tears while reading his sci-fi epics.

I’ve read many others and they’ve all impacted my writing in one way or another. In the end, they’ve taught me to write stories about people you can care about, even amidst fantastical or futuristic situations. Who knows, I’ve always said we should all keep our eyes open because there’s magic all around us.

How can people keep up with you and your work?

The best ways to catch up with me and what I’m doing is first at my website, https://jamiedavisbooks.com, where you can get a free book, sign up for my active and fun fantasy newsletter.

Second, you can join the fun in Jamie Davis’ Fun Fantasy Readers group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/funfantasyreaders/). We don’t just talk about my books. It’s a place to talk about great fantasy (and sci-fi) stories on TV, in movies, and other great authors out there. I’m in there all the time and love chatting with everyone.

You can find the entire Extreme Medical Services series here: https://jamiedavisbooks.com/buy-extreme-medical-services-books/

And I’m also on Twitter at https://twitter.com/podmedic

Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk is now available in paperback and Kindle, and available almost anywhere from #BlackRoseWriting. It’s an American Book Festival Finalist for Best Horror of 2020. “If Raymond Chandler wrote about werewolves.”

Team Writing, Series, and Furious Claws with Ben Zackheim

One of the trends in e-books, especially Urban Fantasy, are series that are co-written with others. That’s how some of these folks crank out multiple books in a year, as opposed to some of us (ahem) who are trailing on book two. John P Logsdon (who you met a couple of weeks ago) is one such practitioner, Michael Anderle is another.

Apparently, I’m the only UF writer still doing it solo these days.

Donald has paired up with someone who also writes books on his own, Ben Zackheim. I came across him and his RELIC series a while back. His latest book is with Logsdon; Furious Claws.

Ben, what’s your deal?

I’m a recovering author whose recovery isn’t going too well, so I still write. A lot.

Well, a lot as far as I’m concerned. 

As far as my peers are concerned, I’m slow as hell. 

I write in the Urban Fantasy genre, which has readers who ask a lot of authors, including daily book launches of new 300 pagers. I got into the business of telling stories after leaving a koosh corporate job. It was 2011, around the time the Apple App Store was really taking off. I noticed small devs selling their $1 games and thought, “I wonder if this Kindle thing could be the same kind of opportunity for writers.” I did some research and found that, indeed, Kindle authors could do very well. So the first chance I got, I quit the job. Would I do it again? Hell no. Not without some more planning. It’s a tough biz with huge ups and downs. Writing full-time actually means marketing full-time, and writing when you get the chance. It may sound like I’m complaining, but I love it. 

I hear ya. I like the marketing but it’s for smarter brains than mine apparently. I originally reach out about the Relic series and was surprised to find you working with John P Logsdon. What’s Furious Claws all about?

My latest book is Wild Claws, book 5 in a series I’m writing with John. P. Logsdon. It’s part of the Paranormal Police Department series, which includes other authors like Orlando A. Sanchez. It’s been a blast to write. This will be the last book in the story, so it’s a bit bittersweet. I’ll move on to my own series next, which is the RELIC series of Supernatural Thrillers. That series is up to book 9, with a planned 10. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop there, though, because I love the two main characters so much. Kane and Rebel are a motley duo. He’s a sharp-shooting relic hunter who is charged with tracking down supernatural treasures before the vampires do. Rebel is Kane’s partner. She’s a Magicist who provides the spells and the sass. 

They are a great pair. What is it about the magic or style of story that drew you to RELIC?

The magic in RELIC is part of the plot. What I mean by that is magic is being defined a bit more in each book. It’s a risk, of course, because sticking to the rules of magic is a big part of making a story read well. But I wanted the main adventure to include revelations about how magic works. This has led to some plot twists that were tough to write because they broke the rules of magic as I’d established them. But I think the payoff will be worth it. We’ll see within two books! RELIC includes humans, supernatural beings like vampires, Magicists (my word for beings with magic abilities) and gods. The way magic is used and impacts each of these parties will play a big part in the finale. I have strong feelings and philosophies about magic. RELIC is my attempt to suss that out in a fantasy setting. I plan to write a sci-fi series that tackles magic from a different pov. It’s an obsession of mine, frankly.

Who did this to you? What have you read and who do you read for pleasure?

I consumed everything with Stephen King’s name on it when I was younger. He showed me I could play around with the language more than my teachers were telling me I could. His strong characters and moments of horror really resonated with me. There was a hot steam to his stories that made me uncomfortable, but entertained me, and stuck with me for a long time after I closed the book. These days I’m reading a lot of books by people in my genre. Hunter Blaine, Kimbra Swain, Orlando A. Sanchez. These authors are such gems. I love being in on the ground floor of careers that are going to go BOOM. I’m also waiting for Patrick Rothfuss to drop a story bomb on us. C’mon Patrick! 

Well, if you’re bored I have a book for ya. How can people learn more about your work?

You can find me at benzackheim.com and on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6434226.Ben_Zackheim

My Amazon Profile is here https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Zackheim/e/B0087OYFVG

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/benjaminzackheim/

Furious Claws (Book 4 of the New York Paranormal Police Department) can be found here 

Relic: Spear (book 8 in the RELIC series) can be found here 

Not to be THAT GUY, but if you are interested in the debut of an Urban Fantasy Series full of violence and snark similar to the Paranormal Police Department books, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk fits the bill. “Like Dresden Files with teeth,” they say…

Send in Your Johnny Lycan #Bookselfie and Win

If you’ve bought your copy of Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk since pub date, you’re probably in the middle of it now. Send me a selfie with the book (or your Kindle, I trust you!) and you might win one of 3 “Don’t let Shaggy run the show…” coffee mugs.

Adam Larson and Astrid are reading in Minneapolis

Of course, you can always send a pic AND leave a review as well, like Ariana in Las Vegas did…

The deadline to enter is December 11th. Don’t delay.

You can order it anywhere books are sold online, but here’s the purchase link to Amazon and to Black Rose Writing.

If you want a SIGNED copy of Johnny Lycan, drop me an email and we’ll hook you up.

Las Vegas Paranormal Police with John P Logsdon

Before I wrote a word of Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk, I was a fan of Urban Fantasy. My favorites included silly humor as well as genuine thrilling action. So when I found the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department series, I was hooked. Besides sharing a sensibility with my newborn book, I am in awe at the marketing community John P Logsdon has created. It’s a master class for writers in the field. All I need now are 10 more Johnny Lycan stories and it will all be fine.

To celebrate the final episode in the LVPP series, I got to fan-boy and talk to John. This is a long interview but worth the read.

Okay, let’s start with the basics. What’s your deal?

Oh boy. Well, I guess I’m kind of what you’d call a renaissance person. I’m an author, entrepreneur, programmer, game designer/developer, musician…basically, I can’t seem to sit still for more than five minutes without going insane. My wife simply loves the fact that I have this many hobbies. It’s great for the pocketbook. ::cough::

The way I see it is that we’ve only got one trip through this thing called life, so why not do as much as possible during the ride?

Still, of all those things, writing is the one that sits at the core. The characters living in my head all want their stories to be told. That makes writing so much fun for me because it feels like I’m just a conduit for typing their words. Now, anyone who has read my stuff probably feels bad for me, seeing that I’ve seemingly been gifted with a bunch of characters who have their minds perpetually in the gutter, but I love it! It’s how I tick, and it’s how all my steady fans tick as well.

Some of those fans hide in the closet, secretly chuckling, but I tell them to not be ashamed! Nobody should be. If you giggle when you hear the number 69 get called out at the donut shop, be proud! It’s funny! And if you do find yourself find laughs in the silly or downright naughty, you are one of us. Become part of my Dysfunctional Family, put on your Homer Simpson slippers, and join us in relishing the ridiculous in life. It’s much more fun than focusing on the crap…unless that’s in the form of a bird crapping on someone’s head, which is hilarious (assuming it’s not happening to you, of course).

I admit when I switched from historical fiction to UF, I was a bit embarassed so thanks for letting me know there are others out there like me. For the uninitiated, tell us about Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department. (And since I live in Vegas you’re not far off the mark from the real thing here.)

This is the wrap-up book for the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department mini-trilogy. It’s actually book number ten, but it’s the epic conclusion of Ian’s battle with his sister, Wynn.  It’s available for Pre-Order October 29th.

I’ve brought in major players from other PPD precincts to help with the show down. We’ve got Zeke Phoenix and his crew from the Badlands PPD, Piper & Payne from the Netherworld PPD, and Evangeline and the gang from Sinister.

So it’ll be one big mama of a war!

Since I get asked this all the time, it’s your turn: where did THAT come from?

Honestly, I’d never even considered writing urban fantasy before. I’d been doing some mentoring work with a few authors who happened to be all about UF. They were ramping up and doing really well, and they kept pushing me to try my hand at the genre.

I gave it a shot, but after seventeen iterations of Ian Dex, I just didn’t like it. Note, it wasn’t seventeen full books, just some super short stories that were used to give me the feel of things.

I was just about to give up when one of the gang said I should just bring my normal crazy comedy feel to the series and just have fun with it.

So, I did.

The series took off like gangbusters, which honestly shocked the hell out of me. Since then, there have been nearly fifty books written in the Paranormal Police Department, including books by some great authors in the UF space.

The root of the character came from the fact that I was allowed to just play and not worry about “doing the genre perfectly.” I knew I couldn’t do that, so instead of just picking a vampire or an immortal or whatever, I decided to create a character (Ian Dex) who had all of the genetic pieces from the various supernatural races.

Doing that gave me the freedom I needed to get my feet wet in the genre. I got to experience different aspects of his makeup across a bunch of supernatural backdrops. It gave me a canvas that was incredibly free to paint on.

Who did this to you? Who do you read that inspired this madness?

Everything started with Isaac Asimov for me. The book cover for Robots of Dawn drew me in instantly and I devoured everything by Asimov at that point, along with tons of other s.f. writers…a massively notable nod going to Douglas Adams. 

I didn’t really move into fantasy until reading the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin, though. It was fun and full of laughs. From there, I got my hands on a bunch of different comedy authors, including John DeChance, Harry Harrison, and John C. Moore. Surprisingly, I didn’t find Terry Pratchett until I’d already written one and half books in my Ononokin series. A lot of people assume Sir Terry was the influence for that series. He wasn’t, though. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Discworld (why can’t there be another 500 of them to read?!?!?), I’d just not read any of them until well after Ononokin was underway.

Another author who majorly influenced me was Steven Erikson. His Malazan series taught me that multiple character POVs was not only awesome, it was also incredibly fun. I use that style all over my writing because it’s freeing and I totally love writing that way. You won’t see it in the early Vegas, Netherworld, or Shadow PPD books, but it’s in the latest three Vegas books and Sinister, and I’ve even gotten a few of my co-authors on the bandwagon with their PPD precincts as well. Honestly, though, it’s not really book authors who are my major influencers. My actual muse comes from TV shows and movies. Favorites include a mixture of TV and movies, such as Benny Hill, Monty Python, Airplane!, Naked Gun, Loaded Weapon, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Archer, and so on and so forth. Those are the true foundation of my nutty brand of humor.

I suspect that, like me, Mad Magazine may have contributed, too. Your marketing is amazing and you’ve created a real community I can only aspire to with what I’m jokingly calling The Johnnyverse. Where can people see what I’m talking about?

Here are all the spots you can find me:

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/John-P.-Logsdon/e/B00EWNWLSK

Audiblehttps://www.audible.com/search?keywords=john+p+logsdon

I have my Dysfunctional Family group on Facebook here, for those of you who want to really belong to something that fits who you are (even if you remain in your juvenile-minded-humor closet).

Facebook Dysfunctional Family Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/john.p.logsdon.books/

And if you head over to my website, you can sign up for my newsletter and get a bunch of freebies. Plus, you can also join my community, which is via an old-style message board system that’s got a bunch of nifty bells & whistles, including realtime chat!

Look, I’m not ashamed to ride coattails here. If you enjoy John’s work, may I humbly suggest Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. Werewolves, haunted relics, and silly jokes. Preorders available now, it comes into the world November 19.