Today I’d like to introduce you to dark fantasy all-star Joshua Robertson! Joshua, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Kansas and I currently live in Alaska with my wife and children. I started writing snippets of fantasy and horror around the age of nine, had a collection of poetry and short stories by fifteen, and had completed my first fantasy novel at seventeen. Recently, I have published a couple of books and started my own small press, Crimson Edge Publishing Company.
What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
I have recently published Melkorka in January 2015, the first book in the dark fantasy series, Thrice Nine Legends. I am extremely excited about this novel and have received some great reviews. I also published A Midwinter Sellsword in February 2015. Gladiators and Thieves comes out June 2015. I have several WIPs, including the sequel to Melkorka, titled Dyndaer. I am also co-writing another novel within Thrice Nine Legends called Anaerfell, to be released October 2015.
What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
Writing a fantasy novel for me is like taking a vacation. It is what I like to do in my free time, and it is the one thing that I never want to retire from. It gives me the opportunity to escape into a world of my own creation. It is like playing make-believe as a child, and I think that is something that every adult wishes they could do again.
What authors make you want to be a better writer?
It sounds cliché, but J.R.R. Tolkien has always been my favorite writer. I have read everything he has ever written and I often go back to read it again. I like his way with words, descriptions, and the intricacies in his characters. There are other authors that I read occasionally, but none have matched the enchantment of Tolkien.
Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
I am sure that there are some found within my novels, but I honestly try hard to challenge about any fantasy trope I come across. I like to write about powerful women, flawed characters, and unlikely heroes. There are enough farm boys out there that find out they are the sons of powerful gods, and suddenly go out to rule armies and nations. I like to focus on what has not been done quite so much, sticking with a realistic and gritty tone.
Do you have any weird writing rituals?
I will always drink one cup of coffee before starting to write, and I have a fresh pot brewed and at the ready for once I start. I generally write in the late evening to early morning (between 2000 and 0200). There are several songs that I like to play depending on what scene is unfolding: romantic, suspense, or suspicious. And, I have a rule that I don’t get rewarded with chips and salsa until I have completed a minimum of 1000 words.
What inspires your world building?
My world is a necessity as I imagine it is for any fantasy storyteller. With that being said, I have to be careful with how it is introduced into my writing. I have never really thought about how I became inspired to build worlds; I always just kind of did it. Years ago I started creating lands that matched rules of topography and geography, formulated kingdoms and hamlets, and developed political, theoretical, and mythological influences. As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with the development of culture and the world that inspires those cultures. I attempt to have my own worlds be as realistic as possible, so that the reader can relate to the character’s environment and experiences.
Joshua began crafting the world for the dark fantasy series, Thrice Nine Legends, in 1999. Melkorka, the first book of the series, was published in 2015. The sequel, Dyndaer, will be released in January 2016. He is also the author of the Hawkhurst Saga. Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children.
Discover Joshua’s Books!
Kaelandur was forged by the Highborn to slay one of their own, Nedezhda Mager. As their slave, Branimir Baran never thought to question his cruel masters until he is forced to take part in the execution. His actions begin a chain of events that will lead him to confront demons, cannibals, and himself as he is forced to question his own morality and the true meaning of good and evil.
A Midwinter Sellsword
A bastard child of a noble family escaped the subterranean city after being enslaved to the gladiator pits. After being lured into the daunting political games, will he ever find his freedom again?