Author: Ty Johnston
Page count: 342
Genre: Epic fantasy
Price: regular $2.99, currently on sale for Kindle for only 89 cents
Ty Johnston is a former newspaper journalist who has been writing fiction for more than 20 years. His great loves in life are reading, writing, beer, house rabbits and beagles. And his wife. Can’t forget her. Find out more at his blog, tyjohnston.blogspot.com.
Tell us about your book:
Kron Darkbow seeks vengeance, and he plans to have it no matter the costs. Returning to the city of his birth after 15 years, he hunts down the wizard responsible for the deaths of those he loved only to find out another was responsible for the murders. That other is Belgad the Liar, a former barbarian chieftan who is now boss of the city’s underworld.
Following his path for blood, Kron comes across the magical healer, Randall Tendbones, and accidentally reveals Randall’s darkest secret to the world. It’s a secret about the past, a secret that has kept Randall on the run for three years. Now it has caught up with him, and Belgad the Liar is suddenly the least of Randall and Kron’s concerns. The gaze of Lord Verkain, king of of the dark northern land of Kobalos, has fallen upon Kron and Randall. And it is a gaze filled with madness.
City of Rogues is a dark action/adventure epic fantasy novel in the tradition of David Gemmell and Glenn Cook. It is Book I of the Kobalos Trilogy.
How long did it take to write the book?
Approximately one year, though I spent about four years altogether on the Kobalos trilogy as a whole.
What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve been a reader all my life, and had dabbled in short stories for many, many years with some stories published from time to time. I read most genres, but fantasy has always been one of my favorites, so it was natural for me to take up fantasy for my first novel. As for specific writers who inspired me, there are the traditional fantasy authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, etc., but I was also influenced by a lot of authors who were published during my childhood and teen years in the 1970s and ’80s, such as Robert Aspirin, Alan Dean Foster, Terry Brooks, etc. I’ve also always had a fondness for Sword and Sorcery authors, including Robert Howard, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Leiber and others. Little-known fantasy author and fellow Kentucky native Andrew J. Offutt had a big effect on me when I was young as I loved his versions of Robert Howard’s characters, especially Cormac Mac Art. Offutt’s Thieves’ World character, Hanse Shadowspawn, is possibly my favorite fantasy character of all time.
Honestly, writing has always been my life. I can’t remember a time, even when very young, that I did not have the urge to write, to create worlds and plots and characters. I can’t imagine not writing. It’s as important as breathing to me.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I wrote “City of Rogues” mostly late at night when I got home from my day job as a newspaper editor, which meant I usually wrote about 2 to 3 a.m. Nowadays I’m a freelancer, so you’d think I’d have more time for fiction, but I’m often quite busy blogging or working on non-fiction articles. Still, I fit in my fiction writing whenever I can; I can usually work in an hour or two worth of fiction writing per day.
Research is more difficult to describe when one is talking about fantasy fiction. I’m pretty well read in fantasy literature, so that could count as some research. But I’ve also spent some time in period weapons training, through college courses and Renaissance fair work, and I believe this is important for fantasy writers. If you’re going to write about people wielding swords, I feel you should know a little bit about it. I’m no expert, not at all, but I do know it’s not so easy swinging around a great big, two-handed sword. How do I know this? Experience. And different types of swords are built for different types of attacks and combat, as are different types of armor, castles, cannons, etc. Even if the reader doesn’t know some of this basic information, the writer should because his or her characters would. As for magic, it doesn’t hurt to have some knowledge of historical magical traditions to help one form an idea of how magic will work in one’s own fiction.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
The inertia to run out and buy my next book. Actually, I hope readers have fun reading “City of Rogues.” I want them to enjoy the experience, and hopefully they’ll be back for more. While The Kobalos Trilogy as a whole is epic fantasy, I try to throw in a little of everything. Obviously there’s action and adventure, but there’s also some slight comedy, some of the horrific and even a touch of romance.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Barnes & Noble:
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
My personal blog:
My beer blog:
Excerpt from book:
Kron was checking the throwing darts in the back of his left glove when he felt a tug at his shoulder. Looking back and down he saw a long, thin dart with a round ball of mud at one end sticking out of his hanging cloak mere inches from his arm. For a second he did not realize what he was looking at, then his training and instincts kicked in.
From out of the darkness came two charging figures, one tall and one shorter, each with lengthy swords pointed in Kron’s direction. Kron had only a moment to realize the tall figure was a foppishly-dressed man while the other was a woman who moved with grace and speed.
Kron would have none of their games. He had been surprised, but he knew how to extricate himself from such situations. He slung out his grappling hook, listened briefly for it to attach itself to the side of the roof, then dove head first into the garden.
Two jabbing blades missed him by inches.