Thanks for stopping by on the Hard Day's Knight tour. Today, I'd like to thank author John Hartness for stopping by and answering some questions for us.
We’re talking about Hard Day’s Knight - the 1st book in The Black Knight Chronicles. I see you have book 2 in the works. When can we expect the next installment? Actually I released Book 2 in February of this year, and Book 3 should be out this summer, hopefully by the end of July.
Do you have a plan as to how many books will be in this series? I currently have the major arc planned through the first five or six books. To me that means that I know who the “big bad” will be in that many books, and I have a couple of secondary plots that will carry through that far.
Being a male author in a genre dominated by females, do you find yourself getting compared to Jim Butcher often? Is he any kind of inspiration to you? :) There have been a couple of Butcher comparisons in reviews, and I’m always flattered. I love the Dresden Files, they’re one of my favorite series (especially the audiobooks with James Marsters’ masterful narration). Butcher is a bit of an inspiration, and I think that people who enjoy Harry Dresden’s wry sens of humor will enjoy my books as well. The thing about Butcher that I’m really impressed by, however, is the distinct voices he writes in. His Codex Alera series is so totally different from the Dresden books, and that’s a really tough task, so I’m blown away by that.
What drew you to write paranormal? I’ve been a big comic book nerd forever and a day. From X-Men when I was a kid to Sandman in college, comics have played a huge part in my life. It’s just a logical progression from comics to fantasy lit. Obviously I loved LOTR and The Hobbit when I was in middle school, then in high school I got hooked on The Belgariad, and it was all downhill from there!
What is the hardest part about writing and publishing? Promoting and getting the word out is the hardest part. That’s the bit where I sometimes wish I was traditionally published and could count on a legion of people to do that for me. Then the reality sets in and I realize that nobody’s going to do anything for me regardless of how I’m published, so I buckle down and get to work.
What is the most fun or most rewarding part? Writing dialogue is a lot of fun for me, probably because I’ve done theatre for twenty years or so. But the most rewarding is hearing from people who read and enjoy the books. I was driving along one afternoon after getting an email from someone who loved the first book, and all of a sudden it hit me, “I have fans!” I had a stupid grin on my face for the rest of the day!
What can we expect when we read Hard Day’s Knight? Hopefully, you can expect humor, strong characters that are just like you and me (only vampires), a twist or three on the standard vampire tale, and a couple of really rockin’ fight scenes. There are zombies, demons, fallen angels, vampires and more, oh my!
Can you sum up the book in one, awesome sentence? Non-sparkly nerd vampire detectives try to save the world and get the girl.
Cookie - Sugar Cookies
Comfort food- Fried Chicken
Drink- Vodka & Cranberry (or Mountain Dew if we’re not “drinking” drinking)
Music- Sam Bush, Reckless Kelly, Robert Earl Keen, The Avett Brothers, John Hiatt
Movie - Dead Poets Society
Book - A Prayer for Owen Meany
Author - Neil Gaiman
Finally, any advice for aspiring authors? Don’t listen the naysayers, just write it! Write the first draft all the way through, no edits - just get it out onto the page. You have your whole life to edit and tweak, but get something written. And defend your work - if your critique group thinks it’s crap, make sure they can write well enough to recognize crap if they step in it. There are a lot of people out there who could have great books written, if they would just get out of their own way and WRITE IT!
Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to answer my questions!! Thanks so much for having me! I’ll hang around in comments if anyone wants to chat.
John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. He’s been published or accepted online in several journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, cc&d, Deuce Coupe and Truckin’.
His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.
He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first in a planned series of at least five books. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and has enjoyed immediate success.
John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre. His next novel, Knight Moves (Black Knight Chronicles Vol. 3) is due out in the summer of 2011.
He can be found online at www.johnhartness.com and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.
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