Everyone, please welcome Josh Gagnier to the blog today! If you want to find out about the GIVEAWAY, then scroll to the bottom.
If you could be an extra on a TV show or movie, what would it be and what would you be doing?
The Big Bang Theory!
As far as what I would do…The show How I Met Your Mother has a background scene that goes through a couple meeting, to having a child graduate college, to one of them dying. I think it was to hyperbolize how long the group was making Canada jokes over the years.
Having a scene like that behind a Sheldon Cooper monologue would be funny.
Myths and beliefs that we would consider fiction or fantasy in modern literature once upon a time shaped history (think of all the hunts for unicorns & dragons). Do you see modern fantasy fiction affecting human cultures today and how?
One word answers are great, aren’t they 🙂
Seriously though, modern fantasy fiction is a multicultural, multiplatform community. When I was younger, “fantasy nerds/geeks” weren’t often popular and were perhaps a little outcast. Now cos-playing is an amazing adventure in which the people who don’t dress up are the new “outcasts”.
I think a major driving force with this shift would be those people are now game developers. The ones who played D&D and other d20 games on pencil/paper hours at a time are now creating video game versions of those same games.
Somewhere along the line, “nerd/geek” became a badge of honor. I think modern fiction and those writing it helped bring this change.
Many who are now driving forces in our entertainment were D&D players at one time (and/or currently) – Ranging from Vin Diesel and Dwayne the Rock Johnson to Kevin Smith and Felicia Day. Even as far to NBA’s Tim Duncan.
Fantasy fiction pulls on our imagination, and imagination has no limits.
What book should be made into a game (card, PC, board, etc.) and why? Is there a specific character who you would want to play in this game?
My answer is a little unfair as my favorite book series actually started as a D&D module – Dragonlance.
One of my favorite RPG video games is Wizardry 8. It has a 6 person party. I’ve played through several times with portions of the Dragonlance party as my in-game group.
I’m actually running a single character game with Fistandantalis – the most powerful wizard to have lived in the Dragonlance series. I used a game editor (Cosmic Forge) to make weapons from the books too.
Who are some of your favorite book villains?
My favorite villains would be one of two categories:
Those that redeem themselves before death – Darth Vader, Raistlin
Then there’s “villains” that aren’t really villains:
Jimbo from Summer of the Monkeys. To Jay, the 14-year-old protagonist, Jimbo is a formidable foe; from outsmarting his traps, to getting him drunk on whiskey. In the end, they were able to parley so to speak.
The Phantom Toll Booth – it’s a while since I’ve read it, but I remember two kings (one of words and one of numbers) who could not get along “because it was impossible” and they couldn’t agree on anything. Milo was able to “unite the clans” because:
“So each one of you agrees to disagree with whatever the other one agrees with, but if you both disagree with the same thing, aren’t you really in agreement?”
I actually used some of this type of perspective in my storyline. Sometimes what we see as good or evil isn’t as they appear; and more often than not things are a shade of grey rather than black or white.
Do you have any superstitions?
My superstitions are paradoxical in that they don’t exist if I believe in them and they do exist if I don’t believe in them.
For example – I won’t study within three days of an exam because I don’t want to unlearn the material. That’s nonsense, but I’ve psyched myself out on tests based on the “final reviews” that were within three days of the exam. I don’t suffer from test anxiety except for when I’ve studied within three days of the exam. Not to mention, if I don’t know it by then, it won’t stick with me anyway.
In writing your antagonists, do you want the reader to enjoy hating on him/her, or do you want the reader to be waiting for that magical moment when they redeem themselves?
The antagonist, Altha Galen, is more of a rumor and whisper for the majority of the book. The story leans toward boosting her reputation until the final battle when many perceptions are made clear while others are shattered.
The names of every character were chosen based on their meaning.
For example: Altha means “healer”; Galen means “tranquil” in Greek; it means “mad” in Swedish.
All parts of the character are held within their names.
A character we meet in chapter 1 is named Belath, named from Demonology Beleth (replaced the second ‘e’ with an ‘a’ or Alpha, aka ‘the beginning’). Beleth gives all the love of men and women. When appearing he looks very fierce to frighten the conjurer or to see if he is courageous. (The “alpha” makes sense after understanding the character’s purpose with the protagonist).
That said, I would recommend readers make absolutely no assumptions of protagonist vs antagonist. Remember, while we are the protagonist of our own story, we may be the antagonist in somebody else’s.
“The difference between religion and mythology is the audiences perspective.” Perspective, even an objective one, is still subjective.
If you could sit down and have dinner with 5 dead authors, who would you invite to the table? What would they order?
Not to be cliché but Shakespeare would definitely be one of them. I mean, he invented nearly 2000 words. Imagine writing and thinking “what word am I looking for here?” not finding one, then inventing one to suit your purpose.
Dale Carnegie – I would love to be able to drink from the tap of all that experience and research into how to influence people and public speaking.
Sun Tzu – I have friends who own their own companies that have said The Art of War helped them with business strategy. I finally bought it and have added it to the list.
Einstein because, considering his accolades, he preferred imagination over knowledge.
Ernest Vincent Wright gets an invite because he wrote Gadsby without a single ‘e’. I wrote a poem without the letter e and struggled every step of the way.
We’d be required to eat before arriving. It would be a night of imbibing, most likely Leadslingers Whiskey and Rum. Imagine the stories that could come from a night like that! (of course assuming the language barriers weren’t present).
What is a recurring or the most memorable geeky argument or debate you have taken part in?
Batman VS Iron Man
Who would win? Most I’ve talked to say “Bruce vs Tony” Bruce would win because he has extensive martial arts training but “Batman vs Iron Man” Iron man would win because he outguns Batman.
Then again, Batman was able to defeat Superman through planning and tactics – so Iron Man shouldn’t be a problem, right?
My argument is Tony Stark also trains martial arts and with the creation of the Bleeding Edge suit, he is never without one. Bleeding Edge is a suit made of nano-machines which are stored in his own body. Not only that, the suit connects to Tony on a neurological level – it’s no longer a suit, but an extension of his own body.
While they are both billionaires catalyzed into herodom – and it could be argued they are the same character with different window dressings – Iron Man would win vs Batman.
Unless it’s Batman from the series in which he has the Green Lantern ring. Giving Bruce Wayne a power based on intelligence, willpower, and imagination is a cheat code.
(Let the internet hate begin! J )
What is the first book you remember reading on your own?
Summer of the Monkeys, The Secret Garden, and Dragonlance Chronicles are the first books I read around 10 or 11 years old.
My copies of Summer of the Monkeys and The Secret Garden had very specific smells to them. So much so, that when I get other books with similar smells, I am reminded of those two stories. They are a major reason I understand why a lot of readers prefer hard-copy over digital copies.
Joe grew up listening to the voice in his head. It helped him through school, helped him gain wealth in his career.
The final temptation of power was too much. He hadn’t considered the cost.
Now he must find a way to defeat The Demon Within.
Little does he know, his every move is being recorded. Every misstep is being judged by a Great Council. As he gets ever closer to winning over his demon, heavenly eyes watch from above. Some root for his success while others hope he’ll fail.
While Joe fights his demon on the battlefront, the angel Michael fights for his Soul in the court of the Great Council.
Will Joe win out?
Will Michael be able to save Joe’s soul?
Buy the Book: Amazon
Win a signed copy of The Demon Within (US only) or an ebook version (international). There will be 2 of each, making 4 winners! Just click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway or answer these questions in the comments: 1) Ebook or paperbook? What country do you live in? 2) What now dead author would you like to dine with? Giveaway ends April 8th, midnight, 2017.