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Saturday, October 19, 2013

{Exclusive Interview and Giveaway!} WHAT ONCE WAS ONE by Marc Johnson, Book 2 in The Passage of Hellsfire series

Hello, lovelies! Today, I have something a little different for my blog! An author interview with giveaway that is EXCLUSIVE to this blog. This isn't part of a tour, this is just here with the awesome Marc Johnson! 

If you haven't yet read Catalyst: The Passage of Hellsfire which is book one, you can read the summary and my review HERE. You can click the little icon below and get your copy at of book one. But...there's a giveaway of both books so just bookmark it for now and come back to me! 

In the land of Northern Shala, the dark wizard Premier raised an army of foul creatures from the Wastelands and led them against the ancient guardian city of Alexandria. Hellsfire, a young farmhand turned apprentice wizard, defeated Premier and saved Alexandria, but not before the battle claimed his mentor’s life.

Hellsfire, now a full-fledged wizard, must finish what he started by hunting down Premier and seizing the source of the wizard’s dark power and corruption—the Book of Shazul. He must travel deep into the Wastelands, through Premier’s home territory, dodging the scattered remnants of a defeated army lusting for blood and vengeance.

But beating in the heart of the Wastelands is an ancient power more dangerous than Premier or his creatures—and it’s been waiting for Hellsfire for a thousand years. It will force the young wizard to make a devastating choice—one that could change the course of history not only for Alexandria and the Wastelands, but for all of Northern Shala and the lands beyond. And to save his homeland, Hellsfire may have to lose the person he loves the most.

What once was one, will then be two, and never again be whole...

 Hellsfire's quest continues in this book, WHAT ONCE WAS ONE in pursuit of Premier and the solution to the Northern Boundaries. Hellsfire and his small band of old friends venture into the Wasteland in the guise of goblins. Along their adventure, they discover that goblins are really no different than others. They are just as sentient, thought most a little less, and care deeply about their loved ones as other races do. Being in someone else's feet, literally, help them all to realize this and more.

Upon reaching Premier's hideout among goblins and ogres and other creatures of the Wasteland, Hellsfire experiences what the Nexus is himself. He encounters its guardian, the oldest, most powerful wizard who had put up the Northern Barrier and discovers the reason why. After learning that their assumption that the absence of the Northern Barrier would resolve all the problems is incorrect, they reluctantly head towards the Southern part of the land in order to learn more.

Meanwhile, Premier dupes Hellsfire and escapes before he is confined and stripped of his magical powers. Certain that Premier is also headed South, the gang is motivated to venture towards the southern border quicker. Hellsfire is hoping to gain insights to being a great wizard at the same time to gain knowledge of what his true purpose is, and how he ties into the grand scheme of things. (At this point, I was wondering about my own life and desperately wishing for powers of my own ;) ) Hellsfire is disheartened to discover what Premier has done to his love, Princess Krystal. She will perish by his mere touch; Hellsfire nearly killed her with a simple embrace. Another reason to hunt down Premier and perhaps the magical council, if it still exists, for their assistance in finding a cure for this horrible curse on Krystal.

What Hellsfire and his friends find when they reach the southern lands isn't anything they had imagined. The council has been broken into two factions and all is in utter chaos. Premier is no where in sight and the pursuits Hellsfire is after have no apparent solution, discouraging Hellsfire more. The gang's adventures toward their destination is something to be awed. Daunting and utterly imaginative, it was quite enjoyable to read! I found Hellsfire's insights and thoughts to be much more mature than the spoken conversations he has with Krystal. I attributed the difference between his thoughts and his words to the awkwardness we often have when it comes to matter of the heart.

This was a wonderful follow up to CATALYST, continuing to be highly imaginative, fantastical, and enjoyable

Marc Johnson has moved a lot since his parents divorced when he was two. He also can't answer a straight question and has developed a taste for sarcastic wit over the years. Probably also for the same reason.

He hasn't won any awards, but he does have a deep knowledge of Transformers, Star Trek, and The Twilight Zone--his top three geeky loves. He writes because he loves stories and hopes to one day have written something successful as a movie, TV show, comic, book, magazine, and play.

Marc Johnson also loves to game, whether it be video, card, or board. He loves to test his mind in the challenges they bring...until the zombie, alien, or robot apocalypse comes.

Marc Johnson let me interview him (I know, right?!) especially for this post and even put up with me tacking on a This---or---That! 

1. What is your favorite genre to read?
I don’t have a favorite genre to read. I bounce around depending on my mood. I’ll read horror, sci-fi, fantasy, westerns, chick-lit, and even the occasional porn, I mean erotica. Who am I kidding? It’s porn! As long as the premise sounds interesting to me, I will read it. I love it all!

2. What is one thing about you, quirky or serious, that your readers would never learn from your bio?
That they will never “get me” so don’t even try. Every fortnight long time friends or family will scrutinize me and say, “I don’t get you.” I’ll never understand it. To me, I’m a very simple man. Also, it’s a lot easier if you don’t take me that seriously.

3. Do you have a favorite comment from a reader or reviewer?
My favorite comments are always the ones saying they’re a fan of mine. I’m like, “I got fans?” Writing’s such a solitary pursuit that you never really know who’s reading your works and enjoying it. I’m thankful for every good review, email, tweet, and comment I get. People should know that a simple email, comment, or tweet can make a lonely writer’s day.

4. Hellsfire is such an AMAZING character: honest, loyal, altruistic. Did you have a specific inspiration for him? 
When I was a kid, I was very hopeful and wanted to help change the world and make it a better place. I got a little bit older and first started the series when I was 13, and I wanted to write a character that I could aspire to be. I’m far too cynical, bitter, and jaded for that now, but Hellsfire is the type of hero I wanted to be. That’s not to say that he won’t falter from time to time or even fail or give up.

5. If your books were made into a movie, who would be your top three choices to play Hellsfire, Premier, and Krystal?
Years ago I always envisioned Anne Hathaway playing Krystal. She’s tall and beautiful and can act. Unfortunately, she’s old as she’s my age. If Andrew Garfield would put on some weight and do something about that wild hair, he would probably make a good Hellsfire. Shame he’s too old too.

So my answer is I would love for two, young, attractive, unknown actors that can actually act to play Hellsfire and Krystal.

As for Premier, it’s probably a harder choice just because there are so many great villain actors in Hollywood. After much consideration, I think I’d go with Billy Drago. Physically, he’s not much to look at, which kind of goes with Premier. But he has that evil presence that makes him a great villain. I loved him in Charmed and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. He’s just one creepy dude!

6. If you were to assign a theme song to your books, what would they be? Do you have a song in mind when thinking of Hellsfire?

I listen to lots of different types of music, pretty much everything but country, yet I can’t think of a single theme song. I fail at these questions.

7. If you had a magical power, what would it be and would you broadcast it to the world or keep it secret?
This is a tough one. I’ve thought of having super powers before, but never a magical power. Are they the same or are they different?

For my magic power, I’d love to be able to see everyone’s aura with different colors representing their emotions. I’d also love to be able to manipulate it on a more direct scale. I would probably keep that power a secret since it’d be such an unobtrusive power.

8. What's your guilty pleasure read?
I don’t really have a guilty pleasure read as I don’t feel guilt over any of it. However, if I was to say I did have one, it’d be chick-lit. What can I say? I love coming-of-age/hero’s journey stories, which those are. My love life also sucks just like those characters. Unlike them, there’s no happy ending and getting the girl for me though.

9. What is the one book, other than your own, you would say is a must read for everyone.
This is a tough one. I was tempted to go with one of my favorite books, but I decided I should actually go with a must-read book. I think everyone should read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Speaking from a strictly American point of view, we’re terrible with money, and for some strange reason, they don’t teach basic finances in school. Rich Dad will open your mind financially and in an easily, accessible way.

10. What is your favorite place and why does it appeal to you? A reading nook? Your writing cave? The beach? A coffeeshop?
Is it sad that I don’t have a favorite place? Because I don’t. I do, however, tend to find myself drawn to out of the way and quiet places with great views. Sometimes that’ll be on a beach or it can be in a desert or even a forest. I’ll just keep walking off the beaten path and I find some great places that way.

This or That time! 

1. Star Trek (original series) / The Next Generation

2. Star Trek original movies / new timeline Star Trek movies by JJ Abrams?
TOS movies

3. Chocolate / Gummy candy

4. World of Warcraft / Halo

5. Harry Potter / Percy Jackson
Harry Potter

6. Dogs / cats

7. E-reader / printed book

8. Dubstep / Classical piano
Classical piano

9. McDonald's / Burger King

10. Truth / Dare

Awwww...I was hoping you'd pick WoW and then I could BG with you! Shucks. Thanks for playing along with me, Marc! 

And's everyone's favorite...GIVEAWAY TIME
Marc is graciously donating TWO prizes. One US winner will win a set of both books in print, and one other winner (open internationally) will win a set of both books in e-copy. Winner will be notified by email!

a Rafflecopter giveaway