Pay It Forward · Pictures · Writing

Author Interview: David G. Johnson


fool's errand

Q1. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

The folks at Tate Publishing did the cover for Fool’s Errand, based off of my concept. I had an image of what I wanted, but they really did it above and beyond my imaginings. I wanted to portray the battle that was happening in the world, but also that there was this “other” battle going on that most of the characters aren’t even actively aware of. By placing the angels above and behind the troops on the field (which if you look carefully is actually a chessboard), I think it really portrays the spiritual battle happening behind the scenes.


Q4. Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?

I would have to say Robert Heinlein when he was alive. He was absolutely one of the masters of Sci-Fi and one of my early influences in writing. I learned about writing a “story behind the story” from reading Heinlein. Interestingly enough, Heinlein grew up Baptist, but later in life became an atheist. I had the opposite journey in my life, growing up without God and becoming a Christian as an adult. We both share the same love of science, reason, logic, etc., so I think having a deep conversation about how two people who hold so many values, ways of thinking, etc in common, could have come to two so very different conclusions would be the conversation I would most like to have.


Q5. Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

I write mostly Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Honestly, I think to be a good writer one MUST be an avid reader. My influences for the Chadash Chronicles books, Fool’s Errand, Mystic’s Mayhem, and Paryn’s Gold (due out 2014/2015) were from my early days of writing and playing RPG’s. The high swashbuckling style of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Grey Mouser, as well as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffery, Ursula LeGuin, etc really planted the roots for a love of fantasy. The Sci-Fi masters like Heinlein, Asimov, Philip K. Dick, etc were also big influences in my love of Sci-Fi. It was God, however, in an answer to prayer that gave me the idea of how to blend my love of Speculative Fiction with my desire to stay true to truth in my faith that showed me how I could write solid fantasy and still carry a meaningful message behind the story.


Q6. Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I am a part-time writer. As much as I love writing, my family and I live overseas most of the time as witnesses to our faith in Asia. That takes up a great deal of time, but I find pretty much every spare moment I can to steal away and write. I try to find some time to write almost every day. My third book, Paryn’s Gold, is written and is in the process of being edited. I am not certain I will use the same publisher to put it out, but I hope to have it out soon. Being part time does mean I am not able to be as prolific a writer as I would like to be, but I will focus on quality, not quantity, and hope that my readership appreciates that enough to be patient.


Q8. What is your writing environment like? Do you write with a pen and paper, or on a computer? Do you need quiet, or music in the background? Do you have a pet who gets in on the act?

That’s a great question. I write on the computer, certainly, because if I wrote with pen and paper it would take a team of archeologists with degrees in hieroglyphics to decode it when I was done. I also need a computer because of one of the key aspects that differentiates me from many would-be authors. That is worldbuilding.

I cannot stress enough the difference solid worldbuilding can make in a book. You mentioned in your review that my characters were alive, vibrant and the world was detailed. Probably 80% of what I create for a particular book will never make it onto a printed page. But having all that history, that info, that logic of where people and situations came from can give the reader that sense of depth, that 3D effect as it were, to the world they are reading about. As a result, the readers go away satisfied and may not even consciously realize why. But if that level of worldbuilding is not there, readers will notice. They will walk away unsatisfied and may not even realize what was missing.

While I don’t require complete quiet, I do have to adjust what I am “pleasure reading” when I am working on a novel. I HAVE to read stories that are in the same genre as what I am writing, otherwise when I switch from my pleasure reading mode into writing mode it is really hard to switch mental gears to go say from Sci-Fi to Fantasy, or noir to Sci-Fi. That gets exhausting, so I have tried to line up several books in each genre to put into my “actively reading” list when I am working on a particular genre novel.


Book 1 – Fool’s Errand and Book 2 – Mystic’s Mayhem in the Chadash Chronicles are available now on Amazon and through Tate Publishing.


fool's errand                 mystic's mayhem

Where to find David:






Where to Buy Fool’s Errand:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon CA

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