Hello everyone! LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews are VERY happy to welcome Jean Johnson to our sites today!
Jean is the author of the incredible SONS OF DESTINY series, and her new, THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY, military Sci-Fi series.
Jean’s newest release, “Theirs Not To Reason Why: A Soldier’s Duty” is the start of a four-book series, published by Ace books, that Jean has been wanting to tell for half of her life, and she is beyond proud to see it on bookstore shelves. Besides telling an amazing story, her other goal with these books was to prove that she can write great military science fiction just as well as she writes national bestselling fantasy romance. The next book of the series, “An Officer’s Duty” is due out in August of 2012, and the following two,“Hellfire” and “Damnation” will be along shortly after.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: We like to start out by getting to know our guest author a bit more, and then we’ll dig into the books.
Q2): What are 3 things that never fail to make you smile?
Jean: Someone else smiling at me, hearing from my readers (it’s an honest thrill, considering they think it’s important enough to take time out of their busy lives to chat with me, so that makes me smile), and my kitty doing that twisty-onto-her-back thing. Unlike most cats, she loves belleh rubbins, and I cannot resist.
Q4): Do you like to cook? If so, what’s your favorite dish to make?
Jean: I do indeed like to cook, but cooking for one person sucks. My favorite dish is usually something with cheese, but I also occasionally indulge in chicken satay from scratch.
Q5): If you could sum up your life to date in 1 word, what would it be?
Q7): If you could have 1 superpower, what would you want it to be and why?
Jean: …Just one? *siiighhh* Okay, fiiine. Tactile holokinesis, the ability to create solid illusions. For the first reason why, I’d shape myself a cool looking alien-esque car-airplane thing and fly everywhere, saving on gas, getting places faster, and giving me the freedom to go anywhere in the world at any point in time for free…barring only having to check in with Customs officials and such. For the second reason, I’d put together a stage act that would absolutely blow David Copperfield, et al, completely out of the water, allowing me to rake in massive amounts of money (and pay off my—ouch—mortgage payment) by only having to work one, maybe two nights a week…and thus still have oodles of time to focus on the love of my life, my writing.
I love writing Sci-Fi because it gives me a chance to hope and speculate on things I myself wouldn’t mind seeing in the future…well, for the happy things. For the not so happy things, I’d hope it gets us speculating on ways to avoid such things. Like the thought of robots with Artificial Intelligences trying to take over the world? We’ve speculated on that, and because we’ve considered the worst-case scenarios, I’m thinking we’ll be getting ready for handling that, should something like that ever become an actual, potential concern.
As for the part I love the most… Getting inspired by a really wicked, cool idea, the kind that makes me break out spontaneously in evil laughter. It might startle my cat, but I love it when that happens—by nature, I’m a very nice person, but I’ve worked hard on my evil mad scientist-y laugh, and I’m delighted whenever I get a chance to express myself with it. Particularly when its triggered spontaneously.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: O.K, now let’s find out some more about this amazing new series, and get you to tell new readers a bit about The Sons…
Q11): What is it about this new series that made you feel that you just HAD to tell the story?
Jean: A lot of civilians just don’t understand why soldiers do what they do. They’re literally exposing themselves to danger, violence, pain, and the risk of death…and for what? It’s not the crappy pay, so why would they do that? Why would anyone do it? I just got an email from a Staff Sergeant serving in Germany on an American base, and he said I captured the psychology, the sense of duty, the reasons WHY they do it to a tee…and that means I did my job right.
Jean: For the record, I have never served in the military. I did consider it at a few points in my life, but I knew I didn’t have the stamina for it. That, and I’d really rather write than do anything else. But I have always been interested in general psychology—why we do the things we do, and why we make those choices. I’ve always been interested in military strategy, and I’ve had several cousins and friends serve in various branches of the armed forces over the years. In fact, they’ve been gracious enough to let me ask them all manner of questions.
Q13): The Synopses never really do justice. Can you tell us about this 4 part series a little bit more in your own words and let us know what we have to look forward to?
Jean: Well, the short version I pitch for the entire series is this: What if you could see the future in all its vast and varied possibilities? And what if, in foreseeing that future, you realized your galaxy was going to be invaded three hundred years down the road? What would you do to stop it, what would you risk, and what would you give up, to prevent the destruction of your entire galaxy long after you were dead and gone?
Ia, the main character in the series, is faced with this exact conundrum. She can SEE the problem, and see a possible solution to it, but she’s only one person. Even in the late 25th century, Humans only live to be about 100 years old. She won’t be around when the excrement hits the ventilation unit...but she can foresee a path of hope that can prevent the invasion and subsequent destruction of the Milky Way. If she can get enough people to help her reshape the galaxy, that is. In order to do that, she has to change her life and shape herself into a legend that others will look up to and be willing to follow: the legend of Bloody Mary.
(…On a quick side-note, “Bloody Mary” isn’t just an alcoholic drink; it also refers to several people throughout history. Historians tend to agree that the most prominent of these was Queen Mary of England, half-sister to Queen Elizabeth I. She earned her nickname by persecuting Protestants and other non-Catholics with increasing brutality, particularly during the latter part of her reign.)
Q14): Do you have a favorite brother from the SONS OF DESTINY? Why do you think they’re your favorite?
Jean: I love them all. Each one has a quality which I admire, and each one is sexy in his own way. Don’t ask me which one I’d marry; the sucky thing about writing romance novels is that I already know who the heroes end up with, and I have this moral code thing where I don’t poach, even if it’s just a character in a story…so I never get to date any of the men I write about, even in my daydreams. *sigh*
…I suppose, if it was just having a nice chat with one of them, I’d probably pick Morganen. He’s smart, funny, and widely read, so he’s bound to be a great conversationalist. Other than that, they’re all fantastic men.
Q15): We think that the Sons would make an amazing mini-series on Sci-Fi or AMC, etc. Have you ever thought of going that route?
Jean: Yes, I have. Certain things would have to be very carefully written for an acceptable audience rating level, particularly since some of the storylines not only involve lovemaking, the plot actually depends upon it, but I think it would be cool. I did get an interested nibble a few years back, but the conversation dried up when they went looking for investors, and I haven’t heard back from them. I will say that I do own all movie, musical, theatrical, and lyrical production rights to all my stories, so if anyone else wants to consider it, feel free to contact me.
Q16): Do you share any personality traits with Ia? Is there anything that is completely opposite between the two of you?
Jean: I do believe in trying to do the right thing to make the world a better place for the vast majority of people, the same as Ia, and I honor every member of the military services I run across, thanking them for their efforts. I’m just a total slug-a-bed when it comes to actual exercise though, lol. I’m very glad I’m not stuck in her position, and if I had a choice, I’d rather not be, personally. Other than that, my characters are their own entities. I don’t feel comfortable putting myself into a book as a character. Said characters might have a few traits from myself, a few traits from my friends, a little bit from here, a little bit from there…but then we all share a mix of traits with other people around the world. No one particular person has inspired more than ten percent of any of my characters. They just are.
Q17): What do you feel is the most important trait for a hero or heroine to have?
Jean: The willingness to try and make the world a better place, even if it’s just by a little bit, tucked in their own little corner of that world.
Q18): What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview but have never been asked, and how would you answer that question?
Jean: …bwuh? I honestly don’t know, lol. I know the one question I (and most other authors) roll our eyes when we’re given it (“Where do you get your ideas?” Oy…) but I can’t think of any questions at the moment. Mainly because I’m happy to answer just about anything anyone asks me. In fact, I could probably answer the question “Why is the sky blue?” …but nobody asks that one anymore, even in jest.
Q19): What’s up next for Jean Johnson? Can you give us any teasers about what we might have to look forward to after the conclusion of THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY?
Jean: Directly after finishing book 4, Theirs Not To Reason Why: Damnation, I’m hoping to get started on a new fantasy-romance series; I’ll be chatting with my edtior about that in just a few months, in fact. I enjoy writing fantasy romances, and fully intend to continue doing that as well as the science fiction stuff.
Speaking the Sci-Fi side of things, if the Theirs Not series continues to do well—and I give you my word I’ll be putting the same high level of quality and attention into the rest of the series as I have all the books already available—then I’m hoping to get a 3 book contract with Ace to tell the story of what does happen three hundred or so years down the road, when the fecal matter does indeed hit the ventilation unit and the galaxy needs saving. There are also several other books in that universe which I’d like to explore. I also have other science fiction and fantasy universes with stories of their own to explore.
I have a lot of stories, period, just waiting to be told. My deepest wish is to be able to share them with others, writing them to the best of my ability.
Q20): Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers while we have you here today?
Jean: Authors truly, honestly, do NOT get paid what most people assume we get paid. We get maybe a tenth of that assumption, so every single booksale counts. If you borrow a book from the library or from a friend and liked it, buy your own copy to help support that author, so they can afford to keep writing good stories for you. And if you do love an author’s stories, go out and encourage other people to buy them.
This goes for other authors, not just myself. If you love it, spread the word. Tell everybody, and keep telling them. If you don’t love it…eh, just keep yer mouth shut and just let it die a quiet death, lol. Somebody else might still like it, so let them spread the word themselves. But really, if you like it, encourage others to give it a try. Most of us readers are dying for a good new book to read, so let everyone know which ones you yourself recommend.
LITERAL ADDICTION/Book Monster Reviews: Thank you so much Jean! We’ve loved having you with us today, and are excited for the chat later on this evening! We’re sincerely hoping that we’ve tuned some new readers into your amazing work, and we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next. We would love it if we could have you back for the release of “An Officer’s Duty” next year if you’re interested. J
Jean: Ooh, please, do invite me back! I loved the questions I’ve been asked, and I’d be happy to answer more.
To find out more about Jean and her incredible books, please visit her at the following sites:
Jean's website - http://www.jeanjohnson.net/
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/JeanJAuthor
Jean is graciously offering up a copy each of A SOLDIER’S DUTY to a winner from Book Monster Reviews.
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