Author Spotlight Volume 2: J P Ashman

Hello all it has been some time! How is everyone? Sorry for the delay in any blog posts life has been getting in the way a bit...Rest assured that blog posts will be appearing more frequently.

On that note first of all what is everybody reading? I am currently reading Bloodfeud by Ben Galley Book three in the Scarlett Star Trilogy and it is so far a truly impressive finale to what has been a great trilogy! More on that one to come soon….We turn to Volume 2 of my author spotlight series where i feature an author making the fantasy community sing

We turn our attention to one Jonathan Ashman or JP as some know him as… J P is the author of Black Cross and Black Martlett: Volume 1 and the first short story of the “Tales of the Black Powder Wars”. I will start by saying that this has been one of the best books i have read this year, the fantasy genre is crowded and overflowing but there are many poking their heads over to be seen. J P is one those doing just that and being self published as well, he is an author I am truly coming to admire and now... On to Black Cross.

Black Cross is a novel about a choice and decision made and the consequences that arise from that, many will know that good intentions sometimes have the worst results. J P’s world is based on our own medieval past that is sometimes frighteningly familiar to the reader, and this only enhances what is a fantastic world to inhabit when reading Black Cross. It is populated by some weird and wonderful characters (Bivanio and Sears being my favorites if you have read it who are your’s?) It has a awesome magic system that i wish i could be able to do sometimes, it has some awesome heroic moments and some shocking moments that i couldn't bear to read they shocked me that much! J P’s writing style is a style that really pulls you into the story. I am really excited about Tales of the Black Powder wars and where it will go and J P as an author too.

I was very lucky to be able to secure a Q and A session with J P which I include here for your enjoyment. Black Cross is a wonderful fantasy novel that i would thoroughly recommend to all readers of fantasy.

Q and A session with J P Ashmam

First of all thank you for this opportunity! It really is quite something for me and my blog to interview such an exciting new author!!

I'm over the moon to be called 'an exciting new author' so don't mind at all.

A random question to begin with...What is your favorite whiskey?

Alas, I don't drink whiskey, but if I was pushed on the matter, I'd say Southern Comfort (and then my father would berate me and inform me, yet again, that Southern Comfort isn't whiskey). I have a sweet tooth you see, so I drink manly shorts such as Baileys flexes muscles and Disaronno and mead! That reminds me, I must get some mead for my Viking drinking horn.

My father told me once that I hadn't tried a proper whiskey, be it a quality single or blend. He offered me his fancy stuff, in an expensive round-bottomed glass and then snatched it back when I screwed my face up. I think a little part of him died that day.

Now if you were to ask me about traditional ales...

I love the medieval setting of Black Cross it really makes the novel very readable! Did you take any particular medieval setting as inspiration?

The Dark Ages and Medieval Europe in general are periods I've grown up reading about    and I re-enacted the 12th to 14th Century for a few years too, in a group called The Knights    of Longshanks. Wonderful people with a wicked sense of humour and a flare for brutal    looking combat. None of the tickling each other with swords, we went at it; helmets were    dented, ribs broken and teeth knocked out (although the latter was me and it was a tent     pole, not a sword). I guess 'living' out those times really inspired a lot of the Black     Powder Wars series.     However, I love many different periods in our history, so wanted to     inject all manner of things from various eras (for good reasons within the story), allowing me to have medieval men-at-arms fighting Witchunters of the Inquisition and archer crewed carracks evading cannon laden galleons. There's something for everyone in this series. And in later books, there may... may, be a Roman element in there, but shhh...

My favourite characters in the novel are Biviano and Sears what was your inspiration for these two?

Of course they are, they're two of my favourites too! If I'm honest, Biviano and Sears  were originally in Black Cross to solely discover a certain body near the beginning. That   was it. I hadn't planned anything big for them. I pictured two 'British squaddie' style     blokes, who bantered and made fun of the dark stuff, but who cared about getting things     done. I wanted that to come across and as soon as I wrote the scene, I wanted more from     them. I genuinely followed them more than they followed any plan of mine. I wanted to   see where they took me and they were the most fluid of the lot, with perhaps Longoss    being equally if not a tad more fluid in his development. I wanted them real, powerful but  fallible. They forget a certain somebody at one point. That's because I had forgotten that  character. Big things happen in life and we briefly forget other big things. If it can happen   to me, and I'm the creator of their world, then it can happen to them, so I reacted to it as I  remembered it. Biviano reacts to it in a scene, because I'd remembered what had been    forgotten whilst writing that very scene. The decision Biviano and Sears make at that   point was made at that point, whilst writing. That's just how fluid those two are! Saying   that, I have plans for them in Black Guild, although they're loose plans, to keep their     fluidity alive.

Can you hint at all as to where the series is going and what we can expect?

Ooh, I'm no good at this. I always worry I'm going to give too much away, or not enough.    Believe it or not, despite my waffling on about Biviano and Sears, I do have a plan, I  promise.

Things are going to get down right crappy, for a lot of people; for everyone. War is    coming, a big war. There's armies on the march and there are clear goals to those moving said armies. Such movements attract the attentions of other beings and nations too. The whole continent is in for a rocky ride, and there may... may, be another continent involved towards the end of the series, but shhh...

The use of black powder is subtle in Black Cross, it's fairly subtle in Black Guild, but    there is more of it. The fact there's more of it in general about Brisance is making a  certain people cross – after all, the use of it is breaking age-old treaties between allies.    Those certain people are worried and when people get worried, they act!

As was the case in Black Cross, the series as a whole witnesses friends becoming    enemies and enemies becoming friends. One thing is for certain, no one is safe. No one!     Be careful who you get attached to, because the Black Powder Wars is going to be one    brutal affair!

Is there any chance of myself getting a signed copy from you?

Of course there is, it's still as exciting for me as it is for anyone receiving the signed  copies. Whether that will change, who knows? I doubt it though. We'll sort it out via   email. And if anyone else wants a signed paperback or hardback edition of Black Cross,  visit jpashman.com or send me a message on Twitter or Facebook or Goodreads and I'll    be happy to discuss details.

Up next: The Forbidden List by G R Matthews - A wonderful mixture of fantasy and kung fu movies