I got lost in The Twenty-Nine. It pulled me in and kept me there. 428 pages felt like 100, no joke. I was so impressed by Josh’s descriptive words and ability to tell a story, that I had to invite him here to tell me more.
Over the last several months I have been working with Winter Goose Publishing on my very special project Inspiration Speaks. During that time I have also contracted with them on many projects including editing, graphics and marketing. I have been lucky enough to get to know some of their really great authors. I look forward to all of their titles, and feel lucky to have gotten a sneek peak at The Twenty-Nine. You will not be disappointed picking this up, as you won’t be able to put it back down. It is available now on paperback (it looks awesome by the way) and will be available on eBook in a few weeks. You can find it on Amazon / Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble.
Thank you Josh for taking the time to answer a few questions:
Some people may feel that this book is “politically motivated” but in reality it crossed a much deeper line than that. What was your primary motivation for this book?
I’ll have to admit that the original inspiration for The Twenty-Nine came from a political perspective. Over the last decade or so, I’ve watched the United States change and change some more politically and socially. I’ve watched people unite and then devolve into bickering and squabbling over even the most trivial thing. People start looking for others to blame our country’s problems on—the president, the government, a political party, each other. The last ten years have caused upheaval, and even revolution, bringing with it a new set of problems, prejudices, and triumphs. And then when a certain governor here in the US started talking secession in real life, it brought back all of these parallels to the original Civil War. So I began to wonder what would trigger another secession and civil war scenario in our country today, and how different would the outcome be with the changes in the US over the last century and a half.
Many people might take this story as politically biased—they’re going to develop this sense that I’m favoring one side of the conflict over the other. It’s not that I’m showing favoritism to the US, or liberal in this case, side of the conflict. I’m simply favoring unity and preservation of the union, as corny as that may sound. An overall resounding theme of the book is a warning that our disunity as a people can grow in severity to the point of drastic things happening—they’ve happened before. Moreover, fighting amongst ourselves distracts us from our common enemies in this world. The best opportunity for a sucker punch is when the other guy isn’t looking. Unity is golden and the opposite is folly.
Who do you think will want to read The Twenty-Nine?
I think there is a wide variety of readers that would really enjoy my story. It’s not just a war book. It’s not just a politically-charged book. There are a number of emotional subplots and love stories, too. This isn’t the kind of book my wife normally champions, but even she loved it. Maybe that’s just because she loves me. I think the youthful voice is going to appeal to the young adult male, but the content will be something geared toward college students, the politically-savvy, the war buff, and anyone that enjoys an epic. But really, I think there is something in my book for just about anyone.
You book is very descriptive and well written, what is your writing process like?
It has evolved quite a bit. Some of my earlier work, which will be published by Winter Goose late next year, is far more descriptive than in The Twenty-Nine. It’s been criticized for being too descriptive, even. But with The Twenty-Nine, the story is long, and to go into that John Steinbeck, describe every grain of sand style would have really bogged things down. What I’ve learned to do is paint a picture with words and immerse the reader into another world and setting, but still give him or her the freedom to use some imagination. This is sort of a hybrid between literary fiction and action/adventure where the imagery is beautiful but the pace remains brisk. If I think a thing or place is less commonplace to the average reader, or perhaps it is beautiful (or terrible) enough in my own thoughts, I will spend a little more time on the description. But I don’t take the time to spend two pages on what a pencil looks like.
The process itself is a metamorphosis of imagery in my head into text. Some have said that The Twenty-Nine reads like a movie. That’s because in my head, it is. So my writing takes on a visual feel. I have an idea where I want to begin, end, and a few major things that should happen in the middle. But everything else just kind of happens as I write it. I sort of let the characters make the decisions. Almost everything in the course of human history has occurred due to the decisions people have made. So why shouldn’t my book? It keeps things organic and truthful—realistic.
What other projects are you working on?
Well, before Winter Goose gave me this wonderful opportunity to publish The Twenty-Nine, which is the second book I’ve written, I was working on a sequel book to my first story, The Apocalypse Mechanism, which is kind of a classic adventure story with a few twists. That sequel is on the back burner for now, but since The Apocalypse Mechanism is in the works for late next year, I will revisit it. Right now, I’m writing a follow-up book to The Twenty-Nine. Anyone who reads The Twenty-Nine will agree that this story can go much further, even into saga range. So currently, I’m planning it as a trilogy, so expect much more from these characters for a few more years.
I see great things ahead for Josh and this book. I imagine it would make a wonderful film. Best of luck Josh and I look forward to your future projects!
America is in turmoil. The states are no longer united, and the path of their division may be leading us all to annihilation. When young Derek joined the Marine Corps his intentions were simply to provide himself with a better life. He never dreamed he would be facing combat against fellow Americans, or staring down a mushroom cloud on his own home soil. Americans are beginning to wonder if our differences will be the end of our great nation, or if we will find a way to unite our people and reclaim our freedom.