Greetings fiction fans. A treat for you today!
Horror/Fantasy Writer C J Somersby is about to see his debut novel Conquest released by Dagda Publishing. Conquest is the first book in the ‘Angels of Chicago’ series which promises to be a big hit amongst fans of supernatural fantasy. It’s about Private Investigator Samuel Black who has strange powers and is commissioned by an angel to stop the apocalypse.
C J Somersby, Author of Conquest, Interview
So how long have you been writing?
As long as I can remember. My father has still got a few hand-drawn comics and newspapers that I enjoyed making when I was very young. School almost killed reading & writing as an enjoyable pastime and it petered out when I got to my late teens, but in recent years I’ve rediscovered my enjoyment of literary creation.
Tell us a little more about your debut paranormal fantasy novel Conquest.
Conquest is the first novel in a planned series of apocalyptic fantasy fiction stories called ‘The Angels of Chicago’. It centres around a Chicago detective named Samuel Black, who is dubiously gifted with certain psychic abilities. He is approached by a renegade angel called Alleam, who wishes to use those psychic abilities to help him track down the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and stop the end of the world. It’s a book with angels, hellish minions, bikers and explosions, so I think there’s a few people out there that might find it interesting.
Have you always liked this sort of genre? And what were your influences?
In the past, I’ve largely been a science fiction writer, and an approach to stories that are based in our current time period is something that is a bit new to me. However, apocalyptic fiction itself is something that I’ve always found fascinating. As a teenager, I was intrigued by concepts like nuclear war and virus weapons, which is something that has developed into another interest I have in all things zombie-related.
Generally speaking, I’m influenced by the works of Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Stephen King, and the structural style of Lester Dent’s short fiction. With regards to The Angels of Chicago specifically, I would recommend it to fans of Jim Butcher and the television series ‘Supernatural’, both of which influenced my writing of this series. I’ve also taken the time to delve into a number of literary works that deal with my apocalyptic subject matter to make sure I stay reasonably close to established lore, so I have been browsing the works of Milton, Dante, and the Bible itself to keep me on track.
What do you plan to do next?
My immediate plans are to promote the launch of Conquest when it becomes commercially available on July 1st. I am also currently writing a short piece of urban fantasy for an upcoming anthology of stories called ‘Undaunted’, which is being published by Larrikin Books and will be up on Kickstarter at the beginning of July. The sequel to Conquest is also in the planning phase.
How did you find the process of writing your first novel and getting it published?
I had never written something the length of a full novel before now, and the process was remarkably different to anything I have done previously. I spent a month on the planning process, drawing complex diagrams to make sure I knew where each character was going to be at any time. This developed into a series of chapter-by-chapter bullet points that formed the backbone of my daily writing plan.
Writing a novel is something like a war of attrition, as opposed to the brief skirmish of a short story. Enthusiasm waxes and wanes throughout the writing process, which is why most novels never end up being finished. It required me to learn a greater degree of discipline to ensure that I was getting words on the page at times when I wanted to give up and do something less mentally taxing. I was also managing severe anxiety problems at the time that would render me incapable of creation. But when the book was done, I felt incredibly accomplished that I had brought something of substance into the world.
Getting the novel published has been easier than the writing process. I was referred to Reg Davey of Dagda Publishing by a mutual friend. He expressed interest in the concept and the sample I provided, and that was that. Reg is a dedicated and passionate publisher who has gone out of his way to push Conquest out to as many people as possible. We are currently in the final week of raising marketing funds on Indiegogo, which will be accepting pledges until June 30th.
Where can people find out more about you and your work?
You can find myself and my quirky Facebook posts at www.facebook.com/cjsomersby and soon at my own website that is currently under construction but will be hosted at www.cjsomersby.com – keep updated on the Facebook page for when that goes live.
When is Conquest out and is there any way people can pre-order or support this project in other ways?
Conquest is released on July 1st. You can find the funding campaign for Conquest at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/conquest-by-c-j-somersby-marketing-campaign–2 – this also contains a summary of the novel’s setting and a list of perks you can receive for helping us raise money for the marketing process.
Conquest itself is up for pre-order on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conquest-Angels-Chicago-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00VTQOSVQ/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435129053&sr=1-6&keywords=conquest