Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Interview - The Unburned Island by Auden Johnson #darkfantasy #horror #authorinterview

- What is your “day” job if you are not a full time author?

I work for a recruiting company. We help people on public assistance find employment.

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

Well, You Wanted an Adventure. In college, I used to dream of exciting things happening to me. Then I studied in England, moved to New York, got 2 master degrees and published 13 books. Now every weekend I’m running to the Hudson Valley to hike alone just to get some peace.

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Pushing yourself to keep moving forward even when all signs tell you this is not working. It’s hard to discern if something’s not working because things take time or because you’re doing something wrong.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

I love world-building. I love the almost endless possibilities, creating my own magic system, my own monsters. Taking a staple fantasy race like dragons and shifters and making them my own. People have been wanting more diversity in speculative fiction and I’m in a position to publish books with more brown-skinned characters as the lead.

- Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it?  

I attended Book Expo America in NY a couple of times. One year, R.L. Stine was signing one of his books. I stood in line for over an hour to get his autograph. Totally fangirled, on the inside of course, when I got to the front. Given the line, I didn’t have time to have a conversation.

- What book changed your life?

I grew up the odd person out because I didn’t act or dress like the people around me. I also don’t talk as much as most people. I used to tease for being quiet. Then, I read A Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause. The narrator was quiet like me. I didn’t feel alone anymore.

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

Blood and Chocolate and A Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause. I wasn’t a huge sci-fi reader but I loved Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door and Troubling a Star.  

- What books are currently in your to be read pile?

I watched the Bungo Stray Dogs anime. Now, I want to read the manga.  I also want to catch up on Fairy Tail: 100 Year Quest. Then there’s The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter and A Song of Quiet by Cassandra Khaw.

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

I don’t have a preference. I lean towards ebooks because they’re cheaper and easier to read on a crowded train. Audiobooks comes in second. I love print books because there’s something comforting about a room filled with books. Some print books like Junji Ito’s manga are just beautiful.

- If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why?

Fairy Tail is one of my favorite anime and manga series. I’d love to live in Magnolia. The Fairy Tail guild is just wild. It would be so much fun hanging out with Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza and co.

The Unburned Island
Other Investigator Series
Book One
Auden Johnson

Genre: Dark Fantasy Horror
Publisher: Aubey LLC
Date of Publication: April 2017
ISBN: 9780996423427
Number of pages: 148 pages
Word Count: 30,000
Cover Artist: Auden Johnson

Tagline: A haunted island. An unusual demon. Can this team of magical investigators solve the mystery of the Unburned Island? 

Book Description:

The entire island was on fire yet only one schoolhouse burned. Everyone disappeared. Several tried taking it over but were never successful. People no longer talk about Unburned Island. It was left to rot.

Years later, Kiran, En, and a team of magical investigators travel to the island to banish whatever haunts an old building. With En acting strange, they knew this wouldn't be a simple job. Kiran develops a second ability, making their investigation both easier and harder.

 It takes them no time to realize the building isn't the problem. The island is. They never anticipated the terrible secrets hidden within the school’s campus. Maybe some of the residents deserved their fate.

Amazon     Kobo     BN      Smashwords

Excerpt 1:
She pulled the band off her wrist and tied back her bushy hair. Of course, it didn’t all fit in the tie.
At least it wasn’t in her way now. Rather than use magic or chemicals to straighten her hair, Kiran usually kept it short. It was time to cut it again. She rarely let it run wild like this but work got in the way. Kiran liked her hair wild and long but it wasn’t practical. She needed to dye it again. The dark blue wasn’t as vibrant.
Why was she the only one drawn to this area? She usually saw more spirits than most but tests showed Kiran wasn’t sensitive. Maybe the other people wandering the grounds were human and she hadn’t paid much attention to that.
A terrible smell rolled in. Like old garbage and rotting corpses. Then the odor was gone.
The smell returned. Then it was gone.
It pulsed like a heartbeat. Kiran followed it.
From the small glances she got through windows, the interior appeared sturdy despite being abandoned. The school was clearly old but not nearly as worn as she had expected. Pieces of the stone exterior were chipped, probably due to age or weather. Thick green vines climbed up the building and through windows. She couldn’t see much of the roof from this angle.
She understood why someone wanted to use this place. The island was a short ferry ride away from the mainland. From Kiran’s first look, it seemed the land was large enough to fit a small village, the perfect location for an experimental campus.
This close, the old school no longer felt like a monster despite the oppressive air. Maybe the building wasn’t the problem.
Maybe it sat between worlds. Most believed Others’ ancestors came from different worlds and settled here. No one knew why they ran away from home.
Grass rustled. Kiran stopped. A figure jerked as though it wasn’t used to its body. The head turned at impossible angles. It twitched like the broken hands of a clock. It clicked as though each step towards her snapped a bone.
Kiran spread her feet shoulder length apart. She made sure all the lines of her body were straight so power could flow freely. She lifted two fingers and drew a level one ward symbol—a circle with a simple X in the middle.
Nothing happened.
She tried level two— an X with a line down the middle, from the sky to the ground.
She hit level five with no results. Symbols at higher levels took longer to create. Knots twisted in her wrist and side. The thing was close now. The smell was so bile she could taste it. She didn’t want to inhale and get more of that stuff in her. Kiran needed to breathe. If she wasn’t calm, the spell wouldn’t do what she wanted.
She stepped back, making sure to keep her body straight. This was taking too long. Hopefully, level ten would work. She made the ward sign. The creature shattered.
Kiran hit the ground. She couldn’t hear the clicking of bones anymore.
Some magic had a strong recoil. Wards were dangerous. You felt the effects only after the enemy was gone. Kiran’s limbs trembled. That was about all the moving she would do for a while.

About the Author:

An artist at heart, Auden Johnson loves photography, graphic design, and writing beautifully dark stories. She has published 13 dark fantasy stories featuring diverse characters with powers and questionable morals. She enjoys taking her camera on a long hike and photographing the scenic views. Most of her landscape photos are on sale online. Auden has a Masters in Publishing: Digital and Print and a Masters in Information and Library Science. She lives in Brooklyn with her writing buddy Oreo.

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1 comment:

Auden Johnson said...

Thanks for interviewing me!