Free September 12th and 13th:
Narcel’s enslavers took everything from him: his family, the woman he loves, and his freedom. All he has left is his will to live and a burning hatred for his masters.
Years of living and training with the Mawtu changes Narcel. Once his sworn enemies, he now considers these men friends and brothers-at-arms. He would snuff the life from those who oppose them, and fight and die to protect them.
Battle looms on the horizon and the Mawtu army faces its toughest challenge yet. Will Narcel side with his enslavers and lead their army to victory? Will he honor his friendship and allegiance with his new brothers? Or was this all a ruse and will Narcel finally exact his revenge and betray the army that took everything from him?
As Game of Thrones is based on the Wars of the Roses, Land of Gods is the first book in an epic fantasy series based on Ancient Greek wars. It features fast-paced action, a love triangle, and bitter revenge.
An interview with Justin:
How much, would you say, has your military training influenced your writing?
My grandma was always asking me to write about my military time and travels, so instead of writing a journal or memoir, I thought I would write a fictionalized version of my bootcamp experience. I had taken a class in my international relations MA program on the Peloponnesian War, and loved it. So it made sense to combine these two ideas – a military fantasy novel based on Ancient Greek wars, that in some ways tells my story of going through boot camp and the years that followed.
Of course, the book changed drastically and totally took on a life of its own, but you could certainly say my military time has greatly influenced my writing. In fact, my other books have strong military aspects – the little girl in Back by Sunrise loses her father to the military, and Allie Strom’s mom is in the military (kind of) in Allie Strom and the Ring of Solomon.
How different is writing novels from writing the stories for video games?
The writing process for video games is much more like screenwriting than writing novels. There are many similarities, such as character creation, plotting, and coming up with awe-inspiring reversals and plot twists. The main difference would be that writing for games, in my experience, is extremely collaborative. You might think that writing with a partner on novels is collaborative, or working with editors, but the word collaborative takes on a whole new meaning when there are six or seven writers all on one two-hour episode of a game, with producers, people in marketing, and studio executives all weighing in. And that’s not even talking about working with art and programming and all those other considerations!
However, when it comes to the actual writing, it’s still the amazing process of sitting down behind your computer and entering a magical world that is, at least to some degree, your own.
Relationships between brothers in arms and family members is a recurring them in your books. Why do you find it so important?
One question that’s always been on my mind, since joining the military, is the moral one of where does your loyalty lie. You’re told you answer to the president and your chain of command, and if you don’t follow every order you can be shot or thrown in the brig (jail). Add to that the fact that these men and women training and potentially fighting alongside you become like family—you have to trust each other completely, or you could die.
So what happens when you’re forced to choose between the two groups? If you are presented with an order that will save thousands or millions, but will cause someone you love to be hurt or killed? It might be a simple answer for some of us, but it’s the moral line that shows like Game of Thrones or games like the ones Telltale does handle so wonderfully. And the audience loves it.
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