Friday, November 11, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Rosemary A. Johns

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

Firstly – thanks for having me on your site today!

I don’t think much is weird – just different. We’re all individuals! That’s the line Light takes in my series Rebel Vampires. Have to say I agree. That said… I talk to myself. First sign and all that. But it’s more like daydreaming out loud. So instead of only seeing a scene I’m about to write happening in my head (yeah, I see the scenes I write like a film), I act them out. Voices and all. You don’t want to hear my Light impression. You do? Shame this isn’t radio.

My dad’s a Londoner. But I don’t have Light’s accent. Imagine a young Michael Caine as Alfie – that’s close.

What is your favorite quote and why?

‘You know those vampire myths? Bollocks to them.’ ~Blood Dragons (Rebel Vampires: Volume 1)

This is taken from Blood Dragons, the first standalone book in my new fantasy series Rebel Vampires.

Blood Dragons is out now (e-book and paperback):

My favourite quote? Because it’s the very first line, which came to me - of the entire Rebel Vampires series. The first line in Light’s voice. And his whole character snowballed from there.

It sums up Rebel Vampires. This is vampires in the real world. A true species, evolved alongside humans but hidden from them. Predators but also prey. This is a vampire book for adults. Vampires, rebels and romance - don’t leave out the romance.

Plus, it stamps Light’s Britishness firmly front and centre. Useful, that.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Conflicted. So…conflicted.

My head is claiming Neil Gaiman. Because he’s genius. You need more? OK – because his Neverwhere series on TV sparked my love for urban fantasy. The idea that there’s something hidden underneath the everyday. In Rebel Vampires it’s a hidden paranormal London, where vampires are both the hunters and the hunted. And death drives desire.

But my heart is claiming Emily Bronte because of Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff – the dark complex antihero..? Dark and passionate love..? Anyone say influences?

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Emotions. I was a traditionally published short story writer before my debut as a novelist with Blood Dragons. At the heart of a great short story you’ll find emotion. That means the character’s motivation. It can be passion. Or hate. But it has to propel the story. And it has to truly mean something.

Good writing should also be an escape: you create a world, in which people can lose themselves. It doesn’t matter what genre. Readers should fall in love with that world and those characters. And from the moment they open the book the real world should fall away.

I want people to escape into the supernatural world of the Blood Lifers when they read Rebel Vampires. To dive into this new, secret world. And lose themselves in the book. In fact, hold on for the ride.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

Freedom. You can’t touch it. Taste it. It doesn’t feel like much. Until you lose it.

It’s always fascinated me – the idea of the way we’re controlled – physically, mentally, sexually…and in relationships. My husband’s a police officer and one of things that seemed to be happening in England more and more was human trafficking. And human slavery. How could that be possible? In the twenty-first century. But it is. And it’s going on right now all around the world.

So I wondered: what would that be like if it was Blood Lifers as the slaves? If it was the humans as the monsters capable of such cruelty? Like Taken. But with vampires. And then how Light would survive and save not only himself – but his species – from slavery.

In fact, Light discovers (for the first time in 150 years), family in the unlikeliest of places. Love too. And ultimately it’s love and family, which set him free. Although – the thriller-like plot helps too. Yeah, this one’s compelling. Blood Shackles is available now at the promotional price of $0.99. Click here:

Want to read Blood Dragons first? Click here:



Light is a Rocker Blood Lifer with a talent for remembering things. He’s meant to be the predator. It’s been that way since Victorian times. But not now. Not since someone hunted him. Enslaved him. Ripped out his fangs. Who are these ruthless humans? Who’s their violent leader? And who betrayed the secret of the Blood Lifer world?


London, Primrose Hill. Grayse is the commanding but alluring slaver’s daughter. The enemy. She buys Light, like he’s a pair of designer shoes. So why does Light feel so drawn to her? Especially when his family is still in chains. Will he risk everything – even his new love – to save them?


Does a chilling conspiracy lie behind it all? A stunning revelation leads Light to an inconceivable truth. If he can face his worst terrors, he can save his family and his whole species from slavery.

Maybe he can even save himself.

The third book in the series, BLOOD RENEGADES, will be out Spring 2017


‘London’s not yours.’

I stiffened. ‘The Lost have walked these streets as long as you humans,’ I whispered, low and intense, ‘which makes them ours, as much as yours.’

I might as well have clouted you. You drew back, with a shiver. ‘You hunt here – parasitically. But England? The world? It belongs to us. You’re just…’

‘Parasites?’ I offered. You didn’t even have the decency to look away.

‘These are my streets,’ you tapped the sticky table for emphasis, in a boozer, street, postcode you’d never have ventured into, if it hadn’t been for me.

I took a drag of my e-cig. ‘Over hundred and fifty years says different, sweetheart.’

You wore that narked expression, which I’d hoped we’d left behind for the night. ‘My home. Not yours.’

‘Any reason it can’t be both?’

‘On account of you’re…’ You stopped yourself, pushing your Guinness away with a jerky shove. Your shoulders slumped. You finished softly, ‘…not human.’

‘Right. Because I’d missed that.’ I took a mouthful of nuts, munching thoughtfully. You’d withdrawn hermit-crab like, your hair falling in two curtains over your mug. ‘There were humans once, who thought like you, the last time a Blood Lifer had the courage to reveal himself to a First Lifer. It was one of my ancestors. A man of reason, in an age of superstition. He reckoned our two species could live out in the open - side by side - so I was told. These First Lifers? They thought he was the devil.’ You’d raised your nut. I could see your peepers - dark grey now - through the veil of your hair.


‘They burnt him.’


ROSEMARY A JOHNS is a traditionally published author of short stories under the name R. A. Johns. She is the author of Blood Dragons the compelling first instalment of the Rebel Vampires series.

Rosemary A Johns wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of ten, when she discovered the weird worlds inside her head were more exciting than double swimming. Since then she’s studied history at Oxford University, run a theatre company (her critically acclaimed plays have been described as "uncomfortable, unsettling and uneasily true to life"), and worked with disability charities.

When Rosemary’s not falling in love with the rebels fighting their way onto the page, she heads the Oxford writing group Dreaming Spires

Rosemary is a Goodreads Author:
To sign up to Rosemary A Johns’ VIP Email Newsletter with news of hot releases, promotions and the free short story “All the Tin Soldiers”, click here:

TWITTER: @RosemaryAJohns

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  1. Thanks for having me on today Judith - hope everyone's having a good day! Who would you have chosen as your favourite fantasy author? Blood Dragons - the first book in my series - is currently in the Best Seller Lists next to Stephen King's Dark Tower series. That's special for me because as a teenager those helped turned me into a fantasy fan. I hope everyone has a great day!

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Matthew - thanks! I hope you're enjoying the series and have a great day!

  3. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  4. Very informative interview!


    1. Thanks Trix - they were good questions. Hope you have a great weekend!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Victoria - hope you're having a great day!

  6. What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Hi Bernie! For me I'd go with anything by Neil Gaiman or Jim Butcher - both serious heroes of mine. Hope you enjoy the series!