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Book Trivia: Interview with Epic Fantasy Author R. Scot Johns

book-triviaIt’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is R. Scot Johns, author of the heroic fantasy novel The Saga of Beowulf. Scot is a life-long student of ancient and medieval literature, with an enduring fascination for Norse mythology and fantasy epics. He first came to Beowulf through his love of J.R.R. Tolkien, a leading scholar on the subject. As an Honors Medieval Literature major he has given lectures on such topics as the historical King Arthur and the construction of Stonehenge. He owns and operates Fantasy Castle Books , a publishing imprint, and writes the blog Adventures of an Independent Author.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Scot! Here are your questions:

the-saga-of-beowulfIf Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of The Saga of Beowulf, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

He could burn it when a ship came near (although I’m sure he couldn’t bear to until he finished reading it). Actually, the Vikings were a great sea-faring race, so it might provide the motivation to build a ship as they did with little but their knives and axes.

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Reading any book would be a step in the right direction. Reading mine would keep her off the street for months on end (it’s 640 pages long). The Saga of Beowulf deals with issues such as loyalty and courage, love and honor, that might well prove instructive.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

My charming personality doesn’t count? Darn. Any of the three would impress them enough to take a deeper look, but of course, the writing is what would close the deal. All of my reviews thus far have been stellar, and I’m quite pleased with the cover art I did. But I actually wrote this novel as a screenplay first, and it shows in the highly visual style of my writing. More than one reviewer has said that it reads like a major Hollywood movie. It has action and romance, epic battles and characters that actors die for.

r-scot-johns-2Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

For the Hulk I would read the scene in which a hundred Vikings battle to the death against a thousand screaming Frisians. Or, of course, the scene where Beowulf defeats the ogre Grendel by tearing its arm right out of the socket and beating the wailing creature with it. Or the scene where he scares away three Stone Trolls by hurling massive boulders at them. That’s a total Hulkamania scene.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

Quest for Valhalla would be the name, and the players would battle to gain the most fame and gold before they died in battle and ascended to Odin’s hall of heroes in the afterworld. A guaranteed hit in every D&D gamer shop around the world.

the-saga-of-beowulf-banner

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

The ash tree, which was sacred to the Norse. The Cosmic Tree, Yggdrasil, is an ash, and its roots connect the three worlds of Heaven, Hell and Middle-Earth, and are watered by the Norns, the three sisters of Fate. It’s the only tree that Beowulf couldn’t easily uproot from the ground with his bare hands.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

Start writing your next book. If you’re the President you don’t need to market your book. Promotion is only necessary for those of us the reading public doesn’t know.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

First I’d like to say that it’s an honor to become a part of someone’s life, if only for a week or a day. Writing is a shared experience that only finds fulfillment in the touching of the reader’s heart. I am greatly thankful to every one of you who read my work and pleased beyond belief that it somehow spoke to you. Thanks to all who bore with me through the long and arduous process that often made me insufferable to live with. I’d like to thank my landlord for not evicting me, and my boss for not firing me. Thanks to everyone who gave me needed inspiration, and most of all thank goodness I finally finished it!

R. Scot Johns welcomes any questions you have! Please leave comments and questions below!

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