For The Readers To Decide

Joshua Landeros Author Interview


In The Phantom a rebellion is revealed and the destinies of individuals will intersect when dreams and desperation collide. What was the one thing that motivated you the most to write this book?

That is a great question. For me, the driving force behind the book was the notion of empire and the cost it brings. As an avid history reader, I found myself drawn to battles and political inquisitions from both the recent and distant past. Moreover, I wanted to focus on a different type of war. The Harmonious Union, technically speaking, is not your traditional behemoth of an empire like say Rome, Britain, or Spain. It functions more like the United Nations with the Nameless Continent serving as a foundation for a brotherhood between the nations. In turn, the Expeditionary League functions as a multinational peace-keeping force. I drew inspiration from the modern day status of NATO which serves as a tight coalition between what many would see as the western powers. NATO originally served as a deterrent against the Soviet Union, a rival superpower during the Cold War. Even with its main adversary gone, however, NATO has not been dissolved. To the contrary, NATO has carried out offensive operations in the former Yugoslavia, several nations of the Middle East, and even took a crack at Africa during the Libya campaign. Many would argue these bombing campaigns were the only alternative to deal with tyrants and tottering nations, but there’s no doubt that the price of such campaigns has been extensive for stability and civilian life. 

That was the duality I wanted to show with the Expeditionary League and their foes. Pantheon:The Phantom‘s central theme is that no adversarial nation appears in a vacuum. All actions have a historical precedent and an origin point, even if one doesn’t agree with the policies and aftermath of a rogue state, a band of terrorists, or the now lesser used term radicals. The Pact of Ram can be seen as any number of these historical groups. That to me would be for the readers to decide. Are they freedom fighters, or dangerous insurrectionists and anarchists? 

There is a lot of fantastic action in this book. Was that intentional or incidental to the story you wanted to tell?

It actually developed naturally for me. I sat down and first decided the geographic layout of each theater of combat. A promontory over a foggy ocean, a ship out at sea, a forest not far from a beach, all of these things took time for me to visualize. Then I wondered how the characters would use that environment. Unlike my previous science fiction works, magic was a factor so I also decided to make full use of that. I wanted to give each nation a unique use of their mages’ abilities, and for me it was a whole lot of fun that way. The Daijo bend water, ice, and fog to their will while Yunians rely more on alchemy and even music itself. The lone Ilean soldier portrayed uses a much more aggressive style than all the rest and walks a fine line between black magic and what’s legally sanctioned. I hope to explore more of these characters in the future. 

Do you define your character’s motivations before writing or are they revealed to you as you write?

As a writer, I am admittedly slower because I like to build thorough skeletons of my chapters and characters. Thanks to the power of Google Docs, I can line up my chapters from start to finish and examine if the order is logical or substance is needed. Even so, I also discover much about the characters as I write. This process of “putting meat on the bones” leads to development of character personality quirks, underlying motivations,  and sometimes even backstory reveals. A soldier is never just a soldier any more than a king is just a king. I try to keep that in mind when I write.

What can readers expect in book three in the Pantheon – Genesis Arc?

Oh boy! This is a book I can wait for readers to experience! I actually wanted to release it in 2022, but a slew of ideas and expanded storylines led to me pushing it back. The next book will be released in August of 2023 and will be called Pantheon: The Contact. As I’ve spent more and more time in the world of the Pantheon series, I’ve found myself developing the history of the world, its culture, and of course its dark secrets. Many of these dark secrets will come to light in the third book.In a similar vein to the Malazan Book of the Fallen Series, each book will now focus on a different set of characters though many characters will crossover between stories of course. Pantheon volume 1 introduced primarily Atty Sowell and Yaphet Orinse while the Phantom focused on Atty, her father Palkan Sowell, and the Pact of Ram warriors. Pantheon: The Contact will follow Yaphet as he discovers a massive conspiracy that has rotted the integrity of the Sebelian south. Hot on the trail of these dark secrets is the huntress Dahan who will discover her own sordid history. All the while, Palkan Sowell continues his hunt for the Pact of Ram. What he discovers, however, is no less than a monstrosity that threatens to consume the entire world of Avah. An ancient terror will emerge from the shadows and drag the nations into chaos. An ancient terror for centuries known only as The Wanderer. This is a character who has briefly appeared in the first two books but also in the Law of Might trilogy. The Wanderer’s backstory will be explored in the Law of Sacrilege books.

There’s much more to come in the Pantheon Universe!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

What were once mere whispers are now a looming threat. The signs of a large-scale rebellion have revealed themselves across the world known as Avah. The source of the sickness is a group made up of members from across the continents. They call themselves the Pact of Ram. With the threat now out in the open, the people of Sebel have been recruited to squash the insurrection. Leading them into battle is Athaliah’s very own father, Palkan Sowell. A veteran of the Hollow Wars, the chieftain again sets out for the war path. The fate of his family and his village lies with his mission.
In the eastern sea, a bounty hunter prepares for another job. The pay is good and the gig seems easy enough. Yubira hails from the desert continent in the west and has seen much of the world. Wars and the grueling trials of the underworld are what she’s used to. With her partner by her side, nothing seems impossible. That is until the day she runs into an old acquaintance from her past. Their encounter will change her life forever.
The destinies of these individuals will soon intersect. Dreams and desperation will collide. Fans of adventure, fantasy, and horror will rejoice with the Pantheon series. The epic saga continues with Pantheon: The Phantom.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 15, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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