Friday, May 27, 2011

Hard Day's Knight Tour Guest Post with John Hartness

I would like to thank John Hartness for stopping by with this guest post.

What do I read?
By John G. Hartness

A lot of times when people talk to writers, one of the big questions they have is “what do you read?” I’m sometimes amused at the answers, sometimes baffled, and often surprised. But here’s how I tend to answer that one.

I read a lot of stuff, and lot of different stuff. For the purposes of our conversation here, we’ll stick to “book” books, and ignore the massive amount of graphic novels and comics that I read. We’ll also ignore all the blogs and websites that I consume voraciously, and stick to my “reading,” despite the fact that I read a ton of other media aside from books.

I read a lot in my genre, urban fantasy. Since urban fantasy is so tightly interwoven with paranormal romance, I end up reading a fair amount of that as well. I’m not much of a romantic guy (just ask my long-suffering wife!), but I enjoy a good love story as much as the next dude. Some of my favorites in the genre are Kim Harrison, Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Amanda Hocking, and I just got into a new series called The Iron Druid by Kevin Hearne. If you haven’t checked that one out, you owe it to yourself. It’s a great blend of snark and bloodbath, with an Irish Wolfhound as a supporting character. I loved the first one and can’t wait to read the next.

Jim Butcher gets a special mention for being a guy in the often female-dominated urban fantasy world. It comes as no surprise to anyone that’s read any of my books that I’m a big Dresden Files fan. It comes as even less of a surprise that I love some Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman.

In the epic fantasy world I’m a David Eddings fan from way back, having read The Belgariad and The Mallorean countless times. I’ve probably bought both series at least twice because the paperbacks keep falling apart, and they’re not available in ebooks yet (booo!). I also love Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series, and have a whole shelf in my office full of her books. On the indie side, David Dalglish has crafted an incredible world in his Half-Orc series, definitely worthy of a mention.

I’ve read my fair share of vampire books, from Anne Rice to Laurell K. Hamilton to J.R. Rain, and love them all. I try not to read vampire books when I’m working on a vampire book, just because I hate feeling like I’m stealing mythology. I think I’ve managed to swipe enough different pieces of different mythos to make the world my own, but we’re all stealing from somewhere at this point.

I also enjoy thrillers, horror novels and action books. Some of my other favorites include Vince Flynn, Scott Nicholson, Blake Crouch and Dale Brown.

To go completely off the genre fiction reservation, every book Pat Conroy releases is on my “buy immediately” list. He’s my favorite writer, hands down, and his Prince of Tides still stands as one of my Desert Island Books. Other literary fiction folks that I enjoy are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood and John Irving. So that’s the kind of stuff I read when I get the chance, and my Kindle stays with me at all times, so I can always find some time to read!

In the first volume of The Black Knight Chronicles, detectives Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood investigate a series of mysterious disappearances with the help of the friend, Father Mike. The investigation is hampered by interference from the police, a dozen marauding zombies, a middle-aged necromancer, and the fact that our heroes can only look for clues by night. Because they're vampires. Vampire detectives kicking zombie butt all over town, what could be better?

About The Author:

John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. He’s been published or accepted online in several journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, cc&d, Deuce Coupe and Truckin’.

His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.

He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first in a planned series of at least five books. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and has enjoyed immediate success.
John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre. His next novel, Knight Moves (Black Knight Chronicles Vol. 3) is due out in the summer of 2011.

He can be found online at and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.

Don't forget to stop at all the stops of the tour for your chance to win to be a bad guy in one of his books. Next Stop Adventures of The Cautionary Tale


Anonymous said...

Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton are both wonderful writers, I love their books too!


Beverly said...

Just stopping by to say, "Hi, nice post." I too am participating in this tour. Happy reading.

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