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Upon the Shoulders of Vengeance
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A work of art inside and out that you must add to your library!

Title: The Journey to Armageddon
Author: James McCann

ISBN: 1592866816

Publisher: Publish America; (November 2003)

Genre: Science Fiction
Paperback: 201 pages

Price: $16.95


Rating: Highly Recommended


December 01, 2003


I had the pleasure and the honor to read "Upon the Shoulders of Vengeance: The Journey to Armageddon" recently.  First of all the "feel" of this book and the quality of the cover art impressed me.  The cover itself did much to set the mood for the adventure that awaited me on the inside of this book. From the very first word to the last, I could see that Mr. McCann has polished his craft to a point that every word, character and plot worked in unison to tell an impressive story as well. The writing is devoid of errors and the dialogue between the character's has been laid out quite well.


Although there are many character's in this story that can carry a book on their own, the main character; Marcus the Avenger, is an interesting hero. Marcus witnessed his villages apparent demise at the hands of a race of bloodthirsty warrior's called the Krim 'Tiak.  He spent over a year in seclusion until he is captured in the "City of God's" and promptly sentenced to death for the crime of stealing bread.  Fortunately Princess Kimbra spares his life in exchange for him becoming a protégé, trained to fight other's for the amusement of the masses. Marcus the Avenger, renamed himself Forest when he joined the Hauldinian society as a gladiator, bound to the "City of God's"- until either killed or freed.


Everyone is equally impressed by Forest's unique fighting style, reminiscent of Ninjitsu with the nunchuka as his primary weapon. This "vagabond" intrigue's the princess and Forest quickly achieves the trust of his "mentor" Sir Theomund, the princess's bodyguard. Forest had again found a "home" until he receives word from his village that there may still be hope for triumph over the Krim 'Tiak attackers.  Sir Theomund risk's his life and rank and allows Forest to return to his people with a promise to return. The princess hides her identity and sets off into the harsh world in search of adventure, with Forest in the lead, who is unaware that he has taken a princess from her kingdom.


At the same time in different parts of the land, other adventures have begun. A wizard and a group of  "misfit's" of various races, a wild-man and his trusted steed, a former Krim 'Tiak warrior in search of redemption there are so many characters that are vital to this story and they all held my interest especially when their separate path's merged into a single mission.


I must applaud Mr. McCann for the effort that he has put into "Upon the Shoulders of Vengeance: The Journey to Armageddon." I recommend that you pick up a copy and take your own personal journey into these pages. As I've said before, this book is indeed a work of art inside and out!


An Interview with James McCann



To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


The book is about a teenage boy who is destined to make man a god. His people have been murdered and enslaved by the Krim 'Tiak, and he is now out for vengeance. The moral question: can a boy bent on its destruction save a world?



Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba right in the center of Canada. I learned to read before the age 5, and began writing not so long after. When I was 9 I won a contest and had a children's book published in a traveling library, then I won it again the next year. The year after that I was asked by my school not to submit so someone else could have a try.


Who were your earliest influences and why?

My earliest influences were my teachers. Why? Well, probably because I spent so many hours of the day with them.



What would a typical day be like for a writer?


Much the same as anyone else, I suppose. I wake at the crack of dawn, brush my teeth, shower. I think what makes being a writer different is that I have a desire to express myself in a unique way and a need for my voice to be heard. Some people build cars and race them, I write books and let people read them.



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I've been writing all my life. It's always been fiction, and always in the novel format.



Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


I think non-fiction is the hardest because, unlike fantasy, you can't make up the rules. In fiction the rules have to make sense, but you can still bend them ever so slightly. If I say a dragon flies from the mouth of a volcano it works! But in non-fiction, that just isnt going to happen.



Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


All the time. I've defeated those instincts by surrounding myself with people who care and believe in me. I dont listen to nay sayers, nor do I allow anyone to make me feel foolish. A friend once told me that the difference between a published author and a writer is that the published author never gave up.



What is the hardest part about being a writer?


The "writer" part is easy. But if I was to say what the hardest part of it was, I'd say its developing good working habits. A lot of people believe a writer needs discipline, but really what he (or she) needs is good habits. Start small, let them build.



Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


My hobbies include walking, reading and traveling. They all enhance my ability to write as they increase my "mental repertoire."  That is, the mental storage that I draw upon for creating scenes and characters.



Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


Anything that doesnt include your moral character. There are some scenes in current literature that I feel are "shock" rather than entertainment. Know who you are, believe in your values, and dont take the easy road no matter how wide or nicely it is paved.




What question do you get asked more than any other?


How long did it take you to write your book?



Whats the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


Have you written anything else?



What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


I try not to listen to feedback. Some people will like it, some won't. As for interpretations, most people seem to be getting what I wrote.



Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


I hang out at cafés a lot and eavesdrop on conversations. People will have the most private talks in the most public places (listening to cell phone monologues while on the bus is great too) and its a great way to develop characters and storylines.



Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


CS Lewis. Although I must admit that Ive never read the Narnia series, I have read his apologetics including the Screwtape Letters.  He is an amazing individual as well as a writer.



If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


First step: sit down and WRITE. Second step: Educate yourself. Take university courses, read books, find a writing group.



What kind of movies do you enjoy?


All kinds from the indie film fests to blockbusters like Spiderman.



What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldnt want to live in?


Probably Los Angeles.



Whats the strangest question youve ever been asked in an interview?


Whats the strangest question youve ever been asked in an interview. ;)


LOL, ok  -ok we get the picture!



Whats the best part of being a writer?


People assume I'm smart. Just kidding! The best part is that I have a great conversation starter that can work in any situation. I love meeting people and most of all I love when people tell me their stories. We all have one burning inside us, it's just a matter of finding a way to let it out. Some sing, some dance, some paint, some build houses. I write.



What's next?


UTSOV: The War of Deliverance


*Sounds interesting.





Betsie's Literary Page would like to thank Mr. McCann for his time and we wish him all best with his current novel and all future works.