Jonathan French


Jonathan French is the author of the Autumn’s Fall Saga, an epic fantasy series. His debut novel, The Exiled Heir, has been hailed as “…a combination of pen strokes that successfully resurrect the old world fantasy concepts of Beowulf, Prydain, Oz and Masters of the Universe.” Like many fantasy novelists, he originally developed his magical setting as a backdrop for the roleplaying games he ran for his friends. After submitting his creations to a once-mighty rpg company, he received an offer to purchase his intellectual property. Ultimately, he chose to keep his brainchildren close to home and began writing the Autumn’s Fall novels in earnest.

An outspoken advocate on the merits and future of independent publishing, Jonathan has led panel discussions at conventions across the Southeast, with subjects ranging from marketing to art direction. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and toddling son, who can already throw a mean d10.

Current projects include the third Autumn’s Fall novel, a YA super-heroes series, a gritty sword & sorcery book, and occasional freelance gigs for rpgs.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
Professionally, not until I was in my late 20s, but I had enjoyed creative writing from childhood (often they were the only homework assignments I actually completed). I have always been a starving artist, originally focusing on acting and stunt work. Most of the writing I did was for roleplaying games that I ran for my friends, which led to a great deal of world-building. The setting for The Autumn’s Fall Saga began as a backdrop for the fantasy adventures my gaming group was experiencing every other weekend. After an impromptu move to Chicago in 2008, I started using the world of Airlann in prose form as a cheap and therapeutic way to fight loneliness in a new city. The loneliness was soon alleviated by new friends, but the writing bug had bitten hard, so I kept at it until (18 months later) I finished The Exiled Heir.
What is your writing process?
Invariably, it starts with character concepts. For me, plot comes after the ensemble has been established. Perhaps that is a holdover from running so many roleplaying games; the characters are the driving force and the situation is simply there to test them. After my cast is formed, I begin to think about plot and start a very bare bones outline process. I do this with a white dry-marker board and post-it notes, very hands on and physical. I NEVER plot character death. If the world kills them, it kills them, but I do not predetermine who will die. This helps to avoid subconscious and tepid foreshadowing. Drama comes from pain, not necessarily death, and too many authors fall back on killing a character as their only method of eliciting emotion from their reader. I focus on world-building a great deal and most of my writing is allowing the characters to run amok in their environment. They really do make their own choices. It’s creepy, in a way, but very fun. What’s true for many writers is true for me; after a while, I am just taking dictation.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Jonathan French online

Where to buy in print


Autumn's Fall Book 2 press announcement
Someone very dear to me has an announcement to make about The Errantry of Bantam Flyn.


The Exiled Heir: Book One of the Autumn's Fall Saga
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 162,780. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
The Red Caps have returned to Airlann, intent on restoring the tyrannical lineage of the Goblin Kings. As the isle burns, the weakened Fae abandon Man to face the fanatics alone. How can a hapless farmhand, a tenacious pixie, a bigoted herbalist, and a changeling orphan stop an army of goblin zealots from awakening the genocidal Forgeborn? They seek the aid of rooster knights, for a start…

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