John C Adams


Emerging fantasy and horror writer John C Adams was longlisted for the International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest in 2012 for 'The Visitors' and again in 2013 for 'We Can Finish Your Baby's Brain For You'. Her writing was also recognised by the Enrico Charles Literary Award (where she was runner up in 2012) and by the University of Winchester Writers' Conference in both years, including a Commendation in the First Three Pages of a Novel category, and other nominations in poetry and short fiction.

She studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2012-13 under the tutelage of Cynthia Fuller. After graduating, she spent the next two years working on a futuristic novel for young adults and a fantasy novel.

Encouraged by Frank Ludlow, Director of the International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest, John trained to be a Submissions Reader with the Aeon Award during 2015. Since 2016, she has been a Contributing Editor for the award and for its publisher, the leading Irish genre fiction magazine Albedo One.

John's debut novel, Souls for the Master, was published by Horrified Press in 2016, where her editor was Rich Dodgin. Supported by E S Wynn, Editor-in-Chief of Thunderune Publishing and Associate Editor of Rogue Planet Press, she has had numerous stories published in Horrified Press anthologies, as well as stories in Devolution Z magazine and the Horror Zine, and in various smaller magazines. Aspatria, her fantasy novel, is available to read for free on Smashwords.

In 2017, John joined Oscillate Wildly Press and will shortly debut there with a short story anthology, Blackacre.

John is an Oxford graduate and a non-practising solicitor. She lives in rural Northumberland, UK, combining a growing career as a writer with caring for her husband Brian, who has severe brain damage, and raising the couple's family.

Smashwords Interview

Aspatria has a big cast list! Which of the characters do you like the most?
My personal favourite is Gortah van Murkar, because he's so successful as a military commander and a king but at the same time he's incredibly flawed and complicated. He's quite vulnerable and sensitive too, despite being so strong and powerful.

I like the way that Dextra of Aspatria steps up when the people need her and also how she grows into being a queen. It's very daunting for her at the beginning when all her male relatives have just died on the battlefield but she isn't afraid to ask for help or make personal sacrifices for the good of her people.

I enjoyed creating Princess Notburg von Reliatra too. She is sexually very liberated and confident. She also leads her own army into battle and she leads from the front.

And Queen Maureen, Dextra's stepmother, is a wonderful villain!
Which character has the greatest personal development?
I assumed before I wrote the novel, after I'd planned the skeleton out, that it would be Dextra but re-reading the novel now that it's finished in fact I think it's Gortah. That sounds odd because he's been monarch for so long and his kingdom is secure and prosperous. You wouldn't expect an old man to develop, especially after so many years at the top because he has no reason to change. But after Gortah leaves home and rides for Dextra's capital hoping to make a strategic alliance with Aspatria, he has to face some hard truths. Why hasn't he felt able to remarry, ten years after his queen died? Is it beneath his dignity to be a woman's second husband? Can he face sharing Dextra and is he confident enough in himself not to let insecurity over Dextra's much younger husband get the better of him?
Read more of this interview.

Where to find John C Adams online

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Price: Free! Words: 198,800. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
After all her menfolk fall in battle, twenty-year-old Dextra is Queen of Aspatria. The country faces renewed hostility from the Albins to the north and Reliatra to the east, as these old foes take advantage of Aspatria's weakness. Dextra must unite her nobility behind her to expel the invaders and forge powerful foreign alliances to protect those who depend upon her for their security and safety.

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