Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author Interview & Giveaway - On Seas So Crimson by James Young

On Seas So Crimson
by James Young

GENRE: Alternate History



Adolf Hitler is dead.  Great Britain has fallen.  The Royal Family has fled to Canada, and the United States stands alone against the Axis.

On Seas So Crimson collects both novels of the Usurper's War into a single package.  Acts of War (Amazon Bestseller in alternate history) begins this universe with London on fire, while Collisions of the Damned (recommended by Alternate History Weekly) continues it with the desperate defense of the Dutch East Indies. 



It’s never a good day when you become commander of a vessel simply because no one else was left.  From what he understood, Keir had started the day as chief of Hood’s Navigation Division.  That had been before the vessel took at least three 15-inch shells to the bridge area, as well as two more that had wiped out her gunnery directory and the secondary bridge.

Captain Gordon was right—she was a very powerful warship.  Unfortunately that tends to make you a target.

“Commander, you are certain that…” Gordon started, then collected himself.  “You are certain His Majesty is dead.”

“Yes sir,” Keir said.  “His Majesty was in the conning tower with Admiral Pound when it was hit.  The Royal Surgeon positively identified His Majesty’s body in the aid station before that was hit in turn.  We cannot get to the aid station due to the spreading fire.”

“Understood.  His Majesty would not have wanted any of you to risk his life for his body,” Gordon said.

“I just…” Keir started, then stopped, overcome with emotion.

“It is not your fault lad,” Gordon said.  “Her Majesty will understand.”

Gordon turned and looked at the Exeter’s clock.

“Very well, we are out of time.  Stand by to fire torpedoes.”

“Torpedoes report they are ready.”

“Sir, you may want to tell your torpedo officer to have his weapons set to run deep,” Keir said.  “She’s drawing…”

There was a large explosion aboard Hood as the flames reached a secondary turret’s ready ammunition.  Eric saw a fiery object arc slowly across, descending towards the Exeter as hundreds of helpless eyes watched it.  The flaming debris’ lazy parabola terminated barely fifty yards off of Exeter’s side with a large, audible splash.

“I think we do not have time for that discussion,” Gordon said grimly.  “Fire torpedoes!”

The three weapons from Exeter’s starboard tubes sprang from their launchers into the water.  Set as a narrow spread, the three tracks seemed to take forever to impact from Eric’s perspective.  Exeter’s torpedo officer, observing Hood’s state, had taken into account the battlecruiser’s lower draught without having to be told.  Indeed, he had almost set the weapons for too deep a run, but was saved by the flooding that had occurred in the previous few minutes.  In addition to breaking the battlecruiser’s keel, the triple blow opened the entire aft third of her port side to the ocean.  With the audible sound of twisting metal, Hood started to roll onto her beam ends.  She never completed the evolution before slipping beneath the waves.


Talking with author James Young!
What is your writing environment? 

I have a home office that we set up when we first moved in.  Basically imagine a closet with a desk inside of it, with bookshelves on either side making up the cubby hole.  Then imagine the rest of the room being lined with more shelving.

What is your writing process? 

It varies.  Sometimes I have a flash of inspiration and will go to jot it down.  Other times, especially if I’m writing in someone else’s universe or doing non-fiction, I’ll make a tentative outline of what I want to do.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why? 

With regards to indie authors, I’m part of a few writing groups.  Recently I had a chance to beta read The Case of the Mad Strangler, my friend and fellow author Diana L. Marsh’s first novel.  I don’t usually do mystery, but she has a compelling take on the typical Holmes universe. You can read short stories set in her universe at her blog, “No Place Like Holmes.”  

What was your inspiration for this particular novel?

On Seas So Crimson… is a collection of two alternate history novels, Acts of War and Collisions of the Damned.  The first inspiration was reading historical accounts of naval warfare in the Pacific when I was a kid.  The second was reading books by authors such as Harry Turtledove and Robert Conroy that explored “what ifs” in an interesting and informed way.  Finally, there have been numerous “beer and pretzel” conversations about World War II with friends, family, and internet acquaintances.

What is your favorite scene in your new release? 

My favorite non-spoiler scene out of both books is when the battlecruiser Hood is sunk, taking the King of England down with her.  It’s the first major naval battle in the entire book, and I was quite happy with how it all turned out once I got it onto the page. 

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available? 

Non-fiction, I’m completing my dissertation.  It’s due by the end of the year, so hopefully I’ll find a non-fiction publisher fairly quickly.  Either way, I’ll just be glad to have Harambe the Dissertation off my back. 

Fiction-wise, I’m currently working on Though Our Hulls Burn…, the sequel to my sci-fi novel An Unproven Concept.  It should be available by the end of the year.

What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

I like to play videogames and watch television.  At the moment I’m working through the console version of the new X-Com: UFO Defense when I’m not working on projects.

What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?

I was nearly killed in a car accident when I was 3.  A man who had lost his license 4 DUIs previously hit my father and I on a gravel road.  Nearly got tossed out the windshield, was stopped by my knee hitting the air conditioning vent on the dash.  Guess who always fastens his seat belt now?

Top 3 things on your bucket list? 

If money were no object and safety were guaranteed: 

1.) Visit Hiroshima 

2.) Take a spin in one of the air to air combat check rides where novice pilots fly trainers against one another. 

3.) Sell 15,000 copies of one novel


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life via an appointment to the United States Military Academy.  After completing his service in the Army, Mr. Young moved to Kansas to pursue his doctorate in U.S. History.  Fiction is his first love, and he is currently the author of the Usurper’s War (alternate history), Vergassy Chronicles (space opera), and Scythefall (apocalyptic fiction) series, all of which are available via Amazon or Createspace.  Currently living in the Midwest with his loving, kind, and beautiful spouse, Mr. Young spends his time completing his dissertation while plotting new, interesting ways to torment characters and readers alike.  As a non-fiction author,  Mr. Young has won the 2016 United States Naval Institute’s Cyberwarfare Essay contest and the U.S. Armor Center’s Draper Award for a battle analysis of the Golan Heights.  He has also placed in the James A. Adams Cold War History contest held by the Virginia Military Institute and been published in the Journal of Military History (“The Heights of Ineptitude”).



James Young will be awarding a 9 x 12 print of the cover painting, "Death of Kongo" signed by the author and the artist Wayne Scarpaci (US ONLY GIVEAWAY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.