Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Joshua Khan Author Interview

Photo Content from Joshua Khan

Joshua Khan - Born in Britain. Lives in London. Would rather live in a castle. Writes fantasy. Enjoys it.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Where to begin? Simplest answer, it’s escapism. Who doesn’t want to step out of the world for a few hours and go on a wild adventure into other realms? The brain is a complex thing, those words can translate into real experiences, real emotions, and the fiction characters into real people who you feel for in so many ways, well after the covers have closed.

Storytelling lets us exist beyond ourselves and show us the world, its people, with a fresh perspective. And that is never a bad thing!

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Wow, that’s a big one. I have two, but both relate to my dad. The first was us coming back from the dentist. We were passing a cinema and it was showing Jungle Book. My dad said why bother being back in school for just the last few hours? It’s small, but it’s lingered with me. Just a quiet bonding gesture and it was him and me, watching Mowgli (a small brown kid like me) have an amazing adventure and gain some glorious friends.

The second was the moment I rode a bike. I was in the park, Dad pushing me along, me pedaling, then me glancing back and seeing he was far behind me. He’d let go and I was on my way. There is something powerful about the moment you realize you’re parents have helped you enough, but now you can do it yourself. It’s scary, but so, so thrilling and you don’t want to stop.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Proper book? OK, in my mid thirties. I’d be pondering a career change for a while, I’d been working as an engineer for 15 years by then and wanted to be out of it, so gave myself a target of quitting by the time I was forty.

So I wrote my first novel. It took a year and was rubbish but I had so much fun writing it! Gave it another go, improving bits here and there, getting some feedback and slowly getting better.

But eventually it was good enough and I quit my day job six days before my fortieth birthday. That was now ten years ago.

What was the most memorable toy you played with from when you were little?
My big purple teddy. It got so threadbare and battered my sister and I spent most of our time sewing it up!

What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
English, but History was a very close second. English was divided into two, Language (which was the creative writing bit) and Literature (which was studying the classics). Both (obviously) have played a major part in my career. I did go through a major ‘ninja’ phase in my mid-teens so everything I wrote ended up including ninjas/ My English teacher was not amused but clearly the examiners were, I ended up with rather good grades!

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
You will get there in the end, but at your own pace. It’s all about the small improvements.

In your new book; BURNING MAGIC, can you tell my Book Nerd Kids Community a little about it?
BM is the BIG finish of the SHADOW MAGIC trilogy. The heroes are Lily Shadow, 14 year old ruler of Gehenna, the kingdom of darkness, and a necromancer. Then we have Thorn, an uncouth squire with a preternatural talent for trouble, archery and befriending giant bats!

They are visiting their friend, K’leef, a prince of the Sultanate of Fire for the coronation of his brother. Then things go wrong (badly) and they must venture into the Shardlands, the ruined kingdoms of the Six Princes, the first, and greatest, sorcerers the world has even know.

I love epic fantasy. How would the world be if it was ruled by sorcerers? In most fantasy the heroes are the knights, the wizards are just advisors. Not here. Plus it was fun writing from the point of view of the (typical) villain. Lily is a dark sorceress, she’s the baddie in most stories. Put another way she would definitely be Slytherin.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Lily?
How her courage has grown, without giving up her own darkness. She never evolved into a generic ‘goodie’. She’s still a hero, but very much on her own terms. She is, and always will be, a princess of darkness.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Voldemort! Firstly, he’d fit right into the kingdom of Gehenna with its zombies, ghosts and all things spooky. Not sure how he’d feel about Lily’s style of rule though.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Take your time! The Shadow Magic series are big and deep, there’s plenty to explore so make the most of them!

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid?
1930s. Maybe it’s because I’m a big Indiana Jones fan, but it felt that was the last decade where you could still have high adventure with no more than a bicycle.

What is your greatest adventure?
Wow, if I had to pick one it was going to live in Hong Kong back in the 1990s. I just packed a backpack and got on a plane. Ended up living there and having the best time ever. It was exotic, exciting (we were approaching Handover and the end of Britain’s rule), and no matter how back the week, on Friday I’d look over the city and get a big, BIG buzz.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say?
It would be painfully domestic. I’ve got to start lunch for the kids soon!

What did you do for your last birthday?
We were in Crete. It’s one of the great advantages of having your birthday during the summer holidays. We visited the palace of Knossos, the inspiration fo the legend of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth. It was as great as I’d hoped it would be. I love the ancient world, for my fortieth we went to Pompeii.

Where can readers find you?

Oh, easy! Try Facebook, I’ve got a page ShadowMagicSaga, then look me up on Twitter, @writerjoshkhan. Also, do register on my website ( as I do send out pretty elaborate newsletters with lots of background stuff and the odd competition.

Middle Earth. I was read the Hobbit at school when I was about 7. I entered that world and don’t think I ever really came back. It was the reason I wrote the Shadow Magic trilogy.

Hogwarts. Slytherin FOREVER!

Hyboria. This is the world of Conan the Barbarian. I love the raw thrill of those stories. They are blood-pumping tales, zero fat, all muscle!

Westeros. The world of The Game of Thrones. I don’t reckon I’d last long, but I’d like to see the Wall.

Dune. OK, this is sci-fi, so I hope you’ll forgive me. I’d love to ride a sandworm, just once!

Camp Half-blood. I think House Hades would suit me perfectly.

Gotham City. Is that a fantasy world? It has plenty of weird things going on! I’d like to visit, that’s for sure.

The world of Bartimeus. This is the fantasy London of Jonathan Stroud’s book series. The magicians rule, but their magic is all via their control of genies. I love the gothic setting and would fancy a go at a bit of genie magic. But I’d probably get eaten for spelling a magic word wrong. I always wondered what was happing in other countries though so it would be cool to find out!

Wakanda. Now that it’s opening up its borders I’d love to get a tourist visa and ride on a war rhino.

Gehenna. OK, how can I not want to go to the kingdom of darkness and see Castle Gloom, the home of Lily, for myself? I’ve spent so long writing it I’d love to see it for real. I’d love to travel over to the Sultanate of Fire and wander the endless green of Herne’s Forest.

In Book 3, when Lily, aka the "witch queen" and bat-rider extraordinaire Thorn travel to Sultanate of Fire, things go terribly wrong. Instead of celebrating a reunion with their old friend K'leef, they are thrust into royal murder, an epic quest, and a deadly battle for the throne. While investigating the murder, Lily learns shocking truths about her life that could destroy all she has achieved. Yet, among the ruins of her old life, she has the opportunity to become someone greater . . . and more terrifying. Thorn and the magnificent bat, Hades, join the timid K'leef and the idiotic Gabriel Solar in a quest to find a phoenix. These fire birds are the key to saving the sultanate, but they nest within the Shardlands. The boys must defeat not only the monsters of that magical wilderness, but also rivals eager to claim the throne for themselves. Rivals that include a renegade from House Shadow . . . Chilling surprises, ghostly encounters, and belly laughs are just some of the treats in store for readers of this burning-hot desert adventure.

Praise for DREAM MAGIC

"Khan continues to amaze and delight with his appropriately macabre world, filled with inventive villains and thoughtful touches like black roses and a zombie army. This can be enjoyed alone or read with Shadow Magic." ―Booklist

You can purchase The Wishing World at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JOSHUA KHAN AND DISNEY for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Burning Magic (Shadow Magic #3) by Joshua Khan.


  1. My greatest adventure is to find who I am, and what I want to do with my life. Nothing big or epic, but difficult nonetheless.

  2. My greatest adventure is being with my grandson. I never know, from one minute to the next, what he'll do. It's definitely an adventure. A lot different than being with my granddaughter.

  3. "What is your greatest adventure?" This adventure that we call life!

  4. My greatest adventure was becoming a parent.

  5. My greatest adventure was moving alone a thousand miles for graduate school.

  6. Hmmm.. Maybe raising my children.

  7. My greatest adventure was driving cross country to see family. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I haven't gone on it yet. I guess I will when I die.