Out of The Abyss: Lizzy Ford interrogates debut novelist Joshua Mays

Josh is one of those rare novelists who has the ability to transport you completely to somewhere different, new, intriguing. His first installment of the Terra Incognita trilogy draws you into a lethal treasure hunt where failure could mean the end of mankind. Josh manages to make entering a fantasy world perfectly logical, as if everyone has the potential to walk through a magic door but only a few choose to do so. His characters are complex, his ability to engage the reader – and blur reality with a world filled with dark magic – fantastic. His storytelling has the rare quality of ingenuity that many canned and neatly packaged books lack in today’s cookie-cutter literature market. I anticipate a great many unique, engaging books from Josh in the near future!

Josh’s book: Terra Incognita: (The Abyss)

About the Author

Tell me what readers should know about Josh Mays, the man behind Terra Incognita: (The Abyss).

They should know that I am in fact a man. There are no uncanny secrets below the belt. In all seriousness, I’m just a guy who thought he had a book or two inside of him. Turns out there are at least 10 and I’m hoping that people actually enjoy them.

What inspires you to write?

The challenge of putting what’s in my head on paper.

If you had a perfect writing outfit, what would it be?

Something that is comfortable and preferably clean.

How do you define success as a writer?

That first real fan who loves your work because it speaks to them.

Does your family read your book?

Not yet, but I will make them.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d like to give other indie authors?

Hire an editor!

What’s the hardest part of writing a novel, in your opinion?

Not getting discouraged by how much time it takes.

Your novel, Terra Incognita: (The Abyss), is about a young man who discovers a secret room in his parent’s house that leads him on an adventure to find magic talismans. There’s a fresh magic to your writing that makes the extraordinary possible without any of the dream-like quality that appears in a lot of fantasy writing. How do you keep the fantastic elements of your story so realistic?

Of everything anyone’s said, this has to be the biggest compliment I’ve gotten. I don’t know honestly. I’ve always had an issue with stories that take on blatant or vulgar imagery and explanations. I try to marry the fantastic with the realistic. With the sphinx for example, I took what I know from life and gave it the primary attributes of a cat. The scratching and pawing are all things my cat Spook does and that’s what I thought about while writing that scene.

Your writing really does remind me a lot of mine: it’s very visual, in that, I can see the movie playing in my head as I read. I’m a fan of descriptive prose, so I’ve enjoyed getting lost in your book. What was your inspiration behind writing Terra Incognita?

I can think of a few places that come to mind. First, Timelife Series Secrets of the Unknown. Second, The secret teachings of all ages. Mix a life time of strange interest with a healthy helping of HP Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, Alan Moore, and Mike Mignola and that’s where it comes from.

I believe you mentioned this is book one in a trilogy. Care to share your plans (or approximate release schedule) for the second and third books?

This is the first part in a series of three that make up the first book. There will be a number of other books, but I chose to serialize my stories so I could get them out there sooner. It worked for Dickens [and] Heres; hoping I have the same success.

What’s the story’s main message?

I don’t know if there is a message. I just really like stories about epic adventures and that’s what I wrote about. I didn’t really understand themes and messages until after I was already done, so maybe there will be a message in the next book. Something like “Don’t do drugs!”

Who is/are the main characters?

The only main character I have is Benjamin Harking. He’s an everyday boy who has been thrust into an insane situation that forces him to take a stark look at his actions. There are some other characters that I really enjoy though, like Miles (the not so lovable rogue) and Azothothus (the diabolical emissary of the Hollow.)

Which character do you admire from this book?

I do everything I can to put my characters through hell. I have to say, I admire all of them for not giving up on me so far.

Which character surprised you when you wrote him/her?

Donovan. (That’s all you get)

If you could be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters from this novel, which one and why?

Ben seems like a pretty nice fellow. I’d probably pick him because my editor tells me characterization is my only weak point. More time with him would be better character when I’m writing him.

Which one would you definitely NOT want to be stranded with and why?

Azothothus. He’s kind of an asshole.

What did you learn about yourself when you wrote this book?

I learned that I have what it takes to put the pen to paper and actually create something most people can’t. It’s a good feeling when people tell you you’ve achieved something they only dream about.

What other projects do you have planned?

I started Terra Incognita: (The Abyss) as an easy project to get my feet wet. After I’m done, I want to move on to something more serious, more human. I want to connect with people and write a real American classic that will go down in the annals of history and allow me to leave my mark on the world.

Where can we find your book?

Amazon: Terra Incognita: (The Abyss)

Barnes and Noble


Where can we find you?

Your website

Amazon Author page







2 thoughts on “Out of The Abyss: Lizzy Ford interrogates debut novelist Joshua Mays

  1. Sounds good! And purchased! Ok, you need to start doing crappy interviews or something, I’ve got way too much to read 🙂

    • Haha … so sorry, Katie! Josh is a friend, so you have to let me know if you like his book! 🙂 Thanks for supporting all the indies I feature!!! 🙂 Lizzy

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