Free Book Friday April 25: In Conversation with Joshua Grant

Free book news: This week, I did re-vamp my science fiction sample book, Five from Two. I added the complete first chapter of my novella, The View from Here and changed the order of the selections.

So, more stuff?

Yup. More stuff. Get it here: Five from Two

No onto the interview!

In Conversation With: Joshua Grant

Joshua Grant is an author and owner of the website, Diabolic Shrimp.

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author Joshua Grant. Thanks for dropping by. Before we get started, should I call Joshua, Josh, Mr. Grant?

I used to be an elementary teacher, so definitely don’t call me Mr. Grant, haha!

I  did read that on your website. Readn’, writin’, ‘rithmatic, and all that stuff?

I was originally a successful stage actor doing a bunch of comedy, then Shakespeare, and finally rounding out with tragedy (I like to say my career ended in tragedy).  Then I had one night where I just needed something different in my life, something less me focused and more people focused, so I threw my career away and went looking for something more fulfilling.  My mum was a teacher, so I figured I’d try that out.  I ended up loving it!  I taught elementary for a few years.  I was writing during that time and my books took off, so I left teaching and became a writer (now comic creator and video game designer).  It’s been a fun and unexpected turn of life’s events, but I still go back and work with kiddos now and then.

So, I should call you . . . Mr. G?

 You can call me Josh if you like.  I’m a very personable guy and I don’t get hung up on formalities (but you can also call me Supreme Emperor if you like).

I think I’ll stick with calling you Josh. Can I offer you anything to drink?

Can’t say that anyone has ever asked me that in an interview before!  I’m a huge sodaholic, but I’ve already had like three today, so no thank you!

First things first. I stumbled across your website, Diabolic Shrimp, when one author that I recently interviewed mentioned that they had won a quite prestigious award—The Shrimpy, I believe. Do you have a box of those to hand out?

Though it’s the smallest award on the internet, the Shrimpy Award is actually only given to one person each year!  This year, I actually expanded our Shrimpy Awards.  I give out an award and a cash prize for one short story/chapter excerpt/poem, an award and cash prize for our best book cover, and an award and cash prize for the person who reviews the most books on Diabolic Shrimp!  It’s a lot of fun and we even have a live awards show (like the Oscars but bigger) on Diabolic Shrimp’s Youtube channel on May 1st!  Definitely come join us for it!

Why the shrimp? Why not prawn—or plankton for that matter?

Haha!  Prawns would just be too overkrill! 🙂  When I created Diabolic Shrimp years ago, it was actually named something different for six hours.  I was so excited about it and shared it with my friends and family…and they all laughed me out of the room, haha!  In hindsight, that other name (which I will not utter here) was truly terrible!  Even the waiter at the restaurant we were at laughed at it!  I then changed the name to Diabolic Shrimp.  The Diabolic is for my diabolic plan to get every author in the world on there and take over the world one day!  And the Shrimp is because authors are the little guys, but when banding together they can be pretty impressive!  Plus, I really just want to send shrimp to space and colonize the moon with them!

I like your vision—and the krill pun.
You donate part of the proceeds of your books to various causes. What what the first one?

My very first cause I donated to was the Ocean Clean Up project.  They were (and still are) building these unmanned machines that will clean the plastic out of the oceans within the next five years!  I used to be the first officer on a ship and love the ocean!  That was followed quickly by donations to the Nautilus Ocean Explorer vessel and supporting children in poverty in Ecuador and El Salvador.  I still donate to these projects to this day (in addition to many others now)!

You write in a few different genres. Any one you are particularly fond of?

My problem is that I love them all, so I end up never focusing on one!  I decided to branch out last year and try creating a comic (The Lost Boy).  That became a #1 bestseller right off!  Some of my other books are bestsellers, but that took years of work, so creating a bestselling comic right out the gate was so exciting and unexpected!  Now I’m completely absorbed by comics since it’s such a fun and challenging medium to work in!  When you work in novels, you toil in obscurity for years before you can make it pretty and share it with people.  Comics, on the other hand, is such a collaborative process and every day is Christmas because you’re constantly receiving art or logos or some piece of it and it’s so much fun!

Do you do your own illustrations?

I wish I was that talented!  I do all the character and monster design and rough layout sketches, basically all the art that no one will see.  My artist, Laszlo Nemeth, then takes those and makes them awesome!  He is incredibly talented and I’m truly blessed to get to work with him on numerous projects including a video game!

Glad you could give him a shout out.
Do you have a favorite book?

My favorite book series of all time is Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan!  I love those, the Resident Evil book series by S.D. Perry, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and many of Dean Koontz’s works!

Which book is your latest? This is the time to plug it.

I’ve been hard at work on several comics and a video game lately!  Last year, I published the first season of my comic The Lost Boy.  This is a modern gritty retelling of Peter Pan where Peter becomes a vigilante crime fighting superhero (like batman)!  The first of the six episodes is available for free on my website Diabolic Shrimp.  Currently, I’m running a Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming comic Another Zombie Apocalypse where you can have the chance to be drawn into the comic as a zombie!  That one is a collection of short zombie stories that are a very different take on the zombie formula (and are all connected and building toward something) and will be out in October 2022!  You can find the Kickstarter and get drawn into the comic by searching “Another Zombie Apocalypse” on Kickstarter (campaign ends April 12, 2022)!

What’s one thing we can all do, right now, to make the world a better place?

What a great question!

I know right? Sorry, continue.

I learned a long time ago that to make the world a better place, you have to start by looking inward.  Don’t try to make a crazy world-shattering difference, but instead look to make the world better by improving your outlook first, then focus on bettering one person’s life.  I truly believe that there is one person in this world that only you can make a difference for.  Find that person and do what you can to help.  I didn’t have much growing up, but I would occasionally find coins when I would go on walks and collect them.  I’d do this for a year, then at the end of the year I’d dump out the coins and donate it to something meaningful.  I haven’t stopped doing that, and still follow those same principles through my site and books.  Every little good thing you do means the world and pushes our world towards a better place.

I saw a picture of you playing guitar. What’s your style?

Haha!  I actually get that question a lot and should probably remove that picture! 🙂  I took that picture for fun at the EMP museum in Seattle.  I actually have zero musical experience (I love to sing and have been told that I have a good singing voice, but I get sooo nervous singing in front of people)!  So I guess my style is just listening. 🙂

So, air guitar then?

Actually, I play a pretty good air slide whistle! 🙂

Any favorite bands?

I actually grew up mostly without music, but I love to listen to music while working on books.  I listen to a lot of opera and video game soundtracks.  I also love Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (I know, a weird mix).

Nothing wrong with variety.
Are you ready for the lightning round?

You bring the lightning and I’ll bring the thunder!

I like the enthusiasm.
What is the biomass of the Earth?
The only biomass that matters is shrimp and I’m trying to move them to the moon, so hopefully zero soon.
Can you play Stairway to Heaven? (Interviewer’s note: I wrote this question before Josh admitted to being a guitar imposter so the answer comes across as a different kind of funny.)
Absolutely!  I’ll find a Youtube link for it and play it on the stereo!
Principle mode of trasportation?
Lunges and high skipping!  You do those and people look at you and say ‘that’s a man that commands respect!’
Favorite city?
Colorado Springs all the way, baby!  But also Minas Tirith for stopping the onslaught of Sauron and the orcs.
Weirdest food ever eaten?
Definitely has to be chocolate covered dried squid!  Very chewy, fishy, chocolately, and no one should ever eat it!  Also, try putting goldfish crackers in a yellow Poweraid!  It tastes and feels just like vomit!  Now if you’re looking for a good tasting one, try eating Dorritos (the regular red bag flavor) with ketchup on them!  I’ve done that my whole life and it’s honestly the best
If you were a Muppet, who would you be?
I’m pretty sure I’m actually Kermit the Frog come to life, so definitely him!  I can do a pretty good impression of Kermit, Ms. Piggy, and the Hecklers though!

Oh, that buzzer tells me we are out of time. This has been a pleasure. Thanks for chatting. Any links you want to share?

Thank you so much for having me!  This has been loads of fun!

A shrimpload of fun!



Another Zombie Apocalypse Kickstarter

Josh’s Books on Amazon

Hey! Where are the rest of the free books?

That’s a great question. Sometimes, depending on when promos begin and end, there may not be any overlap.

So, no free books this week.

Well, there’s always free books, just not any new ones this week: Discover New Authors and Free Books.

Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.

My new book page:

Sign up for my weekly newsletter and receive a free book!

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Sign up for my weekly newsletter and receive a free book!

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Published by Leon Stevens

I am an author, composer, and an artist. I published my first book of poetry: Lines by Leon – Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020 and a book of original classical guitar compositions. My latest book is a short story compilation of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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