Thursday, 10 January 2013

Behind the Scenes: The Sword of the Seraphs (with author Paul Johnson)

Fantasy writing is a difficult battlefield to enter. Being original is one thing, but being good is all together different and difficult. Anybody can write, but it takes an imagination as unique as the one ring and as strong as dragon's breath to create something truly unique and enthralling.
The Sword of the Seraphs is one such work which could stand on the high-rising mantle of good fantasy literature. Paul Johnson, a University of Huddersfield student originating from Scunthorpe, is the master-craftsman behind this upcoming fantasy novel. Whilst it is obvious the novel pictures a fantastic fantasy world, Paul's dreams were not always so.

Southern Drenvian coast, one of the locations in the book.

"It’s a funny thing really, because I didn't have an interest in fantasy books as such, although I’d grown up reading Harry Potter, and I emulated Rowling a lot in short stories I wrote as a kid. For a long time I’d wanted to write science fiction, but I could never nail down a story I was happy with, so I shelved writing for around a year."

Only after watching the Lord of the Rings films in 2010 did Paul have a passion for fantasy.  
Paul's vision of the Blue Mountain lakes

"I discovered the beauty of fantasy, and high fantasy in particular in terms of its creative freedom. With science fiction, the stories I wanted to tell in that genre were always somewhat limited by the tropes of that genre, so I always felt restricted. With fantasy, I found the obvious solution – make up your own universe. "

And with that soon came The Sword of the Seraphs:Rise of the Companions, the first of a potential series of novels set in a far-gone world where mad princes and unlikely heroes vie for the power of a supernatural sword. The writing process came naturally, as did the plot.

Paul summed up the plot very neatly: "The plot is focused around a landowner, who by circumstance and fate inherits the status of knighthood from his dying friend, and becomes the bearer of the Sword – an ancient and destructive weapon created by a now-extinct race of angelic beings called Seraphs as a last resort against one of their kin who betrayed them – Vitria."
Abandoned Drenvian fortifications

Paul likens The Sword of the Seraphs' writing style to Simon Scarrow and the fantasy elements to the Lord of the Rings, which suggests a well written and intricate tale. This passion for fantasy writing hasn't slowed down and a sequel is already in the works.

"The first novel is completed (though if it gets to publication it will no doubt go through some edits), and I'm roughly 40% of the way through the second novel, which is turning out to be a fantastic joy to write." 

Alongside this, Paul has hinted at returning to his sci-fi roots. Only time can tell, but I sure hope to see more from this budding author and all-round great guy, and I wish him the best in finding a worthy publisher. If you want to know more about the Sword of the Seraphs, or want to support the project, visit and like the Facebook page

(images from and the Sword of the Seraphs Facebook page)


  1. Well done Paul.
    Mum and me are so very proud of you.
    You have an awesome talent and a huge future ahead of you.
    You thoroughly deserve every good that comes your way.
    Love you.

    1. He's certainly done a great job, and I, amongst others, can't wait for more talent to shine through.