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Interview with J. Boyce Gleason, author of 'Anvil of God'

Anvil of God
J. Boyce Gleason

Today’s guest is J. Boyce Gleason, author of the historical fiction, Anvil of God. With an AB degree in history from Dartmouth College, Joe brings a strong understanding of what events shaped the past and when, but writes historical-fiction to discover why. Gleason lives in Virginia with his wife Mary Margaret. They have three sons.

Thank you for this interview, Joe. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Writing is a second career for me. I started out in politics doing campaign work and ended up on Capitol Hill as a press secretary. I moved from there into public affairs and crisis work and got to work on some of the nation’s largest public relations crisis in recent U.S. history.

That said, my former career required a lot of writing. It was just a different kind of writing. I started to write fiction in earnest about eight years ago.

Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?

It’s about the struggle for power that engulfs the family of Charles the Hammer upon his death in 741. Son battles son, Christianity battles paganism and his daughter must choose between love and her family’s ambitions. Although the history is as accurate as I could make it, it is really the story of a family in crisis. I wanted to explore why they made the choices they made.

Why did you choose your particular genre?

I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction. I read James Clavell’s Tai-Pan when I was in high school and was swept away by it. For a time, I wanted to write science fiction, but don’t think I’m creative enough for it.

What was your greatest challenge writing this book?

History for this time period is pretty thin, so piecing together a timeline of what happened was difficult. The greatest challenge however, was setting aside enough time to actually get it done. Writing takes a lot of time and it usually takes more time than we let on.

Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?

I am self-published through iUniverse.

Was it the right choice for you?

We’ll see. I was frustrated by how difficult it is to attract an agent, and I published in hopes that it would attract attention. In hindsight I may have been better off, keeping my powder dry.

How are you promoting your book thus far?

I do a little bit of everything. I’ve promoted it through the media, on blog tours, I’ve advertised, I’m doing book signings and using social media.

How is that going for you?

It’s going well. The advertising really had an impact and I’m hoping to build enough of a following to affect the next book’s sales.

Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?

I used AuthorBuzz to advertise on Goodreads, Amazon and BookMovement to raise visibility for Anvil. In tracking sales, I could see they had a profound impact on my numbers.

Do you have another job besides writing?

I still consult in my old field, but am focusing more on writing these days.

If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?

Do everything. It’s all interrelated.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on Book Two of the Carolingian Chronicles. It picks up Anvil’s story two months after the conclusion. Called Wheel of the Fates, it continues the story of the rise of the Carolingian Kings. I’m also working on a novel about a young Ben Franklin called Sin of Omission.

Thank you for this interview, Joe. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?

Thank you. I enjoyed it. My website is You can find my blog on the site and I’m also on Facebook (J. Boyce Gleason) and Twitter @JBoyceGleason

Anvil of God is available at Amazon.

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