Ken Johns is the son of a biology professor and a psych nurse. He was raised with a healthy grounding in life sciences and as a result, developed an innate skepticism of religion.
After high school, he enrolled in a full course load of pure science and math with every intention of pursuing a career in engineering. A year later he changed his mind and enrolled in a full course load of music, majoring in the saxophone and composition. Again, a year later, he quit music and took a few courses in psychology and philosophy while building the portfolio that would eventually gain him entry into Film and Video Production at York University.
He graduated from York and was hired to serve coffee to the clients at western Canada’s largest film and television post production facility. Twenty-five years later, he was their post-operations manager.
Now Ken writes commercial fiction from his home on the west coast of British Columbia.
When did you start writing?
I have always written. Short stories in high school, film project scripts at university and full screenplays when I worked in post production. My first novel is actually an adaptation of a screenplay I wrote almost twenty years ago.
What do you love about it?
Besides the hours? I like the ability to envision a world where people can be at their best (and worst) and I can put them under a virtual microscope and poke them with a virtual scalpel and see how they twitch.
What prompted you to write medieval setting time travel?
Who doesn’t like castles, knights, and swords? It’s so epic! I thought why not take a modern family and drop them into that milieu and see how they fare.
What were some of the most interesting things you discovered as part of the research process?
Just doing research is fun in and of itself. You can hit the library or go online and learn something you didn’t know when you woke up that day. For example, I found out what makes beer different from ale and when it became a common practice. The list is endless and overwhelming in a way because in historical fiction, this is your ‘world building’. You have to know the politics, the religious practices, the advances in weaponry and armor, and architecture (both military and civilian) and you have to get it right both in description and chronology. You can’t make it up because somebody will call you on it if you get it wrong.
Any hints about what’s yet to come in the series?
Well without giving too much away, the McLeods will be stuck in the past for a while yet. The next book ROMAN HOLIDAY, coming this winter, will feature a whole new adventure.
What is the best way for people to reach out and connect with you?
I am happy to respond to readers through e-mail on my contact page.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I eat. Seriously. I love to cook and eat all different cuisines of the world. I also love to travel but if I can’t afford to visit a place, I figure trying their cuisine at home is the next best thing to being there. Luckily, I also enjoy running. I’m truly a fat person stuck in the body of a runner.