14 Feb 2015

AT ODDS WITH DESTINY feature: Janet Morris

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

Tempus 5-1

Today I want to introduce you to Janet Morris, a multi-talented writer who features alongside myself in the “AT ODDS WITH DESTINY” Box Set.  Janet and I connected via Uvi Poznansky, who also contributed to the Box Set. Here is Uvi’s review of Janet’s book “A Man and His God (Sacred Band of Stepsons: Sacred Band Tales Book 1)”, which I find the perfect introduction to the artist that is Janet. 

The Man and His God is a novella based on Plato’s Sacred Squadron, which consisted of pairs of male lovers that formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. It is more than a sword-and-sorcery tale. Before us is a story where mythology is reinvented in the most delicious, vivid detail, in a fantasy world that is larger than life, and perhaps more true to our dreams and our yearning for a heroic journey. In this world, reality is but a distant, pale shadow of what is possible, and what the author, Janet morris is fleshing out before us.

I find it truly amazing that she found a lyrical way to describe the exploits of this elite cavalry unit. The Sacred Band of Stepsons is loyal to its members and its commander. It begins when Abarsis, the Slaughter Priest from the North, brings his Sacred Band to Tempus, a warrior who cannot die, nor can he enjoy his immortality. At the beginning of the story this lone mercenary is perceived by others as ‘Death Himself’.

By the end of the story, the wounded Abrasis takes his last breath in Tempus’ arms. The scene features one of the most delicate descriptions of helping a dying man find a measure of comfort amidst the pain. As he breathes out his soul, Tempus seals his last moment with a symbolic signature of a kiss. Indeed, the kiss of Death… This scene, and indeed the entire concept of the Sacred Band, bring to mind customs such as homosexuality in the militaries of ancient Greece.

Five stars.

Interview with Janet: Janet bio pic cropped 12 05 13 Janet B&W Portrait 2
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.

As a writer, I have been writing for as long as I can remember, first on the wallpaper of my room and then branching out. I made my living for as a novelist (I sold my first book when I was 25), and then as a think-tank “policy wonk” and talking head, often ghost-writing for Congressmen, Senators, and the like.

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?

I decided to write when I was three and got my first box of crayons and finger-paints.  I did write that year, on the walls of my room, but nothing publishable.  I won my first writing prize for a poem I wrote in first grade.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

Every teacher I had, but for one, encouraged my writing.  That one told my parents, on the third day of school when I was in in Grade 9, that I wrote like William Fa
ulkner, whom she detested; therefore she would fail me if I stayed in her College English course.  Her name was Mrs. Hurst and I am always grateful to her; because of her, I spent a year in General English, learning about punctuation, spelling, and the diagramming of sentences because anyone in General English hoped for a career in secretarial work. 

When did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)

My father and mother were well educated;  they read me classics and mythology and bible stories, not contemporary children’s books, and my father let me read his science fiction magazines, so I grew up enjoying mythopoeic and metaphysical works such as Macbeth, Midsummer’s Night Dream, Faerie Queen, the Iliad.  I didn’t ‘decide to write in a chosen genre’  because I never have and never will, write in any ‘genre’. I write fiction about the human condition with a metaphysical and philosophical edge, about dramatic explorations into eschatology. The novel is my preferred form, because it contains everything now sold as ‘genre’ but is overtaken by none.

Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?

You say “books,” and if we were face to face I could ask you to clarify:   I didn’t have ‘an’ idea for my ‘books.’  I have varied ideas that I’ve used at the core of various books, ranging from nonfiction, through rigorous a biographical novel of the Hittite king in the middle second millennium BCE to heroic fantasy, to science fiction, and even science fantasy: I write the story that my passion ignites. The novel in this book box is “Tempus,” which is also the name of the main character who began with these stories. I wrote the first Tempus story under contract to the million-copy bestselling Thieves’ World (R) share universe editor, and he asked for a story set in “the armpit of fantasy, the worst and most corrupt place possible). I had long wanted to write something featuring a Sacred Band (a group of hand-picked age-weighted pairs of homosexual warriors) and magic that worked because the gods were real to their worshipers, and Greek hero-cults.  These came together in my Tempus stories, which spawned the Sacred Band of Stepsons novels.

What is your life like outside of writing?   Editing.  And I assist my husband with his music; we live with dogs and cats and horses. We show the hoses competitively: this year a horse we bred became Morgan World Champion Western Pleasure stallion.  Together, my husband and I help each other reach our goals.

What makes you laugh?

A happy, healthy animal; a well-turned phrase; a brilliant musician playing a great piece of music.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Homer, Sappho, Heraclitus of Ephesus, Albert Einstein, Kikkuli, Suppiluliumas I, Richmond Lattimore, Marguerite Yourcenar, John Milton, Mary Shelley, Enlil.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

My husband has already written the song for Tempus and the rest of the Sacred Band of Stepsons series. Here is the link to the YouTube video “Tempus with his right-side Companion Niko,” where you can hear the song “Good Times” and watch the Tempus video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTaDPNWAtHk

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novel about Rhesos of Thrace, editing my husband’s narration of the soon-to-be released “I, the Sun” audio book, and completing several short stories, including one for “Doctors in Hell” and one for “HEROIKA 1: Dragon Eaters.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

When I want to be engaged by a novel, I write one. My books, and those co-written with others, are meant to move you out of your comfort zone, into new, often heroic territory. These books are Homeric, and not for the faint of heart.  Such work is meant to  take the reader into another mind, another time, so that where much is unfamiliar, what is common to all humans stands out sharp and clear. My books always venture into eschatology, questioning the limits of life and death and what comes after.

Buy links for Tempus (a/k/a Tempus with his Right-side Companion Niko) by Janet Morris





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cover-make it our story

Ten full length novels, including THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS. Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you At Odds with Destiny, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their amazing journeys.

Release Date March 3rd.

Available for PRE-ORDER NOW on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo

cover of boxed set


Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer or a traitor leading a gang of felons. How does he see himself? Can he control his destiny and strike a balance between ambition and longing for purity?

Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand – and Gus, tormented by the unexplained death of his wife, braces for the fight of his life.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer In WW2 Eastern Europe, two families – one Jewish, one Catholic — fight for survival amidst deception, fear, distrust and betrayal. In the entangled web of political, religious and familial loyalties, can love endure?

Outview by Brandt Legg Nate embarks on a breathless quest to save his brother and unravel the mystery of their father’s death. His desperate flight takes a stunning turn when mystics reveal an extraordinary destiny to him.

Among the Shrouded by Amalie Jahn Mia, Thomas, and Kate have psychic abilities and a common destiny. They just don’t know it yet.

Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins After Jack dies, his wife Pam discovers secrets and lies. Is she destined to succumb to vengefulness against his two lovers, or will she fine a different way forward?

Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn To rescue his kidnapped sister, Gabriel is forced to join a crime syndicate, where he discovers a dark underside to the city that few have ever seen. Yet the game can’t be won by their rules. He’ll have to make his own.

Tempus by Janet Morris Woe betide the soul who dares too much! Ride with Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons cavalry into myth, legend, and adventure like no other.

Native Lands by P.C. Zick When their environment is torn apart by a battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier, a tribe of native Floridians thought to be extinct rise up to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure.

Dream Student by James DiBenedetto Everything was going according to plan, until the night when college junior Sara Barnes started seeing other people’s dreams. Is she the only one witnessing the secrets of a serial killer? Let in the dog and let out the cat, for this box holds dangers of the most rarefied kind!

written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

2 Responses to “AT ODDS WITH DESTINY feature: Janet Morris”

  1. Chris says:

    Christoph, thanks for doing the wonderful interview with Janet Morris.


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