ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JOHN A. MORTENSON
John is a story-telling, weapon-wielding, dragon-loving, son-of-a-gun! (Not the words I would have normally used, but close enough.)
He was born on the East Coast but spent most of his life on the West Coast. He spent four years in the service during the Vietnam war. (Please, don’t get him started on his “war stories”, as you may never escape!)
After his military service, John, thanks to his friends, discovered J.R.R. Tolkien. He followed the advance of Tolkien-like mythology as put forth by a new breed of fantasy writers. It was a small step from there to “Dungeons and Dragons” and then to the SCA (The Society for Creative Anachronisms). The SCA actually allowed John to dress in armor, of his own making, and fight with real weapons. He was shown swords, axes, halberds, and bows used in combat.
John says that, “Having been killed countless times, 'in combat' gave me a real insight into battle strategies. You can only 'die' so many times without learning something, right?”
The SCA does much more than weapons. They research and practice the arts and skills of the mid-17th-century; music, food, dance, games, heraldry, crafts of all types. (I am sure that I left some out.) They do this for sport and to make sure that this knowledge isn’t lost to us. But John, you remember John? Was mainly interested in weapons and fighting. What twenty-year-old ex-military man wouldn’t be?
John is also a voracious reader. He has read the Dragon Lance novels, all of them. One of his personal favorite authors is R.A. Salvatore, author of the Dark Elf series. John went so far as to mention R.A. Salvatore in the acknowledgments of his first book. It is hard to find a fantasy or science fiction author that John hasn’t at least skimmed.
If I tried to mention all the various jobs John has had in his lifetime, the list would just be too long.
(Remember don’t ask, “what did you do in the war?”) John spent the longest stretch working in the printing industry, with an almost equal amount of time doing youth work, usually overlapping in the same time period. He also has a certification in drug/alcohol counseling, with five years of work experience. He graduated from UNCO with a BA in psychology in 2014, so don't be surprised at strange twists in his writing.
His first book, “Aerion and the Sword of Heroes” came out in September of 2014. By the end of that same year John had undergone cancer surgery. The surgery was a success and he is, I am happy to say, as rambunctious and/or curmudgeonly as ever. His first book received an amazing review (his words, not mine), by the Kirkus independent review company. His second book, the “Steadfast Sword”, came out in March of 2018.
John says that he is working on a sequel to “Aerion and the Sword of Heroes”, called “One Dragon Left Behind”. He hopes to complete this one by the first part of 2019. He says, “there are at least two more sequels right behind that one.” Again, HIS words not mine. There is even a story where the villain, a dragon, is the leading character. John, like Tolkien, believes that every good story should have a dragon.