Josh Francis - Conspiracy, Espionage and a lot of Action
Josh Francis qualified as high school teacher before commissioning into the Royal Australian Navy as a junior officer soon after the September 11 attacks in the US. A desire to serve on warlike operations saw him resign his commission and enlist into the Australian Army. After qualifying as an infantryman and paratrooper, Josh deployed on peacekeeping operations in East Timor conducting counter-militia operations. After completing basic and specialist intelligence operations training, Josh completed multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, conducting duties in special operations, conventional operations and training roles. As our Author of the Day, Francis tells us all about his book, Pegasus.
Please give us a short introduction to what Pegasus is about.
Pegasus is the introduction to the Zach Kryton series. The first short story sees former Intelligence operative Zach Kryton get called back into service as a favour to an old friend. What starts out as a routine operation soon uncovers something more sinister, as Kryton and his team uncover a threat that could lead to global conflict.
Tell us more about Zach Kryton. What makes him tick?
Kryton is a driven and highly skilled operator who served his country well, doing every dirty thing asked of him. A medical injury made the government decide that he was no longer suitable to being in the action. However, Kryton saw differently, and grabs the opportunity for another bite at the action when it presents itself to him. He is the ultimate quiet professional, undertaking his duties methodically and with lethal precision.
What inspired you to write about a conspiracy with global ramifications?
I attempted to leverage off of some of the current topics in world affairs, to look at some of the possible scenarios that could occur in the geo-political environment that involve Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.
You served in the Royal Australian Navy. How has your military experience influenced your world view and your writing?
I also served in the Australian Army, so I have added a heavy dose of realism to the story based on my own experiences to help make the story interesting but also plausible, which I have found to be lacking in some of the other action books currently in circulation. That said, there is a decent dose of edge-of-your-seat action to keep readers entertained.
Why did you title this book Pegasus?
Read it and find out!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am a high school teacher by trade, but am currently working as a project manager in the Royal Australian Air Force. I am into fitness and martial arts (where I hold a second-degree black belt) and run a security consulting firm.
The fights and action sequences seem very realistic. How did you pull this off?
We learn lots of combat skills in the army (that’s what the army does!), so I tried to write based on my own experiences and that of soldiers I have worked with. I used to teach martial arts in the army as well as to private clients, so have tried to write sequences that are realistic.
Which of your characters has been the most challenging to write for?
The character of ‘Cav’ is based on a very good friend of mine, so I have tried to make him out to be a good guy who is highly professional but likes to have fun at the same time.
Have changes in your own life affected any of your characters?
I also suffered very similar service-related injuries, the same as Kryton, so I tried to put myself in his shoes when writing about his thoughts and feelings.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I work full time so writing is a part-time activity for me for now. My first publication was a time-management book called Battle Rhythm, which helps people plan and allocate their time based on military-style thinking. I have set myself a fairly strict routine which allows me to work and write at pace sustainable enough to keep on track to get my books done.
What are you working on right now?
The sequel to Pegasus, titled Poseidon, will pick up the story and will not only answer some questions from the first book, but will also see more get asked as the series continues to unravel. The character of Zach Kryton will further develop throughout this series, and I hope to make him into a likeable yet fearsome character who will appear in future standalone stories.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I am on Instagram and Facebook, writing under my publication and consultancy service called ‘Red Diamond’. Readers can get updates on new releases and provide feedback and reviews, as well as give ideas, by signing up to the Facebook community or to the readers group via the website. Readers can access all my books online at my Amazon author page. By early February I will have five books published under three different genres, and plan to continue down the action/adventure path in 2020.