I have to admit that this was one interview that I had been looking forward to. Asgaard is a wild adventure set in the heart of volatile Africa. You can find my review here. Africa is a continent where fact often eclipses fiction. One only has to look at Ian Smith and Rhodesia, Idi Amin in Uganda, and the genocide inflicted in Rwanda in the mid 1990’s. The Hutu and Tsutsi tribes were locked in a situation where no one could win. The Tsutsi were destined for oblivion.

In some ways Africa is still a powder keg. What many people fail to understand is that while we see pictures of famine and destitution, Africa is incredibly rich in raw materials. The diamond that your wife wears very likely originated in Africa. The chances are that the gold wedding band you wear also came from the region.

It was many years ago that I was given some sage advice on the subject of writing. Write about subjects you know and understand. Fiction is not about invention, it is more about employing fact in a simulated situation.

Asgaard does just that! D.Alan Johnson is a private military contractor. He has been since 1986. He does go into ‘harms way’. His latest book Asgaard reflects that.

I have to admit that interviewing authors and other interesting folks is one of the highlights of my otherwise unglamorous chosen profession. I could smell gold in this interview, and I was not wrong. While David preferred not to talk about his current mission, it is safe to assume that it is somewhere that the rest of us likely would not enjoy being. He was happy though to talk in broad terms about some of the places and situations that he has found himself in. Apparently his introduction to the world of ‘government contractor’ was no less than Oliver North and Nicaragua. He has also worked in various other South American and African countries.

After leaving the military D. Alan Johnson used his GI Bill money to obtain a pilots license. And indeed it is his flying abilities that pays his bills today. His current ‘work vehicle’ is a King-Air. A rugged twin prop machine that depending on configuration can seat about 10 people, or haul a boat load of cargo! I know this aircraft well from my time working in the oil and gas business in Canada. The King-Air can take off and land just about anywhere. Now exactly what this particular aircraft does remains a mystery, but I would wager that it has something to do with the war on drugs.

Asgaard is set in the Congo and it explores the tenuous relationship between the US government and private enterprise trying to manipulate a foreign country. The reasons for wishing to interfere are undoubtedly for good moralistic reasons, but what happens when it just plain goes wrong?

You can listen to this most illuminating of interviews in its entirety here.

I also recommend that you visit www.dalanjohnson.com

Simon Barrett

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