Josiah Bancroft

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Josiah Bancroft

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Born
in Flowood, MS, The United States
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Member Since
July 2008

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Josiah Bancroft started writing novels when he was twelve, and by the time he finished his first, he was an addict. Eventually, the writing of Senlin Ascends began, a fantasy adventure, not so unlike the stories that got him addicted to words in the first place. He wanted to do for others what his favorite writers had done for him: namely, to pick them up and to carry them to a wonderful and perilous world that is spinning very fast. If he’s done that with this book, then he’s happy.

Josiah lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sharon, and their two rabbits, Mabel and Chaplin.

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Popular Answered Questions

Josiah Bancroft I plan for The Books of Babel to be a four book series. I'm hard at work on the third book now. My goal is to have it ready for publication in the…moreI plan for The Books of Babel to be a four book series. I'm hard at work on the third book now. My goal is to have it ready for publication in the early summer of 2017. I'm not the swiftest writer (it takes me about two years to write a book), but what I lack in expediency I hope to make up for in quality. Thank you for your question, Lulu248.(less)
Josiah Bancroft Hi, Pratik,

Your question reminded me of the four pieces of writing advice that I give to myself (and share with others, if I think it might benefit…more
Hi, Pratik,

Your question reminded me of the four pieces of writing advice that I give to myself (and share with others, if I think it might benefit them). Here are the four things I try to remember:

1. Don’t talk about your ideas or intentions. It’s normal to get excited about a personal goal. It’s also normal for writers to think about their current projects compulsively. So, it’s only natural for us to want to talk about our ideas and current projects. We want to share our passion and excitement, and we want someone to validate those feelings. But by receiving this premature validation, we erode the motivation that we need to do the work. We are less likely to finish something if we talk about too much. Productive writers are often secretive about what they’re working on because they don’t want to lose the drive to finish it. They’ve learned to take validation from doing the work rather than talking about it.

2. Reading will teach you everything you need to know about writing if you read broadly and carefully. Workshops, conferences, creative writing programs, and writers’ residencies are primarily social engagements. Writing is a lonely business, and so writers naturally look for access to a community. These interactions have an interpersonal value, but they will never teach you half as much about writing as reading will. Read classics, read your contemporaries, read outside your genre, read books that intimidate you, and read every day. Don’t be discouraged by people who brag about all the important, obscure, or difficult books they’ve read; many of them are exaggerating, anyway. Read at your own pace, but don’t stop reading.

3. Develop your own standards and define your own expectations for your work. Don’t look to your peers for validation. You can always find someone who is worse than you, and if you’ve read enough, it’s also easy to find someone who is better than you. While it’s natural to be aware of other writers’ failings and strengths, you’ll drive yourself crazy if you spend too much time measuring your work against the genius of others. Learn to appreciate your accomplishments; learn to identify your weaknesses. Neither critical acclaim nor popular reception will give you lasting self-confidence or self-knowledge.

4. Uneasiness, insecurity, and failure are essential to growth. Learning is often an uncomfortable process. It requires a lot of effort: some of it tedious, much of it discouraging. We can’t grow unless we are dissatisfied with our first efforts and our past accomplishments. We can’t grow unless we risk failure and exposure to scrutiny and criticism. It’s important to remember that failure is unavoidable. Those of us who never take risks don’t avoid failure, we just defer it to the end of our lives when we have nothing to celebrate, nothing to take pride in. That final failure is infinitely worse, not least of all because there is no opportunity for success. If you persist and if you learn from your experiences, you will eventually succeed. There are, of course, many different kind of success, and not all of them end in mansions and mobs of adoring fans. But the success that you earn by dent of diligence and sweat will be incredibly rewarding. I promise.(less)
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More books by Josiah Bancroft…
First, I want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to conjure up a ringdom name. I received so many fantastic and funny suggestions. I had a very difficult time choosing a winner from so many interesting, well-researched, and clever entries. You’re all wonderful. Thank you.

Now, without further ado… to the winners!

The randomly selected First Place Winner of the Books of Babel (which in... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on March 12, 2018 17:05 • 245 views
Senlin Ascends Arm of the Sphinx The Hod King
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Interviews

January 2018, Josiah Bancroft
"Author Josiah Bancroft had an idea for a quirky fantasy novel set in the 19th century. Instead of trying to find a publisher, he self-published Senlin Ascends and worked hard to grow a dedicated fanbase around the novel. Now his novel has been picked up by a major publisher as part of a multi-book deal. Bancroft talks about his slow-burn success. " ...More

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Josiah’s Recent Updates

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
"Wow, what a hidden gem. “Senlin Ascends” is a masterpiece, combining the best of Alastair Reynolds and Geoffrey Chaucer in a wonderful tale that is best described as steampunk meets “The Hobbit”. At the heart of the story, our hero Tom learns from..." Read more of this review »
Jade City by Fonda Lee
"Jade City is my adult debut and it also marks my foray into epic fantasy. It came about from watching kung fu movies and thinking, "You know, I'm a long-time student of martial arts, so why can't I punch through concrete or fly thirty feet into th..." Read more of this review »
Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft
"Having adored its predecessor, my expectations were much higher for Arm of the Sphinx, and Bancroft does not disappoint.

The story shifts slightly in style as Senlin's situation changes. Rather than focusing on him entirely, the story is split betw..." Read more of this review »
Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
"Read my review over at my website as well as reviews of other books, films, tv shows and games!

Senlin Ascends is a classic fantasy adventure, full of reluctant heroes and exotic locations. The novel's plot follows Joseph Senlin, a school master in..." Read more of this review »
" P wrote: "Congratulations and thank you for sharing. How can I find a good editor to review my book for typos and grammar errors or make suggestions o ...more "
" Lulu wrote: "I have already read it, and loved it....eagerly awaiting book 3!!"
Hi, Lulu! Book 3 should be out in December. Thank you so much for readi
...more "
Josiah Bancroft wants to read
Paternus by Dyrk Ashton
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Red Sister by Mark  Lawrence
More of Josiah's books…
“Senlin did not believe in that sort of love: sudden and selfish and insatiable. Love, as the poets so often painted it, was just bald lust wearing a pompous wig. He believed true love was more like an education: it was deep and subtle and never complete.”
Josiah Bancroft, Senlin Ascends

“Even beauty diminishes with study. It is better to glance than gawk.”
Josiah Bancroft, Senlin Ascends

“We are, each of us, a multitude. I am not the man I was this morning, nor the man of yesterday. I am a throng of myself queued through time. We are, gentle reader, each a crowd within a crowd.”
Josiah Bancroft, Arm of the Sphinx

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“The gaps are part of the set, too," she'd said. "You can't replace them. I know how each piece was broken or lost. I broke a plate myself when I was nine. Now I'm an immortal part of the pattern. I'll take my gaps, thank you.”
Josiah Bancroft

“Senlin did not believe in that sort of love: sudden and selfish and insatiable. Love, as the poets so often painted it, was just bald lust wearing a pompous wig. He believed true love was more like an education: it was deep and subtle and never complete.”
Josiah Bancroft, Senlin Ascends

“We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.”
W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore




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