William Miles Johnson (aka William Azuski) spent his formative years in the UK, studying ancient history and literature before dropping out of college to pursue a path on the open road. He travelled widely through the Mediterranean until a chance encounter threw him headlong into an unexpected calling — ecology and conservation.
Johnson went on to head an international conservation project to establish marine protected areas in the militarily tense Eastern Aegean, where the hostile powers of Greece and Turkey confront each other across a narrow stretch of sea, and where shadowy areas of the state apparatus appeared to have forgotten that the Colonels had fallen five years earlier.
Those experiences formed the basis for his first book, THE MONK SEAL CONSPIRACY, published by Heretic Books, London.
Hailed by critics as “A ground-breaking work of great importance” Johnson’s second book, THE ROSE-TINTED MENAGERIE — a history of animals in entertainment, from the circus amphitheatres of ancient Rome to the oceanaria of the 20th century — was published by Heretic Books in 1990, and was chosen as an Observer Book of the Year.
With introductions by Desmond Morris, Richard Adams, Virginia McKenna and Sadruddin Aga Khan, the book also features in-depth investigations into the international trade in dolphins, and animals used for military purposes.
With the title still in demand, Iridescent Publishing republished the illustrated English edition of THE ROSE-TINTED MENAGERIE in 2012 in ebook form: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008GE01X8
An outspoken critic of the failings of international conservation NGOs, a subject featuring prominently in his articles, as well as The Monk Seal Conspiracy, Johnson’s “End of the World” satire / black comedy MAKING A KILLING was published in 1996, its story centred around a life-and-death Earth Summit, held in the troubled Caribbean paradise of San Pimente.
To mark the 2012 Earth Summit II in Rio, MAKING A KILLING was republished in 2012 by Iridescent Publishing in ebook form: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088CGHRM
Johnson subsequently turned his attention to more academic titles, with two Leiden-published titles focusing on Europe’s most endangered marine mammal, the Mediterranean monk seal, and its role in the history, culture and ecological decline of the Mediterranean Sea. MONK SEALS IN ANTIQUITY and MONK SEALS IN POST-CLASSICAL HISTORY were published by Backhuys Publishers in 1999 and 2004 respectively.
Of British and Yugoslav parentage, Johnson also writes under the name William Azuski.
Drawing on his years in Greece, 2013 sees the publication of TRAVELS IN ELYSIUM, a metaphysical mystery set on the Aegean island of Santorini (Thera).
“This extraordinary novel, part murder mystery, part metaphysical thriller, kept me guessing until the very last page. The intellectual duel between the troubled hero and his ruthless mentor is mesmerising. William Azuski’s treatment of the Atlantis legend is completely original and I have rarely read a novel with such a strong sense of place. The bizarre landscapes of Santorini and the daily lives of its people, both ancient and modern, are vividly evoked. Anyone who enjoys the work of Umberto Eco, Orhan Pamuk or Carlos Ruiz Zafón should try this book.” — Geraldine Harris, author, Egyptologist, and a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford.
Further information available at http://www.iridescent-publishing.com