Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Author spotlight with John Hennessy (Over)
Mr. Hennessy is kindly giving away up to 25 ebook
copies for his novel!! First 25 people to comment win!!
K.T. Hello and welcome. I am very excited to have you here today. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.
J.H. Hello, Kolina. Thank you for having me. I would love to introduce myself. I am a 23-year-old who graduated from Western Washington this last June. I live with my girlfriend, Katherine; our two parakeets, Captain Ron and Lola; and our kitty, Phoebe. I have been writing Life Descending for the last six years and finally decided to self-publish it during the summer, found an editor and cover artist, and finally completed everything in October.
K.T. Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?
J.H. I don’t know if this is a quirk, but every morning I like to get up early and drink Yerba Maté tea through a strainer straw as I write. I’ve been drinking it for six or seven years now, somehow I just got into a routine of doing it. Other than that, I just write, then write some more.
K.T. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?
J.H. I realized I wanted to be a writer when I was on a cruise to Alaska. I was a sophomore in high school and was not having a particularly great time because almost everyone there was a couple...and I was single...need I say more? Although I did have some fun with my parents, I also read a lot when they were out. I bought a book in Juno from a cool local bookstore. At the time I was really into the games Starcraft and Warcraft, and I thought I would give Diablo a shot from a literary standpoint, so I bought Diablo: Legacy of Blood. That book really got me thinking about my own story, especially the cursed armor, which I loved. From there, it just took off, to the point where I used what I had written as my Senior Exiting Project.
K.S. What genre do you write?
J.H. I like to write Science Fiction and Fantasy mostly, but also some thriller. Life Descending is labeled as an Epic Fantasy, but it is a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi, something I had a lot of fun with.
K.S. What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career?
J.H. My courses at Western and the books that I read and lectures that I attended were quite a bit of my inspiration. I added in little details to my world from other world cultures and religions outside of the U.S. that I learned about as a Culture and Religion major in the Liberal Studies department. Of course, other fantasy authors have also been inspirational, learning from their work while falling in love with their characters. But Don Quixote is probably my all time favorite...it is hard to say for sure that it is, because there are so many books that I love, but it is so fantastic that I fell in love with it from the first chapter.
K.S. What does your family think of your writing?
J.H. My parents love my book. Both read the manuscript and both have read the printed edition as well. The rest of my family is proud that I accomplished such a feat at a young age.
K.S. What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?
J.H. That formatting is awful and that revision and editing is probably the majority of the work, not just sitting down and writing out the story. For me, it was a lot of planning, layering, and reworking. The editing was the worst part, and it started to eat away at me after a time, so eventually I hired the wonderful Sara Stamey, a senior instructor at Western/freelance editor/author to edit my manuscript. She really made the work and words come together in a professional way that I am proud of.
K.S. Can you tell us a little about your novel?
J.H. My novel is about a man, Tom Navo, who has just assaulted his boss after being fired, and is on the verge of suicide at the start of the first chapter. He slips and falls from the skyscraper he is planning to jump from, but luckily some balconies he forgot were there save him. But he is meant to die that day; it is inevitable for him. Sadly, death finds him in a minimart robbing gone wrong. After that, Tom wakes up on a new world and eventually loses his memories as they are replaced with new ones. Unfortunately for Tom, the planet he resurrects on is in a state of unrest and on the brink of war, which he gets caught up in as he tries to
discover what has happened to him.
It is a sad, yet fun adventure, full of different creatures and beings, and characters I hope readers will care about and become attached to, as they invest their time in my novel.
K.S. Where can we find your novels?
J.H. If you live in Bellingham, WA, you can find my books at Village Books in Fairhaven, but for the majority, you can find my books on Amazon.com, B&N.com, all eBook formats on Smashwords. You can find a list on my website, along with reviews in their entirety.
K.S. Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?
J.H. I do have a website: http://www.johnhennessy.net. My blog is built into the website, just click on the news tab. If you visit my website, please visit my map tab, I spent over a month learning how to use Gimp when building it, and I am pretty proud of how it turned out. If you enjoy epic fantasy and the maps that are usually apart of those worlds, I think you will enjoy my map of Gillia.
K.S. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?
J.H. Well, to be honest, I am still an aspiring writer. But for those who are serious about self-publishing, please, oh please find an editor. There are only a handful that can really do it on their own and do a professional job, and I bet they still would hire an editor. It really makes a difference if you want to ease the burden on your mind, the weight of all the hundreds of thousands of words than can so easily get mixed up when you have read your own work hundreds of thousands of times.