I am so thrilled to be spotlighting a writer who has had me on the edge of my seat more times then I can count with his books. At the same time he's had me sitting on the couch with a plastered smile. John Inman's unique style is one I doubt I will ever tire of. Whether I'm reading a thrilling, gripping and suspenseful book like, Hobbled or smiling and laughing while reading Serenading Stanley, I am thoroughly entertained and whisked to a world I have no reason to want to leave.
With John's new book, Spirit (Out now) I grabbed this opportunity to ask him to let me spotlight him. I was ecstatic when he said yes, thrilled when he agreed to an interviewed and giddy when he offered to do a giveaway for his new book. I know John Inman fans all over will LOVE this interview and I'm quite sure this giveaway is one many will be itching to get.
Before we get to the interview, I just want to talk a moment about his books which of course you can view here on Goodreads > John Inman on Goodreads
Hobbled was the first book of John's that I read and it was hot, suspenseful and mysterious. I didn't breathe much reading it and when it was over I was won over!
Thanks to fate and his own lack of good sense, eighteen-year-old Danny Shay is headed into what looks to be the worst summer of his life. It starts with a minor meltdown at work that leaves Danny under house arrest with a cast on one leg and an ankle monitor on the other, courtesy of the San Diego Police Department. On top of that, he’s battling a chronic case of virginity, with no relief in sight.
Oh, and there’s one more little glitch. A serial killer is stalking the city, murdering young men. And when strange sounds are heard in the house behind Danny’s, the neighborhood kids think they’ve found the killer. But not until Danny learns he's next on the madman's list do things really begin to get desperate.
Damn! And Danny had plans to come out this summer—maybe even get laid! He doesn't have time for ankle monitors and serial killers!
Then ginger-haired Luke Jamison moves in next door. Not only does Luke solve a few of Danny's more urgent problems, he also manages to create a couple more that Danny never saw coming. Gee. If he can survive it, this summer might not be so bad after all
To understand the versatility of this author you put a book like Hobbled beside a book like Paulie and you will see that there is very little John can't write. Paulie is a sweet, beautiful love story that had my heart a flutter!
To the casual observer, Paulie Banks lives the perfect life. After all, he's young, handsome, and rich. But Paulie has a secret. He's madly in love with Ben, his old college roommate -- and Ben is straight! Now Paulie has arranged a two-week reunion with his three closest friends to rehash their college years and get to know each other again. Jamie and Trevor are coming, along with their new lovers. And to Paulie's amazement, even Ben has accepted his invitation.
Beautiful Ben. The one non-gay apple in the old college barrel. Paulie will soon find out if Ben has forgiven him for overstepping the bounds of friendship on the last drunken night they spent together.
With his La Jolla mansion spotless, a stunning new houseboy hired for the duration, and his heart pounding in both fear and anticipation, Paulie welcomes his old friends back into his life. Thanks to a whole lot of liquor and a clothing optional dress code, boy, do the festivities begin!
I chose 2 books that couldn't be more different! I love that John ventures to the dark side with books like Hobbled and A Hard Winter Rain. Yet he embraces the softer side with Paulie and Serenading Stanley.
I HIGHLY suggest you go to the Goodreads page and check ALL his books out and get reading. You are sure to become a fan!
Now it's Interview time...
I really want to thank you John for doing this for me and all your fans, and all the people who are sure to become fans after this. Lets's get right to the interview!!
1. You've written many wonderful books. No two are alike, at all. There is a certain darkness to them usually. I see a little Stephen King in you. What or who inspires you to write like that?
Hi Meredith. I'm thrilled to be here on your blog with you. Thanks for the invite. Okay, let's get to it. Thanks for saying that about Stephen King. He's one of my heroes. I really do love his dark take on the world, and since I've read an awful lot of his stuff, maybe he does influence the way I write. But I think that would apply to a lot of other writers too. I've loved reading since I was a kid so a lot of stories are probably still lodged somewhere deep inside my head where I draw on them now and then without even knowing it. And since the books I enjoy most are the ones with an edge -- ghost stories, thrillers, police procedurals, horror, and also comedies (the sillier the better) -- then I guess it's only natural they would put either a sinister or a humorous twist on the way I write my own stories. Maybe even both at the same time.
2. Give us an insight into your main character of your new book, Spirit?
Jason Day is a designer of video games. He's not the butchest guy in the world but he has an inner resilience and an inner innocence that carries him through life fairly well. Basically, he's just a good, caring person with a vast capacity for love, which he finds in the character of Sam during the course of the storyline in SPIRIT. Jason also has a sympathetic heart, which is why he's determined to solve the mystery of his poor suffering ghost. I liked Jason from the very moment I began writing him. And liking the MC made the writing a whole lot easier and much more fun. I hope my readers like him too. It's kind of a chore slogging your way through a book when you can't relate to the main character. Actually, I really loved all three of the main characters in SPIRIT. Especially Timmy, the four-year-old. He was a blast to write.
3. Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I'm lucky enough to be retired, thank God. No evil day job to worry about. I get up early, about five a.m., and I usually spend the next three hours writing and guzzling coffee and trying to keep the cats off the keyboard. I think the early morning is the best time for creative thinking. While my hair might be standing straight up off the top of my head and I'm stumbling around like a zombie and looking like crap, somehow my mind is amazingly clear. I write at other times too if an idea comes along, but I think my best writing is done in the morning. The rest of the day I spend with my partner. We hike together, watch movies, enjoy each other's company and at the moment we're remodeling the house which takes up a lot of our time. Plus we live in San Diego, California, the most beautiful city there is. LOL. Life is good.
4. Paulie is a very happy book. I found myself smiling throughout and staying hopeful. I was on the edge of my seat, it was a different suspense then say, Hobbled. Do you enjoy when you shift gears from mysterious and dark, to hopeful and happy?
I do enjoy the change. If I write too many comedies in a row I start feeling burnt out, so I switch to a mystery or a horror story or just a plain old romance. I like my comedies best, but I just can't keep churning them out one after the other without a break. I guess I just run out of gags. And as long as I'm writing something, I'm happy. It doesn't really matter what it is.
5. Some people reading this are writers themselves and at times have been smacked in the face with writers block. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I've had slumps but I've never been totally blocked (knock on wood). The secret for me in getting through a slump is just to keep writing, keep moving the story along even if you know the writing sucks. I figure I can always edit it out later. But in the meantime I'm working my way through the problem. Not the story problem maybe, but the problem inside my head. There's a movie I love called FINDING FORESTER about a reclusive author mentoring an aspiring young writer. One of the things he tells his student is if you don't know what to write it doesn't matter. Just start typing and putting words down on paper. Any words. Jibberish. Whatever. Just the physical act of typing will eventually get your mind working and the ideas will start to come. I believe that completely. The last thing you want to do is just sit back and not try at all. I think that would really put a block in your creative processes. Maybe even a permanent one.
6. You once recommended a book and I thoroughly enjoyed it so I have to ask, What book/s are you reading at present?
Right now I'm reading RAT BASTARD by Stephen Osborne and SCREWUPS by Jamie Fessenden, two of my favorite Dreamspinner authors. (Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of other DSP writers too.) The last non-Dreamspinner book I read, in fact I just finished it, is David Sedaris's WHEN YOU ARE ENGULFED IN FLAMES. I love that guy. David Sedaris can make me laugh so hard I'm squirting tears. Not many writers can do that.
7. The covers for your books are wonderful. I believe a cover is the biggest thing that draws a reader to a story. When you have a cover done, do you have certain demands? Example, some writers don't want faces on their covers.
I have to chuckle at that question. You know what? It took me so long to find a publisher that I make it a point never to demand anything. I'm just grateful as hell to be published at all. As for the covers, what I do is make suggestions. And everyone at Dreamspinner Press is so nice, they have so far gone along with my suggestions, which is actually kind of surprising since I have questionable taste at best. I remember when SHY first came out a few people said it was the worst cover they had ever seen. Well, guess whose idea it was right down to the chicken and the pig. Yep. Mine. And I still love that cover, I don't care what anybody says. The artists at DSP are miracle workers when it comes to making your ideas look good. And they're all so damned nice too. And patient. Haha, I remember once Paul Richmond (who did SHY) was working on a different cover for me and when I asked him if I could make one little change, he said, "You don't want another chicken, do you?" I still crack up when I think of that. As for faces on covers, they're great if you can find the right one, but finding the right one is hard. Overall, I'd rather do without them. A naked body is always good, I just like to cut the head off first. That sounds like something Stephen King would do, huh? Most of the time, when I'm still in the process of writing a book I begin to see what I think the cover should look like, and that's what I try to impart to the cover artist when the time comes. Like I said before, the Dreamspinner cover artists are extremely adept at taking your idea and making it even better. They really are artists in every sense of the word. And the first glimpse you get of your finished cover is probably the most exciting part of the publishing process. If you're like me, you just sit there and stare at it for hours.
8. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Oy. Reviews. A good review can lift you right up to the stratosphere, and a bad one can pretty much do the opposite. But still, I do believe that once you put a book out there, it doesn't really belong to you any more. It belongs to the readers. I also believe that if you want to stay sane in this business you just have to let it go and let the readers and the reviewers do whatever they're going to do with your baby. It hurts to get panned, but as much as I might disagree with what the reviewer is saying I still think it's their right to say it. Happily, most reviews are positive, or at least not mean spirited, and the writers of them are gracious and kind, and more times than not, extremely smart. I've seen some excellent critiquing done in reviews, and I always try to take their words to heart and attempt to learn something from them.
9. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I get a lot of emails from aspiring writers about that very subject. I always tell them the same thing. If you want to be a writer -- then write. And never stop writing. Don't just finish one novel and spend the rest of your life trying to sell it without going right to work on something else. And find some like-minded people who will read your unpublished work and give you feedback. That's the important thing, I think. To share your words. Let people see what you've written and maybe tell you how your writing makes them feel. If there are weaknesses, what are they? Are my characters alive? Can you relate to them? And another thing an aspiring writer needs to do is read. Read everything you can get your hands on. But if you were really born to be a writer I think you would be doing that anyway. You can't be a writer if you don't love to read. You just can't.
10. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Well, I'm not much on social networking but I do have a few outlets where people can read about me or get to know me. Here are some links that might come in handy.
John Inman on Facebook: John on FB
Author Page: John's Web Page
John Inman on Dreamspinner: John on DSP
John on Amazon : John Amazon Author's Page
I had a GREAT time with this interview and I know you had to love it as much as I did!!!
Now let's talk GIVEAWAY!
John has agreed to give ONE lucky person a free copy of his new book SPIRIT.
Jason Day, brilliant designer of video games, is not only a confirmed bachelor, but he’s as gay as a maypole. One wouldn’t think being saddled with his precocious four-year-old nephew for four weeks would be enough to throw him off-kilter.
Wrong. Timmy, Jason’s nephew, is a true handful.
But just when Timmy and Uncle Jason begin to bond, and Jason feels he’s getting a grip on this babysitting business once and for all, he’s thrown for a loop by a couple of visitors—one from Tucson, the other from beyond the grave.
I’m sorry. Say what?
Toss a murder, a hot young stud, an unexpected love affair, and a spooky-ass ghost with a weird sense of humor into Jason’s summer plans, and you’ve got the makings for one hell of a ride
Before I close and post the giveaway I want to thank John for his time and his talent! I hope you all go and buy these books and fall in love, get inspired and enjoy the ride :)
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