Interview with John Hernandez

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in California in the United States and I suppose I would say that the type of life lived in the US has affected not just my writing, but also my entire outlook on the things around me. I believe I would say that our ministry here in my home country, Nicaragua, has been led by God as well as the things I have seen people achieve in other places around the world, and that is coming from the impoverished part of the US. Of course, we all have seen there are the Bill Gates and Donald Trumps of the US, but not many see how the young have come from impoverished locations, such as an apartment building known for drug deals and prostitution, and then turned their selves into a productive part of society. Case in point, a friend of mine from Kerman, an unknown city really, started a business in mobile detailing with a sponge and a bucket and after two years it boomed into a nice business serving more than 600 cars a week. His parents sent him to school in Salvation Army threads, what we called used clothing at the time, and he only ate at school because we had free lunch provided by the state. So it goes to show that our every day lives as a youngster doesn't mean that our adult lives need to continue down the same path. How does this really affect my writing? Well, I would have to say that my writing is about real situations and lives, and its also about how my life has been dedicated to turning young lives away from their childhood situations and into something they can really do to better themselves, their children if they have them, and those around them daily. Its not all about the Word of God, or that God is there, its usually about how God can change their lives personally, and everything around them in the blink of an eye, all with simple Guidance from Him.
When did you first start writing?
Oh, I first started writing and developing stories as a child. But actually writing stories that made sense, that didn't happen until I was about 20 years old. Publishing anything at all, even online like here with smashwords, that didn't even cross my mind until recently. For me writing is not about my story, its about sharing the success of those I work with every day. When I was a child, I wrote as a child to live in another world. At the moment, I am in another world so to speak. A world that makes a difference, instead of maintains a focus on oneself. I find that it is a much more fascinating and rewarding world.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing would have to be when someone else reads it. It doesn't matter who reads it, or if they think it is great writing or sloppy writing. Only that someone else was able to see something they hadn't before. The story itself, not how it is written, is what I want them to see. I remember reading a story that a 4th grader wrote when I was studying creative writing. It was extremely horrendous when it came to grammar and any true writing skill that a grumpy critic would be looking for, but the story was an entirely different realm. There was a dragon who ate only berries and a child who rode the dragon every night to escape from the ugly father. Now that child may or may not have been a great writer later on, but the imagination was there, and it was the story I could see, not the words that were spelled incorrectly. So I would say the greatest joy is the part where someone else reads it.
What do your fans mean to you?
If I had a fan that would mean a great deal. I feel that everyone you connect with in life can be a friend, a person you can speak to, receive great ideas from, and have great conversations with. Also, if constructive of course, you can receive great amounts of feedback from anyone and learn from it. I had a friend who was also a pastor and I learned so much about teaching and communication from him. I also had a friend who was from another country and who had no religious beliefs at all, and their feedback from a simple article I wrote started a great friendship that taught me even more about communication and teaching. It goes to show you that everyone you ever come in contact with has the potential to be a part of your inner circle, your hearts desire, and every person that may or may not be a fan, also can become a great friend.
Who are your favorite authors?
Believe it or not, I have read over 5,000 books from different authors, and I find that I like them all for one simple reason, they are imaginative. Some write better than others, for example Stephen King and Dean Koontz write better than other authors in horror and suspense, but that doesn't mean that the story that the other author imagined was not a good one, their delivery just wasn't as great as the two aforementioned authors when it comes to the same genre. Some people say, well you are a pastor, why are you reading such and such book, at the time it was Game of Thrones I believe, and my response was simple. You must know something about everything to be able to relate and become a great communicator to anyone. Therefore, you must be able to communicate in all forms as great as they do, especially in writing. My favorite author? God because he wrote the most mysterious book in the world. My second favorite author? Everyone who writes, from the youngest to the oldest.
What is your writing process?
I live my writing process. I see others stories being written in their lives each day and I remember them so well that I write them down in one go, and then come back and put the gibberish into something others can read. So when I hear a new story, I question them, see what they were feeling, and envision their whole story. That way, when I put it all down, and then come back and polish it up chapter by chapter, I can try to put their thoughts and feelings into it well enough for someone else to be able to understand.
How do you approach cover design?
Well, I guess I just put a bunch of things together and then ask everyone else I know what fits best. I really don't pay a lot of attention to that as some do. Nor the title. Though I suppose I should now that its mentioned.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a few. My phone, a Kobo Mini, a tablet, my laptop (usually when reading the Word and writing at the same time), and a Kindle. The Kobo, tablet, and Kindle all are free to use in the church. My phone and laptop are mine of course.
Describe your desk
My desk is actually organized by my wife. It shows me how much of my brain she knows. It also shows me that no matter how much a man can live alone, they are more successful when they are in tune with their wife.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My whole life inspires me. My wife, my children, and the work I do with everyone around me. Even my friends with whom I speak to on a daily basis inspire me to make more of an impact each day. My wife is the one that pushes me out of the house every day though.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I would like to know myself. More often than not it is figuring out what to do next, but most of the time it is taking care of my family, preparing a new message for the day, searching for young people in need to bring them out of their lifestyle and into a better one, and many times, the days are so full, I cannot even remember everything we did that day.
Published 2015-01-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.