Interview with Thomas John

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
SMASHWORDS has provided the platform to allow me a chance to get my debut book for sale internationally. For me, that IS success. Commercial and critical success is a much more difficult mountain to climb. It is a well known fact that the average e-book sells less than 200 copies. I'm hoping to sell more than that, and I'm hoping the readers that purchase my book enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy creating the scenes and conflict, but getting positive feedback is phenomenal. I've had some wonderful feedback during the "beta reader" process. One reader told me he cried at the conclusion of an emotionally charged scene. I was walking on air for days!
What are you working on next?
I've begun an outline for the prequel to my first book. It picks up where the PROLOUGE to THE HEALING OF REVEREND JAMES ends.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have a wide range of interests. Tom Clancy and James Clavell. John Grisham. More recently, I've enjoyed the "Brad Frame" mysteries written by Ray Flynt, and Joe Lallo's "Book of Deacon" trilogy. I will be reading all of their books. Finding new author's everyday at SMASHWORDS.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
With my family and friends, watching The Voice, and going for walks with my dogs. I love watching movies, but I'm spending a lot more time reading. So many excellent authors, so little time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read the blurbs. If I find a blurb appealing, I read the sample. If I like the sample, I buy the book. A well designed cover helps to get my attention.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember my Mom and my Aunt always read to me as a young child. I think my first book was by Zane Grey. The book that hooked me on reading forever was SHOGUN by James Clavell.
How do you approach cover design?
I hired a professional. I looked at all the people on "Mark's List" and fell in love with Fiona Jayde's portfolio. The way she uses light in her covers suited my needs for "THE HEALING OF REVEREND JAMES". There were many other excellent artists ( designers, illustrators) there as well.
What do you read for pleasure?
Science Fiction is my guilty pleasure. A good mystery, an excellent spy thriller, or an epic historical fiction; when they are well done, I love them all.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in northeast, Pennsylvania. I loved snowmobiling, football, and baseball when I was young. I discovered theatre at the age of twelve and that's all I did for the next seven years. I love to sing.
When did you first start writing?
My first attempt at serious writing was a screenplay I co-wrote in 1990 when I was working as a Ghostbuster at Universal Studios, Florida. I got a job as a columnist for the trade magazine " The Florida Picture Show" the next year, and then wrote a solo screenplay the following year. That solo screenplay became the basis for my debut novel, "The Healing of Reverend James." Although, the book is very different than the screenplay.
Published 2015-05-08.
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