Interview with Eric Jon Kiser

What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly non-fiction. I like to read biographies. Or history. I don't know why but I find all kinds of story ideas in real life people and events. For instance, one week I read like 23 books on the JFK assassination and outlined, I think, 4 different stories I want to explore after I finish the project I'm working on now. Not about JFK. About the CIA and covert stuff our government gets with.
When did you first start writing?
Well, let's see... I think around 9th grade. I had a couple of great English teachers; one in Jr. High and the other in High school. My High school teacher had probably the biggest influence on me. I went to an alternative high school and a couple of the teachers there, I think, saw something in me that no one had really focused on before. I guess they saw some potential, I don't know. But they were not going to let me just skate through. They kind of held me to a high standard and challenged me. I remember one assignment I had in Alison's class where I just sort of tried to, you know, 'phone in' my story. That was a mistake. She got in my face and said something like if that was all my talent was worth to me, then fine. She would give me a passing grade and I could move on. But that would be a waste because my story had everything in it to be a really great project and I should be the one pushing to get it out. Not her. I thought she was crazy. But when I went back and gave it another pass, I saw what she meant. She was right. I've never really looked back from there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yeah, ninth grade reading assignment - Romeo and Juliet. You know, iambic pentameter is wasted on ninth graders. But I got caught up in the forbidden love thing and the needless death. I enjoyed it in that weird 13-14 year old head space. Then, for some reason, I decided to re-write the story as a comedy. I really wish I still had a copy of it. Ms. Davis, my teacher may still have one. I heard she actually used it in classes afterwards, but I don't know. It turned out really funny. I titled it 'Romiet and Julio' and I slipped stupid juvenile humor in it where ever I could doing my best to keep to the original story. I remember it cracked my classmates up.
What is your writing process?
I'm not sure that I have one. Not a defined one, anyway. I just set aside some time everyday to write. I write a lot of different types of material like poetry, lyrics, humor pieces, my stories. I even write for a blog-site; - I provide opinion pieces on current events and things. Mostly politics. They have given me an opportunity to get my stuff out there and get some interesting feedback. Plus, the site has a lot of really great writers working on stuff. Being included with this level of talent challenges you to step up your game or get left behind. I've never written such 'quick turn' types of articles before. It's great at honing your skills. Hey, maybe that's my process!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I spent the first 10 years of my life in a place called Rock Island, Illinois. Then my family moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico. I lived there until I was 20. I eventually moved to Southern California and have been here ever since. You know, I think you asked me this question before, but that's OK, I have a much better answer for you this time; my new project is actually set in Las Cruces. It's based on an old legend that has been around the town forever. A haunted graveyard and a witch's grave. I think it's some of my best writing so far.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are at least half of the point of writing. Writers love to write, for sure. But hearing about, or getting feedback from, people who 'get' your words, enjoy your characters, get lost in the storyline - whatever - that's the holy grail. If their were nobody to hear them, the world wouldn't need story-tellers.
What's the story behind your latest book?
OK. So to start out, I need to set the tone. Everybody's heard all the great tin-foil hat conspiracy theories of the 20th century -- You know, the IRS is illegally taxing us. Bankers and the 1% control everything, climate change is a hoax made up by Al Gore, the government wants to implant microchips in all of us. Those types of things. Well, My main character discovers they are all true -- and worse. How the hell does some one deal with that? Where do you go for help with something this mind blowing? How could you possibly stop a conspiracy this big. He needs help. So he goes to an old friend who has become an under ground 'Eco-terrorist' to see what he can do and discovers a whole new level of 'involvement'. I've been calling it an 'epic alternate history lesson through the 20th century political dark side'. It's gotten some really great reviews and the feedback from my family and a few friends in the industry has been awesome. It's a fun read and I'm really proud of it.
What are you working on next?
I'm trying my hand at something different. Politics is my first love. Most of my writing to date involves politics in one form or another. I figured I should take a crack at another genre to see if I could, much less if I should keep at this whole writing thing. So I decided to write an old school horror story. Sort of a tribute to one of my all time favorite authors, Steven King.

A few years ago I wrote a short story for a competition I entered. The challenge was to write a horror story that could be no longer than 3000 words. That was all the direction we were given. So I began to write about a real place from my youth. An old abandoned grave yard that had one very weird grave in it. A solid concrete encasement. 3 ft. Wide by 6 ft. Long and about 2 ft. high. No markings. No name. No nothing. Just a wrought iron cross sticking out of it and somebody had hand written "666" on the slab. As you can imagine, absent facts, kids will fill in the blanks for themselves. Which is exactly what happened. Over the years it became referred to as the witch's grave and all sorts of crazy stuff was said to have happened there. I actually had a weird experience there as a teenager myself. And 'no' I'm not going to share. Anyway, I've created a interesting backstory and some contemporary 'good guys' to save the day. It's turning out really fantastic
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The whole thing. I love to read, so to take a shot at writing just seemed natural. But if I had to pick one aspect that gives me the most pleasure I would say meeting my characters and watching them grow. Hanging out with them and learning their personalities. They are like real people to me. And I develop a relationship with each one. Yeah, I know how that sounds. But it's true. I think my character development is one of the things that sets my stuff apart. Some have the most crazy backstory to them. All have elements of real people that I know. And a few have freakin' great nicknames. I can't wait for folks to meet 'Klank'. He's one of my favorites from the horror story.
Published 2015-11-07.
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Books by This Author

The Governing Class
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 113,330. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Bill Sanders, Executive Director of GreenPlanet International discovers the government is using corrupt computer models to calculate human impact and climate change. Sanders reaches out to an old acquaintance turned eco-terrorist, known only as 'War-Pig', to help figure out why. Incredibly, they piece together evidence of a global conspiracy of unimaginable proportions.
The Forgotten Cost of Freedom
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,200. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Democracy, Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Government
A Handbook for a Free America in the 21st. Century. Our Founders gave us an enduring gift -- Democracy --We must use it to meet the challenges we face as a nation.