Interview with John Heldon

What motivated you to become an indie author?
A few years ago, I saw the cover story of the New York Times magazine about Amanda Hocking. She started as an indie author, finding success through the blogosphere. She parlayed this into a traditional publishing deal, leading me to think about using her road map. I'd been blogging at the time, and soon after got an idea for a novel story. An already published friend also thought hers was the way to go. If he had a do over, he'd go that route.

Here it is, a few years later, and I've found there's little I'd rather do more.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sitting down, facing my chrome book windshield, tickling and shifting the keyboard, then driving the story as more of it comes to me.
What do your fans mean to you?
They're everything, why I do this. I have an important story to tell which could have dire consequences. A fan's purchase is an opportunity to agree the world needs crucial change.
What are you working on next?
The Ark saga will ultimately have nine books, three trilogies. I admire George Lucas and his method of storytelling, so this first novel is 'Ark Book IV: Ghosts'. 'Ark Book V: Beneath' is finished, and will be added shortly. 'Ark Book VI: Above' is in final draft. 'Ark Book VII: Matrilineum' is half drafted (I'll explain later). 'Ark Book I: Mars' is my current baby.

I'm a juggler in training.
Who are your favorite authors?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, for his economy and power in so few words. He's the reason my stories are about the length of 'The Great Gatsby'. I believe that book doesn't have a word out of place, and not one more is required.

W. Somerset Maugham, for creating my most unforgettable character, Larry Darrow, in 'The Razor's Edge.'

Aaron Sorkin, for his pace, vibrancy, humor, and reach (see 'I know what a lesser Sorkin is...' on my website).

Junot Diaz, for commitment to his community, and his ability to teach the rest of us 'Spanglish' without definitions.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Actually, I've no choice with our hyperactive Maltese, Lily.

Really, my writing routine. It's broken my blood / brain barrier. I'm addicted.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! 'The Creek'. I wrote it during a writing course I took about 25 years ago. The professor was Barry Sheinkopf, an unforgettable literary obstetrician. I learned what writing entailed; the editing, drafting, redrafting, blocks. I knew I had to do this one day.
What is your writing process?
I know it’s not the norm with all writers, but I get to the point after some research, a skeletal outline, and some expanded thoughts when my fingers start to tingle. The core ideas start to shake my sleeves, nudging my fingers toward the keyboard. It’s time for me to ‘go’. I have a need to trust what else comes to me.
How do you approach cover design?
My answer is going to fly in the face of conventional wisdom.

The rainbow is the metaphor linking the nine books of the saga. On all books the cover image will be the same, only the background color will change. The first will be black, then red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, then white. I'll start the sentence, you finish: 'Never judge a book...'
Describe your desk
I've several. My lap, kitchen table, chair arm, wherever the chrome book won't wobble.
Published 2016-01-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ark: Book VI Above
Series: Ark Saga. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,940. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Introducing Book VI of the Ark Fantasy Saga, ending the middle trilogy. Life on Earth continues to teeter between doom and salvation.
Ark Book V: Beneath
Series: Ark Saga. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 40,880. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
“Field of Dreams Meets Stargate” The Ark, nickname of the old Sunnyside College gym in Delaware, has an impervious portal appear suddenly in its basement floor, the first event in a series foretelling a near and certain Doomsday, unless a way to enter it can be found.
Ark Book IV: Ghosts
Series: Ark Saga. Price: Free! Words: 56,270. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Thriller & suspense
Nicknamed the Ark, this old gym is a limbo for six ghosts from 1971, who are discovered by a retired alum who they hope will be the conduit between themselves and their unhappy living persons, thereby providing the answers to their 'young' and 'old' predicaments.