Interview with John Gorman

Published 2021-12-14.
Who are your favorite authors?
My three favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, and Haruki Murakami.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My cats usually wake me up, usually by 5AM. Sometimes earlier. I putter around for a little bit, and then I make some coffee. I'd have to say that coffee is my great motivator. Fresh brew. The darker the roast, the better. Nothing like it. But seriously, I often get up in the middle of the night to jot stuff down. I'm kind of restless that way. But I'd rather be restless and writing than to have a great night's sleep and get up scratching my head and saying, "What was that idea again?"
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm an avid reader and an avid walker. I love taking long walks with no particular purpose in mind. It helps clear my head. Tennis is my game, used to play in college, and I was a club pro for many years. Now I just smack the ball around on weekends, but I love it because it's a lifetime sport. I also play a lot of chess, but I'm not grandmaster or even close, but I'm pretty good.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I spend a fair amount of time looking at stuff through social media. I'm active in some of the Writing Communities on Twitter. There's a ton of recommendations that come through that channel. Sometimes friends recommend books to me. And then I find stuff through newsletters and book promotions. Whenever I do a book promotion, I make it a point to find at least one new book to pick up. You've got to know what's out there. It helps keep me current.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sort of. I think it was a Godzilla knockoff. I'm a lousy sketcher, but I remember having Godzilla battling it out with Rodan. It was done comic-book-style. I wrote about dozen pages, and I made a cover out of construction paper. With a hole puncher and some of my mom's yarn, I bound the book.
After that, I wrote a bunch of stories about the Knights of the Round Table. In some adventures, I had the knights fighting ferocious beasts, while in others, they jousted amongst themselves.
What is your writing process?
I write every day. I used to write a lot of short stories, but over the years, I've switched to novels. I try to stick with one novel at a time, but that doesn't always pan out. Sometimes new ideas pop up in my head. I might only take notes and stuff them into a folder to go back to at a later date, but if the germ of the story keeps gnawing at me, I write more.
I like to start with a scene. Usually, I begin with dialogue because I want to characters to interact. When they speak directly to each other, you can hear what they want, what motivates them. This, of course, drives the scene and is critical for moving your plot forward.
I go back and forth with handwriting and typing. Yes, I did say handwriting. I'm very fond of scratching out long stretches by hand. I think much differently than when I type directly into my keyboard.
Describe your desk
Messy. Did you ever get a glimpse of Ray Bradbury's desk with all his trinkets and mementos from his travels? My desk is constantly strewn with papers, books, pens, pencils, action figures, index cards, pictures, clippings, and various other stuff. I've got plenty of folders, but I look at them as organized chaos. I stuff things in them, mainly to clean up the excess.
You've heard of A Moveable Feast, yes? Well, I've got a moveable desk. What I mean by that is that I tend to write in other rooms as much as I write on my "main desk." Besides my main desk, I like to write in the kitchen, mainly because there is less clutter there and also because I enjoy switching things up. It's also closest to the coffee maker.
Do you have a daily writing goal?
I'm so glad you asked this. I don't have a specific daily writing goal. I write every day, but I don't stick with a hard-pressed word or page count. The reason that I don't is because, over time, I have changed my writing regimen. I used to force myself to write at least 1000 to 1500 words a day as an absolute bare minimum. This definitely gets you writing, but if you force yourself to hit that magic number, you might not like what you scratch out all the time. No kidding! Getting it down is only the beginning. Real writing comes from editing.
I often write at a slower pace now because I am doing multiple things at the same time. I'm trying to write with direction, push the story forward. If I don't feel the story is moving forward, I might flesh out some other scenes, but I don't want to go too far off course. I prefer that there is a natural flow to my stories.
Maybe this didn't answer the question so succinctly. The main point is that I spend a couple of hours each day writing. I'm not always satisfied with what I get down for the day, but then there's always tomorrow. I will pick up on it and make improvements.
When did you first start writing?
I mean, I wrote as a little kid, but that was hardly anything to brag about. I got serious about writing in my mid-twenties. I got more serious about reading, too. That's when my writing started to pick up. You don't have writing without reading. There's a symbiotic relationship between the two. Words help carve out new worlds. The more you read, the more your stories develop.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a YA Alien Abduction story. It starts off with Ricky Rivers' best friend getting beamed up by aliens. Four friends witness it, but they are in such shock that they don't want to believe it. Not Ricky, though. He's determined to get to the bottom of it. He ends up getting abducted himself and reconnecting with his friend Steven, but when he does, he learns the truth about Steven and is forever changed by learning this uncanny truth.
This is a Coming of Age tale. Something like Stand By Me meets The Sirens of Titan.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to be able to control my destiny. I know that may sound a little corny, but it's true. The Age of the Indie Author is here. Praise the Lord! For too long, writers got hung up on the gatekeepers of the big houses. I was one of them. I thought that if my work didn't get accepted, then it didn't belong in the bookstores and the libraries. Baloney!
There's no need to hang back and wait. There's a ton of talent out there, and it's up to the writers to get their books into the hands of the public.
Thank you, Smashwords! Thank you, Mark Coker!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Beyond The Vicious Vortex (Book Three of the Nebilon Series)
Series: Nebilon. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,370. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Luma and her dragon slide through a portal and end up 300 years in the past. They meet Malcolm before his Magnificence and run the risk of altering the future of Nebilon. Meanwhile, as Luma and her dragon are indisposed, Veldish has teamed up with a bottle imp and taken over present-day Spork. Hands down the zaniest book of the series, lovers of Humorous Fantasy should not miss it.