Interview with John Harrison

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I do....I think I was in the first or second grade when I wrote it. It focused on a young boy being forced to do something that he really did not want to. In some ways I think that it remarkably mirrors my Shadow Saga idea in a few places, but not completely. In fact I think that it may be in the same world, just about a different group at another time.
What is your writing process?
That is a great question!

I first try and clear my thoughts of anything and then I think about one of the characters. It really doesn't matter which one. As soon as I do it feels like I am thrown right into the story. It is a very visual and visceral process. Sometimes I need to purposefully think about something else just so that I can get caught up writing what I saw taking place. My biggest issue is that I never run out of ideas and they are all struggling to come out, most of the time faster than I can let them.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I do. IT was one of the Alfred Hitchcock's Three Investigators stories. It made me want to take control of myself and my surroundings and solve other people's problems. To be a force for good in the world. Sort of the same way that reading my first comic book made me feel, it was Batman by the way.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually have an idea forming as I write. The hard part is figuring out the medium and the colors. If it is a series I like the coloring to tie together. Otherwise I let my creative spirit take over.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is tough, because there are so many goo stories and books and not enough places to list them all. I actually love reading all kinds of books from a wide variety of genres. I enjoy books and stories from Stephen King, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Terry Goodkind, Isaac Asimov, Neil Gaiman, and Lemony Snicket. With that said, here is what I can come up with no particular order

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - The story hit me sideways and kept me wanting to explore it more

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien - This was a fundamentally world changing book to read as a child. It helped me understand the need for developing the world as a character all its own.

The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper - Her depiction of the interactions that are possible between the world of myths and the real world borders on the fantastic.

Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony - This one is for the same reason as the last one, with a twist. He took the story and truly let each involved character tell it their way. Pure genius.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - The aspirations and realizations that he captures are life changing. They actually pave the way for authors to create truly believable characters that are empowered to force readers to care about what happens to them.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
That would be a toss up between Nook and Kindle.

I like the ease of use that a Nook offers and the page turning graphic helps make it feel more like reading a real book.

I also like the functionality and versatility of a Kindle. The 3-d optical features of the book also add a little to the experience.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I haven't at least not really. I always thought that growing up is more of a choice, unlike growing older. You can;t help but grow older, however there is something to be said for keeping a child-like view of things. The ability to be completely amazed by the simplest things and find wonder as if you are experiencing an item or situation for the first time.

So the real question, I guess, would be where did I grow older and how did that influence my writing? That answer is easier. Idaho. My formidable ages exposed me to many hours of nothingness. This led me to books and hence to writing. I think it also allowed me to escape into my mind and stories more and that way it unhitched my imagination.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Telling the story. I love conveying a story and seeing someone light up when it impacts them in some unforeseeable way. I believe that every good story holds truths that need to be shared.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
That is a loaded question.

I spend most of my time with my family when I am not frantically trying to put the words that well up in my head onto paper. That pretty much encompasses all of the menial aspects of life. When I am not writing or spending time with my family, I am marketing, emailing, talking, breathing and working on cover art for my books. When I am not doing any of that, I am proofing, editing and reorganizing my various stories and projects. When I am not doing any of that, I am sleeping.
What are you working on next?
I have a lot in the works.

I am finishing "Shadow Flight," the second book in the Shadow Saga. I am halfway done with a Vampire Story under the working Title: "Unholy Trinity." I have the third, and final, book in my poetry series Whispers Through the Veil, set to release soon. I am also collaborating on a Self-Help/Sales book titled "CEO of Self." There are also a variety of short stories and ideas that are still playing around in my head.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Without fans I am just a man telling stories to himself. The thing I love the most is the feedback that I have received from my readers. Most of my readers have reached out at one point or another to express their take on my stories and/or plots and for this I am forever grateful.
Published 2014-04-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Whispers Through the Veil: The Poetic Sounds of Lyrics and Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,590. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Whispers Through the Veil is a series of poems and prose that have been compiled from John Harrison's personal writings to rekindle the collective imagination of the world as well as to give insight into aspects of life that people do not always consider on a day to day basis. The third book, The Poetic Sounds of Lyrics and Stories, is dedicated to the way words and sounds play across our skins
Whispers Through the Veil: The Poetic Philosophy of Thoughts and Inspiration
Series: Whispers Through the Veil. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,900. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Whispers Through the Veil is a series of poems and prose that have been compiled from John Harrison's personal writings to rekindle the collective imagination of the world as well as to give insight into aspects of life that people do not always consider on a day to day basis. The second book, The Poetic Philosophy of Thoughts and Inspiration, is dedicated to the ideas of Thoughts & Inspiration.
Whispers Through the Veil: The Poetic Reality of Love and Loss
Series: Whispers Through the Veil. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,810. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Whispers Through the Veil is a series of poems and prose that have been compiled from John Harrison's personal writings to rekindle the collective imagination of the world as well as to give insight into aspects of life that people do not always consider on a day to day basis. The first book, The Poetic Reality of Love and Loss, is dedicated to the ideas of Love and Loss.
Shadow Dance
Series: The Shadow Saga, Book 1. Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 122,960. Language: English. Published: September 16, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
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The lands are in chaos and everyone is trying to survive. The last queen was slain through treachery and decades have passed since there has been any form of solid rule in Cennicus. In the interim the races have split from one another and are amassing for a war that threatens to consume them all. This is a time of legends and need.