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John Darling

Interview with

John Darling

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was about 18, I started hanging around at a local coffee shop where they sold all kinds of hot drinks and featured folk singers. They also had an artist's room where you could go paint and write. I went in there one night and started pecking away on their typewriter. After a while, a cute girl came over, looked at what I wrote, and said it was awesome. I have been writing ever since.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I am not a novelist, but I have several books of short stories and novellas to my credit. So I can't really say, though, one of my books has a novella in it that I wrote over 30 years ago. I wrote the last two novellas that are included in the book in the last 5 years.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That the more you use real people you know as models for your characters, the more real they seem on paper.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Just last week, one of my readers told me "you have a gift". I guess that means that I tell a good story. I get that a lot but since I am not a novelist (and I have tried writing one), I don't get all the glory.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energize. I can be dead tired when I sit down to write but once the mental juices start flowing, I feel invigorated.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I will occasionally write to a market, but I usually just write what I feel like writing. If people like it, that's great, if they don't, I am okay with that, too.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

Steven King. I still don't like most of his work, but "The Dead Zone" and #Christine" are two of my favorite books.

At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?

As soon as they put words on paper, they are a writer. When the words get published, they are an author.

What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you? 

It means stop writing what it is you are writing and write something else. Especially something outside of your genre. Getting away from a block will often remove it. I write in all genres but I am a terrible poet so when I have writer's block, I write terrible poetry, some of which has been published.

Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?

As I said above, yes it is. It makes them more real to the reader because they are real to the writer.

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

I never know. I have been inspired by something as simple as picking up a rock and tossing it.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

It would be someone with an active imagination who understands that there are no bounds in fiction.

How much research did you need to do for your book? 

That depends on the story. Most of the time I write about what I know so that takes very little effort. But one time, I wrote a short 3200 word, story called "Up!" and it took several weeks of research as I tried to find a plausible reason for the Earth to lose its gravitational field.

Thank you, Einstien!

Tell us more about your book/s?

As I said earlier, I write in all genres. Currently, on Amazon, I have science fiction, mystery, romance, and CNF books for sale. I also have a cookbook on the site!

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