lives for adventure whether it be through writing or hiking through his
favorite mountainside. John is a sports journalist who has turned his pen to
fiction novels. His first novel, Pandora Reborn, debuted in 2018.
of Utah, John finds peace in nature and believes “life without creativity
and imagination is hollow.”
I’ve introduced you to John let’s get to know him a little better.
John, welcome to Lemon Drop Literary. Thank you for agreeing to do thisinterview.
for having me.
inspired you to be a writer?
creating stories ever since I was a kid. I always had an active imagination.
When I was in elementary school, for example, I daydreamed about being an actor
starring in my own movies.
I had movie
titles figured out and knew what each movie was about. Some characters and fictional worlds I’ve
created as an adult author can trace their roots back to this early time in my
writing your full-time profession?
you include journalism into the mix. Reporting on pro sports and college sports
remains my day job at the moment.
Fiction writing is a part-time pursuit for now. I hope to change that in the not-too-distant future.
long have you been writing?
novel was published in June 2018, but I’ve been writing for three decades. I
started writing my earliest stories when I was 12 years old. My parents owned
an old manual typewriter and had set it up on a table in the back of the
sister of mine wrote some short stories, and I decided one day I could write
stories too. I grabbed some orange typing paper and started typing up stories
on the typewriter.
early stories were about a litter of mischievous kittens based on some pet cats
our family owned at the time. I eventually wrote nine connected stories about
the kittens by the time I got into high school. Since that time, I have
continued to write fiction and poetry.
tell us about your experiences as a sports reporter?
someone finds out I work as a sports reporter, their reaction is something
like: “That must be so exciting getting paid to watch sports! You have a
surprises them when I reply it’s like any other job. Some days you enjoy it.
Other days you can’t stand it. I’ve had tons of fun experiences in my 15 years
of writing about sports.
ridden in a race car at 160 miles per hour. I’ve been able to witness athletes
set world records. I’ve covered March Madness (the NCAA men’s basketball
tournament) on several occasions.
endured more stressful deadlines and sleepless nights than I care to remember.
It can take a toll. Covering sports such as football or basketball creates a
demanding day-to-day schedule, especially with social media basically demanding
fresh content around the clock.
being a sports reporter influenced your work?
reporter has helped me strengthen my observation skills. I see how people act,
talk, and react in a wide variety of situations. I see how different personalities
mesh with one another.
It has proven useful in crafting characters and dialogue that feel drawn from the real world. One of my primary goals in creating stories is to build a world populated with characters and settings that feel authentic. What I’ve observed and learned as a reporter helps me to better achieve such a goal.
many books have you written?
published one novel so far and I’m currently working on my second one. Pandora
Reborn, my debut novel, was released in June 2018.
do you write?
I write in
multiple genres because I have ideas for stories and characters I want to
develop that fit into different genres. Sometimes, I blend multiple genres
within the same story.
Reborn is primarily a
young adult horror story that also blends elements from fantasy, mystery, and
thriller genres. My upcoming novel will primarily be a science fiction
thriller, but could also include a few horror elements because of the
characters and the setting.
it’s fun to not limit yourself to a single genre as a writer. It allows more
flexibility and creativity in telling the story you want told.
you find most challenging writing for these genres?
the one challenge in every story is making sure it feels authentic. I want to
make these fictional worlds feel real, even when fantastic elements are
fictional world is the real world to the characters who live in it. For that
reason, I want their actions, reactions, and interactions to feel true to life.
bothers me more in genre fiction than plot armor. Forcing characters to say and
do things simply because the plot tells them that’s what they’re supposed to
do. It makes for uninteresting stories.
suspense build organically when characters feel like real people. You become
emotionally invested in their journey and their fate ultimately matters to you.
are you working on now?
currently writing my second novel, the aforementioned science fiction thriller.
I plan to publish it later this spring.
will follow four college students who are confronted with the results of alien
genetic experimentation after being trapped in an isolated Texas town during a
spring break road trip. It’s a re-imagining of a short story I wrote in
the narrative and added some characters and subplots to help flesh it out to
novel length. Beyond that story, I have other science fiction novels in the
works and a pair of sequels to Pandora Reborn in development.
you find inspiration for your characters?
characters are a melting pot of various personalities I’ve encountered and
interacted with throughout my life. Like I mentioned earlier, I always pay
attention to how other people act, interact, and react in situations, so my
characters feel like real people.
don’t intentionally base any character on a single individual for obvious
reasons. Many people would not react favorably to encountering a fictionalized
version of themselves within a story.
has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
it has been a thrill to see so many people enjoy Pandora Reborn. I’ve
received more favorable reviews and positive feedback than I ever anticipated.
I love seeing other people embrace characters and stories that kicked around in
my head for years. It has given me tons
of confidence while working on my second novel.
advice would you give to authors just starting out?
own voice. I often see advice to new authors that tells them to mimic what
popular authors are doing or tells them to figure out which genre sells and
dive in head first. That’s terrible advice, in my opinion.
thing you can do as an author is be true to yourself. Tell a story you want to
tell. Then take plenty of time to craft it so that it is told in the best way
possible. You will find an audience eventually and they will appreciate
something that is authentic and well-written.
readers don’t appreciate are slapdash by-the-numbers stories that are
transparently designed to make a quick buck.
there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
type of person who tries to make the world around me a better place. Life is so
much better when we all choose to be good people.
bring happiness into our lives and other people’s lives by being kind, honest,
and caring. I strive to live each day with this philosophy guiding me.
message are you sharing in your books?
depends on the book. I don’t set out to impose a specific message on a novel.
It just evolves organically as the story unfolds.
Reborn, for example, a key message that emerges is the danger of being
isolated. You look at all the major characters and they are all isolated to one
degree or another when the story begins.
illustrates this perfectly. He is in a new town cut off from his old friends
and his dad. Ron wants nothing to do with Deer Falls. As the story progresses,
he learns in a real way that he can’t live isolated.
forced to find allies when a terrifying ancient witch begins wreaking havoc. It
also forces Ron to repair his relationship with his mother to ensure her
survival. The overall message, in a way, is that life’s battles are not meant
to be fought alone and cannot be won alone.
are your favorite books/authors?
up, my favorite authors were Jack London, C.S. Lewis, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne,
and Edgar Allan Poe. I love the way they could build a world and make each
character feel so real and alive — even in the most extreme or fantastic
As an adult, I have also enjoyed fiction from authors like Michael Crichton, Stephen King, John Grisham, and Phillip K. Dick. My all-time favorite books are The Chroniclesof Narnia. I’ve read every book in that series cover to cover multiple times.
are your favorite movies, TV shows?
always loved Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s the perfect adventure movie with so
many fun, iconic moments and memorable characters.
original Star Wars trilogy ranks among my all-time favorites as well. My
brother and I watched Star Wars so much as kids, we had memorized the
dialogue from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return
of the Jedi word-for-word at one point.
The Simpsons is my no. 1 favorite TV show. Anyone who is around me long enough will hear me start dropping random quotes from episodes of The Simpsons into conversations. Sometimes, on Twitter, I’ll tweet out a quote of the day when I’m catching a first-run episode or a rerun.
you’re not writing where can we find you?
If I’m not
in front of my laptop, I’m most likely on a mountain conquering a new hiking
trail or off finding something fun or interesting to capture in a photograph.
I grew up
in a rural part of Utah, so I love the outdoors. I feel at peace when I can get
away from the noise and lights of the city.
have a website/Facebook page, etc?
author website can be found at johncoon.net. I have a blog up there where I
share my experiences, offer useful writing tips, and spotlight books I’ve
enjoyed from other indie authors.
can also connect with me in the following places:
VAMPIRE GOD is a new full-length novel in the addictive USA Today bestselling urban fantasy/paranormal romance series REBEL ANGELS by award-winning author Rosemary A Johns. It contains epic battles, steamy love scenes, magic, vampires, angels, shifters, and a badass heroine. Dive into the action-packed magical ride with irresistible vampire and angel lovers and a supernatural world like you’ve never seen it before…
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In the realm of the gods, the final game for the Crown has begun.
Violet is running out of time. In a court of godly Seraphim, the only way to survive the trickery and secrets of The Burning Temple is to seduce the despotic Emperor’s sultry shifter son. Yet is he as much a prisoner as her in his Gilded Cage?
Violet must undertake the Test by Monster to become a bodyguard to the Emperor: a Fae Knight of the Seraphim. If she fails, her vampire and angel lovers will be tossed into the Abyss. At last, Violet meets her creator, and the dangerous truth is revealed…
When the Emperor threatens to wipe out every world and start a new Eden, time is up. In the final battle, Violet could lose everything.
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Who is asking such a silly question? I live here of course. Mr. Shirley Tims, Keeper and Composer of the Maps of the Great Realms, at your service.
A wonderful little spot isn’t it? Don’t you love how the great roots keep groping forward? They grow about two feet every year. It’s widely rumored in Fawnwood that my tree house has the best roots in the forest. They’re perfect for storing my favorite ale and other valuables that I’d rather not mention.
How long have I lived here did you ask? Oh, about 200 years now. Wonderful neighborhood. Not much changes around here, except for the leaves on my roof.
I hate to dash off in the middle of our conversation. You seem like the perfect conversationalist but my dear nephew Simpson is on his way. He and his friends are off on a merry adventure to search for The Fountain of Fair Fortune. And I have the map he requires to get there.
Do drop by anytime. I adore company. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find that map before he arrives.