I'm a musician. I've worked with a lot of groups in many genres;
composing, arranging and performing -- whatever was necessary in the situation. Sorry I can't mention names. I have to keep my aninimity because what I have written is true and I have to be careful of any backlash to my family. But I had a good time on the road in my twenties and early thirties. I suppose there's a book or two in that if I ever feel like it. I have four boys now and, unlike in my book which takes place over ten years ago, I am now enjoying being a dad very much. With my younger children, I have been able to do what I hadn't been able to with the older ones, and that is nurture them in a positive, whole, family environment from the start. My family is my new adventure.
Thanks! It sounds like you have an interesting life. Now on to some personal questions.If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Exactly what I learned when I studied Jazz: follow your heart.
Nothing's more important.
For what are you grateful?
I'm really grateful for the planet. We come from the planet, are
restored by the planet, and will go back to the planet. The earth
teaches us cycles which are perhaps important beyond what we know here on the earth.
If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
This is probably why I write non-fiction. I'm no fun when it comes to
What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
None. I can't think of one which comes close. Perhaps we could say sitcoms are art not imitating life in my case.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Music. If I want to relax, I record a song.
Let’s find out a little bit about you as an author.
Did you always want to be an author?
Not really. In the beginning, my book was nothing more than a story told to a friend via Facebook. I eventually rounded it out and it turned into a real book. However, I have been writing lyrics since I was a little kid. Song lyrics are just extremely compressed stories: you tell a complex story with very few words. I never actually wanted or didn't want to write; I just wrote.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
Growing up I read Updike among others. These days I can't read
fiction. I just end up feeling put-on. That's just me. My wife doesn't
like that I am not into fiction, but I feel I am simply on to the next
thing. I just feel like I've read enough of it. Today I have books
around that help me learn beyond my own window on the world. I
continually read I and Thou by Martin Buber. Thoughts are Things by Prentice Mulford is also a favorite. Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Chris Cowan is extremely interesting to me, although I have not finished it yet. I was also fascinated by Mother Earth Spirituality by Eagle Man Ed McGaa. I read that twice.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?
I must have encouragement. I can't do anything for very long without encouragement.
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books?
Yes, love. There is nothing more important. We all tend to forget that and need to be reminded again and again.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
I've learned that I am not interested in the business itself. I am
interested in relationships. I am interested in making a positive
impact on people. Business takes care of itself after that.
I now have two books out: Love Seen From Hell and Love Seen From Heartache. They are books one and two of a three book series. These books are true and I believe I can share what I have learned about my relational experiences through these books. Each book, in its own way, gives a male perspective on love and family. It is important for men to share a voice in the cultural discussion of things like marriage and relationships. Regular guys tend to be fairly silent when it comes to such topics, though they have a lot of important things to say. Our world is changing a great deal and we owe it to ourselves to be honest
with each other about what is going on; guys included.
How did you decide on your story plot?
I have a friend who is like a kid sister to me. I got back in touch
with her a few years ago through Facebook, and this past spiring she started posting some very sad things. I messaged her and asked what was going on and she kind of spilled her guts to me. She had been in an abusive relationship and while she was in it, she began emailing back and forth with a guy who was a navy seal. It took him a year to convince her to get out of the relationship, but he did it. To keep her safe, he got her a plane ticket to the east coast to live with his family until he was done with his tour. The day before she got on the plane, she found out he had been killed during a mission. She still went and even ended up going to journalism school there. This is where she was when I asked how she was doing. I could relate well to her story. I wanted to help, so I shared mine. Two or three times a week I would send a chapter. The chapters helped with her homesickness, always giving her something to look forward to. The story itself also
gave her a few things to think about that related to her situation. So the plot was simply what had happened to me in my abusive relationship from 2000 to 2004.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
The names, most of them, are names of people I know who have something in common with the actual people I am writing about. A few names of minor characters are actually the names of the people I am writing about. The location is Minneapolis and Saint Paul which is where all of this actually took place. I actually enjoy writing about all the places I have lived around the Twin Cities. I do love my hometown and am fascinated by its unique mico-communities and historic places. I hope I have shined a spotlight well on some of the interesting places around my hometown.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
In the first book, I love the scene in which I meet Kim. It was a
wonderful moment and I loved reliving it. I hope I did it justice. In
the second book, believe it or not, I really liked the scenes in which
my buddy Ammon and I hung out in the back yard. I did enjoy that time. I like the happy, no-drama moments. That's probably about it for no-drama moments in the books, but I like them best.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
This is a first-person non-fiction narrative, so I naturally identify
best with myself. Beyond that, I try as I write to identify with the
reader and write about moments I think will be most interesting and impactful to him or her.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
I keep everything about my books contained here:
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
There is a third book coming out at the beginning of next year which I hope will tie up some loose ends. I actually write on my breaks in the warehouse where I work. In the reflective moments of both books, I mention my writing in the warehouse. If it works out how I think it will, I would like to bring the series through to my current situation in which I am a warehouse clerk. The recession hit our family pretty hard and that part of the story is yet to be told.
Thank you John for coming to visit today and share your stories. It takes a brave person to bare their soul like you do! I wish you much success!