Author Interview Eric Johnston

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing my whole life, but I made my first effort to write a story with a beginning, middle, and end when I was 10 years old. It was a story about a haunted house, something simple yet effective. The story itself spanned 4 hand-written pages and wasn’t very good, but I enjoyed it. A few years later I wrote a 60-page story about a group of teenagers who use witchcraft to call upon the ghost of their favorite dead super model with hopes of having a fun time. Hormones wrote this one. I had it written in a red notebook I carried with me everywhere I went. One day I showed it to a classmate who passed it to another student, and eventually to another and another. It became the talk of the school, a story about a group of teenagers having sex with ghosts, and no one believed that I was the person who wrote it…you know because I was just the quiet kid in the back of the class. Well, when I finally got it back, I decided I’d best just put it away. To this day I have no idea what became of it. Maybe that’s a good thing.

How did you get started? Tell us about your journey to publishing.

My first serious attempts at writing, and what lead to my current body of work, began in October of 2009 when my friend Andrew and I outlined an idea for what would eventually become Harvester: Ascension. This novel is an alien invasion story with a twist.

After completion, it took a year of submissions before it found a home with World Castle Publishing.

Tell us about your book(s). What inspired you to write it/them?

My novels—Harvester: Ascension, An Inner Darkness, A Light in the Dark, 9111 Sharp Road, and Children of Time—were all informed by the readings I have done my whole life. I have read literally thousands of novels, histories, biographies, memoirs, etc. These combined with other media for speculative fiction such as television shows and video games, as well as life experiences, lead to a vast treasure trove of material from which I can draw as I write.

What inspires you to write? Do you have a particular song or mood that carries you through?

Writing is the one thing I’m really good at. Growing up and staying up all night reading, or begging my parents to take me to the bookstore so I could get my hands on the latest installment of a series or the newest book from my favorite writers were some of the happiest times of my childhood. I still carry that feeling with me, but today I am the writer with readers salivating over my next book.

In fact, I have the same feeling over my own work that I did over the work of Stephen King growing up. I remember the late nights as I devoured the The Eyes of the Dragon or The Dark Tower as I had to know what happened next, or how the story would end. I remember as I was writing Harvester: Ascension, as I deviated from the outline Andy and I had developed, as the story developed a life of its own, I stay awake late into the night writing, so into the story, so wired with adrenaline,that I had to see if my characters would come out all right in the end.

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Lou Bryan from Harvester: Ascension. He was not part of the original outline for the novel, but when I created him, he took over the whole novel, becoming the focus of it because his story was more compelling than all the others. He starts out a character without a moral compass, but circumstances thrust an opportunity for redemption upon him. The story of whether he can find it in himself to ascend is very compelling.

What made you decide to write a book?

It was a lifelong goal. In fact, writing novels was the only thing I really ever wanted to do. With Harvester: Ascension I found my voice and discovered I had something I wanted to say. With each subsequent book, I’ve refined that voice and that message.

Who are the writers that inspire you the most?

Stephen King has been my ultimate inspiration. Many consider him the master of modern horror, but I think his biggest contribution to literature is his characters. He is the master of character. Without Stephen King, I wouldn’t be as adept at developing characters as I am.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My family inspires me. I have a beautiful fiancé and daughter, and two step-daughters who all inspire me. In fact, elements of Children of Time were directly inspired by my real-life family.

Childhood Memories

Which cereal do you remember requesting the most?

Fruity Pebbles

What is your favorite childhood cartoon character and why?

Donatello from Ninja Turtles. He was the “smart” one.

Favorite super hero?

Superman

What is the first movie that you saw in a movie theatre?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Favorite TV show from younger years?

Star Trek: The Next Generation

 

Just for fun

Are you a night owl or early bird? What time of the day works best for your muse?

I prefer going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking early. I work best from 4 AM to noon.

If you were an animal what would you be and why?

Since humans are animals, I could just say human because I’ve been one my whole life. But if you are referring to a non-human animal, then I will say a dolphin…because they are intelligent but not as destructive as humans.

Favorites: color, food, season, music, movies, books.

Blue, pizza, summer, any music from the ‘50s and ‘60s, The Green Mile, The Dark Tower series

Links where you can be found?

https://www.facebook.com/authorericjohnston?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/HarvesterAscension?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/EJohnstonAuthor

http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6439796.Eric_R_Johnston

http://www.ericjohnstonauthor.blogspot.com

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