One of my favorite things about being an indie writer is that I get to meet other awesome indie writers. And one of such awesome indie writers is John L. Monk, whose debut novel Kick comes with the coolest tagline ever:
"Dan Jenkins returns from death for a chance to live again. The stolen bodies of killers are his rides—but only for three weeks at a time."Carol Kean, book critic at Perihelion science fiction magazine gave Kick five stars and said about it, "Better than Dexter; thought provoking, funny, brilliant..." And brilliant it is, which is why I am so excited to have John over today to tell us not only about Kick but also about his new release, A Thief's Odyssey.
Welcome to CHIMERAS, John!
EEG: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background as a writer.
JLM: I'm a Linux systems administrator, 44 yrs old, living in the Washington D.C. area, and married to a beautiful woman named Dorothy. Over the last twenty years, I've tried writing and publishing, off and on, but always got discouraged by the rejection process. I enjoy writing, but life's too short to just stick it in a drawer, and I wanted people to actually read what I had written. Then along came the ease of indie publishing and here am I writing. Even better: people are reading it and liking it. Win win. One win I hadn't counted on was meeting wonderful people like you and other indie authors. Even if I hadn't been moderately successful in getting readers, that alone would have made it worth it. It's just a lot of fun.
EEG: You have a degree in cultural anthropology: how does it affect your writing and story-telling?
JLM: Many years ago while studying to be a shaman in a hut at the bottom of Mt. Kilimanjaro... Hah, okay seriously? Well, one thing college taught me was how to start a project and finish it, how to string words together somewhat coherently, and the importance of research. So that's one benefit. But as for anthropology specifically, I'd say it's increased my cultural empathy with other people. Sociologists call that the "sociological imagination" -- the ability to see things from other points of view. All within reason, of course. I'll never know what it's like to grow up with half my family killed by drug lords and my village burned around me. But I can always dream, can't I?
EEG: What was the inspiration for your debut novel Kick?
JLM: Kick was my first novel. As I look back, I'd say it was inspired by the TV show/books "Dexter," by Jeff Lindsay, a little bit of Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz, and just a dash of Robert B. Parker. I've always admired Parker's clean descriptive style and dry wit. I also have this mostly healthy interest in vigilantes, and love movies like Death Wish and Harry Brown. And of course super hero movies -- the ultimate vigilantes.
EEG: Tell us about your new book, Thief's Odyssey
JLM: Thief's Odyssey is yet another mostly healthy interest -- in cat burglars. I decided to write Thief's Odyssey shortly after reading Bill Mason's fascinating non-fiction memoir, Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief. Also, I've always been intrigued by fictional thieves of all sorts, especially in stories that aren't too far-fetched. Thief's Odyssey departs from your typical Hollywood caper in that many of the techniques described are used by today's modern burglars. There are realistic scenes of lock picking, safecracking, hacking, breaking and entering, identity theft, and even smuggling. There's also a very human story about a young man trying to reconcile his past with the life he's chosen.
EEG: What are you currently working on?
JLM: Currently, "officially," I'm working on book 3 of the Jenkins Cycle (Kick being the first book). It's tough to find time to work on it after publishing Thief's Odyssey -- lots of promo work to do, emails to write, etc. And never forget procrastination. If I don't procrastinate at least 10 times a day, I have to make up for it the next day or risk falling behind.
EEG: Haha, I am familiar with that one! ;-) Thanks so much for chatting with us today, John!
To find out more about John's books, visit his website at http://john-l-monk.com/ and his Amazon page.