Today’s interview is with John Reinhard Dizon a suspense/thriller writer talking about himself and his debut novel. You can find out more about John at Goodreads here:
- So what made you want to write a book? I started out writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons when I was five, and never looked back. I wrote my first novella in sixth grade, a train wreck called Enemy Ace about a WWII German pilot turned British agent. I had over a dozen manuscripts on the shelf until Publish America printed Tiara in 2003. As you can see, it’s been a lifelong pursuit. I have visions to share and ideas to convey, and writing is my way of expressing them.
2. I see that you write suspense/thriller. What drew you to this genre?
People are fascinated by action/adventure tales, and I make sure that mine have a moral to the story. Audiences love a fast-paced story, and you want to focus your storyline on a contemporary topic and create a sympathetic protagonist to lead them through the discussion. Going all the way back to Aesop’s Fables, people love to be entertained while learning a valuable lesson on life.
3. Tell me about your recently released book, The Standard.
Here’s the blurb:
The Standard is an action-adventure novel centered around discussions by an international economic coalition on returning to a monetary gold standard. A criminal network of drug cartels and financial speculators are plotting to convert their holdings into bullion before launching attacks against major gold depositories in three countries to give them a monopoly in the new market. MI6 assigns William Shanahan to disrupt Operation Blackout with the help of Jack Gawain, a Ulster Defense Association volunteer serving a life sentence in Northern Ireland. Their target, Enrique Chupacabra, is an assassin for the Medellin cartel who is coordinating a nuclear attack on the American mainland.
The morality theme resonates throughout the novel as Shanahan struggles with the complexity of legal and moral issues presented by the mission. It gives place to the action/adventure main event pitting the UK and the USA against the criminal enterprise. The team must foil Operation Blackout lest the cartel gains control over the global economy by destroying the Anglo-Americans’ financial infrastructure.
Here’s some rave reviews on Amazon:
4. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
As a postmodernist writer, it’s Franz Kafka. For suspense/thrillers, it’s Ian Fleming. I discovered Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series and found a whole new spin on action/adventure.
5. What are you working on next?
The closest one to completion is The Test. It’s a cross-genre speculative fiction/YA/Christian novel about four strangers occupying an abandoned church along the outskirts of a biker-protected commune near Truth or Consequences, NM. The kids at the commune are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world after an attack by nuclear terrorists. Moral issues abound as the kids ask whether God has truly forsaken the earth.
6. How did you decide to publish, and why?
If it wasn’t for the Internet, it probably would’ve never happened. It provided me the chance to mass market, and once I was able to see past Publish America, I was able to bring my stories to readers as never before. It’s all about sharing your vision with the rest of the world.
7. Going into publishing, what were your greatest challenges?
Getting paid was the worst part. I had five books published by Publish America and never saw a dime. I’ve got contracts with six new companies and three under consideration. If I can’t score at this late stage of my life, I’ll accept the fact that the writing is on the wall.
8. What advice do you have for other writers?
Write, write, write, and query, query, query! You should take any open call on any topic as a fresh challenge to your writing skills. I kept seeing agents and publishers looking for steampunk, and I didn’t have a clue. I did some research, took a shot, and sold the manuscript weeks later. Querying is a never-ending process. If you don’t find a publisher, your book will never go big-time. If you find an agent, you may be on your way to stardom. I’ve actually turned it into a hobby of sorts, which is the mindframe you need to keep an arduous task from turning into drudgery.