Thank you, Jon, for joining me on my blog so we can learn about you and how you got into writing, and everything or anything else you would like your readers to know about you. Before we get started, would you like to tell us a little bit about the release of your first book, Transition Man?
It has been an amazing experience to publish this book. I had never previously thought of being an author, so it’s a great deal of fun and fulfillment to have the book out and in print. The release has been enormously successful for me and very gratifying.
How did the idea come to you to write this science fiction piece and decide to make it your first book?
I was actually on a staff duty desk on night watch in
while I was waiting to start my school for my military job. I was on that duty
for a month so I had plenty of time to think. I was watching some movies and
thought they could use a better script writer or at least an original idea and
this one just popped into my head. It was my first attempt at writing anything
longer than a few pages so it just sort of became my first book. Ft. Eustis
Hm, Ft. Eustis was where my son went to for his Class A school for logistics. It was August 2007 if I remember right. After his boot camp graduation in SC, I drove him to VA for his school. Beautiful base. Good thing you had some down time that allowed your mind the time to think and come up with your book.
I have fond memories of it and I enjoyed my downtime a great deal.
When did you first start writing? Or how did you get into writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
I have always loved entertainment in all its forms. Books, however, had never been something I thought to get involved in. I thought myself better suited to movies and ideas on a grand scale. It wasn’t until I listened to my first audio book, the Hobbit by Tolkien that I was inspired by what can be created on paper and viewed on the screen of our minds. After that I admit I started searching for a unique idea to write about, but it took several years before the idea of
and his adventures
came to me. Griffin
Do you have your book in print as well as in ebook format?
Yes! And that is probably the best thing my publisher, Kristina Jackson at Little Acorns Publishing (LAP), could have done for me. It has kept my fire lit so I could continue to keep up my excitement for writing. Seeing it in paper format was one of the proudest moments of my life. Next to marrying my beautiful wife and enjoying my fantastic kids, I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments.
Yes, holding your printed book in your hands is a wonderful feeling. I always have one or two in my car because I never know who I will run into who might want one. You might think about getting some bookmarkers made with the cover and a one-sentence blurb on the front, and the buy links on the back (ereader and print buy links) to hand out to anyone and everyone when reading is brought up in a conversation. I sold one of mine to the postmistress as the post office while picking up some books another author sent to me. Never miss an opportunity to hand one out.
Great advice. I’ll do that.
Would you like to tell us what you have learned about writing your book – the formatting, publishing process, the making of your cover, etc. Anything you’d like to share with your readers on the process of writing and publishing?
The process is so much more in depth than I first imagined. You can’t just come up with a great idea; the way it moves and flows out of your mind to the page is draining and tiring. And it, most of the time, won’t leave me alone until I finish the entire scene in my head, which can make for long nights. I was very lucky and had several publishers interested in my book, so as far as formatting and the publishing process I had very little to do with it. I helped with my cover and approved the editing and designs but I have to admit that Kristina did most of that work, with my great editor, Lee Porche, who really put a nice polish on the final product.
As far as anything to share with the readers, I love reading and following authors who love their work. The expression a person can use in writing is different than any other media that I am aware of. Reach for your dreams! I did, and don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!
How can your readers find you?
My facebook author page is http://www.facebook.com/TheTransitionManBook I do most of my updating through this page. However, I do have a website, http://jonpew.weebly.com/
And a blog http://jonpewauthor.blogspot.com/
My publisher has me on her site as well. http://littleacornspublishing.com/
I do try and tweet, but I am awful at it. I have to say the best way to find me is on the facebook page. I try to update and be online every day, which will change a little when I deploy, but I am still going to try to get online at least three days a week.
I know you are in the military and soon to be deployed again overseas. Do you find any time to write while you are perhaps enjoying any down time while deployed? I was in the US Navy for 7 years and spent a year in
Since I was in during the cold war, I did not get to see any combat time and I
understand you may not have any down time while deployed, depending on what
your MOS is. My son spent a year in Iraq while in the Army in 2010, I think, and
because of his MOS and being in Baghdad,
he had some down time during the day.
But if you do, the readers might like to know how you cope with the war
and what you do during any down time, like writing?
Writing has truly been a gift in the de-stressing sphere for me while deployed. On my first rotation last year, I was able to revise Transition Man a couple of times and get some readers to give me opinions on how to tweak this or that. I probably spent two hours a day just unwinding with my imaginary friends. This next deployment trip, I am in a flight company and won’t have nearly as much time as I did on my last trip to the desert, though I am hoping to still get in as much time as I can. As a writer, many will understand if I don’t get time to write; it’s like something is missing and I find myself looking to fill the gap, that’s about the time I really start looking for my computer.
As for other downtime, I enjoy working out, and spending time reading the scriptures, I am a very spiritual person. I also love spending time skypeing and chatting with friends and relatives back home. And now I find I am trying to keep up with my new fans and their questions about
and the people in
the books. Griffin
How long will you be gone this time? When is your tour of duty up and will you re-enlist at the end of your tour?
Right now the plan is a 9 month tour instead of a year, we’ll see about that. As for now, yes I plan to re-enlist when my contract is up, but that isn’t until 2015 so there is still time.
What are you working on now? Any book(s) you are working on now you’d like to tell us about and when we can expect to see it published?
I have finished the manuscript for the
Chronicles, Transition man is part one. I haven’t decided on a name yet for
part two. So I am revising that and getting it ready for editing. I am also
starting my next series called True Immortals, it will be several books. The
concept behind the story is the people in the bible that have been told they
would live on the earth until the end of days, so they are still here. Griffin
The bible, however, doesn’t tell us what they are doing so it’s a pretty awesome blank canvas. The first book will deal with Adam and Eve and Cain and Able. In the first part, I will set up my villain, Cain, and I expect this first book to be out next spring.
When you are back home state-side, what do you do to relax?
I love baseball, hanging out with my kids, going to the lake and watching movies. I don’t suppose I have to say reading a good book. Some of my favorites are any by Cussler or Koontz, or some of the modern authors like Paolini, or JK Rowling. There are many others, but I am not going to list them all. My other new favorite thing is riding motorcycles! When I get home I am getting a new bike, not sure what yet, but I am sure I’ll blog about it when I do. I also enjoy public speaking and inspiring others. Helping people to feel better and try harder is a real reward for me, if I get to help at all.
How do you believe in writer’s block and if so, do you get it and how do you handle it?
Writers block hasn’t been too bad for me. I’m pretty lucky, most of the ideas for my books are fully formed in my mind before I start. But when it has come along, I usually will read a new book and get inspired by the creativity of someone else. That usually gets me going again.
Do you have a blog?
Yes, but I am a novice with blogging. I am trying to learn and get better though. Give us a look and give me any advice you can. I would really love to have an interesting and engaging blog.
Have you entertained the idea of making a video trailer for your book?
Yes, but I don’t know much about it or who to contact. I leave that kinda stuff to my publisher.
I love just about anything off the grille at Carabba’s, my favorite restaurant.
I have never been there and now that I am back living in the lower 48 I keep seeing lots of commercials for it. I will have to try it out when I find one.
Don’t hesitate! Get you some of that food! Its da best!
Big fan of Green.
Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what kind? Do you have a favorite music overall?
I don’t listen while I write, but I do when I think out scenes before I write them. When I wrote Transition Man, I listened to the City of Angels soundtrack, and watched a lot of Ninja Assassin for the music it had.
I am a fan of all kinds of music, from symphony to heavy metal, some of my favorite artists are Holtz, Pearl Jam, Guns and Roses, Rascal Flats, Harry Connick Jr, and many more.
What is your favorite movie?
Hard to say, kind of a toss up between Star Wars, LOTR, and the Matrix. You might catch a lot of that in my writing style.
Do you have any author’s who influenced you in your writing?
I enjoy many authors and have incorporated many of their techniques in what I try and do. I really enjoy Tolkien’s description, CS Lewis’s bold references to religion in his stories, the action packed Cussler and the steamy, quick, witty fun of Stuart Woods, and have used them all in my writing. I know many more have influenced me, but can’t cover it all.
Do you have a favorite life saying you live by?
I always tell my kids and anyone I speak to, Play to win. By that I mean be proactive and do all you can to succeed. Don’t play the game unless you are trying to win. You may lose, you may get hurt, but if you play to win, you will never have regrets.
Is there a funny or embarrassing moment you could or would like to share with your readers?
I have many! I am a very clumsy person. If I’m not dropping a plate of food in my lap or stumbling and falling it must be an unusual day.
My wife will love this, on our wedding day we had a luncheon after the ceremony before our reception, and while we were at the front getting embarrassed by our fathers, when I turned to say something to her, I knocked both our drinks right in her lap! Luckily she wasn’t wearing her dress, but pretty bad timing on such an important day.
Please tell us anything else you’d like for your readers to know about you, your book, or just life in general.
In general, I say chase your dreams and live in the present. If someone wants something bad enough, they can get it if they put in the hard work to accomplish the task. Dream big, play big, and go big.
Thanks for the opportunity to be on your blog, I appreciate your interest in me and my books. Best of luck to you and God bless.
You're welcome, Jon and thank you so much for chatting with me today and I wish you much success in your writing career. Also, thank you so much for your service to our country.