Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get to Know Author Jon Land

Hi readers!
 Today author Jon Land is stopping by to talk with us. He's got a book coming out on November 20th, Pandora's Temple, his first time back to writing about Blaine McCracken in 15 years!
So let's first learn more about the book.
Welcome, Jon!
Please tell us about the book.
 It’s called PANDORA’S TEMPLE and I’m thrilled to report it features the return of my longtime series hero Blaine McCracken after a 15-year absence. This time out he’s on the trail of the deadliest force in the universe with the potential, quite literally, to destroy the world. Of course it wouldn’t be a true big-scale thriller without a big “What if?” question and in PANDORA that question is, What if Pandora’s box was real?

That is a pretty freaky notion indeed. 
Who or what inspires your writing?
 Ah, the $64,000 question, and the short answer is nothing. Because if you wait to be inspired to write, you may be setting an absurdly high bar. Writing is a job like any other. Make no mistake about it, I love to write. Nobody needs to twist my arm to make me do it, but ultimately I have bills to pay and if I don’t write, they don’t get paid. Beyond that, and more to the point, I love the process of writing. I’m inspired by creating a puzzle and then fitting the pieces together in a coherent and logical way where everything connects and makes sense. But it’s the final product, seeing my stuff on bookstore shelves with my name prominently displayed, that inspires me to keep doing it more than anything else.

When did you know you would be a writer?
 Not until I was in college at Brown University. That’s when I realized how I much I enjoyed the process of writing practically anything. But it was also at Brown that I fell in love with reading, and you can’t be a writer if you don’t love to read. That’s where I started to learn about structure, character, theme, setting—you name it. And not from writing classes either; I’ve never taken one of those. I learned everything I know about writing from reading, but was also blessed at Brown to have some great professors who really believed in and mentored me.

How long did take to write your first novel?
  Perfect follow-up, because I actually wrote my first novel as a senior thesis at Brown. It was around 600 pages typed on a Smith-Corona typewriter—think I must have gone through about 20 ribbons! I spent much of the second semester on it so, say, around three months. The book was god-awful, but I finished it and before me or anyone else can publish a book, we have to finish it and that stops more would-be writers in their tracks than I can count. Bottom line here is that the Brown University curriculum allowed me to do something I could never have done anywhere else and it’s not an exaggeration to say if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be a writer today.

It seems that is where the fire was definitely lit for you.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
   The frustration over having not achieved my greatest goals. I’ve had a lot of success, a great deal really, but I’ve never been a New York Times bestselling author. That’s the Holy Grail and, damn, it just keeps eluding me. So the hardest part of writing for me has nothing to do with the process but the helplessness I feel when I see so many of my contemporaries achieving something I haven’t yet. Hey, it gives me something to look forward to and work even harder to attain, so I guess it’s not all bad!

You still have something passionate to press for.  I hope you make the NYT Bestseller's list!
Do you have any writing rituals?
  I do. Let me mention just two. First off, I try to never leave off at the beginning of a chaper. I always write at least the few paragraphs so I when I go back to work the next day, I’ve got a running start. Then, to create the mindset, I’ll read a few chapters from one of my favorite writers—James Lee Burke, for example—before I start writing myself. That gets me in the mood and makes me want to write even more.

That's a really great idea for mood-setting and inspiration!
 Have you written anything else?
  Well, I started my career writing magazine articles and earlier this year, in January, I published my first ever nonfiction book. It was called BETRAYAL and told the tale of a decorated FBI agent’s failed attempts to nail the Boston gangster, Whitey Bulger, efforts that were vindicated last year. I’m incredibly proud of the book and many would tell you it’s the best work I’ve ever done. But the need to be factually and totally accurate in nonfiction is a mind-numbing process that involves armies of lawyers and fact-checkers—a tough slog for someone used to making everything up. That said, I’ve got several other nonfiction ideas I’m pursuing. The key in this business is to seize every opportunity and continually redefine yourself and your options. Over the years more than anything else I’ve learned that a great story is about fascinating heroic people, whether real or fictional. My late great agent Toni Mendez once said you can write anything if you know your characters. Truer words have never been spoken. 

Congratulations on your first non-fiction book!
Your late agent sounds like a wise man. Those words ring so true in my ears too!
Any advice to aspiring writers?
  Never forget that first and foremost, no matter what your field or genre, you are a storyteller, an entertainer. Equally important is to understand the nature of structure: of having a beginning, a middle and an end. Sounds simple but it’s amazing how elusive it is. Beyond that, I always refer to how the brilliant John D. McDonald defined story: Stuff happens to people you care about.

Again, so very true.
Who are your favorite authors?
 Lee Child, James Lee Burke, Michael Connolly, Stephen King, David Morrell, Steve Berry, James Rollins, Nelson DeMille, David Baldacci—how much space do we have? (laughs) The thing all these names and others have in common is that they’re great storytellers. You simply can’t put their books down and there is nothing more important than just that. To me, that’s the ultimate goal and if you can’t do that, it doesn’t matter what else you do, no matter how brilliantly you do it.

I agree ten-fold. Those authors are master-storytellers. I too am a huge Stephen King fan. It doesn't matter if it's scary like The Dark Half, or historical like 11-12-63, it was ravaged by my senses and brought to life in my mind. That's an example of great  writing at work.
What are your favorite books, or what book has impacted you the most?
  Well, THE EXORCIST was the first book I read cover-to-cover in a single day, a single setting actually. Reading Robert Ludlum’s, THEHOLCROFT COVENANT taught me more about what makes a great thriller than anything else. THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL taught me the importance of a great “What if?” question. THE STAND showed me the wonder of taking the reader out of his or her world and into the world we fashion on the page. MARATHON MAN made me realize just how much caring about the characters means. I can quote portions of that book, just as I can from the others I mention here and far more.

A lot of great titles listed.
 What are you currently reading?
  A great book by John Hart called IRON HOUSE. Absolutely riveting stuff that makes it a perfect follow-up to his equally brilliant THE LASTCHILD.

Have to look that series up.
How do readers find out more about you?
  I could say go to jonlandbooks.com, and I will. But the real answer is read my books. Read PANDORA’S TEMPLE, and if you enjoy it, try an entry from my Caitlin Strong Texas Ranger series. My books encapsulate who I am and being able to tell a great entertaining story that whisks the reader away for however long is a great gift. And the bond between reader and storyteller is one of the greatest and most enduring of any.

Thanks Jon, for chatting and stopping by!
And do go to the Booktrib chat with Jon Land.  It's November 19 at 7:30 pm est.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated due to spammers.
All opinions welcome. Be yourself, and have a blessed day!

Stella & Dot

ManyBooks Email Subscription (CA/US/UK)

Blog Archive

Labels

100+ Book Challenge (38) 12 (16) 12 Pearls of Christams (1) 12 Pearls of Christmas (26) 18+ (4) 1st chapter reveal (2) 2009 (1) 2010 (1) 2010 TBR (6) 2011 (8) 2012 (11) 2013 (18) 2013 TBR (1) 2014 (22) 2014 Holiday Gift Guide Submissions (1) 2015 (18) 2016 (18) A (2) a to z blogging (25) a-z (1) A. Horror (1) aboriginal (1) about me (1) Academy Award for Best Director (1) Academy Award for Best Picture (1) accessories (2) acne (1) acrylic block (1) action (7) activism (1) activity sheets (1) actor (2) adaption (1) adult (7) adult coloring book (2) advanced readers copy (6) adventure (18) advertisement (1) affiliate links (728) African-American (1) Air conditioning (1) air freshener (1) alcohol (3) all-natural (1) alphabe (77) ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (1) Amazon (1) Amazon Vine (3) amish (12) animals (7) animated (5) animation (4) Anna Karenina (4) anniversary (1) anniversary edition (2) announcement (6) annual (1) Anson Williams (1) anthology (3) anti-aging (2) Apple compatible (1) ARC (23) architecture (2) Armchair BEA 2012 (5) Armchair BEA 2013 (12) Armchair BEA 2014 (6) ArmchairBEA2015 (3) art (5) article (55) arts and crafts (1) arts festival (1) artwork (1) astrology (3) audiobook (21) author guest post (58) author interview (36) Author Writing Tips (2) authors' movie star cast (1) autobiography (7) AUX cable (1) Avon Voices (1) baby (1) back-to-school (1) bags and purses (1) Bakescapades (1) baking (4) banned book list (1) based on book (2) based on comic book (1) based on film (1) Based On Real Cat. early review (1) based on true story (1) bath (1) BBAW (10) BDSM (1) beauty (12) beverage (2) bewitching (1) Bewitching Book Tours (1) bible study (2) biblezine (1) biblical (4) biography (14) birds (1) birthday (2) black history (1) bladder control (1) Blind Date With A Book (1) blitz (6) blog hop (3) blogoversary (5) blogradio (1) Blogsplash (1) Blue Jeans Go Green (1) blues (1) bluray (27) blurb (11) body lotion (2) Bolse (1) Book 1 (9) book 10 (1) book 13 (1) book 2 (21) book 3 (13) book 4 (6) book 5 (2) book 6 (1) book beginnings (80) book blast (200) book blitz (4) book to film (9) book trailer (3) book-to-graphic novel (1) booking through (1) bookmark (1) bookshout (3) booktofilm (4) borrowed copy (1) bought (26) bread (1) bulletin (1) Bullying (1) business (2) calendar (1) calypso (1) Canada (3) Canada Beef Ambassador (2) Canadian (1) Canadian author (4) candy (1) CanvasPop (1) car charger (1) Cardiac Disease (1) cardio (1) Cardiovascular disease (2) cards (2) career (1) cartoon (1) Casino (1) cd (11) celebrity (12) Challenge (355) character interview (1) charity (1) ChickAdvisor (4) chicnova (1) children (40) Children's literature (2) China (1) christian (69) christmas (31) classic (4) classic literature (6) classical (1) cleaning product (2) cleanser (1) clips (1) clothes (16) clothing (4) cocktail recipe (1) coffee (2) coffee machine (1) collection (1) coloring sheet (1) comedy (17) comic (7) Comic book (3) Competition (1) complete challenge (1) computers (2) conditioner (2) confections (1) conspiracy theories (1) contemporary (9) Contemporary romance (1) cookbook (61) Cooking (1) cooking tool (1) copycat recipes (1) Coral reef (1) corset (1) Cosmetics (1) costume (4) costume jewelry (1) Cotton (1) Cotton Incorporated (1) Cotton's 24 Hour Fashion Show (1) coupon (2) cover reveal (21) cozy (4) crafts (1) Crafts by Freda (1) crime (4) CSN (1) cuba (1) culinary fiction (1) culinary mystery (1) culture (2) customized (2) cuticle conditioner (1) daily (6) dance (1) day planner (1) death (1) debut (2) decoration (2) dehumidifier (1) DeLonghi (1) devotional (19) diabetes (1) diamond (1) diaper (1) diary (3) digital copy (1) digital photo art (1) digital photo keychain (1) discography (1) discount (1) discussion (5) Disney (1) DIY (2) DK Canada (5) Dog training (1) dogs (2) doodle (1) doomsday (1) Dorm Ideas (1) drama (3) drawing (1) Dreamworks (1) dress (6) dress shirt (1) drink (4) drummer (1) dvd (14) dysotopian (8) dystopian (19) e-book (9) eArc (15) early review (6) earphones (2) earplugs (1) easy listening (1) ebook (124) ecowear (1) education (11) educational (1) egift cards (1) electronics (4) Ellipsis (1) Emotional Health (1) encyclopedia (3) end-of-the-month wrap-up (1) EntangledTour (1) EPA (1) epic (1) erotica (9) eShakti (2) essays (1) estate planning (1) event (7) excerpt (68) exercise (2) expressions (1) Expresso Book Tour (3) external giveaway entry (1) eye shadow (1) Facebook Fans (1) facial butter (1) fairytale (7) fairytale retelling (13) family (8) fantasy (77) fashion (14) fashion related (1) Fathers Day (1) Favorite Author (5) Favorite Cookbook (12) favorite movie (2) Favorite Poetry (25) Favorite Read (38) feature (5) features (1) Febreeze (1) feminine hygiene (1) fiction (594) film (5) First Book of the Year (2) First Reads Program (1) Fisher-Price (1) fitness (3) flower centerpiece (1) food (11) food and drink (2) Food Network (5) Food Network TV (3) foot balm (1) For Men (1) Fox Pictures (6) Fox TV (1) Fragrance oil (1) Freda's Voice Challenge (4) free (1) free blogger event (2) freebie (9) FreeRead (79) friday (12) friday 56 (370) frosting (1) FSB Associates (1) Fuji Film (1) fun (1) fun stuff (1) FVHGG (1) FVMDGG (7) G (3) gadgets (2) game (2) garbage bags (1) Garnier Review Crew (1) gemstone (1) Get to Know Freda (52) ghosts (2) gift (6) Gift book (1) gift cards (1) gift ideas (1) girls (2) Giveaway (596) giveaway blitz (1) Gladys Knight (1) Glamulet (1) Gluten-free diet (1) Go-GURT (1) Gospel music (1) graphic (1) Graphic novel (7) green (1) greeting (3) grooming (1) growing (2) Guest post (21) guitar (1) hachette book group (1) hair chalk (1) hair dryer (1) hair extensions (1) hair pieces (1) haircare (3) Halloween costume (1) hand mixer (1) harlequin (2) harlequin presents (2) harlequin super romance (1) headphones (2) health (23) Heart disease (1) herbs (2) historical (33) history (7) holiday (5) Holiday Gift Guide 2014 (12) Holiday Gift Guide 2015 (1) Holidays (1) home (4) home decor (5) Hometown Author (1) horror (15) Hotel (1) household supplies (1) how to for writers (3) how-to (3) how-to advice (1) hubby review (3) humanitarian (1) humor (21) Hurricane Katrina (1) hygiene (4) I Am A Writer Tours (5) I.O Book Tours (1) IAARNAW (1) IAmAReaderTours (2) Iams (1) ID tags (1) idiot's guides (1) illustrated (2) illustrations (1) Influenster (1) infographic (1) inspirational (13) Instagram 56 (84) instructional (2) insurance (1) internet (2) interview (75) intro (20) iPad case (1) ipad compatible (1) iphone compatible (2) ipod compatible (1) Italian (1) Italy Book Tours (1) J. Crew (1) James Bond in film (1) Japan Funbox (1) Japanese Foods (1) Japanese Mythology (2) Japanese Proverbs (1) jewelry (8) jokes (1) Joni Mitchell (1) jumper (1) keychain (1) kids activities (1) Kids Toys (1) Kindle (17) kindle freebie (5) KitchenAid (1) kitchenware (1) lajupette (1) Lampe Berger (2) language (3) Larry the Cable Guy (1) launch party (1) launch team (7) leggings (1) legit lit book tour (1) leisure (1) Lent (1) letter from editor (1) LGBT (1) LinkVehicle (2) literary fiction (1) literature (1) LitFuse (2) Louisiana (1) Love Lessons Learned (3) lunch ideas (1) Lunch Makeover (1) luxury (1) M/F/M theme (1) magazine (1) make up (4) map (1) marine biology (1) mash up (2) mathematics (1) Maybelline (1) Meat Cookbook (1) meditation (1) MEGA (1) Mega Brands (1) meme (1) memoir (49) memorabilia (1) memorium (1) Men's wear (1) menopause (1) menstruation (1) Mental Health (1) Mermaids (1) MG (5) MG/YA (1) Middle East (1) middle grade (18) mind and body (1) mineral make up (1) mini-review (7) miniseries (1) Mobile App (1) model (1) moisturizer (1) Monday (3) monthly (83) monthly box subscription (1) MONTHLY LINKY (35) mother of pearl (9) mothers day gift guide 2014 (5) motivational (2) movie (86) movie #2 (1) movie trailer (1) movies (2) MP3 player (1) Multi-Grain Cheerios (1) music (16) music accesories (1) music videos (1) musical (1) musician (2) my book list (1) my guest review (3) my interviews (1) My Pacific Pearl (1) mystery (64) myths (1) nail art (1) nails (3) Namefully (1) Natural product (3) natural remedy (1) Neil Peart (1) Nestlé Waters North America (1) Netflix Original Programming (1) NetGalley (18) new release (1) new years (2) New York City (1) news (6) Nigerian Entertainment Website (1) Noise-cancelling headphones (1) non-fiction (185) novella (29) nutrition (2) Oasap (4) office chair (1) office supplies (1) One2One (10) online (1) Online Read (1) online shopping (3) online store (4) oprah book club (1) oral health (1) OrangeberryTours (2) ornament (2) orthotics (1) pain remedy (1) painting (1) paranormal (75) Paranormal romance (1) paranorml (1) parenting (2) partnered post (1) Party Favor (1) party planning (1) PC Nutrition First (2) pearl girls mothers day (9) pearls (1) perks (1) personal event (2) personal growth (1) Personal Story (1) personalized (1) pet clothing (1) pets (5) PG (36) philosophy (2) photo printing (4) photography (9) picture book (5) picture-book (1) pilates (1) pirates (1) plants (2) Playlist (3) poetry (13) poetry by Freda (9) pop culture (2) Portable Printer (1) poster (1) Posterjack (6) prayer (1) prehistoric (1) prequel (3) prescreening (2) preserves (1) press release (2) printables (1) Printer (1) printing (1) product (103) progress cards (1) prologue (1) promo stop (45) proverbs (1) psychology (1) puberty (2) PulseIt (7) PumpUpYourBook (1) purchased (1) Purifier (1) PUYB (3) puzzle (1) Q. A (6) quickie giveaway (37) quotations (1) quotes (2) R (16) Racetrack (1) Random Acts of Kindness (1) re-read (1) re-review (1) read-a-long (4) recipe (27) recipes (9) recycling program (1) Reebok (12) reference (32) relationships (3) release day (1) religious (19) remake (2) rented (1) Restaurant (1) retail concept store (1) retelling (4) review (1195) Ridley Scott (1) Riveted Reads (5) roaster (1) rock (1) romance (107) Romwe (1) rough guide (1) Round-Up (1) rules (1) Rush (band) (1) Safety (1) sale (1) sampler (1) Samsung compatible (1) Samsung phone cover (1) saving (2) SC Johnson (1) Scent (1) school (1) school lunch (1) sci-fi (22) science (4) screener (37) season 1 (3) self help (1) self-help (26) selling (1) series (128) service (2) sex (2) Shakespearean (1) shampoo (2) shelving (1) shoes (1) Shogasm (1) shopping (1) short stories (32) short story (25) shorts (6) sign up (2) Simpsons (1) Single Jo Coffee (1) Skin (2) skin care (4) skin cream (2) sleuth (1) slideshow (2) small appliance (1) Smartphone Accessories (1) snacks (1) soap (1) socks (1) soft rock (1) software (1) sonnets (1) southern (2) special clothing (1) special deal (1) special post (27) spiritual (1) sponsored giveaway (100) sponsored post (96) sports (2) spotlight (12) stain remoner (1) staples (2) Star Wars (1) Stars On Ice (3) State Farm (2) SteamPunk (4) Stella & Dot (8) stimulants (1) stocking stuffers (2) summer festival (1) supplement (1) suspense (37) swagbucks (2) Sydney Festival (1) Sydney Festival 2014 Program (1) tablet case (1) tank top (1) Tassimo (1) tbr checkpoint (1) TBR PILE (3) Tdiscs (1) teaser (314) technology (5) technology accessories (1) teen (4) television (2) Thanksgiving (1) The New York Times Best Seller list (1) theatre (1) thriller (36) Throw Back Thursday (1) Thyroid cancer (1) tie (1) time travel (1) timer (1) tips (3) tomoson (2) toothbrush (1) tour (110) tour dates (1) towel (1) toys (1) travel (5) Tribute Book Tour (1) trilogy (1) true crime (1) tshirt (8) Tuesday (15) tv (7) tv movie (1) tv show (4) TV shows (1) twitter party (1) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1) unauthorized (1) undershirt (1) United States (1) United States Environmental Protection Agency (1) universal charger (1) update (1) Urban fantasy (1) Valentine's Day (2) vampire (2) video (3) vignettes (1) virtual author tours (1) visual arts (1) VoxBox (1) walking cane (1) Warby Parker (1) website (4) wedding (1) wedding anniversary (1) WeekendAssignment (2) weight loss (3) weight management (2) werewolves (2) wigs (1) will (1) winner (7) wishlist (5) Witchcraft (1) women (4) women's health (1) women's lit (7) won (74) words (1) workout (1) Worst Cooks in America (2) Wrap Up Linky (1) wrap-up (1) wristband (1) written for (1) WWII (1) XOXO Reads (3) YA (122) yoga (1) Yogurt (1) Yoplait (1) Yoplait Go-GURT (1) young adult (54) Zazen Bear (1)
© Freda's Voice 2012 | Blogger Template by Enny Law - Ngetik Dot Com - Nulis