Hey there, Insiders!
Today we strap new author John Triptych to the rack and make the poor sod spill his guts:
Hey there, John! Break the ice and tell our readers who you are and what kind of thing you write.
Hi! I’m John Triptych and I used to write fanfiction stories from about ten years ago. At that point I stopped and concentrated on my business until around 2012 when I sort of retired from it. Now that I have the time and the money to spare I decided to become a full-time writer.
I have very varied interests that run the gamut from crime thrillers, to science fiction, to historical non-fiction, and biographies- so my taste in books is pretty eclectic. I tend to get bored easily so I read about anything that interests me at that time. This has definitely influenced my writing because I write in two different genres: crime thrillers and science fiction/fantasy and I would like to branch out even more in the future!
How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person?
I’m a total panster, as they say- which means that I have no outline to speak of and I just go and start writing about anything that’s on my mind. I like to think of it as a journey for the book to write itself and I’m just along for the ride. In many cases I think it works for me because I start thinking up stuff that I would have never thought of if I was to outline my novels in advance so I’m quite happy with this arrangement.
Tell us about your most recent release, and why the heck our readers should give it a shot:
Well, it’s called PAGAN APOCALYPSE and it’s Book 1.5 of my Wrath of the Old Gods series. Now before you think that it’s a sequel to Book 1 (which is titled THE GLOOMING), it’s actually a stand-alone book for Young Adults so you don’t need to read any of the other books in the series to enjoy it. And best of all, the e-book versions will be FREE!
What’s it about? Well, the premise is simple: what would happen to modern society if all the ancient gods of myth and legend (we’re talking about gods like Thor, Tlaloc, Odin, Shiva, Chernobog, and all the others) were actually real and returned to earth. What would ordinary people do? What would governments do when these gods start staking out their old territories? What would religious people do if the gods they worshipped didn’t answer their prayers? The book series really tries to focus on every day people and their reaction to all of this.
What’s the biggest influence on the kind of thing you write? Another writer? A TV show? Some other thing that is neither of those two things?
In the Wrath of the Old Gods novels, I would say the biggest influence when it came to writing the series were the works of Joseph Campbell. He wrote many books about the universality of myth and how it pertains to the meaning of humanity and of our place in the world. I have a whole collection of his books in my personal library and I had been thinking about writing a book on it- so why not go for a post-apocalyptic series in which I can explore his themes!
Oh boy. I got lots. Just from the top of my head: The Godfather Trilogy, Lawrence of Arabia, No Country For Old Men, Margin Call, Bladerunner, Alien/s, Seven Samurai, Outlaw Josey Wales, Apocalypse Now, and others I can’t even remember!
What was your favourite book as a kid?
When I was a kid I actually preferred comic books. I started reading Tintin and my dad’s Gold Key comic books as a tyke, then I moved up to superhero comic books like X-Men as a young boy.
What comes first for you with a story, concept or characters?
Gee, it depends! I would say concept starts out first for me, then I think of a character that fits into the concept or sometimes it’s vice versa- I think of a character first and then the concept shortly afterwards. Since I write by the seat of my pants, the story comes along when I need it so that’s definitely last.
What are you reading/watching/playing/hiding from right now?
You know, I find it tough for me to read other people’s books when I’m on a typical writing day. The exception for me is when I read a book for research- in that case I just skim through to find what I want. I have this massive coffee table book on world mythology that I use as a reference point for my internet research.
What made you decide to go indie, and what do you see as the benefits of indie?
I met and became friends with a traditionally published author about ten years ago. He told me all sorts of things that I had to do in order for an agent to accept my work so he could bring it to an editor. At that time I hadn’t even realized that you could publish your own works other than using vanity presses. So when I found out about the independent publishing industry just last year, I jumped at the chance.
I believe that independent publishing is the wave of the future. Literary works are no longer just controlled by a few publishing houses in which a select group of people decide as to whether someone deserves to be published or not. Many of today’s successes in the book world came about because of independent authors publishing by themselves. From Hugh Howey’s Wool, to Andy Weir’s The Martian and EL James Fifty Shades of Grey, I think this is now a new golden age to be a writer and I hope to continue to be (albeit a very small) part of it.
Who is your favourite fictional character, be it from books, TV, comics, movies or games?
Always asking about favourites! I don’t have just one, I have lots. My favourite movie characters includes: Don Corleone, Jason Bourne, Anton Chigurh, Hannibal Lecter and a bunch of others. For comic books it’s Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Okay, enough! I could write about this forever!
Tell us about a great indie book or two that you’ve read:
I liked Andy Weir’s The Martian. It’s a story that has been done before but he injected so much real-life science behind it that I felt like I was reading a non-fiction account. It’s got thrills, suspense, and a wonderful gee whiz main character all rolled into a majestic science-fiction story that is oh so plausible.
D’you listen to music whilst you write? The TV on in the background providing a pleasant white-noise babble? Or d’you DEMAND SILENCE WHILST YOU CREATE FROM NOTHING.
Absolute silence! Otherwise I can’t hear myself think!
(Although if I need to take a break I listen to alternative rock and shoegaze to calm myself)
Which of your own works are you proudest of?
My debut novel: it’s called THE OPENER. It’s the first book I ever wrote that is completely original and I’m awfully proud of it. It’s definitely not perfect but it’s a first for me and so I consider it my achievement.
What’s you’re writing schedule like? Are you super regimented, butt-in-chair every day, tip-tapping away for hours, or an airy-fairy ‘when the muse strikes’ sort of a person?
I make it a point to write at least 2000 words a day- the time doesn’t matter as much as the word count does. Whether it takes one hour, or two, or three, or even four, I won’t be able to sleep until I get that amount on the page. I take weekends off to recharge my batteries.
What’s your number one piece of advice for anyone reading this who is considering going the indie route?
It’s a lot of hard work so if you’re not willing to put the time into it, then I suggest you do something else!
Tell me a ‘classic’ book that you’ve not been able to get through:
Dracula by Bram Stoker. I read about two-thirds of it and just had to put it down. For some reason I just couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried.
So what treats do you have in store for readers next?
I am working hard on Book 2 of my post-apocalyptic series and it’s getting close to done and then I will dive into Book 2.5! Expect at least three books from me this year!