Friday, August 19, 2016

Guest Blogger: John L DeBoer

Amazon's Author Central Page

Worlds Apart by [DeBoer, John L.]   Get The Picture by [DeBoer, John L.]

Q: Tell us about your latest book.
A: As the NSA gets a strong lead on one of the most prominent faces of ISIS, the Islamic State embarks on a bold course of action – an attack on American soil.
Former Navy SEAL Adam Taylor, on a break between assignments for a global paramilitary security firm, is visiting his folks in his home town when he gets a new mission – provide security for a rock star who’s in town for a St. Patrick's Day concert. Unknown to Adam, a team of American ISIS soldiers will soon arrive with a plan to wreak havoc on the Jersey Shore, and Adam will get caught up in a deadly game of wits between the terrorist menace and those tasked to protect the citizens of the homeland.

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: I’m working on a novel tentatively titled The Skull Tattoo. It involves the aftermath, some forty years later, of an incident that occurred during the Vietnam War. After this novel is completed, I’m thinking of writing a sequel to either The Sincerest Form of Flattery or How Little We Know – both published by Solstice.

Q: How do we find out about you and your books?
A: Anyone interested in me or my novels (eight to date), can go to my Amazon author page – or to my website –

Q: Why did you choose to write in the thriller genre?
A: That one is easy. Thrillers are what I most like to read!

Q: How much of your personality and experiences are in your writing?
A: I’ll take the second one first. Six of my novels have a physician as the protagonist. As a retired surgeon, I’m familiar with the world of medicine and the mindsets of medical practitioners. “Write what you know” is an easy concept to follow! I’ve lived in and visited many parts of the country, and I often use those locales for settings in my stories. Regarding
inserting my personality into my books, as Jack Lansing says in The Sincerest Form of Flattery, “I put parts of myself in all my books. I just won’t say which parts!”

Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: Usually less than a year, though my last novel, When the Reaper Comes, took eighteen months.

Q: Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just go with the flow?
A: The latter! Seriously, though, once I have an outline for a chapter, I sit down and write (longhand) until it’s done. That’s not an easy thing to do, because life happens, but I try to stick with it. My kids have left the nest, and my wife tends to leave me alone when I’m writing. After the first draft is done, I’ll rewrite it in a day or so, then put it into my computer, where I tweak it again. Then I tweak it once more when I paste it to my critique group’s website before submitting it to the reviewers.

Q: What do you think of critique groups?
A: I belong to an online writing community and use it judiciously. It’s comprised of other authors from all walks of life, providing a valuable resource for me in creating characters in fields of work I haven’t experienced. And I prefer to have many sets of eyes on my work rather than a single hired editor who would bring his or her own mindset and biases to the table. So put me down in favor of critique groups!

Q: Where do your ideas come from?
A: Great question. Truth is, I don’t know. When I’m finishing a novel, I’m thinking about a plot for the next one. I can go a week – or more – before coming up with an idea, but so far, one always seems to surface.

Q: Do you feel humor is important in your thriller books, and why?
A: Characters without a sense of humor are characters that aren’t interesting, in my view, regardless of the plot milieu. I tend to be a bit of a wise-ass, a la the John Corey character in
DeMille’s books – that’s why I like him! – so I usually insert a little of that into my main characters.

Q: What kind of research do you do?
A: Google has made the life of a novel writer so much easier. In the old days, a writer had to travel to distant places appearing in his books for authenticity regarding the locations, climate, and culture. But now the computer can bring these places to life without the author having to set foot in them. That comprises the majority of my research. The rest is for fact-checking, making sure, for example what features a 1977 Ford Torino had or how many rounds a SIG Sauer P228 holds in its clip.

Q: Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
A: Has to be Nelson DeMille. I’ve read all of his books. My two favorites of his are Plum Island and Nightfall.

Q: What are your favorite authors to read?
A: Nelson DeMille, Lee Child, Robert Crais, Greg Iles, John Sandford, Harlan Coben, John Grisham. Just to name a few.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: Hopefully, alive! And with more books published.

Q: After your book is published, do you ever buy it and read it?
A: I buy copies of my books for book-signings and to give to friends and family, but I don’t read them again unless I’m reading passages for an audience.

Q: Among your books, do you have a favorite? Favorite hero or heroine?
A: I’d have to say The Sincerest Form of Flattery is my favorite novel since, as with its two prequels, State of Mind and Get the Picture?, the protagonist in that one is more me than any of
my others, so of course Jack Lansing is my favorite hero. It’s an ego thing! My favorite heroine is Lansing’s wife, Erica.

Q: Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you work through it?
A: I get writer’s block with all my novels. It’s because when I get an idea for a book, I don’t outline the entire thing. I never know how it will end, and it often happens that I don’t know how my characters will get into positions I need them to be in order to logically advance the story. So I dwell on the possibilities while doing my morning power walk, while in the shower, and in bed at night until the solution comes to me.

Q: Any words of encouragement for unpublished authors?
A: Keep plugging away and don’t give up! I self-published my first novel after I got tired of receiving rejection letters from agents and publishers. But I kept sending out query letters and manuscripts until I got my first publishing contract.
But traditional publishing is not the only option. Self-publishing has become easier (and cheaper) in recent years. A number of authors have done quite well going this route. Even well-known writers have ditched their publishers in return for total control of their product. For me personally, I’m willing to give up the autonomy in return for not having to do all the heavy lifting myself!
Bottom line, we authors write because we want to share what we’ve created – and are proud of – with others. Whatever it takes to get that mental and physical investment in front of the public eye, go for it. IT CAN BE DONE. Fame and fortune might not result from your labors, but there’s always that chance. At the very least, though, you’ll have the satisfaction and pride that comes with creating a book that readers will want to buy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Lizzy. I enjoyed it.