Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author John J. Smith: Have Patience Writing

It’s always fun to host a ‘new-to-me’ author and learn more about them and their writing. Today please help me welcome John. J. Smith as one of those intriguing authors as he makes a stop on his Premier Virtual Book Tour featuring his release, FINDING KATIE, a mystery/romance.

Here’s a brief synopsis of FINDING KATIE: The very wealthy and very sheltered Preston Meadows lives his life protected from even the hint of harm. His world is safe and secure until someone kidnaps his sister, Katie. Against his parents’ wishes, Preston sets out on his own to find her. Preston works hard to blend in with the “regular” people roaming the streets of Dallas – but the real world is zany, insane, full of danger and ruthless criminals.  

Preston soon begins to learn more about himself and finds he has a knack for foiling certain crimes. In his adventures, during his search for his sister, he makes friends with some of the strangest people he could ever imagine. Along the way, Preston falls in love, comes face-to-face with a self-described Drug Lord, and discovers a side of himself he never knew existed, especially after the Drug Lord kidnaps his girlfriend. 

Thanks to John and the good folks at Premier, I have 1 copy of FINDING KATIE to giveaway to a lucky visitors who comments on this post by 8 p.m. (EST) on Friday, March 16. The giveaway is open international with an eBook or residents of the U.S. and Canada can opt for a print copy. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment, if it’s not included in your profile.

John has graciously answered some questions for me about his writing.

Mason - Do you outline and plan the direct of your story or does it just take off on it's on?

JOHN - Actually, I do outline but I start with a short blurb (log FindingKatie_Version_4line) first to see if the story fits on cyber paper as it does in my mine. If I feel good about the log line, I then write an outline, looking at the characters and plots to see how they fit. From there, I move the outline to index cards and play with the story line. Finally, I write a short synopsis to see how everything fits, however, the synopsis and index cards are usually a reiterative process until the story starts taking place and flows the way I had hoped. That doesn’t mean the story cannot stray off in a different direction but my plots and characters very rarely change.

Mason - What advice would you give someone just starting out writing that you wish you had been given when you first started?

JOHN - This is a tough question because the answer is quite logical but somewhat difficult to really understand the depth of it. You have to have patience, never give up, and keep writing until you find the genre that you really love. Of course people will tell you to write what you know, and my answer to a statement like that is, “I wonder how many times Stephen King purchased a car that took control of his life?” Writing in a genre that you love will help feed the creative juices and make you want to write. Also, find a schedule that you are comfortable with because making the time to write can be very difficult, and try to stick to that schedule and write as often as you can.

Mason - Do you write everything on the computer or do you write in longhand and then transcribe to the computer?

JOHN - On the computer until the final draft which is then printed. I do a final manual read and edit; you cannot even imagine how many little things I find. I tried writing longhand a couple of times but my hand writing is horrible and trying to read my own handwriting nearly drove me bonkers. Going straight to a blank page on my laptop is somewhat frightening but once the log line is done, I get the feel of the story.


John, thanks for guest blogging here today. I had to laugh at your last answer about writing longhand. I write everything longhand first and I often come up with different sentence when I transcribe it because I can’t read the one I wrote down to begin with. 

Let me give you a bit of background on John now.  He writes under two names - John J. Smith and pen name Jonathan Black. Why does he do this? He has been told when a reader sees his work they have an expectation, hence the two names. He has won several awards under each name. 

John has been called a prolific fiction writer. He enjoys writing romance and mainstream as John and paranormal and paranormal romance as Jonathan. Several of his novels have been converted or rewritten into screenplays; for which he has also have won several awards. For more on John and his writing, visit his website.

FINDING KATIE, published by Dark Red Press, is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and PDF forms. The romance/mystery book is 294 pages in length.

When reading do you enjoy a bit of romance with your mystery or a bit of mystery with your romance? Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of FINDING KATIE. Thanks so much for stopping by today.


  1. I enjoyed the interview and laughed at the comment about Stephen King - he probably doesn't write what he knows!

    1. Ann, let's hope Stephen doesn't know everything he writes but keeps writing anyway. :)

  2. John, thanks so much for answering my questions. Wishing you much success with your writing.

  3. John, good advice. So many writers forget it takes time to find your groove, if you will, and develop it. I don't know why since any any profession takes time to learn and develop--even with an aptitude.

    I heard a lot about this story and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Mason, to answer your question--I like thrillers with an element of romance. I also enjoy romantic suspense. Hey, what can I say, love is a normal part of life why not in stories too? :-)


  4. Patience, yes! I can relate to that.... Great review!

  5. Thanks so much for taking part in the tour Mason!

  6. Thanks for introducing me to John J. Smith's work, Mason.

    Finding Katie sounds intriguing, good luck, John!


  7. Sounds like a great story! I've been forced to write by hand recently because of computer woes. I found it much more enjoyable than I expected! :)

  8. I love his thoughts on patience. It's so true. I wonder how long Stephen King took until he found what he wanted to write.

  9. I always wanted to meet a John Smith :)
    Hi, Mason!

  10. I enjoyed learning about this author and his writing. I enjoy romantic suspense, mystery with romance is what I like. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. John J. Smith and Jonathon are so talented. I like the combination of Romance and mystery. It strikes the right chord for me. great interview. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com


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