Friday, December 16, 2011

In Depth With Author MJ Goodnow

Today we sit down with author MJ Goodnow once again in an expanded interview. Pour a warm cuppa and enjoy a more personal view of MJ as well as more detail and news about his professional life. 

Where are you from?  Parts Unknown, does that count? 
I am from Connecticut originally in the armpit called Norwich. I spent my childhood between New York and Connecticut in a constant gleam of travel and the non-structured environments of being tossed between two families. My biological family and adoptive family. 

Tell us about your hometown and growing up.
Norwich was, well, old and run down in my days as a kid. But, my family lived in the outskirts on top of what is called Snake Hill. A winding, turning and churning hill that somebody, even a soldier would have a tough time literally, climbing. I was the constant in my neighborhood for 21 years before the dust cleared and my mother Rosa passed. I was victimized, brutally, by bullies in and outside of my neighborhood.

Tell us about your family.
I can tell you I had at one point in my life my mother Rose and her husband Wallace as my parents. My brothers Paul-Steven and Wally Jr passed when I was ages 5 and 9.  Rose, fortunately, was my God-mother and saved me from an abusive and disturbing mother and drugged aunt. My Uncle Lenny, from the biological side, was my God-father, who was too young to step in and help me not be taken. My grandmother Amelia was divorcing my grandfather at the time and couldn't get to me in time before the adoption had ended and Rose and Wally now had me.

 On Writing:
 When and why did you begin writing?
 A lot is made of my former teacher Wally Lamb at Norwich Free Academy as my mentor, which is true. But I actually began in my seventh grade secondary school Teachers Memorial in Norwich, with a thought provoking and heartfelt teacher I remember to this day. Mr. Almadia. He loved most of my stories and poems.

Later, I did meet Wally Lamb, as a freshman in High School, who saw the beginning of the few short stories I had that would ultimately become the Regime Guard Series.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
 I guess I have to say when my first book was published by Weaving Dreams Publishing, and penned also with Marie Pacha.
What inspired you to pen your first novel?
Regime Guard goes back to the night when Wally, my brother, passed. I remember just being in tears and my mind began, if you will, that he was still with me, but as a spirit. I looked outside my window that night and swore I saw him, but when I turned my head back to my bedside, THEY were there. Whether it was imagination, or childhood schizophrenia, I swear I saw four characters who would later become part of me, in a literal sense, and part of my work. Being always prepared to possibly go home one day as each book is finished. It was told to me by THEM, the stories and things that happened, so their I was, later, writing it.

 Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
 It was more the belief in what occurred the night my brother was known to have died, that it influenced me. Also, the constant bullying and harassing helped in some way as some form of revenge with success.

How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
 Because, I have made anything possible that "could" have happened or "did" happen be part of my writing. Even dreams and night terrors. My religious beliefs also paved the way for what would become the Regime Guard Series.
Do you have a specific writing style?
No. I enjoy doing things from any type of point of view that I can conjure. It's sort of like with each of my works, every point of view is made. Even if the character lives, dies or is just an "extra" within the works.

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
 My message for readers to grasp is that anything can happen, anytime, any place. Also, as I always say, believe. If you believe in something so strongly and remotely understand what it is your believing, it can come to pass in any form. If you like it or not.
How much of your work is realistic?
 Evolution of the Fallen is possible. For anyone who reads it, the can understand it is possible to happen to individuals in those situations. Regime Guard is based upon my own personal beliefs, that there is always something out there to destroy evil.
What is the hardest part of writing?
 I don't edit. I never edit my own work because I rather have someone edit it because I cannot catch all of my mistakes.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
 Evolution of the Fallen had a formula for it, its why it is written like a textbook almost.

Regime Guard was generated from my thoughts, dreams, night terrors amongst the many other things that had happened. It became it's own plot and it's own characters without me doing anything but sit their and write about them/it.

You also have been involved in song writing; tell us about that and how it’s different from novel or article writing.
It is like poetry. Songs are poems, set to music, or some type of sound. Whether it be rock, rap, or whatever. Putting songs together isn't hard for me. But if someone challenges me to write one in five minutes, they can go to hell. Because, just like my novels, songs take time to write and think about, before any music is made.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?
Publishers and agents are very hard to come by that will actually like your work, or even you, as a person. It takes a very special person to deal with my abilities as an author because things in my work(s) can come and go without notice. Multi Genre Author, my peers call me, and controversial. I use that as a force and drive to be a multi genre author, because I can make you sick to your stomach, shed tears, or even make you laugh.
We’ve heard about your published novels in our last interview. Tell us about your current projects in the works and when we can expect to see them.
I have Volume II to the Regime Guard Series that Marie Pacha and I are working on. Alongside that is a book with a lead character with autism. Then, lastly, a horror based on bullying and terrror, wrapped into one nutshell.
Do you see writing as a long- or short-term career?
 I see this as a long term career, not some kind of short thing at all.

 How does your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
 My friends and family love what I do. It's just having the time and space to do it is problematic. But, I work when I can and don't when I cannot.
Is there something you would like to say to readers of this blog?
 People like myself and people I know amongst the social networks will be forces in the publishing field to be reckoned with. Many of whom now are represented and/or have good publishers who can market those books to bestsellers. People, like myself, are just waiting, and when the waiting is done, then we strike, like a bolt of lightening.
Love and Light,
 MJ Goodnow

There we have it a more in depth look at an author's life. If you enjoyed this article please be sure to comment and let us know :). More to come soon as regular post resume in the NaNoWriMo Aftermath :)  Happy Scribbles!