GIVEAWAY OFFICIALLY CLOSED
CONGRATS TO ANDREA WHO WON AN E-COPY OF SERENADING STANLEY!!
Interview and E-Book Giveaway with Author John Inman
To help celebrate our one year anniversary, On Top Down Under Book Reviews would like to welcome, John Inman, author of nine books/short stories, ranging from the serious A Hard Winter Rain to the hilarious Loving Hector. John has graciously offered an e-copy of his brand new release, Serenading Stanley, to one lucky person who comments on this post.
Author Bio: John has been writing fiction for as long as he can remember. Born on a small farm in Indiana, he now resides in San Diego, California where he spends his time gardening, hiking and biking the trails and canyons of San Diego, and of course, writing. He and his partner share a passion for theater, books, film, and their chihuahua, Sophie, who firmly believes the world owes her a comfortable existence and is in no way shy about collecting.
Cindi: First, thank you for helping us celebrate On Top Down Under’s first anniversary, John.
John: Thanks for asking me, Cindi. It’s really an honor. I love your review site and anything I can do to help you and Kazza celebrate your anniversary, I’m thrilled to do. On Top Down Under has always been exceptionally kind to me and my books and I appreciate it.
Cindi: You’re very welcome. While looking for a book to read several months ago, I came across A Hard Winter Rain on Goodreads. This led to me checking out your author profile. The first thing that stood out for me was listed under your influences: Ed McBain. Ed McBain/Evan Hunter was one of my all-time favorite authors and actually was the main reason I stepped outside of the romance genre and discovered new ones many, many years ago. Not many people I know are familiar with the genius that was the late Ed McBain. He wrote what he wanted to write, to hell with what others thought, whether it be the graphic violence in his 87th Precinct books to his skirting the edge in the books he wrote under his real name Evan Hunter. How did his work influence yours?
John: Most of the books I’ve read of his were the 87th Precinct novels, the police procedurals. I have a shelf full. God, I loved every one of them. In fact, I still reread them every now and then. I loved the continuing characters, the raw way he wrote, the realism of his stories, the simplicity of the wording. You could just grab a sentence out of any one of those books and know immediately he was the one who wrote it. And talk about prolific. I have no idea what his final book count was but it must have been well over a hundred. (In fact, I just checked and he has 119 books listed on Amazon.) He also did several screenplays. Among a bunch of others, he also wrote the screenplays for two of Hitchcock’s biggest films, The Birds, and Marnie. It was a sad day when he died. What a talent. Sometimes when I find myself getting too wordy or pompous in my writing, I ask myself how Ed McBain would say what I’m trying to say. So once I toss out all the extraneous adverbs and adjectives and clumsy ass clauses and pare the sentence down to a subject, a predicate, and a verb and little else, I figure it’s as clear as it’s going to get. Minimal is good, and McBain was a master at it.
Cindi: I completely agree. He was an amazing talent. A Hard Winter Rain was your first published book with Dreamspinner Press. It is extremely graphic with the violence depicted. From there you went on to more humorous stories like Shy, Loving Hector, and The Poodle Apocalypse. It’s rare to find an author who can switch between the two seamlessly and you manage to do so with ease. Which are your favorites to write? Serious stories? Or those that make the reader laugh out loud?
John: Thanks. I love the comedies but I love the darker stories too. I guess basically I just love to write, no matter what sort of story it is. I do have a special place in my heart for when people tell me they laugh out loud at the comedies though. That’s a great thing to hear. One lady told me she laughed so hard in the doctor’s waiting room while reading Shy on her Kindle that she thought maybe they were going to throw her out on her ear. Another woman (this lady was in her 70’s) told me her next door neighbor came over to see if she was having a nervous breakdown because she was cackling so hard. That lady was reading Shy too. As far as humor goes, I can’t seem to help myself. No matter how serious the book is I’m writing, I always throw in some humor. I’m not a big fan of never ending angst. I need a chuckle now and then to keep myself interested and to lighten the mood. And frankly, I think most readers do.
Cindi: Now to one that made me chuckle, Loving Hector. It has everything from a dognapping, kidnapping, a scorned lover, psychotic (and hilarious) family members, a funny dog, disturbed employers and above all that, donuts.. lots and lots of donuts. I don’t recall the last time I laughed as hard as I did while reading Loving Hector. The entire time I was reading it, I was thinking how you must have one hell of a sense of humor in real life. Then I read Shy and The Poodle Apocalypse and knew that must be the case. Am I right?
John: See, now that makes me feel good, you telling me how hard you laughed reading Loving Hector. Unfortunately, I’m way too shy to be really funny in real life. At least I think so, although my partner disagrees. Plus in real life you never have time to edit the words coming out of your mouth. I think humor is a little tricky to write. Takes a lot of tweaking and rewriting for it to flow exactly right. If the words make me laugh out loud while I’m writing them, I know I’m on the right track. Of course, nothing is more miserable to sit through than someone trying to be funny when they aren’t, whether it’s a writer’s words on paper or a comedian bombing onstage. It’s kind of heart-wrenching, don’t you think? And with Loving Hector I was really nervous about the comedy because it was so over the top. I even told my publisher I didn’t know if I was being funny or just plain stupid. Happily, she opted for funny. And since Hector did pretty well, I guess other people agreed with her.
Cindi: You totally aced the humor in that one. My son would look at me like I was crazy every time I laughed out loud while reading it and believe me, I laughed a lot. Jasper’s Mountain is another of yours I devoured and that Kazza K enjoyed as well. It involves a man who helps out a much younger man (who may or may not be who he seems), a few bad guys and a beautiful setting in the mountains. The cover is beautiful and I felt that it fit perfectly with the story. Jasper’s Mountain, while still humorous, is more serious than some of your others. What can we expect from your newest release, Serenading Stanley? Will the John Inman humor be prevalent or is it a more serious story like Jasper’s Mountain?
John: Reese Dante did the cover for Jasper’s Mountain. I thought it was beautiful too. Fit the story to a T. She’s a really talented cover artist. And for Serenading Stanley, a wonderful cover artist named Aaron Anderson did the artwork. His work is very subdued, very unique, and very sexy. I love the cover he came up with for Stanley. This release is a comedy, but maybe not quite as goofy as Loving Hector. My editor, Andi, gave me the best compliment ever when she did the first round of edits on Stanley. She told me that now she knew for a fact that I was a born romantic. Being a romance writer, that was a pretty cool thing to hear.
John: Well, if you love a romance, you should love Serenading Stanley, because there’s not just one romance going on in the story, but several, all at the same time. It takes place in a rundown apartment building that stands on a hilltop in downtown San Diego, and that apartment building really exists. I see it all the time when I’m walking. I had always wanted to center a story around the joint and I finally did. This book was so much fun to write. I love romance, I love goofy side characters, I love opposites-attract stories, I love hot sex, and most of all I love love– and this book has all those things. If the reader partakes of a few laughs along the way that’s even better, right?
Serenading Stanley blurb.
Cindi: I am such a sucker for a good romance and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. What else would you like to tell the readers about John Inman? Personal? Professional?
John: Gee, can’t think of anything in particular. Oh, wait, okay, there is one thing I’d like to say. To all my readers I want to say, Thank you. Thank you for enjoying my books, and thank you for letting me do what it is I have wanted to do since I was a kid – and that is write. I’m still a little astounded every time someone forks over some of their hard-earned dollars to read the words that I’ve written. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t written could ever understand how much that means to a writer. And that, I believe, is both personal AND professional. So, to my readers I say, Thank you. And it’s a big fat one from the heart, too.
Again, a huge thank you to John Inman for taking the time to speak with On Top Down Under. For a chance to win an e-copy of his upcoming release Serenading Stanley, leave a comment on this post. All names will be thrown into a bowl and one picked completely at random. The drawing will be at midnight (US) EST on Sunday, October 6th, and the winner will be notified via email the next day. Note that the release date of Serenading Stanley is not until October 14th. This is the date the book will be emailed to the winner of this giveaway. Good luck!!!!