Onward with the Author spotlight. This time, my friend J.D.Gannon! Say hello J.D.
Tell me a little bit about you!
My name is J.D. Gannon, I’m a 34 year old writer from Omaha, NE. I was born near St. Louis, MO and grew up there, then I joined the Air Force after college, which is how I ended up in Omaha.
Where are you at in your career?
The beginning. I haven’t published any work and I’m still learning about writing, creating an author platform, marketing, and the publishing business. When I was discharged from the service I also turned thirty, and that’s when I promised myself that I would make a go of writing. I had to see what I could do, and if the potential which others saw in me could lead me somewhere.
What do you write and why?
When I started I wanted to write horror. I was influenced by H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King, so my earliest work was much like that. Discovering Ray Bradbury changed everything. I branched into fantasy after reading Something Wicked This Way Comes, and it unlocked a way to combine all the things I like to think about into one genre. To make it short though, I write modern fantasy.
What are you working on right now?
A novel called These Arms to Hold You, which I drafted back in November 2013. It’s been an on/off project since I don’t write for a living, and it’s a work that’s sort of tagging along while I learn about this writing thing. It’s about a teenage girl who suffers a sexual assault, and learns of an ancient secret in her family which ties into an urban legend. It’s everything a person likes about modern fantasy: there’s magic, gods and goddesses, witches, and of course strong, female characters. My wife read the first draft and based on her reaction, I knew I had something. I really want this book to be out someday.
What compels you to write?
Finishing These Arms to Hold You is the first thing I thought of, and by that I mean publishing it. I’m also driven by the success my favorite authors had, and trying to capture that lightning for myself. To one day write for a living, to be able to work from home and by my own, boss, that would really be something.
What is your writing process?
For ideas I scrape them up anywhere I find them. If it sounds even a little interesting, I jot it down and maybe prewrite it a little. The good part is I have a nice pot of stories and ideas to choose for my next project. When it comes to writing I really like sitting on my easy chair, having Pandora or Netflix going, and typing away. I take micro-breaks while I write, checking Twitter or email, then it’s back into writing again. I can easily tap out 1-3,000 words a session that way.
Who are your favorite authors?
A few I previously mentioned, so I’ll add Neil Gaiman because Neverwhere showed me how to put fantasy characters in a modern setting. I was really drawn to this idea that forgotten spaces could be worlds unto themselves. I haven’t read much Caitlyn Kiernan yet, but what little I have read tells me I’m going to enjoy getting into her work more and more. I have also enjoyed some classics like Jules Verne and Robert Lewis Stevenson.