Hello, John. Why don’t you introduce yourself to everyone.
I’m John G. Hartness, author of The Chosen and Hard Day’s Knight. I write contemporary fantasy with a Kevin Smith twist and a shot of whiskey, as I like to describe it.
Welcome. Some people write for a paycheck, while others do it for the love of the craft or to fulfill a promise to a loved one. Can you tell me what drives you to get up and write?
I’ve written since I was a little kid, and always loved to tell stories, read stories and write stories. I write because I have to have some type of creative outlet, and writing is cheaper than producing theatre! I told myself when I was very young that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Fortunately, I’ve learned that growing up is optional, but I’m still going to make my best effort at being a writer.
What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?
There’s not one specific book that I remember, but the characterizations and the sharp-witted dialogue (for the time) in the old Trixie Belden mystery books is something that’s stuck with me for years
What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?
That’s hard, because I live so much of my life out in public on the internet, but I guess most folks wouldn’t know that I never learned to swim, and didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was eleven.
What is your current project about?
Back in Black (and Blue) is the sequel to Hard Day’s Knight and it will be coming out hopefully in March or April of this year. It will be a stand-alone case file for Jimmy and Greg, but will have characters that will tie back to the first book.
How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?
I drink a lot. Seriously, the impetus for this novel was a serious of very tragic events nationwide last fall that I was very touched by, and wanted to write something about. I’m still not 100% sure that I have the words, but this book is my way of dealing with it. Once folks read the book it will become apparent what I’m talking about, and if not, there will be author’s notes.
Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?
I’m just in the beginning stages of a post-apocalyptic trilogy that sees a group of teenagers deal with the destruction of all technology and the return of magic to the world. The series will be called Return to Eden (tentatively), and I hope the first book will be ready either late this year or early 2012.
Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?
I can’t print those and keep this PG-13. The first clean ones are Black, Fairy, Razor, Card and Sneeze.
What do you think those five words say about your personality? That I need to clean my office. And that I have a potty mouth.
Thank you for keeping it PG-13. Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?
I have two cats, Puck and Glinda. Puck is a long-haired black and white fat boy, and Glinda is a grey, black and brown short-haired princess. All our pets are always given names from theatre because my wife and I have both spent most of our adult lives working in the theatre world.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?
The longevity of my marriage.
Awesome. Thank you again for visiting with us.