Author: JOHN T. LEHMAN
Author’s website address: http://www.outskirtspress.com/cgi/webpage.cgi?
Books in Print: "Spirit of the Sound"
Books in Process: "The Strenua Sapphires", "Beyond my Wants and Fears", "The Skinny", and the sequel to the "Spirit of the Sound" (which is not yet named).
1. When and why did you begin writing? I began writing when I returned to school in Fort Myers, Florida, back in 1996. Detested school growing up, but kicking and screaming, I received my high school diploma and propelled myself into this savory world. College studies offered me a tasty outlet to sink my teeth into, and I discovered writing in my classes appealed to my sense of adventure. And in my second year, the "Spirit of the Sound", which became a lethargic mode to regain my life’s journeys, was not only borne, but I actually caught up.
2. What inspired you to write your first book? The need to record my thoughts, my dreams and my destiny inspired me to write my first novel.
3. How did you approach writing your first book? I merely sat down on my word processor (never wanted a computer in my house for some reason, but fate has a way of bulldozing those idiotic contemplations) and completed a classroom assignment. I found the progression rather simple. Recalling my nightmares while injecting adjectives and sentiments to describe how my mind purged from a child to the adult man I was becoming (at the rip age of forty).
4. Who or what influenced your writing? My instructor’s critique of my work influenced my writing. Some of it was good, others less than. But it was only a viewpoint. Sure they affected my grades (did I continually make the dean’s list? Heck yeah I did!). It was the lesson itself that made the difference in shaping what has become my enthusiasm, into the why and why not, of the human condition. I’m fascinated by the acts of my fellow man. Digging deep into the subconscious is scary, but thrilling. And that is what I write most about.
5. Why do you continue to write? Duh! Can you say, "Cha-ching?" No, actually it is a task like breathing or eating, passing gas or reaching out into the community. I continue to write because I feel the need I have to, in order to stay insane. Or did I really mean "sane"? No matter. It’s still a perspective.
6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? Well, the "Spirit of the Sound" is benefiting a Missoula, Montana non-profit called MAC (Missoula AIDS Council). They assist folks like me with housing needs. I had to ask for help when I arrived to Montana, before I was fully prepared. So I’m giving back for their kindness. And to get ready for the increasing number of clients they will be supporting in the coming years. My attention lately by promoting my book has provided me the skills I’ll require when my second, third, fourth … novels are published. I haven’t stopped talking since I exited the plane, three months ago from Reno!
7. What has been your experience as a published writer? Pure joy! I would recommend that everyone write, draw, paint, speak or dance. Let it fill your heart. Show the world true talent is within every one of us. Turn back into your communities, and use what has been given to you, to furnish our world with non-combative ideas.
8. How do you promote your book(s)? To promote my book, I yak, yak, yak, yak and when I think I cannot yak anymore, I find another way to tell everyone I meet on the street or locate on the Internet that I’ve been published. And that the tale is about self-discovery and learning, achieving, and giving, then I whip out my business card and hand them one. I’ve created postcards from an online source and mail them out to contacts that distribute magazines and newspapers. Give them to friends and family and ask them to spread the word. I’ve contacted past schoolmates and teachers, and the libraries where I researched my material, thanking them for the experience that taught me this craft, and let them know what the story is about and that it will help my local charity. I’ve given out copies of my book and only ask in return for a review. Good or bad, a review will entice others to buy and read. And the people I’ve met! Awesome. I’m preparing to hit the talk-show circuit. Still writing, of course, and let everyone know a new book is in the making. In other words … I advertise, wherever and whenever.
9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Keep writing. Don’t ever believe success will not happen in your lifetime. The old adage, "where there’s a will, there’s a way" rings true. Don’t give up hope!
10. Any other comments you would like to add? I just have one more comment: please buy a copy of the "Spirit of the Sound" ISBN # 1-59800-635-5 and help those less fortunate because whether you believe it or not, you can make a difference in your lifetime and watch for my next tale, "The Strenua Sapphires".
Thank you, John, for sharing your time with us.
Interviewer: Kaye Trout - November 30, 2006