Q: How did you come up with your story?
The premise for Something Coming struck me like a cast iron pan while I was reading a NYTimes article about an archaeological excavation at Mt. Nemrut, Turkey. I quickly wrote down the vision received of a spirit hidden beneath Mt. Nemrut in an undiscovered tomb: the spirit of Antiochus Epiphanes, a notorious King compared to the Antichrist by Jews and Christians.
As I learned more about Antiochus, I thought for sure that the story was about an Antichrist in modern day. But as months turned into years of researching and writing drafts, a story evolved that blurred the lines. Antiochus had changed, and really could be a savior. His real intentions became the central mystery.
Ten years after that cast iron premise hit me upside the head, I published the first edition. It was meant as a draft edition to give proofreaders and friends easy access to a printed version. Taking their feedback to heart, I rewrote sections and continued to edit, finally publishing the ebooks last spring. What began as a 210,000 word epic pared down to 180,000 words of pretty tight story telling.
Q: Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I was inspired to take on writing when I discovered that I had some talent at it. However, composition was my weak area; I payed no attention to grammar rules, relying instead on the natural voice that had developed in my head from years of gobbling up fiction and news. When I read my work aloud in class, professors would hold me up as an example. Then I’d get a paper back after being graded and it would have red marks all over pages.
I might have given up back then, but I loved to write for newspapers, and my university had one of the best. Fortunately, my college newspaper also had really good copy editors! After years of struggle, something finally clicked, and the story teller’s voice in my head finally gained a grammatical companion.
Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Why?
I’ve already worked in several diverse fields, and had what you might call a few careers in newspaper, Web development, marketing/sales, and fitness. My next favorite love (after writing and my girlfriend) is music. I made some dreams come true by recording an album that featured yours truly on lead guitar, and by interviewing some of my favorite guitar players, like Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson.
To answer your question, I’d be a dream interpreter, the subject of my latest writing endeavor. Why? After 15 years of practice, I’m pretty good at it, and know that dreams are the voice of the soul. Anything new and cool that I learn, I immediately want to share. Check out my two short stories on Smashwords to see examples of subjects that I’ve learned about that ended up fictionalized. Stories are one of the best mediums for teaching, and at heart that’s what I am: a teacher.
To have a little fun with you, here’s a quick list of the jobs I’ve worked, in roughly chronological order, and by no means comprehensive:
Apartment rental agent
Television news writer
Marketing Director for a Web start-up
I worked for Burger King for three days, and was once hired to sell shoes at the mall but quit before my first day. One year, at age 19, I received seven W-2s. I also once survived for six weeks solely by giving blood and eating Velveeta cheese and bologna.
Q: Favorite genres to read?
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Noir, Paranormal, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Dreams
Q: What are your pet peeves?
People who don’t give a shit about other people or the planet. That’s my pet peeve, but it’s no secret, and you asked for a secret. So…
I am now a “productive member of society,” hoping to be a father soon, but more than 20 years ago I was a juvenile delinquent with so many charges on my record that my probation officer had two files for me, both overstuffed with paperwork and wrapped in rubber bands.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
See above. Bottom line: I’m lucky to be alive. Lesson: Everyone can be saved if they want to be.
Q: Where else can we find you, other titles, or anything else you’d like to share?
Please visit me at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.M.-DeBord/e/B003O9GSL4
At Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-writing-of-JM-DeBord/179437762837
The book I sent in for review is the first of two. Refer to my Smashwords profile for easy access to all of my titles: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/RadicalOwl