Originally published in “From a Writers POV”
UPCOMING AUTHOR: E. JOHN LOVE
Certain fiction authors have a flair for grabbing an audience’s attention by presenting them with an extraordinary backdrop of glitzy scenes, bigger-than-life characters, and a jaw-dropping storyline that authors articulate through great imagination. Other authors take experiences from their ordinary everyday lives, using the scenes that are embedding in their memories, characters they have grown up with, and a storyline that’s becoming of most people’s experience…with a twist here and there to keep things spiced up.
This month’s Upcoming Author, E. John Love, represents those fiction writers who use their environment and observations to establish a platform for their storyline. His first book, “Owe Nothing”, epitomizes the rigors of everyday life that takes on a life of its own.
E. John talks about the success of his first novel:
“The creative process is by far the most personally fulfilling aspect for me. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment in completing my first novel – in taking disparate scenes, memories and ideas and weaving them together into one cohesive work. I still have a lot to learn about written storytelling, but overall, I’m very proud of ‘Owe Nothing’”.
E. John began his literary career by starting out posting a personal blog. “In 1995, when I was about 32, I began a web-based personal memoir called ‘True Life’ which contains my first tentative steps at written narrative and storytelling. All my intentions as a blogger, writer of opinion pieces, family historian, and fiction author grew out of the confidence that I gained from that first project.”
Times weren’t always kind to the author. Writing has a way of soothing the pressures of stress that we go through at times. Sometimes it’s those conditions that make for a great write up. E. John used those stressful times to do just that, and to give his personal experiences a boost.
“I was going through a bleak period of unemployment, and I needed a creative project to keep me from going nuts. As a lark, I wondered what my favorite spy novel author, Ian Fleming, would do if he were forced to set his stories in a working class Vancouver neighborhood, instead of in his usual exotic foreign locales. I decided that my hero would be an inexperienced, unsophisticated young man with a beat-up 1968 Plymouth Valiant instead of an Aston Martin. I ended up using a vast number of people and events from my childhood, ultimately focusing as much on realistic blue-collar drama as on the adventure aspect. ‘Owe Nothing’ evolved into a serious coming-of-age tale with an unlikely-yet-plausible action-adventure back-story.”
Being a first-time published author still has its growing pains, and becoming established could take a while on the learning curve, and E. John understands that much about the literary world. “Personally, I still struggle with the marketing and promotional aspects. Self-promotion has never been a natural strength of mine, and I suspect that many other creative people must also overcome a certain amount of introversion in order to pitch their product to an audience. Market-wise, promoting your book can feel like casting a pebble out into the ocean and waiting for the ripple it causes to come back to shore. It’s a big ocean, chopping with a lot of other people’s submissions. Publishers have particularly massive stones, you might say. Promoting yourself is an ongoing learning process. Just find methods that work for you, and be persistent.” And with persistence comes continuity in achieving success for the future.
“I’m working on describing my main character, Jack Owen, throughout the next major chapters of his life, covering his maturity and independence, education, and eventually, his first major love relationship. ‘Owe Nothing’ brought the premise that Jack had no direction in his life, and that circumstances forced him to start thinking about his life path and who he wanted to become. The next two novels will deal with his family history, love and commitment, his relationship with his Dad, and maybe eventually, becoming a father himself. I’m about 30,000 words intro the second novel at this point – still a long way to go yet.”
About The Author:
E. John Love is an artist, designer and writer living in Vancouver, BC. His fiction combines adventure, offbeat humor and intense drama, placing working-class heroes into unlikely situations.
About The Book:
“Owe Nothing” is an adventure-drama fiction inspired by the people and places that E. John knew when his family lived in dodgy Vancouver motels for over a year. It combines intense drama, social realism, humor and working-class heroes in a way that can appeal to a wide audience while retaining a recognizable west coast flavor. It has been described as “compelling and entertaining” and “an engaging, endearing tale with a deft humorous touch”.
From the cover:
“Jack Owen has gotten himself in over his head. At his low-paying day job, employees are leaving suddenly, and there’s a car full of bullet holes stashed in his boss’s maintenance shed. It’s all starting to make him wonder just what kind of a car wash he’s working for. At home, his best friends Mike and Chris need to separate their mother Regina and their abusive step-father Ted before they kill each other. Maybe they can get rid of Ted somehow without Regina finding out… Then there’s that old drunk in the neighborhood who’s been beating his dog. Somebody should do something about that guy. How did Jack’s life ever get so complicated, and how will he keep it all from his Dad and his sister?”