• Rebecca Yelland

A Journey Into a Heart of Darkness: The Patrick F. Johnson Interview.

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

Okay, so this wasn't my idea for a title. But it sets the stage for our next author interview with the infamous poop tweeter and Science Fiction author (who knew he wrote?) Patrick F. Johnson. Patrick is the author of three books that have been critically reviewed by Mrs. Johnson. If you're on Twitter, check out his pinned tweet for her comments.

But for now, we're going to let Patrick speak for himself. So without any further ado, let's get started!

1. Why do you write?

I write because I am awesomely self-destructive. To write is to be awesome. Who doesn't want to be awesome? But I think to write well, you have to be a little bit self-destructive. When I say self-destructive, I mean one must have a willingness to detach themselves from reality and face an uncertain future. Your ideas can elevate you to greatness or send you headfirst into the abyss of obscurity where no amount of humorous poop jokes can save you. Just kidding. I write because it's fun.

2. What’s an interesting fact about you?

I used to be really good at golf.

3. Do you have any other artistic talents beyond writing?

I've played guitar since I was eight years old. I branched out and learned bass and drums. Most of the writing in my life has been music. I became the singer by default. But I really wanted to be a music producer because I never wanted to be famous. Music producers can walk down the street unimpeded.

4. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends on the scene. I feel energized after an action scene and exhausted after something emotional.

5. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

That would depend on the writer. It's good to have confidence in your work as long as you're not a jerk about it. I have a medium-sized ego.

6. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Time. I work my day job and when I get home, I give my time to my family. I don't write until the kids are in bed and they never want to go to bed!

7. Have you ever gotten writer’s block?

Mrs. Johnson used to make fun of me for pacing around the house because I would be stuck on some phrasing. I almost always have the entire story in my head but the wording sometimes escapes me. Pacing gets the blood flowing to my brain. At least that's what I tell myself.

8. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I had joked about it but I thought my mother would enjoy seeing my name on a book. I don't use my middle initial in everyday life, so I suppose adding it made a sort of pseudonym.

9. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I really have no idea what readers want. I write books that I would want to read. As far as originality, I'm using a lot of the same ingredients as other science fiction writers but I'm hoping to have my own voice.

10. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Yes. Those people are called technical writers. Most journalists write like that as well, or at least I think they're supposed to. I doubt someone who doesn't feel emotions strongly would become a writer of fiction.

11. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I don't know any authors outside of social media. Heck, I don't even know any readers! I've met so many awesome writers on Twitter though. There are too many to name them all.

12. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

This is a tough question! I know everyone would expect me to say a leopard slug. The slug invasion has been turned away and we haven't seen any for weeks. And I have a cat allergy so that is also a nope. This puppy is a total pain in the ass, to be honest. I'll have to go with a Wookie.

13. How do you select the names of your characters?

I have a couple of methods for this. I have all kinds of aliens, planets, languages, and stuff like that to name in my books. Sometimes I'll look at what's around me and spell things backwards. I was playing Word Cookies with my kids and if you play for too long, you find yourself trying weird combinations with the letters in case there's an unknown word. I got tons of names that way! And, as a joke to myself, I am sneaking in character names from television's Three's Company.

14. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Although Mrs. Johnson would tell you that I'm the most romantic man that has ever lived, I have a difficult time writing romantic scenes. (Mrs. Johnson just read this and agrees that I am full of shit.)

15. Does your family support your career as a writer?

Mrs. Johnson is fine with it so long as I keep up on my honey-do list. My oldest daughter is actually my biggest supporter and she is already a great writer herself. A couple of my siblings have read my books and have threatened me in order to hurry me along with my series. And my mother claims to enjoy my work, although she isn't willing to actually pay for it.

16. Tell us about your new book (s)?

I'm working on the fourth book of my science fiction series. This book is for those who have enjoyed the first three. The characters have already been developed so I'm free to really tear it up! It may or may not be the final book of the series. I'm undecided as I have several other book ideas and my schedule doesn't allow for more than one WIP at a time.

17. Who’s your favorite character?

Nera Bunto is my favorite character by a wide margin as she is the most challenging to write. When the Mingrein invaded her world, her lover was lost so she learned to fight and started the warrior sect. She is human but since her home-world of Nuun has additional unknown gasses in its atmosphere, she has orange skin. It's a pretty orange, not a presidential orange. And she's cool with having revenge being her motivation.

18. Why should we read it? Give me your best elevator pitch.

Imagine, if you will, a superhero story with every imaginable science fiction trope, with the exception of time travel (that is silly), and good lovin' doesn't fix everything!

19. What’s your idea of success about for this book?

When a future book becomes popular and readers want more from me, I'll have this backlog. I never really expected to sell much and I'm grateful for the readers I have.

20. Where can we find your book?

They can be found on amazon. Click here.

21. If someone wrote a book about your life what would it be called? Who would play you?

The Scumbag Disguise. Chris Hemsworth would play me if it was made into a movie. That way I'm certain Mrs. Johnson would watch it.

22. Epitaph on your grave.

He ate what was placed before him.

Well, that was interesting.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Patrick. If you're on Twitter, make sure to stop by and say hi. And don't forget to check out his books!

    © 2020 by REBECCA YELLAND