I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY, and my experiences and extensive familiarity with the NYC community, its neighborhoods, society and culture are reflected in my novels.
I wrote my first novel in sixth grade, a train wreck called “Enemy Ace” about a German WWII fighter pilot turned British Secret Service agent. I hijacked my father’s Smith Corona typewriter, and have been at it ever since.
I deal with issues that most authors or publishers won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, for example, “Tiara” is about the UDA kidnapping a Princess Diana knockoff to stop the Good Friday Peace Agreements in Northern Ireland. Most people don’t even know there’s a UDA, and I haven’t seen anyone fictionalize Di’s life yet. “Cyclops” is about a dysfunctional 21st century KKK group being framed for a string of serial killings. “Wolfsangel” is an action/adventure story about the Das Reich Division en route to the D-Day battle at Normandy. “Penny Flame” is about a military investigation into war crimes of a decorated Cavalry unit during the Indian Wars.
Keeping in sync, the major issue that comes up in “The Standard” is how far society would go in preventing a mini-nuke attack on American soil. The main character, Jack Gawain has no compunction in exceeding the moral standard in preventing a holocaust, while the crisis destroys William Shanahan’s world view about what liberty and justice are really about. I think most readers are going to try and find a safe middle ground.
Getting thrown under the bus by the major publishing houses and literary agents over five hundred times (and counting) had a lot to do with me becoming an Indie author. Publish America did a wonderful job in putting my work in print, but they kept all the money. I’m waiting to see how things progress with Tenth Street Press. I’ve also got an upcoming deal with Alpha Wolf Publications.
The most important piece of advice I can give someone just starting out in self publishing is to write, write, write, and query, query,query! You should take any open call on any topic as a fresh challenge to your writing skills. I kept seeing agents and publishers looking for steampunk, and I didn’t have a clue. I did some research, took a shot, and sold the manuscript weeks later. Querying is a never-ending process. If you don’t find a publisher, your book will never go big-time. If you find an agent, you may be on your way to stardom. I’ve actually turned it into a hobby of sorts, which is the mindframe you need to keep an arduous task from turning into drudgery.
When “Tiara” arrived in the mail, it was like my first Golden Gloves fight, my first pro wrestling match, my first adult league ice hockey game. I felt like I finally crossed the threshold from dreams to reality. Only it’s actually the first step along the road, and it then becomes a question of how far you can go.
For my latest book, I had tried my hand at horror novels and sought to challenge myself in putting a new spin on the “Frankenstein” concept.
Transplant is about four interns at Bellevue Hospital in NYC joining in a bionic limb research project. The illegal nature of their work causes them to take greater liberties as they grow more successful. The moral question eventually resembles that presented by Mary Shelley in whether science has the right to ‘play God’ in the interests of progress and development.
My marketing technique is to send out queries before going the self-publishing route. In this case, Assent Publishing agreed to publish the book under one of their subsidiary brands, Bad Day Books. I have been very pleased by the enthusiasm shown by the publisher, Les Denton. She is hoping this may be my breakout novel.
Final piece of personal information, I’m an athlete and a musician. I think I’ve got one more hockey game, one last wrestling match and one more rock concert left before I cash out.
Here’s the blurb for Transplant:Four interns at NYC’s Bellevue Hospital are being indicted by a grand jury for kidnapping, mayhem and murder in an underground laboratory in East Harlem. Detectives Tommy Jackson and Orrin Rampersad are in a race against time in developing the DA’s case before the trial date. The mad doctors are alleging that a mysterious Dr. Cyclops is the one who masterminded the operation. All evidence points to gang leader Django Tamsulosin as having abducted the victims for the organ and bionic limb transplants. Yet neither the suspects nor the victims are providing any substantial testimony, leading the detectives to believe that a cover-up conspiracy exists. Is Dr. Adam Rauch planning to sacrifice himself in exchange for the freedom of his childhood friends? Or are the victims refusing to testify in anticipation of a payback scheme that will settle accounts once and for all? Tommy and Orrin are desperate for answers, trying to learn the true secret of Dr. Cyclops and bring the perpetrators of the horrific crimes to justice.
John Reinhard Dizon
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