Hey there folks.
Have I got a treat for you all tonight! (Yes, yes I do, it was not meant to be a rhetorical question!)
For another thrilling segment in the Author Interviews Series, I would like to introduce you to a very talented author and fun guy, the inimitable John L. Monk is here in the house to share some wise words with us.
Hi there John, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to chat to you today and can’t wait to hear about your unique books and interesting writing advice.
Let’s start with your supernatural thriller The Jenkins Cycle series. Your blurb in the first book “Kick” mentions that if we like Quantum Leap, we will enjoy your books and I’m a huge fan of the show myself, so you’re already on excellent footing! Please give us the lowdown on your imaginative series, the characters and what they will have to deal with across the course of this trilogy.
Basically, “The Jenkins Cycle” was my way of beating death without actually dying. A series about a guy who commits suicide and keeps coming back to life in the bodies of “bad people” — killers, rapists, arsonists, pedophiles, you name it. Each book starts with Dan Jenkins, the hero, showing up in the body of a new villain whose crimes he doesn’t yet know, but must (of course) figure out before his three weeks are up. Meanwhile, Dan’s trying to live the life he foolishly threw away: movies, restaurants, naps, novels — you name it.
You also have two other stand-alone novels called “Hell’s Children” & “Thief’s Odyssey”. Do either of these titles share any history with the Jenkins Cycle world or are they completely different entities in their own right? Give us a head’s up on both of them and the predicaments we are going to find ourselves exploring.
Totally different worlds, though “Jenkins” and “Thief’s” share similar POV’s. I’m a big fan of first person/past tense, and that’s the POV I chose for those two novels. For “Hell’s Children,” I chose a more commercial POV: past tense/3rd person. It’s a book about kids living in a hellish world where all the adults have died from a mysterious plague. “Thief’s Odyssey” is about an unrepentant thief who set out at a young age to become the world’s greatest cat burglar. “Hell’s Children” is about a kid whose parents raised him to be a survivor. They’d had him in their late 50’s (in vitro), and knew they wouldn’t be physically possible to take care of him much farther than his 30th birthday, if that.
If your novels were to be made into movies, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I’d love for the “Kick” series to have Oliver Platt play the voice of Dan Jenkins, and a heavyset actor play a young Dan. For Hell’s Children, the main character is a boy — but I think I’d allow poetic license on the part of the director/producer and invite a female main character. I think that actress in Stranger Things (Millie Bobby Brown) would do a great job. As for Thief’s Odyssey, there can be no substitute: Matt Damon.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?
I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher, Elmore Leonard, Cormac McCarthy, and Robert B. Parker. I’m fans of a lot of other folks as well, but these guys have books I regularly come back to and reread. So there you go — they inspire me. Both in storytelling and in writing style. All of them are similar, in some ways, because they aren’t overly flowery in their prose or dialogue. And all of them have great dialogue.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
For the most part, I stick to Internet research. YouTube, Wikipedia, that kind of thing. The tools are there, so why not use them? For my thief book, I DID buy books and read them—stuff on lock picking, safecracking, biographies of famous thieves. I also interviewed a locksmith. I also use the heck out of Google Maps. Research is no longer an excuse to write a book, if it ever was.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer as soon as I finished reading my first-ever book: A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin. I really like writing stories and having folks enjoy them. Deep down, it’s quite an ego boost. If they love it, I feel happy. If they hate my work, I feel sad. Oddly, that leads to something I’ve never had much experience with in my life: pressure to produce quality work. I really want folks to enjoy my stuff, so I get a little tense every time I release a new book. So far, that anxiety has always been misplaced, as most people seem to like the books. Knock on wood…
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I do suffer writer’s block — mainly when I’m writing a book two. When you write book one, you come to the project full of enthusiasm and imagination. Then you exhaust ALL of it on that project. Then suddenly you gotta write book two, and you’re totally on empty by this point. So it’s a chore. You don’t want to write a bunch of crap and waste your readers’ time and money, but you also have the pressure to get that next book out. So you feel a lot of stress. Who knew sitting around being creative and taking your own sweet time could be so stressful?
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually reading or watching TV. Both of which are very inactive activities — my favorite type. Sure, I go fishing sometimes, or boating, but really I’m just counting down the time to my next writing session, and I’d rather not arrive at it too tired, or I’m apt to slink off and take a nap. Can’t write anything when I’m napping, can I?
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
Right now, I’m writing the sequel to “Hell’s Children” as well as a novella in a universe a friend of mine invited me into. I’m hoping to finish the novella first, and I’m hoping it’ll be a nice break from the Hell’s stuff, allowing me to build up the good ideas the way a battery accumulates a charge.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Aspiring writers should read books by authors they love, read widely, and note what works and why it works. The best stories in the world — for me — are stories in which the prose disappears and a picture takes its place. For me, that means simple prose without a lot of flowery description. But everyone’s different. Just have fun, understand what you’re doing, and practice.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for being a very groovy guest John.
John L. Monk lives in Virginia, USA, with his wife, Dorothy. A writer with a degree in cultural anthropology, he boldly does the dishes, roots out evil wherever it lurks, and writes his own stunts.
You can connect with John on the following social media channels:-
Amazon Author Page:- John L. Monk – Amazon Author Page
Blog/Website:- The Blog & Website of John L. Monk
Facebook:- John L. Monk (Author)
Goodreads:- John L. Monk (Goodreads Author)
You can buy his books here:-
Canada:- Buy John L. Monk’s books in Canada
UK/Europe:- Buy John L. Monk’s books in UK/Europe
US/Rest of the World:- Buy John L. Monk’s books in US/Rest of the World
Still want more? Well, The first book in John’s ‘Jenkins Cycle’ has a plot that involves body hopping. For more articles based around the theme of ‘Jump’ over at The Daily Post, check out the links below:-
1. Girl’s Guide to Online Dating – Fingerlike
2. Jump – disue
3. Are You Ready to Jump? – Filbert & Smudge
4. kwesi – jump
5. carolinecuttingblog – The Jump.
6. Angelic Hands – Taking the Leap.
7. Jump – The Anonymous Writer’s Notebook
8. Crapload of Words – Boomerang
9. Iamabloggertoo – JUMP !
10. The Last One – just a little magic
11. Jump, to start or to end.. – IqraSW
12. Jump – anewme
13. Roberta Pimentel – Daily – Every girl’s dreams
14. I Was Nominated (and Accept) – Making Sense of Complications
15. Personal Goals – NeatSuites
16. One Catholic Life – Jump Starting the Writing Habit Again
17. artifiswords – JUMP
18. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Jump To Generous
19. Le Drake Noir – Formerly with a view
20. Jump they say – In my world
21. memories – Precipice
22. Jump – aYoKa
23. A Step Forward – The Chaos Within
24. Purposive Writer – Sometimes Jumping Is Fun, Other Times It Is Not
25. Jumping For Life – psychedelicwizard
26. nerdhut – Jump into a topic – learn something new
27. Be Fierce or Go Home. Sirtaki Experience. – mokita dreams
28. Don’t tell Don’t! Don’t tell Do! Never say Never!!! – My favorite jump shots of my family
29. Jump in Life! – iamioana
30. logicaldreams – Spiritual Self Defense
31. Michel Montecrossa Blog – Featured: painting ‘Jumping Future’ by Michel Montecrossa
32. Giggles & Tales – I Am ME – The Daily Prompt!
33. The Joy of Jumping – rupalislale
34. A year unfolded in Scandinavia – Swed Lifestyle
35. Lost Property Repository – Fishing
36. my love affair with the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett – and the rain left off
37. Success Inspirers’ World – Opportunity to jump at
38. Success Inspirers’ World – Jump in
39. Jackie’s Forget Me Nots – Go Ahead A’an Jump
40. Cynthia Goes Online – Startled
41. Success Inspirers’ World – Where to jump
42. A day without writing… – findingbreathless
43. Lost Property Repository – There’s a lump in my bed
44. Salad Days – Mac’s World
45. Samantha Linda – Jump In
46. All is jumping in my heart – Living with Boston
47. manvsloneliness – Day 79: The Man and the Unlikely Desire; ‘Jump’
48. inspiration in progress – Jump
49. KICK START AND JUMP – breathingpark
50. Fluffy Pool – Crazy Dark Place
51. The Glimmer – Jump
52. wordsareallihavesite – Jump
53. Jump into fiction… – Serendipitous Web Life
54. Jump – calliemm
55. Stutter-Stepping Heart – Foolish Jump
56. juantetcts – The Daily Post
57. Jump Out of your life. – Neil James.
58. Daily Post Prompt: Jump on Quickly – Memories of Winter, a Poem – Sumyanna Writes
59. Fulsomely summed – The Cliffhanger Chronicle
60. Through the Trees, Over the Bushes – T.A. Hoyt
61. Time Travel – April’s Perspective
62. Response to the Daily Post Prompt: Jump – The Bag Lady
63. 83 Unsung Heroes – When Testicles Meet Tubular Steel
64. Speak Now Storyteller – Runaway
65. Eden of Knowledge – Jumping Jack Flash
66. Just jump – La Petit Muse
67. Jump! – The Inkwell
68. Jump: would you travel through time? – Machina Verborum
69. Goodbye summer and hello fall, from a Solo female backpacker – MY OUTSIDE LIFE
70. Crash – Occasional Dreams
71. Michael J. Fite – How Can You Jump And Become Successful?
72. From May to Fall – seequoyah
73. Chris Thilk – Daily Post – Jump
74. How often do you Jump to the wrong Conclusion? – Cooking with the DeGroffs
75. The Night of Oops and the Verbalized Thought – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
76. JUMP – THE CHOSEN LEAP – Wandering Soul
77. Cage Dunn: Writer and Author – Friday’s Screech
78. LadyLebz – DUDE YOU SERIOUSLY HATE YOUR JOB
79. Jump!! – zeny’s.words
80. Kate Murray – Jump
81. A chain of thoughts… – Just jump right into it.
82. kindergartenknowledge.com – Super Engaging Book #7. Duck Jumps!
83. witchlike – Autumn Equinox
84. Jump From Dream To Dream – emotionsoflife2016
85. Marbiya With Faith – Jump
86. Theo Herbots TV news Flag Counter – Theo Herbots TV
87. Growing Toward the Sun – #Throwback Thursday: It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (Shhhh, No One Speak About It)
88. Making it write – Closing off the power
89. 5 Things I Would Tell My Younger Runner Self – Sneakers on Pavement
90. Jump Discontinuity – Battle Tutoring
91. DinamicDynasty – Jump
92. Jump – aYoKa
93. Mainline_Matter – High Jump
94. Like in the movie – no, better! – Afterlife Love Story
95. takingupchristianity – I use to jump out of moving cars…
96. By Reason Of Sanity – Jump
97. Ode to arms – When I thought I was fat
98. Christine’s Collection – Exotic Beach—Economy Package
99. Jump – Leaking Ink
100. Chris Writes – Airborne
101. I jumped without a helmet, but with a very cool chip – 43 Street
102. A Joy To Write – Jump
103. Jump – ARMY OF THE FALLEN BIKERS
104. Marc Townsend Author – Making the Jump From Writer to Author
105. Writer Sanctuary – Am I a Fool, Or Is It a Midlife Crisis?
106. Healthy Living – Let Jumping Bring You Doses of Fun and Health Benefits
107. Jumping Into the New School Year – Writer in Progress
108. Jump ~ Change of Mind – Word Adventures
109. To Wear A Rainbow – ecstatic ….haiku
110. There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament – when will the internet become a philosophy?
111. Upside-down Economics – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
112. Think About It – At Play
113. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Child’s mini leaps of faith inspiring
114. Shail’s Nest – The jump
115. Loving my jump rope – susiesopinions
116. Le Happyone – Instagram Post
117. Childhood Calling – atrangizindagieksafar
118. Jump – Shot out of a cannon…
119. Agony – Oh, border!
120. LadyLebz – THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RESIGNING FROM YOUR JOB
121. Anniversary Changes – From Sand to Gemstones
122. The Colour of Poetry – Take a Leap Forward!
123. The Gad About Town – Leap Into Fall
124. Jump (Jumpin Jack Flash) – Micks Blog
125. la floralie 2 – 338 Falling upwards . Thanks to Binh Danh
126. serialist – Jump (they say)
127. Journey of Roo – One Day of Peace, 364 Days for War Unueco Partio
128. aLightningbug – Jump, Jump, Jump
129. Sly, the Sloth, makes a move – Postcard from a Pigeon
130. Flowers and Breezes – Jump
131. Flirty – lovelyricism
132. Jump (If You Care) – Micks Blog
133. Life with Jess – My Moment
134. Infinite Love.. – RituSinghdiaries
135. Might as Well: overcoming grad school purgatory – Wondering Wanderer
136. What Rhymes with Stanza? – Vertebrate Sapiens
137. vertical combustion – the necrophobic
138. Standing on the Edge – Rhea Khaira
139. Autumn merits a poem – genusrosa
140. The Urgency in the word Jump! – Confetti of the Day
141. Jump – k a i t
142. Crossing Colorado – Halloween Candy: And So It Begins
143. Jump Into Fall and 12 Cool things to Do with the Family! – REBL In Motion Fitness and Health
144. kristinakoti – Weird Dream
145. Jumping in joy – Sasha’s Writings
146. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The Feline Jump
147. Mr. Robot season 2 – jessicasblog45
148. stepping in2 lyfe – The Skin We’re In
149. J9’s Next Chapter – Jump
150. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Jump
151. No Jumping Today – poorhaiku
152. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – Jump blues
153. MY ENDURING BONES – The Fall
154. Mindy, the Hungry Irish Hip-Hop Queen – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
155. A Hope… A Skip… A Jump – Ms Skyfall
156. Jump – iamdeltapositivenegative
157. First Post…catch us if you can! – Butler Girls on the go….
158. Jump – Covert Novelist
159. the FLAVORED word – You can’t sit forever on destiny’s safe little shelf – SO GET OFF!
160. He Feels Empty Inside. – LIVING AND LEARNING
161. Martha L Shaw – DON’T BE FOOLED BY OOPS!
162. Jump – WORDS from SONOBE
163. charlesewaugh – Remembering Northern Song
164. Tough Decisions – Sunken Thought
165. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Jump
166. Angel visit – Elaine’s Bloggers Paradise
167. Anirban Blogs – Jump Out And Fly
168. Be My Special Shampoo? – Insidious Temptation
169. Leap of Faith – Random Thoughts and Musings
170. Headfirst – Ashquill
171. Think About It – Hoka Hey
172. La Tour Abolie – An Anti-Hyacinth
173. Jump – Grounded in Fantasy
174. Boys : Does She Like You? (THEN JUMP WITH JOY!) – curiousitygotmecom
175. Saturin and Her Moons – First Day of Fall
176. cahla’s tawkin’ – Jump
177. The Violin Player – A Walk in the Woods
178. Wanderlust – A new chapter – Jump & You will see…
179. debooWORKS – Lift off!
180. Full-Time – The Edge
181. to the Land of Fantasy – mySestina
182. When jump don’t bring you there – Tree of life
183. Zombie Flamingos – K-k-k-kitten Thursday!
184. Southern By Design – “Hello, It’s Me Again”~Depression
185. Jumping into Them – Duchess Xenon’s
186. sixty, single and surviving – Prompt: Jump
187. kStan(ly) kSays – let’s horse around
188. Decore la vie ! – Je saute, tu sautes…
189. Jump in Swimming Pool – passiondesignerblog
190. Jump – Second Time Blogger
191. People in the well – Khayal
192. Devil Doll Musings – Something To Talk About
193. thelonerose – COLOURS
194. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Jump – to the computer
195. confabler – A witches’ brew to find everything
196. Stephen King Discusses the Problems Faced by Timid Writers – Overuse of Adverbs & Use of the Passive Voice – Just Jump In and Write – Jacki Kellum
197. Lost Property Repository – There is only one jump
198. Korean-style tofu rice bowl recipe – art of being fabulous
199. Crossing Over – Pete Gardner Psalms
200. The Urgency of the word Jump! – Confetti of the Day
201. The happy Quitter! – Wrong Jump
202. grandmotherexperience – Ruminations on Jump
203. Frank Prem – the interview
204. Jump – NOOKS&CRANNIES
205. What If You Were Born The Opposite Sex? – LIVING AND LEARNING
206. BFF! – Reflections!!
207. Jump – Daily Prompt – ladyleemanila
208. Frank Prem – bounce and flow (student daze)
209. I wrote a book. Now what? – Hey! Its’ Interjection
210. Travel Much? – Snow car much?
211. Frank Prem – s-s-s-strength
212. Lost Property Repository – A lesson learnt
213. Jump – Vermont Book Works
214. Common Pursuit – Jumping Jumpa
215. Leap Versus Fall – Opinionated Head
216. Devil Doll Musings – Jump Around
217. An Education Rant – Just Writing!
218. Jump! Abuse’s Primary Command…at an end! – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
219. Jump – Bits of Poems
220. Designer Sophisticate – I have dread and fear and light and laughter……
221. the15thday – and the winner is?
222. kStan(ly) kSays – ever the optimist
223. The Wandering Poet – Well, He tried to jump
224. Lantern Words – I Will Jump