Interview with John Reinhard Dizon
February 21st, 2014
Today John Reinhard Dizon who is one of eTP's authors is visiting.
Good morning John. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to visit with us and to be gracious enough to answer some questions about yourself and your writing.
1. I understand your latest novel, Both Sides Now, is a romantic comedy. I usually think of romances as being written by females. What inspired you to write a romance?
I always find a poignancy in stories about people who reconcile themselves to situations that will preclude them from ever meeting that Special Someone. The major protagonist, Lucien Triskellion, is a professor at NYU who has just come over from East Germany. He meets Annaliese Krieger, who arrived with her ailing father a couple of years earlier. Anna and her father think it is a dream come true until they (and Lucien's colleagues at the University) find out he is moonlighting with a wrestling promotion. It avoids becoming a farce when all the personal crises start kicking in.
2. How did you come up with the name of your latest book?
I named it after Judy Collins' hit song. It's a three-part novel: The Bright Side (when the money is rolling in), The Dark Side (when injuries and personal problems nearly ruin the couple's lives), and Both Sides Now (they learn to accept the good and the bad and find their happy ending).
3. Do you have a special time and place to write?
I'm doing this twenty-four/seven at this juncture, but my best stuff seems to come out from dusk to dawn. I guess I'm a night person at heart. All the work's done in my man cave with my big-screen TV and my cat Jigsaw right by the PC.
4. What do you consider to be the hardest thing about writing?
The promotion is the absolute worst. I'm working with eight small publishers and have self-pubbed four of my own, so at this juncture I'm doing more publicity than writing. If the newbies out there think the writing process is hard, they are going to find out that it is just the beginning of the long and rocky road ahead.
5. Are you a plotter or a panster? Do you just sit down and begin to write, or do you plan and maybe outline your story before you start writing?
Yep, I have to have a great storyline, strong characters and a sturdy backdrop before I even get started. In this case, we had Lucien and Anna as German immigrants trying to assimilate in a Sixties culture in NYC that the whole world was trying to get a handle on. Throw in the unreal world of pro wrestling and hopefully you've got a winner.
6. What books have influenced your writing?
At this juncture, I've recently read most of Franz Kafka's work, and it has given me lots of ideas on subjective narrative which I never emphasized before. I consider myself a postmodernist writer at this stage of my career, and this novel may be the crossover as you won't see evidence of it until the later chapters. One reason is that I started work on this over two decades ago.
7. If you were a book, what would your back blurb say?
Well, here it is...John Reinhard Dizon was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, NY. He participated in local and high school sports at Bishop Loughlin MHS, and was a key figure on the Brooklyn rock scene during the Punk Revolution of the 70's. Relocating to San Antonio TX in the 80's, he moonlighted as a pro wrestler before pursuing a BA at UTSA and degrees in Korean martial arts during the 90's. He currently lives in KC MO where he is studying for his MA in English at UMKC. Mr. Dizon has been studying and writing about American and European society and culture for over twenty-five years.
8. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I was writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons when I got out of diapers. I wrote my first novella in sixth grade, and it turned into a lifelong addiction.
9. Tell us something about yourself that no one would ever suspect.
I'm a born-again Christian and I try to give the glory to the Lord Jesus Christ whenever possible. There wasn't a whole lot of opportunity with this novel, but I think Lucien and Anna reflect the finer qualities of faith, hope and love.
10. Tell us something about your work in progress.
Vampir is a horror novel about a female attorney charged with negligence in the suicide of her client in a holding cell in NYC. Her boyfriend, Shea Tyrone, is a homicide detective trying to clear her name. Only he finds that her elderly client, Velimir Radojka, has been linked to what the press is calling the 'Vampire Killings' in East Harlem. The NYPD has been working to avoid a full-scale gang war over the string of murders. I think you can see where this is going.
Tell us places on line where we can go to learn more about you and your books.
Thank you for dropping by. Please come again. Thanks for having me!!!