John J Higgins Interview Published on: 06, Dec 2015

Short bio or SYNOPSIS here on writing as your passion.

I have done such a wide variety of things in my life so it’s not an easy question to answer simply. In general though I always like to learn new things, be challenged in new ways and one of the other predominant patterns in my life is helping others. I have worked on: farms; refinished antique furniture; cleaned out estates; raised sheep, goats and a variety of other animals; had a half wolf dog; done gunsmithing and gun repairs; worked in industrial labs; operated complex industrial painting systems from water based paints to even assisting in developing one of the first powder coating systems; operated waste treatment systems; made polymers and spandex; was a supervisor on a psychological counselling hotline; filmed rock stars; produced a play; worked in government changing statewide systems in the area of alcohol and drug abuse and also bias crimes; and prosecuted criminals in nineteen of New Jersey’s twenty one counties –cases from simple assaults to our most prolific serial killer. In the midst of all that I have always loved reading and writing; been writing most of my life in one form or other. I started writing fulltime when I retired as a Deputy Attorney General. I have been fascinated by Angels and their story so my first book series is about their history—the first trilogy is published under the name of The Archangel Jarahmael and The War to Conquer Heaven, Book 4 goes into a second trilogy that deals with hell and there will be a third trilogy one that deals with Earth. I have just completed an unrelated novel – The Rescue - it’s a thriller spy novel battling the Russian mob and their modern version of the KGB to prevent the release of robotic soldiers on the battlefield.

How long have you been writing and what inspired you to do it seriously?

I was always an excellent student so I have been writing in one form or other from the time of being a child. I tried to write a James Bond novel when I was 10 but didn’t have enough worldly experience, lol. I did not write so much when I was working in industry but I did read a lot. Then when I started working in government one of my main tasks was writing and then later as an attorney there were always briefs to write, policy papers and governmental reports. Writing novels of course is different than non-fiction. In my view more challenging and yet more fun. I began writing the Archangel series in earnest in the beginning of 2012, with the first book of that series published that December. At the time I was looking for the book that told the story of the Angels and creation of the Heavens but could not find anything that was even close to what I was thinking. So I did a lot of research and decided to write my own set of novels. I have at least seven other novels in my mind at the moment that I intend to write as well as a memoir. Whether that number will remain after they are written I don’t know but I am looking forward to the adventure of writing them all. In my latest novel I also have been fascinated with spies or secret agents who operate outside of normal laws. The basic question in this novel is: what would happen if there was a secret agency that is not tied to any government in the world that deals with problems larger than any government can or should? Say for example the creation of military robots which make war so much easier to start as the aggressor nation would not have the consequences of losing its own soldiers. One could not trust any country having such weaponry, so how would it be stopped?

When choosing a name for your characters, what do you consider about them that determines what you finally call them?

Naming the Angels as characters was easy for some but for others it was much more difficult. There are a lot of names of Angels already although I modified them to fit better to my novels. For example Lucifer is supposed to be the first and most beloved of the Archangels, his name would have been Luciferael (“el” always mean of God) especially before he rebels. From my research I also discovered there were different species of angels, naming those individually was a bit more challenging. I looked through lists of angel names but also made up some of my own as they seemed to fit the character better. In the spy novel I played with names until eventually the name would stick to the character after a great deal of thought about the matter. It’s more happenstance in my view than design, but once I find a match it does stick.

What can you suggest to new authors to start their career?

As in anything one does well I would suggest they immerse themselves into reading and writing. The idea that someone sits down and pounds a book on a keyboard or dictates it and it becomes a best seller overnight is not the way it works. As in anything it takes practice, patience, and persistence. If it was easy everyone would do it. The simple fact that someone completes writing a book is an amazing accomplishment in its own right. If you do not want to commit to seeing it through and understand that at times its scary and disappointing then you should not take on the task. In my experience the only ones who succeed are the ones who stick to it and struggle through. Remember don’t give up 5 minutes before the miracle happens.

Do you only concentrate on same genre in your writing and reading?

No, I like to absorb as much as I can in a variety of genres and fields. Nothing I have learned has ever gone to waste – it often comes back to be useful in very strange ways. My first prosecution was a gang that cut a 70 feet swastika in a cornfield and everyone in my office were stumped as to how it could be so neatly done. Having planted corn on farms, I knew how easily it could be done – planting machinery lays out the field in neat evenly spaced, and if you knocked down the corn at the right time as it grew you didn’t even need any tools. I also write in different genre’s from the paranormal, some horror stories and even some scripts for a toddlers cartoon show to assist them learn to read.

What do you do to get book reviews? What is the best review you ever got?

I probably should focus more on that but I seem to stumble upon people who have blogs or who were interested in doing book reviews. Most of my reviews are excellent thankfully. The best reviews for me to read though are most detailed but unfortunately they are filled with spoilers so they are not the ones I send people to go check out before they read my books. No point in spoiling the reading experience for them.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?

Yes I have a number of trailers for my books. I can easily create those things from my experiences of filming rock stars and creating public awareness campaigns to prevent drug abuse. I have a YouTube channel for them and the radio show I do, Hanging With Higgins and some are also on my amazon author page and my website : www.john-j-higgins.com

Do you ever get writer’s block?

I don’t think of it as writers block. I know my mind is always thinking about what I am writing when I am working on a novel. Often it is churning information in the back of my mind even when I am not writing so I don’t see that down time as a bad thing. It also never helps to beat yourself up and try to force yourself to write when nothing wants to come out onto the page. I have also found that quite often that although the next logical chapter to write may be chapter 5 some other part of the story is in my mind that may belong as Chapter 48, so I write that chapter instead.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I usually deal with social media first thing in the morning and then begin writing around ten a.m. when I am in full writing mode I often continue until 2 a.m. I believe that one should keep writing as long as the words and ideas are coming. Of course I have days when that does not happen easily or what I am writing just doesn’t work well. On those days I do other things, having faith that my mind is still working on the writing project in the background. Then all of a sudden the idea or solution comes to me and I can move forward again.

How do you promote your work? How Quotesrain help you in your book promotions and sales, would you like to refer this platform to your author friends?

I do anything and everything that is offered to me to do. I have attended writers conferences, given lectures at paranormal events (about the Angels), written articles for websites, appeared on a number of radio shows, host my own radio show, created and distributed my book trailers, put up tweets and postings on various websites, and hired different groups to promote. I appreciate Quotesrain efforts they are consistent and well done.

Would you like to share something with your readers and fan?

They should look for the next book in my Archangel series which is tentatively titled The Archangel Jarahmael and the War to Conquer Hell – In Pursuit which is in the process of being edited at Ring of Fire Books. Also my spy novel which is tentatively titled The Rescue which I am just finishing up writing. I also have information at my websites www.john-j-higgins.com and www.hangingwithhiggins.com. I can be heard talking about problems in America weekly at 1 pm eastern time on www.radioamerikanow.com with Barb Adams and there is a list of radio stations across the country that broadcast the show as well as archived versions. My Goodreads page is at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1667621 John_J_Higgins Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheArchangelJarahmaelTheWarToConquerHeavenTrilogy/ twitter @JohnJHigginsEsq

What is the importance of having a writer’s support network?

I believe it is extremely important to have a support network when one is an author. Writing is a lonely and solitary task in so many ways. It’s almost impossible to keep someone up to speed as we write a 300 plus page book, the things we wrestle with in term of characters and plots just can’t be explained easily when we are writing. Often we don’t want to ruin the feedback we can get from the people whose opinion we value the most. I, for one, do not have people read my work until it is almost totally complete because I want to make sure what I think is working will also work for someone reading the book for the first time. That being said it is important to have friends, fans, and promoters who encourage you to keep writing. There are often times where I feel lost in the writing or what I am writing no one else will ever read. That’s why those words of encouragement are always so important. Just remember not everyone can write a book and it is a monumental task to create a story out of thin air and writers should be proud of themselves for undertaking such a task

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