[JENA] We have readers all over the world and I am always curious to see where our favorite authors are from. Where do you call base camp?
GERALD R. JOHNSON [GERALD] Well Home base I wish was something as elaborate as the Batcave, but it’s pretty much at my laptop on my desk here in Sunny Central Florida, in a small city named Lakeland.
[JENA] A common trend as of late is cross-genre authors. It has become relatively uncommon to come across an author who only writes in one specific genre. It seems there are a lot of writers who like to dip their toes in all sorts of pools. Which genre or genres do you write?
[GERALD] Well, I started writing in Fantasy, by the time I was 16, I’d written my first full novel thanks to playing Dungeons and Dragons, but I never went anywhere with it because shortly after that I ran across Robert Howard and his giant Cimmerian. Currently, I tend to dip in the Paranormal, Urban, Erotica, and Thriller genres and I’m considering doing a little Horror as well because I’m just not a big fan of some of the horror movies I’ve seen here lately.
[JENA] Writers get inspiration from all over the place. Movies, books, music, people in their life, their own life, etc. Who or what is your most common muse?
[GERALD] For me, my favorite muse is my alter ego Damien Darke, we tend to have that light side/ dark side relationship, and it keeps my mind very open to what’s going on around me. It’s nothing to be driving and see someone walking down the road and we’re suddenly making up a story surrounding that person. There are times music creates that need to write and without a plan I just sit and allow what ever happens to just happen.
[JENA] Are you 100% independently published or do you have traditional contracts as well? If you are 100% indie, would you ever consider a traditional publishing contract? Why or why not?
[GERALD] I am 100% indie through a small company out of Indiana named Vantage Point Publishing… I was fortunate that the owner ran across some of my work on one of my fanpages and asked me very bluntly, “What do you plan to do with your writing?” and it was pretty much on from there. As for going to a more traditional company, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure at this point. I do know I’d love for my work to be seen by a more influential clientele of readers, and I’d love to one day see one of them up on the big screen, but I know that right now I have no pressures to take my time and produce the best work that I possibly can without selling myself short on what I can write, and I don’t have to worry with changing who and what I am as a writer to please some big wig who feels I should write totally different than how I write. MY work is MY work.
[JENA] Writer’s block sucks. What do you do to overcome the blank stare when it hits you with everything it has got?
[GERALD] I get away from my computer… writer’s block to me means I’ve been sitting for way too damn long working either on a story or my graphics and my head needs a break. I love to just get in my car and just drive, or I’ll go and get my kids and just go to Sonic for a drink and sit and talk to them. Or, like this weekend, I’ll take a trip over to Clearwater beach and just sit out with my girlfriend and we’ll watch the waves and the people. I just need that get away, and before I know it I’ll see something and smile because the stories and the voices have returned and its time to get back to writing.
[JENA] Let’s gab about your books. What fictiony goodness have you already unleashed on the general populous?
[GERALD] OOO… Fictiony goodness… Well My first book published, Pitch Darke: the Poetic Chronicles of Damien Darke, is a book of poems that I’d had stored away, some for a very long time and pretty much those were all centered around different areas of my life and those events warranted something being written… now I’m not a poet by any means, and I’m not that good at it in my eyes, but I do enjoy writing poems and every now and again I’ll write one out. My second book, Liquid Eroticism, is a very steamy book of both erotic poems and short stories. I put this book out because my first thought was that I was going to be an erotic writer for a while, but after thinking about it I came to the realization that I didn’t want to be stuck in any kind of box be it with my writing or they style in which I do my graphic arts… so I decided to skip along the lines of genres. My third book, Tainted: the Book of Revelations, is my first ever Urban/Street Literature book; I actually call mine Urban Drama because even though its as gritty as most of the street lit books out there it doesn’t possess a lot of the same things that you read in the atypical street lit books. This story is not set in NY or Chicago or ATL or along the East coast… its set in Tampa, FL. This story doesn’t deal with ex-cons… obvious drug dealers… gangbangers. It’s a drama with an urban edge… think Mario Puzo’s the Godfather but here in the South and the main character is a young African American female. I wrote this story because I was tired of reading the same ol’ same ol’ in the Urban literature and I hadn’t seen anything similar to what I wrote… this book is the first of a three part series.
[JENA] What’s next for you and your writing? Any new titles coming out?
[GERALD] Writing is a daily thing for me. I have three books completely written and I’m working on two of those to be released by the end of the summer. The first is the second in the Tainted series, Tainted: the Book of Retribution. At this time I’m trying to set a date of release for somewhere around July 20 and the second week of August. Along with that will be my first psychological thriller, The White Chapel Murders: the Reaper’s Edge. I have a thing for serial killers and I figured it was time to write about one (and Damien was a big influence with this one) … the plan is to release them both together and we are working on a book event as well.
[JENA] The latest trend with the indie author world is massive book signings and conventions featuring anywhere from 20 authors to 200 authors. What has your experience been at these events? Do you enjoy them? Or do they make you twitch and sweat?
[GERALD] Shhhhh don’t tell anyone but ummmm… I’ve not experience this yet. The plan, at this point is, we are working on putting together a moderate sized book event here in Lakeland and I’m hoping to get a good response from it because part of the proceeds will be going to the National Cancer Society ( I am in remission from Leukemia and therefore I’m looking forward to giving back to help).
[JENA] Do you have any appearances coming up? If so, tell us when and where (provide links if you have them).
[GERALD] I’m working on this… but once I do I’ll be posting those all over my Facebook page.
[JENA] Now it’s time for some just-for-fun questions! If you were digitized like Tron and put on the internet what site would you visit first?
[GERALD] OH I think I’d visit Bill Gates computer just to look around and see what else he has planned for trying to take over the world … and then I’d probably steal those plans and use them myself. LOL
[JENA] Have you ever Googled yourself? If so, were you surprised or shocked by any of the results?
[GERALD] My biggest surprise was actually seeing my name all over the place along with the books I’ve written and some of my social sites. I was really in awe just sitting there at my desk screaming out… “I’ve been GOOGLED!!!”
[JENA] What would you do with a million dollars?
[GERALD] Wish I had a few more million because just one million probably wouldn’t last that long. hahahah
[JENA] If you were trapped on a desert island with one CD that you could listen to for the rest of your life what would it be?
[GERALD] Anything that Toni Braxton was singing on. I’ve always said that she would be my next ex-wife.
[JENA] How do you consume – read the book then watch the movie or watch the movie then read the book?
[GERALD] I can go either way, but I love to read the book first and see how far off from it the movie has to go to stay within its time restraints and still try to remain true to the books.
[JENA] If you could live forever, would you? Why or why not?
[GERALD] If I’m still able to write, I wouldn’t mind immortality. I can imagine the changes through the ages that would give me material beyond reasoning to write about… the changes in the people… the changes in technology… the overall changes to the land … it would be great.
[JENA] If you were faced with the zombie apocalypse and had to pick five people to be on your survival team, who would you pick?
[GERALD] Number One – the Batman, Number Two – Norman Reedus, Number Three – the Killer from White Chapel Murders (cant give away the name … LOL), Number Four – Wesley Snipes, Number Five – Halle Berry
[JENA] Imagine the concept of reincarnation is real, who or what would you hope to come back as in your next life?
[GERALD] I would want to come back as … A writer (just not a Romance Writer, and my luck that’s what would happen.)
[JENA] Thank you for participating in Indies In Their Undies!
[GERALD] THANK YOU, JENA.