I began writing at 17 for my high school literary magazine while taking Creative Writing. It was there I discovered I enjoyed creative writing and upon arriving at college, I immediately began working for my college newspaper. After a year and a half, I took over as Editor, ran my newspaper for two and a half years, and then shortly after left college to get married. During that time I wrote a few letters to the editor of various newspapers and tried to get my foot in the door as a journalist at some news organizations, but it was not meant to be. There was a somewhat abortive attempt to get a comic strip I drew picked up by a syndicate, but that too wasn’t meant to be. I started writing again in 2007 when it became obvious I had an itch to get back into it again. I’ve been writing ever since.
2. What genre, or genres, do you write?
I write mostly collegiate/political fiction, but I am dabbling in science fiction at this point. I also enjoy writing about politics on my blog and do jump in and out of humor writing from time to time.
3. What is your latest book called and what is it about?
A 38 Day Education is the first in what I hope to be a five-book series based on the exploits of the staff of The Scope, the newspaper of South Central College, a fictional school in south Georgia. It chronicles Jay Ferragamo’s transformation from an insecure college sophomore into a semi-confident, accomplished Editor of his campus newspaper. Along the way, he has to learn about life, politics and understanding that sometimes things aren’t always what they seem to be.
4. What was the inspiration for your book?
A 38 Day Education is inspired by my own experience with my campus newspaper, The Sou’Wester, at Georgia Southwestern State University. In March 1994, I became Editor after serving as Assistant Editor up until that point and some of the basic plot points in the book mirror my own experiences. While the characters were all inspired by people I either knew or worked with, great effort was made to ensure that no one character was too much like any single person in real life.
5. Where can we buy your books?
A 38 Day Education has only recently been contracted for publication by Solstice Publishing, so it may a little bit before I have a release date. However, once I have been told what the editing and publishing schedule is, I will be working tirelessly to get the book to market.
6. What can we expect from you in the future?
The expectation is that this current novel will be the springboard sufficient to launch the entire Scope series. I am also working on a science-fiction novel which is based on the concept of Earth becoming a capital to a galactic government, after its original capital planet was destroyed as part of an ongoing war between cousin races, a war which actually influenced the religious beliefs of humankind for eons.
7. Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Most of what I read is historical non-fiction. That said, my favorite book overall is Dave Barry Talks Back, a collection of columns by humorist Dave Barry. As for fiction, my favorite novel is actually Peter David’s Legions of Fire trilogy, an adaptation of a Babylon 5 script written by J. Michael Straczynski. My favorite hero of any book is John Coffey from Stephen King’s The Green Mile.
8. Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?
A combination of the two. I work from a mental outline for the essential plot but like to let the plot emerge. One thing I do is “talk out” the scenes in private, including the dialogue, to see how the book sounds. My experience is that how we write reflects how we speak, and this is how I handle the dialogue. I’ll write different parts of the book as I get inspiration, like a patchwork quilt, and then “stitch” them together with transitional scenes.
9. Who are some of your favorite authors to read? Favorite books?
My favorite contemporary writers are Peter David and Dave Barry. I have a fondness for Shakespeare (my sister gave me a complete Shakespeare book that weighs about twenty five pounds!). My favorite books include Dave Barry Talks Back, 1776, The ‘What Ifs’ of American History, and Ben Franklin: An American Life. I have read the first three books of the Harry Potter series and, strangely, I could never really get into J.K. Rowling’s style.
10. What would be your ultimate goal as a writer?
My goal is to use my books and writing as a teaching tool. I am a teacher at heart and if one person learns something from my books, then all this writing is worth it. On a purely selfish note, I would love to see my books in my old campus book store under the title “Required Reading.” I know that would make more than a few people gnash their teeth.
John E. Guzzardo has been writing, in one form or another, for over 20 years. His writing career began in high school, continuing to college as Editor of his campus newspaper from 1994 through 1996, and again in 2011. John has been featured on Examiner.com, Yahoo and published a webcomic, Love & Marriage, from 2005 through 2007.
History, politics and art are some of John's favorite subjects, and he is an avid highway and cat enthusiast, as well as a fan of baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. Personal causes include the fight against Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), diabetes awareness and constitutional law. Among the writers John counts as his inspiration for pursuing his dream of being a published author are Peter David, Dave Barry and George R.R. Martin.
He currently resides in the Atlanta area with his wife, son, and, yes, cats.
Website - www.getinjohnshead.com
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Twitter - @GetinJohnsHead
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