Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Author interview with J.O. Quantaman

This week I’m interviewing J.O. Quantaman who has written four novels, spanning the genres of futuristic history, martial arts, coming of age, PTSD and social issues. First published in 2015 as an indie author, his books are available in paperbacks/ eBooks and shortly audiobooks too, so let’s meet John.

‘I've worked as a sports fishing guide, a photographer, a taxicab driver and software developer. I am a lifelong history buff. I read both history and fictional history. In ancient times, there is very little to distinguish between the two. Although I deal with a future time, circa 2070s, I try to approach it as a contemporary journalist would.’
Gosh, what a diverse career! What inspired him to become a writer and does he have a daily writing routine?
‘I wanted a new challenge and my routine is to wake up and write a few lines. I spend the rest of the day editing.’
It sounds like fun to me, but that’s because it’s my hobby! How difficult does he find it writing characters very different from his own personality?
‘My life and friendship have been very diverse so I have models or composite models to draw on for my characters. The hardest part is plausibility. It's hard to demonstrate skills most folks don't believe they have. I hope my characters are taken for humans rather than specially endowed superheroes.’

What has been his hardest scene to write so far?
‘In "Hot Wheels" Jen uses a paraglider to escape the scene of her attack on the transnational summit of CEOs. Lot of research was needed to describe the flight realistically.’
Gosh! Was he tempted to have a go, rather than relying on research?
‘I was over 70-years-old when I wrote sections about paragliding. I researched the skill extensively, but I haven't paraglided myself.’
Oh wow, I think that’s being very wise then! What does John enjoy the most and least about writing and publishing?
‘I enjoy the sense of fulfilment, making myself useful. Amazon has made it easy to publish, but it has made it hard to distinguish one's own brand from the millions of other authors.’
Very true. Indie authors do need to work harder to make their books seen, so what’s been the best money he’s spent as a writer?
‘I believe now I'm paying professional speakers to turn my work into audio versions. It shows I'm ready to use my own money to reap future sales.’
Moving onto his books, which should people read first, and why?
‘"Woke: Cool Assassin 1" is the logical choice to read first. Here the two main characters are fully developed: their histories, childhoods, motivations and personal goals. For the rest of books, the narrative will fall in place.’
Great. Can he give us a synopsis of “Hot Wheels” (tweet here):
‘Jen has bombed the summit of the seven largest global corporations. She escapes in a paraglider and rendezvous with JoAnna, her getaway doyen. The women are pursued by many dozens of corporate mercs.’
Now that sounds exciting! Can he give us an overview of the series (tweet here):
‘The Cool Assassins series includes dozens of ways to cope with the coming Climate Crisis, both individually and socially.’

Interesting. Can he expand on the climate change element in his books?
‘I've followed scientific literature about Climate Change since the 1980s. It's clear that no government has or is taking action to delay or avert Climate Change. The public media has and is downplaying the calamitous effects EVERYONE WILL FACE in the coming decades. The Cool Assassins series describes sensible strategies for individuals and communities to avoid the worst calamities in the last quarter of the 21st-century.
Do I think any nations will take such good advice? Not in a million years. So these sensible methods and strategies will be all the more vital for folks living fifty, sixty and seventy years from now.’
It’s certainly a tricky subject to tackle, so how about feedback from his readers – does he read reviews and if so, how have they been received?
‘My books have been well accepted for the most parts. Yet I must deal with Climate Change deniability. Many folks cannot imagine how bad it will get in 50 years, so they question my innovative approach to personal self-esteem and social justice. As the weather and environment worsen, more folks will agree that major changes must take place.’
What does he mean by social justice?
‘It implies freedom of choice: adequate housing and access to healthy foods. Self-esteem grows if individuals pursue healthy lifestyles. I've focused on physical prowess as a basic requirement for sane minds.’
He talks about climate deniers too - does he have any views on why people think this way?  
‘Popular media has and is avoiding the facts about Climate Change. Weather events are going to be far worse than anyone can imagine. In many places like India or Texas, the summer temperatures will get too hot for jetliners to take off. By 2070, hundreds of millions of humans will starve because agribusiness won't be able to produce enough food to feed everyone.
No one can predict the future. Much will depend on the choices we make now and in the coming decades. Judging from the past and current trends, I suspect the earth will be in much worse shape than is described in Cool Assassins. I doubt there will be off-earth colonization. Nor will there be solar collecting beamer satellites that produce 35% of earth's energy budget. Instead, we'll experience droughts, floods, monster storms and famines on a global scale. Such a future is corroborated by thousands of informed scientists.’
Gosh, it’s such an important subject and I suspect it’s going to take brave authors like John, using their craft to get people talking about the issue. What would John consider his writing-career highs and lows?  
‘Highs: COVID19 inspired a great increase in eBook sales. Lows: Long months where there is little or no activity on my sales pages.’

Aw, perhaps some of you will give his work a try and reduce those months of sales inactivity! If he could go back in time and talk to himself at the start of his career, what would he say?
‘I'd probably should've joined more writers' groups and gotten better advice about how to proceed. What happened was that I delved in blind, but now I am rising the surface and smartening up.’
Fascinating, so what does he consider the most common trap for an aspiring writer?  
‘New writers must recognize that that today is a buyers' market. Printed words are going obsolete, becoming drowned by zillions of eBooks and audiobooks. It's hard to create a brand in this environment. Think long-term and find other ways to make a living besides writing.’
Good advice – what would he do for work, if he didn’t write?  
‘I'm semi-retired, so without writing I'd become addicted to streaming sports and movies.’
I think we should keep John busy writing! If you’d like to find out more about his work, please click onto his links below:

Amazon Author Page:

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