Thursday, February 3, 2011

LRC Featured Author: Interview with John Herrick

From the Dead
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Thank you for taking the time to join us today John!

The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less
From The Dead is a human-heart story about second chances. It’s an honest journey from rock-bottom depths to the heights of victory.

How did you get the idea for the story? home from work one evening, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” came on the radio. I never cared much for the song, but for the first time I paid attention to the lyrics about a straight-laced preacher’s son who falls in love with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Questions rose up inside me: “What if it were the opposite situation? What if the preacher’s son had hit rock bottom?”  Details started to pour forth, and by the time I got home, I spent 30 minutes trying to get them on paper. The story grew from there, usually with scene ideas coming to me in the car. Obviously, the story and song ended up with nothing in common, though!

Do you have any other works in progress?
Yes! When I determine my next novel, I spend a while letting it marinate inside me to give the story a chance to build naturally, to allow the pivotal scenes to rise up from within. That’s my current status. My goal is to start outlining the novel by the end of this year.

Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I’d most want to have dinner with Drew after he grows older. He’s pressed through a lot at an early age and has a tender heart. I’d like to get to know the strong individual he becomes.

What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
Though I try to read a wide variety, I love suspense novels—a big John Grisham fan. I’ve also gotten into biographies lately. Reading is a must for a writer, so I try to carve out time for it daily, even if it’s just an hour. On the weekends, I’ll spend hours reading at Starbucks or Panera Bread. Two or three books going at a time.

If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
As a writer and a person, when all is said and done, I want to know my life impacted other people. When people cross paths with my books or me, I want them to walk away knowing their lives matter, encouraged to keep pressing forward toward their purposes in life. So whatever book would allow that to happen, that’s the book I would want my life to be like. At this point, the Bible would probably best fit the bill—people felt loved, accepted and encouraged around Jesus.

Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on the From the Dead "playlist-" songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
Okay, this might sound funny, but I need to drink something hot, usually herbal tea. I keep a cupboard filled with different flavors to keep a variety going!  Beyond that, the key to keeping me on track is to not allow any days off during the first-draft phase!

I always have a CD playing in the background. A handful of songs seem to underscore the emotional content of key scenes—you’ll see them mentioned in From The Dead. The playlist seems to grow along with the first draft. While writing From The Dead, Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Hornsby’s greatest hits CDs helped me delve into Jesse’s introspection. Michelle Branch and Colbie Caillat helped capture the tenderness of Jesse and Caitlyn’s love story.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to immediately travel anywhere in the world. I could escape to the beach to relax, plus travel anywhere I’d want to go for research or inspiration.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I’m an avid reader. Surprise, surprise, right? I love the written word and don’t spend much time with TV. To escape, I’ll get into the car with a couple of CDs and just drive—like a mini vacation, minus the sand and ocean!

Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Whatever your dream is, never give up. That’s the one thing I hope readers pick up from my work.

Thanks for letting me stop by! I love to hear from readers, so feel free to connect with me at my website,, and my blog at

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