Featured Author: John Stormm
This week’s Featured Author on Bookrix is John Stormm, author of the science fiction and witch stories, Parting The Veil of Worlds and Through the Rift.
1) Titles of the work you have on Bookrix (Please provide the link to the book cover)
“Parting The Veil of Worlds” and “Through The Rift”
2) Do you share your books with your grandchildren?
Absolutely. Most of these are “family stories”, the kinds of things that get told over and over again at reunions, funerals and etc. I “fictionalized” them a little to make a better overall story series.
3) Or are they too young to read about witches and blades?
Witches are who we are and where we come from. We have no tales of green faced hags who eat babies. When my grandchildren hear tales of witches, it is usually about family members like their great, great grandmothers or even their grandfather (me). They have wooden practice swords and practice with their mothers or myself or their Uncle Jon. All of my children were taught martial arts from the cradle be they girls or boys. For many years, they were never aware of it as such as we do it all as a game that builds balance and coordination. Safety, responsibility and self discipline also get taught as well as the most important martial arts lesson: When NOT to fight.
4) What inspired you to write about witches?
I am a hereditary Irish witch, from a very long line of such. My first story in this venue now comprises the first three chapters of “Matriarch of the Witch Clan”. It was about my grandmother and great grandmother and some stories that still resonate in our family today. I wanted to write a story to tell people what we *really* are and how we raise our families and what comprises “normal” in such a family. Much has been kept secret for a very long time out of fear of what our Christian communities might do to us. It is not an unfounded fear, even in 21st Century America. *Most* of what anyone knows about witchery, or *thinks* they know is Dark Ages propaganda and has absolutely nothing to do with the Old Religion that once covered most of Europe and the Isles. I wanted to tell a story from *our* perspective that would educate AND entertain. I’m not just telling a good yarn, I’m telling you about the house and family *I* was raised in and how I was taught the craft.
5) How do your hobbies of blade smithing and martial arts affect your writing?
In witchery, there is a discipline (among many) called “Artificing”. It’s the age old craft of making enchanted weapons or artifacts for doing magic. We still practice it to some extent, but in order to do something like that, one must, at the very least have a strong working knowledge of metallurgy. I love a good action/ adventure and knowing the dynamics of effective techniques makes for a more vivid story in the telling. If you follow the writing with your imagination in gear, it is as if you were executing the moves like a pro for yourself.
6) What is your writing method? Do you wake up super early in the morning? Do you burn the midnight oil drinking coffee to stay awake while penning your passion?
I work evenings at a local hospital. I wake up about 8am and grab a cup of coffee and sit down at my PC and write for a few hours. I do roughly 2000 words on an average day.
7) How long have you been writing?
In one way, shape or form for over 30 years. Mostly I wrote articles, short stories, poems and stuff. Around 2004 when I saw my job was about to be shipped off to China, I took a correspondence course called “Breaking Into Print” which helped clean up my work to make it more commercially acceptable… that is to say: I’ve sold more stories since I took that course.
How do you maintain your regular job while writing?
I work alone in a very large vault with three linear accelerators for treating cancer patients. I maintain things and work out my plots and twists as I work and go home and sleep on it. The next morning, I commit those ideas to paper (or disk). The arrangement works well for me.
9) Do you have special places where you go to write?
10) Do you have any quirks when writing? Do you need to shut off your phone for the weekend or stay away from family and friends?
Nearly all of the above, but as I write mostly in the mornings, nobody calls me or disturbs me until afternoon, so I don’t really have to be very abrupt with them about it.
11) What inspires you?
The human heart. The strength and courage it takes simply to love another person.
12) Do you want to make a living from your wordsmith skills or are you doing this for fun?
My retirement plan is to write a novel a year for the next ten years and retire on the royalties. But I’ll probably continue writing even then as I love this stuff and have no lack of material to write from in a family like ours.
13) What are your stories about? Are they fiction or non-fiction?
They are fiction that is structured after our family and culture to keep it and the characters consistent. I want to entertain you, but the next time you might hear that so-and-so is a practicing witch, I want you to have a more realistic idea of what that means. There’s times and places where a flight of fancy will hurt no one at all and times when the truth of the matter serves best.
14) Do you have a lesson in your stories? Do you have a philosophical or moral mission you are showing in your work?
There are not many “hereditary” witch families left. I wanted to share a bit of what we are and were before we are all gone and no one to tell of us but the demonized tales of devil worshippers. I’m not looking for any kind of converts or dabblers in the craft. I just wish my grandmother could have lived long enough to be able to admit to being a witch and still be loved and respected for the special soul she was. I have grandchildren that might well be talented witches in their own rights, and I’d like people to accept that as if it were nothing more bizarre than if they admitted to being Lutheran or something. It’s a bit much to expect, but we have a black President now, so anything can happen.
15) What advice do you have for other authors?
Don’t just write what you know, write what you love and your own passion will move others, which is what any writer wants to see of their work.
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