- a neurotic, sometimes impractical, imaginative, tennis-playing, speculative fiction writer.
Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to John Rosenman!
John is a retired English professor who has published two dozen books and 250+ stories in places such as Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber’s Aliens, Fangoria, Galaxy, Endless Apocalypse, The Age of Wonders, and the Hot Blood erotic horror series.
Two of his major themes are the endless, mind-stretching wonders of the universe and the limitless possibilities of transformation—sexual, cosmic, and otherwise.
John, thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
We had two female terrier-like dogs who I loved and I’d like another. One of them was crazy about the salt on my body and would methodically lick my legs and between my toes.
I’ve also been thinking about a cat.
A good dog is like nothing else.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I love ideas and story concepts. In fact, I always have. When I was a small child I would say to my father, “Tell me a story,” and at night he would tell me one while I lay in bed. That perhaps more than anything else got me started.
As a small child I liked to sit with my girl friend (not girlfriend) and make up stories about drivers who passed us. “Ah, that one is the lady burglar!” As I grew up, I liked to create alien worlds, fascinating characters, mind-bending concepts. While I have written some realistic fiction, I’m usually more comfortable creating speculative fiction and tales of fantasy and horror.
I find myself always giving people motivations for what they do, even if I don’t know them, as well. And speculative fiction makes it a little harder for people to tell you ‘you got it wrong.’
I’ve heard a rumor that you’re a pantser, not a plotter. Is that true?
It is! I’ve tried doing an outline and character sketches, but it’s not for me. In general, I like to make it up as I go with only a cloudy destination in sight.
This NaNoWriMo, I’ve been doing more discovery writing than I’m comfortable with, but having a cloudy destination is a great thing, at least for me.
What do you like to read?
Science fiction and speculative fiction. Some horror and fantasy. Jack Reacher hard-nosed, action thrillers. Recently I read The Forgotten Child and Girl With a Pearl Earring. Actually, I read all kinds of genres and love to find unexpected jewels and bangles in all of them.
I’m right there with you! Speculative fiction of all sorts is my jam. But a wide variety can only broaden you as a reader and a writer.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Write what you know.
I usually write about what I don’t know. Imaginary worlds, alien species. They come from my imagination. Sometimes I do research to flesh out and make real things I know little about, like driving through Wyoming and Denver and being a crab fisherman in the Chesapeake Bay. Thank God for Google!
Imaginary worlds are my home, too.
Although, my grandpa was actually a crabber for a couple years, my aunt and uncles helped him out. But yes! Grounding the fantastic with things drawn from this world can really help flesh out a story and give it a realism that is hard to duplicate.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Find a beta reader
Find a really good beta reader and/or a really good writers’ critique group. Both are so important. Thanks to my writers’ group, I’ve polished and sold dozens of short stories and novels. Today, I have a friend who critiques all my stuff online. We trade back and forth, helping each other out.
One-hundred percent. Having writer friends who get it, who support you, and who push you to greatness is irreplaceable.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Here goes. My Inspector of the Cross sci-adventure series now numbers six books, with the latest, Crash having just been released. The first five novels are Inspector of the Cross, Kingdom of the Jax, Defender of the Flame, Conqueror of the Stars, and Skyburst.
The first three novels are now available as a boxset under the title Starfighter Chronicles.
Thanks to suspended animation, Turtan is over 3500 years old and travels on freeze ships to distant worlds. His mission is to investigate weapons that will help humanity turn the tide against their ancient nemesis…the Cenknife. Vicious aliens, the Cenknife seek to conquer the universe and enslave humanity. And only one man can save them!
A Senseless Act of Beauty
FREE with Kindle Unlimited and available on Audio
Imagine the 1950’s Sci-Fi movie Forbidden Planet with 1000 new wonders. Can Aaron, a Nigerian scientist, solve the glorious mysteries of Viridis and avoid destruction for both him and his crew?
Beyond Those Distant Stars
FREE with Kindle Unlimited AND Audio
Alien invaders have all but destroyed humanity. Stella McMasters, a retired naval officer, yearns to get in the war but knows she’ll never get a chance. Then amazing things start to happen, after an incident in which she nearly loses her life.
Check John Rosenman out across the web!
A great interview experience, Morgan. Thanks for having me.
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Thanks so much for being a thoughtful and patient guest.