Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, John.
No problem. I’m honored to be interviewed by you.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Well, my real name is Juan H. Alvarado and I am a twenty-four-year-old from El Salvador C.A. I currently live in Belize C.A. and began writing in 2008. I posted some of my work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, I completed several full-length novels under my pen name, John Henry Ames.
What was your first book and how long did it take to get it published?
My first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. It took me less than two weeks to write it and about a year to publish it.
When did you start writing m/m romance? What about this genre interested you the most?
I got interested in m/m romance after I read A Better Place by Mark A. Roeder. I quickly researched for other jock/nerd love stories and came across Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno. It hook me and inspired me to write my own GLBT novel.
How long did it take you to get published? How many books have you written thus far?
It took me approximately one year to get published because of my lack of confidence. I honestly thought that the story wasn’t good enough. But, a good friend of mine, Madison Parker, gave me the confidence needed. It immediately got accepted by Dare Empire eMedia Productions. I have completed three novels in all, two GLBT and one YA.
Do you write full time?
I really wish I could write full time, but I don’t. I only write on my spare time or whenever I get those sudden bursts of inspiration.
Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?
There is one person that inspired me to become a writer and that’s the amazing J.K. Rowling. After reading her books, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Write.
On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?
On a typical day I would write during the night and edit during the day. Why? I can’t write during the day since there are too many distractions around me. So, I prefer to edit my work. (ditto!)
When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
I always plan ahead but as the ideas flow, I add more to my stories. So, at the very end, it never comes out as I planned. Lol.
What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?
I usually research a lot on the setting of my novels. That’s very important to me since I don’t want my characters to be out of place.
How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? How do you approach development of your characters? Where do you draw the line?
I write a lot about my personal life and fantasies. All my novels come from a twisted and magical place inside my head. Several, come to me as dreams. Usually you would find me at two in the morning writing down the plot, characters and setting. I’m that crazy! I don’t like to write about my family and friends. That’s too personal for me.
How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read? Do you write straight through, or do you revise as you go along?
Whenever I’m in love, it would take me about a week to write a novel, but when I’m not, the process is much longer. I love writing and revising as I go along. That way, when I’m done with the novel, I don’t have a lot to edit.
Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?
I only go on writer’s block whenever I’m not in love. I know it sounds silly but it’s true. My secret is that I develop an infatuation on someone and that person just inspires me write. (laughs)
When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel or experience?
I want my readers to be involved so much in my book that they basically cry, curse, and talk to their kindle. Once they do that, my job is done. I love when they tell me that they cried or talked to their kindle. It makes me happy to know that they felt the emotion of the book.
Can you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?
I learned that personality, friendliness, and politeness take you far. Once you mastered those, the sky is the limit.
Does the title of a book you’re writing come to you as you’re writing it, or does it come before you even begin the first sentence?
That’s a good question. Usually, my novels start with one title and end up with another. I like to change it until I’m satisfied with it.
How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?
I have a high sense of humor that transcends into my books. I love laughing and making other people laugh. I don’t take things seriously most of the time. Laughing makes people happy and productive.
What is the most frequently asked John question?
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on two GLBT novels. I’m taking my time and enjoying the success of Surviving Elite High. I worked so hard on it that I need a break.
Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?
I daydream a lot. Every single moment of the day I’m in a far away land reliving my novels. That way, when I get in front of my computer, I just have to write down what I dreamt during the day.
What kind of books do you like to read?
I love YA and GLBT novels, but I’m a huge fan of science fiction as well. Also, any novel that has a jock/nerd theme, I have to read it. It’s a must for me.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A model. LOL. Nah, I think that I would have been a business man or someone working on the music industry. I love music. I mean, who doesn’t, right?
Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love reading and listening to music. I don’t watch TV a lot since I barely have the spare time to breathe. Working and writing take most of my time.
New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?
Never give up. NEVER. Keep going until you can’t, and even then, you shouldn’t give up. Many doors will be close, but there will be one that will take you to the perfect road.
Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
You can find me on Facebook
follow me on twitter @JohnHenryAmes
Could you please share your favorite excerpt(s) from one of more of your stories with us?
Sure…I will share one from Surviving Elite High.
“Nick leaned in and our lips met. It really was an out-of-body experience. I had never felt that shocking feeling that starts in your lips, travels throughout your entire body and rests in your heart. Once he stopped, he stared at me and touched my body.”