TG- What got you into writing? What is your inspiration?
John- In grade school I loved creative writing classes. Taking a one line idea and turning it into a five page story was almost the only kind of academic exercise I genuinely loved. My biggest inspirations have been the kinds of stories I loved as a child; not only fairy tales, but the manic pace of cartoons, the timeless lessons of the Bible and classic Mythology, and the people I’ve cared about and grown with during my life.
TG- Tell us a little about your books?
John- Gilbert Keith Chesterton was a prolific and influential author in the early 20th Century. He wrote and approached life like a swashbuckler fighting pirates in the rigging of a tall ship, and saw life as a grand adventure illuminated by the Light of Christ.
The Young Chesterton Chronicles is a series starring a fictionalized teenage version of GKC, in an alternate history universe where the computer revolution arrived a century early, and young Gilbert gets to have adventures, fight monsters, save the world, and (eventually!) get the girl while interacting with exciting historical figures and fictional heroes and villains.
TG- What is the target age of your readers and what brought you to write for this age group?
John- The target age group was and still is young men from Middle to High school age. Ironically, some of my biggest fans are completely outside this group! I have blogger moms and university professors who have been most encouraging, though there are some older fans of the original works of Chesterton whom I’ve yet to win over.
I ended up writing for this age group for two reasons: first, I teach middle school, and second, I have sons who are middle school age. When I saw how much literature aimed at this group has become agenda based, at times has actively opposed to values we’ve been trying to instill in our children, I thought it was time someone wrote a story for boys that was not only Catholic friendly, but a ‘cool’ read besides.
In other words, to paraphrase CS Lewis, I wrote the books I would have wanted to read, if they’d been around at the time.
Look for Part 2 of this interview later this week.