Saturday, July 17, 2010

Meet J.M. DeBord

Today please welcome J.M. DeBord.  Be sure to leave a comment below to qualify for the Amazon gift certificate.  Click on the banner above for complete contest rules.

I have been writing fiction for 25 years, though not until the completion of my novel "Something Coming: a New Age Thriller" did I really consider myself a professional. What's the difference? Dozens of rewrites, critiques from a handful of proofreaders, and a writer's pride after ten years of work to present my best product. While writing the novel I worked as a Pilates instructor at a federal research institute, among other interesting (and some not so interesting) ways of making a living. I have published several hundred newspaper articles for a variety of small publications, covering everything from regular news to sports to music journalism to essays on culture and politics. A personal highlight of that time was interviewing two of my favorite guitar players, Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson.

Tell us about your book:
Here's the boilerplate: Meet King Antiochus, coming very soon to an Apocalypse near you. When he died 21 centuries ago he never passed on; instead his spirit waited for resurrection. He's been preparing for his return, watching humanity until its fruit ripened ready to be harvested for the New Age. That time is now. But to Christians and Jews he can only be the Antichrist. It's a recipe for Armageddon.

The idea for Something Coming dogged me for years until finally written, because I knew I had a potential best-seller in my head. The premise was just too good, too current, and provoked responses like “Wow, I'd read that, why don't you write it?” Looking back a decade later, all of the research, writing, editing and polishing were worth it. But for a while I thought I might never finish.

How long did it take to write the book?
Took ten years from idea to publication, then another year revising and publishing again, including ebook editions. The research was exhaustive. Plus, every chapter has been rewritten dozens of times. I can practically quote whole sections, after reading through again and again.

What inspired you to write the book?
I was reading a NY Times article about the excavation of Mt. Nemrut when the idea struck me.

“Struck me” is right: The voice of inspiration grabbed a megaphone and yelled between my ears. Some critical elements of the plot came together that day in 1999. I knew that the story could be a vehicle for a message about finding spirit within, the true nature of evil (which is indifference), and how to spark a revolution in consciousness that could save the planet from catastrophe. The best books I've read hid the moral within the story, and that's what I tried to accomplish while also making the story accessible for the average reader who just enjoys a good, unconventional thriller.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
The Seleucid kings who built the sanctuary at Mt. Nemrut lived fascinating lives, and left behind a vision for religious harmony that the world could benefit from hearing today. For several years after the first inspiration I researched their history plus cloning science and the life of the main character, Antiochus Epiphanes. Then I was challenged by a friend to write a completed story in one summer. Problem was, I wasn't skilled enough at the time to complete a novel. Next best idea: a screenplay. That finally got the basic story down on paper. The version copyrighted back in '05 or so is a lot different from the book that's published now, because I used the screenplay as an outline and wrote for a few years. Better ideas to introduce the scene at Mt. Nemrut and kick off the action hit me as I went through this process. Even today I still get inspirations for expanding the story. I can see it as a TV series. (Paging Mr. Joss Whedon!). So the writing process has been continual, pretty much non-stop since '05.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Beneath the action and mysticism is a message that I hope readers will understand: Enlightenment begins within, and if we serve the Light within, we all win. Something Coming is a big meaty meal for thinkers and an unconventional thriller rolled in one.

Where can we buy your book?
The first two books are available for half price at Smashwords during the July sale, or for the always low price of 2.99 at Amazon, 3.99 for the sequel:

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
My website:
Facebook. For a while I had only one fan - me! - until a few authors linked to my page. I have plenty of room for more!
I also have two short stories at Smashwords that are free for download:

Do you have other hobbies/interests?
I can answer two questions in one here and tell you that I'm working on a book about dream interpretation. I've practiced for 15 years and finally feel experienced enough to share my knowledge. Guitar is my other main hobby.

J.M. is available to take your comments and questions. Remember, every author you leave a comment for qualifies you to win the $50.00 gift card.

2 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Alisa said...

This is not my normal read, but I think I'm going to have to check this one out.

J.M. DeBord said...

Hi Alisa, this is the author. The subjects are New Age, but the writing is classic suspense thriller and adventure. So I encourage you to check it out. A few readers I know had to leave their literary comfort zones to read Something Coming, and they enjoyed the story just for the storytelling. I'll be back later to see if anyone wants to chat.

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