John Walker – Dark – Intense & Descriptive!

Writer’s Wednesday
Welcome John Walker!

I am pleased to have with us today an author that writes some very deep, dark, intense books.  His writing is intense, descriptive and pulls you into a very detailed story.  I have had had the pleasure of reading three of his books from his series “Dark Retribution Quartet” and found myself sucked into a very intense world of death and destruction – but there is an underlying story within in each book of good battling evil.  I sure hope you check out his books – Now… Here’s our interview with John! 
Tell us a bit about yourself

Do you work another job when you are not writing?

When I?m not writing I?m making a living haunting used book stores. Many years ago, I studied up on finding rare books and I trade them along with used DVDs, CDs and computer games. I can get lost in those stores for hours. It?s fun to rummage through boxes and find old editions I used to have as a kid. When people ask why I like to do both, I say that book trading makes me feel like Johnny Depp in The Ninth Gate and when I write I feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. 

I recently passed a dog training/handling course and I?m looking forward to moving to premises large enough to have kennels so I can breed and train dogs. I have always loved dogs and working with them will not feel like work.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren?t writing?

Being a dedicated writer it follows that I also love to read. There?s nothing better than putting your feet up and settling for a while to read a book. It de-stresses the body while at the same stimulating the mind and imagination. It?s sad that there are many people in the world who don?t know the simple pleasure and high value that reading offers. 

I also love to listen to music. My collection is diverse and ranges from Meat Loaf, Alanis Morissette, Johnny Cash to classical. I especially love gothic rock, like Evanescence and We Are The Fallen.

At the end of a long day?s work, I like to unwind with a good movie.

What is your favorite color? Why?

Black. It?s the color of night, as dark as the tone of my stories and it?s my entire wardrobe. I don?t have to worry about what shade of it to wear.

What is your favorite season? Why?

Winter. I don?t do well in the heat. It makes me lethargic, but the light is better than the winter months, which boosts my productivity, as the dark days of winter can have the same effect on me as too much heat. To compensate in the dark winter months, I close the blinds and light up the room with lamps. They give the room a warm glow that I can relax and focus better in. I also choose winter because I love the snow. It?s picturesque and I never grew out of throwing a snowball into the back of someone else?s head. It?s never stopped being hilariously funny to me.

If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be? Why?

That?s a good question because there are so many places, particularly in America and Canada, which I still want to visit. Ask me that one again in the future.

If you could have any car, what would it be?

Batman?s Tumbler. Really. I?m not kidding. I want that one!

However, I?m not sure if the Tumbler, for all its cool gadgetry, has room in the back to store dog crates, so I better opt for a good SUV instead. I recently saw an ad for the 2011 Dodge Durango. I?d like to try one of those ? black of course.

Tell us about your writing:

How long have your been writing? Was it a dream, a goal or is it just a hobby?

I?ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and enjoyed writing stories during school English lessons and homework assignments. I was just 12-years-old when I realized that being a writer was all I wanted to be in life. During my teens, I rewrote some of the stories from my English lessons in my spare time and learned by expanding the narrative, dialogue and introducing new characters. It all grew from there.

How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Do you have a set routine or do you write when the mood strikes?

I try to write as much as possible. Whenever I?m out looking for books to buy and sell, or paying bills and grocery shopping, I keep a notepad and pen in my pocket so I can scribble ideas as they come to me. I also keep paper and pen by my bed in case inspiration should strike in the dead of night ? which it often does.
Is there some place special you like to be when you write?
I prefer to be alone, behind a closed door. I also keep my back to the window because any activity outside distracts me. Even a bird flying by will annoy me if I?m caught up in the zone of my work.
Do you listen to music or do you need a quiet place to write?

It depends on my mood. When I was writing God?s Soldiers, the final book in my Dark Retribution Quartet, I listened to the album Fallen, released by Evanescence in 2003, almost constantly. The song lyrics don?t relate to the story or characters, but the tone and atmosphere of the gothic rock music helped put me in the mind-set. It became the soundtrack to that particular story. 

Backlash is a new book I?m currently working on. Before I settle to work on that project, I listen to the song Behind Blue Eyes, by Limp Bizkit. The video to the song was made to promote the movie Gothika, also released in 2003. Halle Berry appears in the video, reprising her role from the movie, with band frontman Fred Durst. It?s a great song and video that also matches the theme of the story very well.
Tell us about your book:
What is the name of it and is it part of a series or a stand alone novel?
My first book is Wrath and Remembrance. It?s the first story in a quartet. The other three in the series are: Comparing Scars, Hitting Back and God?s Soldiers.
Where did the idea come from? 
I have always loved thrillers, especially those about vigilantes, where an ordinary individual?s life has been transformed by a situation out of his normal range of control, and he is compelled to take action because he feels isolated. I have seen many similar stories in the news. I first got the idea for it when I was looking at the side of a hill that lead up to the edge of a stone quarry. Suddenly, I imagined a man running down the hill at night and my mind just went into overdrive. I was asking myself questions like: What would he be doing there at that time of night? ? Would he be running to or away from something? ? What would be the circumstances? Is he frightened or enraged?

At that moment, Jack Parrish came to life in my imagination.
How long did it take to write?
The Quartet was originally all one volume, but it was too much for just one book. I was still getting ideas for the characters and new plot threads were developing, so I spent a long time splitting the story into sections, which eventually developed into a quartet of books. From start to completion, the entire process took about a decade. It sounds like a long time, but I was involved with a lot of other things, including research for my other book projects.
What is it about?
Wrath and Remembrance and the sequels are dark revenge-thrillers with a supernatural twist. The central character, Jack Parrish, opens and closes the quartet, as he takes readers on a journey through his turbulent life and violent world. He?s an ordinary man who?s far from perfect, but is looking forward to some peace in his life when suddenly he?s pulled into a game of cat and mouse and the people he loves are murdered. It?s very much a story of the human condition; how changing times and circumstances can shape who we are.
Your other work:
Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?
I have two other books already published:

Hank Shank VIII is my contemporary retelling of the life of Henry Tudor. It?s classed as historical fiction because I was inspired by the life and times of King Henry VIII. Ideas for the book came when I learned more about him and I imagined how his life would have been if he had been born in the 20th Century, but with the same situations, problems and relationships to deal with.

Blood and Water is a fast-moving thriller about a man pushed to the edge in the aftermath of a brutal robbery. I have enjoyed discussing this project with many friends who have been interested in the premise of my central character, Vincent Birch: ostracized by the small town he lives in, alienated from his wife and forced to battle his way out of a violent situation in the midst of torrential rains that result in a devastating flood.

Backlash is a road-chase-thriller that is presently in the first draft phase. The central character, Darryl Brewer, is searching for his ex-girlfriend who has contacted him by cell phone, pleading for his help to get her out of a bad situation she?s trapped in. As Darryl shoots, stabs, slashes and burns his way through eight states of America: Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon, he hopes to win her back by rescuing her, but the journey gets more violent and surreal as he crosses each state border.

Blue Haze is the working title for a crime-thriller series I am collaborating on with co-author Stacy Eaton.(yep guys that’s me – the blog host)  The first part of the story is split into two books and focuses on the problems of addiction in its many forms, both for the addicts and those closest to them. This will be a sharp series of books that will appeal to readers who love fast moving thrillers with a steamy drama and love story running through the core of the stories.

I have another two book projects in the works that are presently untitled. One is a drama-thriller that focuses on the breakdown of a marriage and how it affects those involved.

The other is a book based on the American Civil War.
Where can readers connect with you?
I?m now in the process of getting an author?s page established on Amazon. I have accounts on several sites, particularly Goodreads, and the WoMen’s Literary Caf?.

I have a list of several sites I?m planning on joining. If you see my name and profile, say hello. I love to hear from readers and fellow authors and many are now my friends. It?s also a pleasure to help and encourage other writers who may be starting out with their projects and need advice.
Where can we find out more about you and buy your books?