Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
John Gregory Hancock, Born in 1958 near St. Louis, Missouri, spent over 25 years as a newspaper graphic artist, winning multiple national and international design awards. He also draws celebrities who tweet him on twitter, and his illustrations can be found on artsprocket.com.
His first book, A Plague of Dreams, Dreamwood Tales Vol. 1. is a collection of cross-genre short stories, and debuted at the beginning of 2013. It includes two stories previously published in Bewildering Stories.
He lives with his dear wife and son in the Midwest. He writes in whatever free time he finds between his 9 to 5 job, his drawings, and his family.
I’ve written two of my own anthologies, just released vol. 2, had my stories appear in three other anthologies, and a web magazine.
A Plague of Dreams (Dreamwood Tales, Vol. 1)
Splintered Dreams (Dreamwood Tales, Vol. 2) (just released)
A story, Prism, in the DeadPixel anthology “Flying Toasters” (recently released)
2 stories, Cerberus, and True Dragon appear in two separate installments of the Off the KUF anthologies.
2 stories, Pepe The Club-footed Elephant and Cerberus, appear on the Bewildering Tales website magazine.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The Latest book is “Splintered Dreams” and its the second in my series of Dreamwood Tales, so named because many stories are inspired by dreams I actually experience, whether a mood, an event, or sometimes an entire plot. I have very vivid dreams, and being a visual artist as well as a writer, I illustrate my stories.
Splintered dreams contains 9 very diverse tales:
A WINTER CROSSING:
Magic comes at a price, and the price is too dear. (told as if an old nordic storyteller were relating the tale)
— This was in part a story I used to tell a very young niece that I made up on the spot. I made it a more adult version for my book.
The simplest of us comes to a crossroads with the destiny of our species
(comes from a dream image of dense yellow fog blanketing the earth)
The things that make us different not only define us, but defines our fate, and the fate of the entire kingdom.
Not all is lost in translation.
MAGRITTE THE THIEF:
When Angels don’t act like angels
Be careful what you wish for.
(an author friend suggested simply the term “wishing well” and then I was off to write this.)
An incident in the underground.
THE STORY ROOM:
Time. Travel. Will. Kick. Your.
(a humorous version of what I imagine it would be like to be in a gang of tv writers for a schlocky network)
DANGER IN THE NIGHT:
When a prowler with a knife spouts poetry, beware.
(a haunting tale)
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I have a germ of an idea, a feeling, a mood, perhaps a string of a tale. At night, before I go to sleep, I worry at it like a huge knot. I sleep. Then I wake and start writing. I write until I have something, then I upload it to my kindle, and read before going to bed. I allow my unconscious and conscious minds to attack it from both sides.
Also, many times my characters will force me to go in different directions. I allow them, because who knows better than they what the tale is they want to tell. So I may start with a rough plot, but I don’t always stick to it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Too many to mention, but they include Robin Hobb, Clive Barker, Phillip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Zöe Sharp, Harlen Coben, Lee Child, Poe, Grisham, L’engle… ok, I guess I can stop there, but that’s a knife’s edge beginning
What are you working on now?
Just finished working on my second book of short tales and will start on a Novel next, as well as a relationship primer.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, all seem to work well
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just do it. The only one stopping you is you. Make sure its the best product you can produce, and have other eyes you trust look it over.
Use whatever writing method works best for you. Don’t take advice that doesn’t fit your personality. If you need to meet with other writers in person, do that, if you prefer to lock yourself in a closet, do that. Find your own muse.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never pet a burning dog.
What are you reading now?
Robert Brumm’s “Windigo Soul”
What’s next for you as a writer?
a Novel about a couple, the husband of which is a TV psychic and… wait, I don’t want to give it all away yet.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?