Welcome, John. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
What a great question! I feel like every character I write is a little part of me. Writing is somewhat like acting in that the artist has to find a part of him or herself to show people in order for the audience to connect with the work and for it to be real and honest. I feel very in-tune with each character I write as I am writing them. I wrote this particular story in first person so the readers would get that same feeling of seeing the story happen in front of their own eyes and hopefully the ability to feel parts of themselves come alive along with the character.
I have a drama background, so I know what you mean. It has helped me write believable characters and situations. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Eight years ago, I threw some clothes into the back of my truck and moved to
with no job,
no house, and no prospects. I knew absolutely nothing about Los Angeles ! I don’t know if that counts as quirky,
but it was definitely crazy. L.A.
Works for me. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve loved to write as long as I can remember. I have stacks of old notebooks filled with stories I wrote as a child. I’m one of those strange people who get excited about the flow and rhythm of words and sentences and stories. The struggle and challenge of putting 80,000 words together in the right order to tell the story I’m trying to tell energizes me. I think if you can find joy in that challenge, you can be a writer.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a lot of books. I average a couple of books per week when my writing quota allows for it. I’ll read almost anything, but my favorites are usually thrillers and books about history. In my own writing, I try to borrow the things I love from each author I read. For example I love the way Sigmund Brouwer jumps right into the action of a story. I love the dialogue of the late Robert Parker. I enjoy characters like those created by Lee Child (Jack Reacher) and Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X). I think Ted Dekker is incredibly imaginative when creating his stories. And I like history books written in the vein of Erik Larson that tell the fascinating stories of real people throughout history.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I love the beach. Sitting on the sand and watching the waves roll in or the sunset over the water really cleanses my soul. The ocean is one of my favorite things about
and I don’t think I could survive this crazy city without it. I also find that
the busier I get the more I have to focus on my spiritual life. I have to keep
that as a priority because everything else flows from that. No matter how run,
run, run life gets it is important to be able to be still and focus on the
important things. Los Angeles
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Learning how authors choose character names has always fascinated me. That question was the first one I asked when I was younger and got the opportunity to meet a successful author. His answer was that he randomly chose them out of the phone book. When I started writing myself, I found that names were a big deal to me. In naming a character, I am telling the reader something about that character. Sometimes clues to the story I am telling can be found in the character names I choose, so I take a lot of time naming them. Sometimes I’ll write several chapters before I have the correct name for the character I am writing. Sometimes I’ll try out several names until one feels right. In a weird way, I feel like my characters eventually tell me their own names.
I had to change the name of a character halfway through one of my books. As I was immersed in the story, a different name kept appearing for him. Finally, I just went with it. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of being a foster/adoptive dad. My wife and I are in the process of adopting our oldest daughter out of the
foster care system. The foster care system is a tough one to navigate and
adoption has been a long and very difficult process. But I’m a big believer in
the importance of adoption so I’m incredibly proud to be able to call myself a
foster dad, and hopefully very soon, an adoptive dad as well. Los Angeles County
We have several friends in our church, who have fostered and/or adopted out of the system. That’s a calling from God. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a grizzly bear. I’ve always loved grizzlies and I’m not even really sure why, but I think they are amazing animals. A grizzly is the mascot of my favorite sports team, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
What is your favorite food?
Tacos. I love, love, love a great taco.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Making time to write has been my greatest roadblock. Finishing my second novel has been more difficult than the first. As an author, actor, and fitness model living in
time is scarce, especially since the birth of my twins six months ago.
Fortunately my wife is very supportive so she helps me carve out time to write
while still prioritizing my family. I think making time to write is one of the
major roadblocks most writers deal with and I am no exception. I find that it’s
especially tough for me because in Los Angeles
you usually have to diversify to survive. Like I said, I couldn’t do it without
a wonderful wife. Hollywood
Tell us about the featured book.
The Nephilim Virus is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic thriller about a blood disease that threatens to usher in the extinction of the human race. The virus has infected two-thirds of the world, turning most of humanity into mindless super-monsters who hunt every living thing, and a select few into incredibly intelligent super-humans who are intent on using the virus to rule the world. The story is told through the eyes of Nick and a beautiful hematologist named Faith. They race to discover the origin of the virus and undo a mistake David and his son Solomon made thousands of years ago that threatens to end humanity as we know it. Nick and Faith have to survive long enough to uncover the truth about the virus and discover a cure. And they must do it while being hunted by the infected.
The Nephilim Virus has Christian themes but wraps up its spiritual imagery and symbolism in an edge-of-your-seat life and death story. The chapters are short and the pace is frantic as the main characters are swept into one impossible situation after another. My goal when writing The Nephilim Virus was to write a book that told a spiritual story that was almost unnoticeable until the reader was so hooked they couldn’t stop turning pages to read more.
Good for you. Please give us the first page of the book.
I woke up at exactly 4:37 p.m. from the longest nap of my life.
A half dozen people dressed in scrubs and lab coats rushed into my room to examine me. Some poked and prodded; others watched monitors or tubes. Someone stuck a needle in my arm. When I pulled away, a Velcro strap clamped my wrist to a metal bar. There was a similar strap on my other wrist and both my ankles. They finished drawing blood and wiped a cotton ball across the punctured vein. It felt like sandpaper. I tried to focus on breathing so I wouldn’t pass out. I tried not to panic, but the walls were so close I could reach out and touch them. Could, if I weren’t strapped down.
My hands shook, and I realized they were balled tightly into fists. A worried-looking woman leaned over me. Her lips moved, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. She stood up and pointed, yelling something. My breath was shallow. The edges of my vision turned black. The fingers of darkness reached toward the center of my sight.
People hurried out of the room. I closed my eyes and concentrated on each breath. In and out. In and out. I felt oxygen rush into the vacuum of my lungs and then back out as my body relaxed. In and out. One breath at a time.
Slowly, my senses returned. When I opened my eyes, the darkness was gone; so were the people. Only the woman who had leaned over me remained. Pretty, petite, she moved with the grace of someone comfortable in her own skin. Her blonde hair fell just over the collar of her white lab coat.
A wonderful opening that really pulled me into the story. How can readers find you on the Internet?
People can find my writing on my website www.JohnTPrather.com and I’m also on twitter and instagram under the name @johntprather
Thank you, John, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it. I’m glad my copy has arrived.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Nephilim virus - Christianbook.com
The Nephilim Virus - Amazon Paperback
The Nephilim Virus - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside
(Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: