Saturday, May 26, 2012

Author Interview - John Zelenski

This week's author interview is with John Zelenski.  Mr. Zelenski's novel Walker's Vale is about one man's struggle to come to terms with the uncertainties of life.  John recently took the time to sit down and chat with me about his book.  Here's what he had to say.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: My name is John Zelenski and my debut novel is Walker's Vale.  I live in northeastern PA with my wife and two children and enjoy writing and reading (what a surprise)!  Besides writing and working as a VA Certifying Official, I enjoy collecting and selling sports cards and memorabilia (Big Phillies and Eagles fan).

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I've been writing on and off since high school (20+years ago, ouch)!  but only got serious about getting published within the last 5 years.

Q: What is Walker's Vale about?

A: Walker's Vale is a Christian-based supernatural / suspense / paranormal / horror thriller that follows a man who is running from his relationship with God and a host of other doubts that he is having a hard time coming to terms with.  He moves his family to the seemingly quiet town of Walker's Vale, PA only to find that the very things he's been running from, are awaiting his arrival.  He comes to learn that the term "the devil is in the details" takes on a literal meaning of sorts.

Q: How did you come up with the plot?   

A: The plot is mostly imaginative with some real-life elements taken from a supernatural experience I encountered as a child.

Q: Tell us about James Cooper.

A: He is essentially a doubting Thomas of the modern age that believes everything in this life needs an explanation.  His character, at the heart of it is a good person who would do anything to protect his family and those he holds dear.  I think he represents any of us who have had doubts or questions about faith, God, the universe, and even ourselves (which by my calculation should encompass the entire human population).

Q: What do you feel sets your book apart from others of the same genre? 

A: I am certainly not the first person to write in Christian-based horror/ thriller genre, but I think what might slightly distance my book from others is the fact that I try to focus more on Christian ideals as the magnifying glass to showcase the good and the evil that not only is mankind but also present in the unseen or invisible world around us.

Q: Did you have any specific goals when writing Walker's Vale? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?

A: Just that it's OK to have doubts or questions about anything.  Not everything can be explained.  I think we'd be lying if we claimed to understand why everything happens the way it does.  However with faith in God, all things do eventually work together for a good purpose.

Q: How long did it take you to write Walker's Vale? Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?

A: Walker's Vale was written in a little over a year I believe.  As an author published through Tate Publishing, they handled the editing and cover design.

Q: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing aspirations? How do they support you?

A: Definitely my family, to whom I am eternally grateful. They support with encouragement, prayer and (sometimes cash).  Seriously though, they've been supportive with the late nights working and what I call "Daddy's quiet time."

Q: As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network links you'd like to share?

A: Yes, readers can connect with me for right now via  

Q: What do you think of the changes taking place in the publishing industry?  With authors gaining more control over the creation and distribution of their work, what do you think readers stand to gain/lose?   

A: I think it's great!  I think it will eventually change the landscape of publishing just like the music industry was turned upside down years ago.  The public will decide what they want to read rather than simply relying on the opinions of a few powerful gatekeepers who control the literary world.

Q: Have you ever sat down to write a scene only to have the story take you in a completely different direction than you had planned?

A: Every time I write.  I kind of just put myself in the scene see where it goes from there.  I love to write, because I never know what will come next.

Q: And just for fun, favorite vacation destination?

A: "John Zelenski, now that you've won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, where are you going?"  "I'm going to Disney World!"

Thanks so much for sharing your work with us!  We look forward to seeing more from you in the future!

Walker's Vale

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