Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Writer interview - John Booth
It's been a year and a half since my last interview with writer John Booth. Much has changed in John's life since then and we sat down once again to see what he has been up to. =================================== You run a business in addition to being a writer? What sort of business? I am a consultant engineer, which explains nothing. Over the years my kids have struggled to understand what I do, and now they are grown up they still have little idea. Once upon a time I used to design the mathematics that became the software that directed guns to shoot down missiles. Then I designed the whole system. Then I became design authority for the systems that told various systems how to operate together. That was a long time ago. Now I am a systems of systems integration expert with a background in risk analysis, performance analysis, systems design, capability management and a few other designs and managements. If you have a systems problem, and want to solve it, then maybe you should hire – the B Team. Except that there is only one of me. Do you ever leverage your business principles in writing and publishing? Yes. Oh, you want an explanation? Writing a book is not dissimilar to designing a system. There is a problem, there are capabilities, there are rules/laws that constrain the world, the characters act according to their nature and somehow they struggle to reach a fun conclusion. On the publishing front, Kindle is run by Excel and I have written much in Excel, the book ranking uses control theory principles and I’ve had a lot of pleasure emulating it. You write in series. Let me know if I miss anything but there are: World of Jalon, Wizards, Magic, Hellogon, Inspector Monde and Spellbinder universes. How do you keep them all straight? There are a few more than that, but they haven’t all seen the light of day. Jalon and Wizards are good examples of what I like to do. All my books start with an idea, a concept, sometimes just a vision of something that sets the scene. Then I drop some characters into it and give them a good poke to see what they will do. I build the world as I go and these days, I build an information document to keep track. When I first wrote, I didn’t do that and I kept forgetting character names and their physical characteristics. I spend more time searching the manuscript than I did writing the stories. Amazon.com - I am looking forward to seeing new additions to the list on a regular basis.