Monday, September 10, 2012

Blogoversary: John Dodds Interview & Giveaway

I am not sure how I discovered John Dodd's novel Bone Machines, but I am extremely glad I did. John has written one of the most creepy seriel killers that I have ever read. If you like your murder mystery on the dark dark side, then make sure to check out his works. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:
John Dodds

Was there an experience that led you to want to be an author or was it something you have always wanted to do?
My Highland grandmother telling me and my brother very scary stories around the fire when we were kids on the Isle of Lewis. Of course the stories she told were completely true ­– according to my granny  ­– if you can believe in people seeing funeral processions before they took place, hauntings in the peat bogs and the like. But, yes, I suppose I always wanted to tell stories and, being a painfully shy boy, writing stories (and drawing and painting) were the main ways I could communicate with the world.

What has your experience been as an Indie Author? Was it hard to get the word out about your novels?
Yes, it’s hard getting the word out, but I found that podcasting my first book made me more visible than just putting out ebooks. I started gathering an audience that way, attracted interview and review attention, and some wonderful reader feedback also. Keeping my blog up to date helps, too. It all takes time, but I’ve been lucky to get some support along the way, notably from Just Imagine It Ink, who brought Bone Machines to the attention of Blackstone Audio. Just Imagine It Ink is now the publisher of the ebook version. Edward Stanton over there has been, I would say, not only a fan, but has been responsible for moving me into a bigger league altogether.

You write novels for several genres (Thriller, Mystery, Horror Romance and most recently YA Steam punk), why do you think that you are continually changing the genre that you are writing in?
I  think everything I write is informed by the same impulses and sensibilities. What I mean is that I like to push all my characters to the edge of their perceived limitations, and then way past that point. You can do that just as much in romance as you can in horror. In general, though I veer towards the supernormal, creepy or weird, and crime is a great genre for that, though my first love was science fiction crime became just as compelling to me as a genre. I have two more DI Tom Kendrick books planned at the very least, and the series has now been dubbed The Kendrick Chronicles, and they’ve been branded as such by Blackstone Audio who picked up the first two books for release as commercial audio. I am so thrilled about that, I can tell you. And ironically it is an actor known for his science fiction work, Robin Sachs, who is narrating, so my two big genre favourites have come together in one place. Robin has been in Babylon 5, Torchwood, and Jurassic Park, among other things. Another very strange piece of synchronicity is that my third Kendrick book is provisionally entitled Babylon Slide (nothing to do with scifi, and this was before I knew anything about Robin Sachs as narrator for Bone Machines and the second book, Kali’s Kiss). But, wait...maybe I should call it Babylon 6 instead...

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think genre writing is more difficult to pull off convincingly that so-called literature. And literature is of course simply another publishing genre. “Literature” may require beautiful writing, at its best, but telling a good story and keeping readers hooked is even more difficult, in my view. A big challenge is historical fiction, since it involves so much research, and it’s easy to get it wrong. On the other hand I’m a great believer in “willing suspension of disbelief” – even in crime fiction, you can make stuff up, so long as it feels plausible to the reader. Any genre that requires a lot of research, or what’s known in fantasy and science fiction as “world building” will be difficult. Though I have to say that things like “world building” and writing outlines longer than the finished book, as some writers claim they do, just send me screaming for the trees.

What do you think are the essentials to make a great crime novel?
Great characters. An interesting central premise, though a gnarly plot isn’t essential. Basically something that has some psychological depth and disturbed emotions can make a great crime novel, even with a very spare plot (or, should I say “story”, a word I much prefer to “plot”).

I loved your serial killer in Bone Machine, what inspired him and what do you think sets your serial killer apart from other well known authors?
I used to be an arts publicist, and I grew to learn quite about the contemporary arts scene. Sculptors, painters, musicians, dancers – I met so many, some of whom are now quite famous – and I grew to love contemporary art. Some of the art was rather dark in character, though none of the artists were anything like Stephen Morrell. Except, well, there was this one....nah, let’s not go there! But seriously, while the idea of murder into art isn’t entirely original, I like to think my artist killer has some unique qualities, with a twist near the end. And I honestly don’t mind if people see the twist ahead of time. The book is really about the dark psychology of the killer and a race against time for my journalist anti-hero.

Bone machine is a very dark themed novel and it appears that you prefer to write with a dark themed aspect in mind, what appeals to you about the dark and disturbing aspects of human nature?
I could give several different answers to that. Principally, however, I feel that people are attracted to anything which takes them out of the ordinary aspects of their lives. That could be anything from extreme sports, thrill rides, adventure films, scary books. One theory about the psychology of all of this is about confronting the unimaginable, your darkest fears, then being let off the hook at the end. Mind you, I myself don’t always let the reader off the hook. I’ve been pleased to see more recent science fiction and horror films choosing not to go for the cop out finale. An audience should always wonder whether it’s going to be okay in the end.

There was the intersection of art, life and death within you novel Bone Machines, why do you think that people are so fascinated with death so much that people are willing to pay for this genre of art?
Why did people go to watch Roman gladiators slaughter Christians? Or bullfights, for that matter? Both of which have been represented in art, too. But it’s better (and safer) to contemplate the horrors in art rather than the real thing. Death is just a fact of life, as it were, so as valid and important a subject for artistic creation as anything else. I believe the very act of creation, whether its art, the performing arts, writing, is an affirmation of life in the face of death. Evidence that the one thing that never dies is the human imagination. As to why people are attracted to the dark, I can only repeat my answer to the question before this one.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
My first two books in The Kendrick Chronicles series, Bone Machines and Kali’s Kiss, come out in August and September 2012 respectively as audio books from Blackstone Audio. I’ve just completed the first draft of a YA steampunk novel, The Mechanikals, for which I will shortly start seeking a publisher, or an agent, or both! Plus, Detective Inspector Tom Kendrick has been knocking loudly on my door demanding that I write his third book, which I plan to start this summer. Unfortunately, I’ve also started an adult steampunk novel, so I may need to multi task...not something us guys do very well.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
The Terror by Dan Simmons (big book, love Simmons but need space and time for it). I hope at some point to re-read one of my all time favourites, Anna Karenin by Leo Tolstoy.

John has set a new standard for me with his serial killer and I cannot reccomend his novel enough to those who like the liturature dark and disturbing. John has very nicely supplied an Ebook giveaway to go along with his interview, so make sure to check it out. I just want to thank John once again for being part of my Blogoversary and I cannot wait for the next book in his Kendrick Chronlicle series. You can currently find some of John's works on Smashwords

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check Out the Other Author Interviews & Giveaways Happening Right NOW!!!
Marcia Clark (USA Only)
Jennifer Estep (USA Only)
Trevor Shane (Open Internationally)


  1. Got no fav. But u just can't wait!

  2. The Guardian is one of my favorite books. Thx for giveaway.

  3. The Terror by Dan Simmons was an epic novel. I read it last year and loved it!
    -Kimberly @ Turning The Pages

  4. Steven King mostly I also loved The Somnibus: Book I
    by Craig McGray