Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Author Interview ~ John Collings

blog tour for author John Collings

I sometimes get asked to help with an author’s blog tour—tomorrow is the beginning of John Collings’ tour so we’ve got him first :-)


John, where are you from; and, since I know you’re not technically “young”, how old are you? John Collings - Author

I’m over 40 years old and I grew up in Denver, Colorado. I spend a lot of time away from it; but, it’s the place I’ll always consider home; and, when I’m away I miss the mountains.

Ah, yes, the mountains…  So, where have you travelled, John?

I travel all over the world any time I get an opportunity. I’ve been in over twenty-five countries on five different continents. It’s really nice to get a different perspective on life and to look at it the way other cultures do. It also offers me a lot of humbling experiences as I get to feel what it’s like to experience different cultures and have to learn how to act appropriately. It also fuels my fascination with language as I pick up little bits of it wherever I go.

I always write about it on my blog anytime I go on one of these trips. I hope it allows other people to gain a new perspective on the world even though they might not have the same advantages or opportunities I have.

Does any of this cultural-perspective-learning seep into your writing?

Well, since it’s the one time that I can get away from my busy life and connect with myself, it allows me to see all kinds of crazy things, that become a treasure trove I pull from when I need a new character or a new plot point. It also gives me inspiration for solving other problems I might be having with the stories I’m writing.

Tag - A Cautionary Tale This happened with Tag: A Cautionary Tale. One of my favorite characters in the story is Little Lizzy, to whom the whole history of the game of Tag is told. I wouldn’t ever have been able to write the story if I hadn’t met her first. She came into my imagination one night while I was camping in the Redwood Forest in Northern California. Tag was a story I’d thought about many times and I wasn’t even thinking about it at the time, but there she was, just popping into my head. It solved all the problems I was having with telling the story in the first place. And as soon as I met her, I was able to bang out the first rough draft in only four months.

It’s always nice when those epiphanies come to us, John…

So, is there something you’re working on right now?

I am always working on something. I dedicate an hour every day to writing, and it’s amazing how much you can produce if you do that. I’m finishing the rough draft of a piece of horror that I’ve been working on for the last seven months; and, I have an idea about a story that takes place in Seoul, South Korea and compares and contrasts the educational system in Korea with that in America. It’ll allow me to get back to the style of writing I enjoy the most, satire.

Why is that your favorite type of writing?

Well, first of all, if I can make myself laugh by writing it, then I’ve brought joy into my life. If I can make other people laugh for reading it, then I’ve brought joy to others. If I can start  the conversation that might  get rid of some of the ills in society, then I’ve brought joy to the world. The way I look at it is, if I can bring about a change, then all the effort I have put into my writing is worth it.

It’s also the style of writing I gravitate to, whether I mean to or not. This piece of horror that I am working on right now has a couple of scenes that have a satirical aspect to them. My first novel, Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers, had moments of satire, even though it was mainly a coming of age story. But, Tag: A Cautionary Tale is definitely satirical.

If satire is supposed to bring about social change, what’s the message behind  Tag: A Cautionary Tale?

If I told you, then it would defeat the purpose of art. It should be pretty obvious, though, especially with what’s going on in America right now. It’s really crazy that I wrote this novel as a warning; but then, the thing I was warning about came into play a year after I had written it.

Ya got me on that one—wouldn’t want to tip your artistic hand, John :-) 

Is there any advice you’d be willing to give to aspiring writers out there?

Don’t be discouraged by rejection. It is a business after all, and even though you might have this idealistic idea that all you need to do is write the story and the world will come to you and praise you for how brilliant you are, it doesn’t work that way. It might take a while before someone starts to notice what you’ve created; and, until then, you can’t let yourself get down because you don’t, yet, have that audience you always dreamed of. Keep plugging away at it, and eventually something will click. And until it does, keep on writing.

That’s some very sound advice, John; and thank you, so much, for stopping here first on your tour. And, best of luck with your newest release, Tag: A Cautionary Tale.

Thank you for having me, Alex.


So, Folks, after you check out John’s links why not consider asking him a question or two in the Comments? :-)

John’s WebSite

John’s Amazon Author Page

John at Facebook

John on Twitter

Where to buy Tag, A Cautionary Tale:




Google Play

Barnes & Noble

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2 responses to “Author Interview ~ John Collings

  1. Elise Abram July 5, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Hi, Alex.
    Thank you so much for hosting.
    This looks great!
    Elise Abram
    EMSA Publishing


  2. Alexander M Zoltai July 5, 2016 at 2:32 pm


    This is the first time the publisher has commented on one of our interviews…

    I’m honored :-)

    Hope it helps John and you………


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