Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Author Interview ~ Jon D. Zimmer

There are over 70 Author Interviews on this blog, from folks of all ages and experience levels

Here comes another one :-)


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Welcome, Jon!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Jon D. Zimmer -- Author I don’t remember a specific age or date when I thought about being a writer. I know that all through my school years my favorite subjects were English and Science. When I started college, I’d written several short stories. I considered being a writer at that time; however, marriage and economics made my decision to postpone writing for a while.

Are you able to tell us how long it generally takes you to write a book?

There are several factors that determine the amount of time. First is how much research is required. After that, there’s the passion I have for the project, my time schedule, and how complicated the plot is. It could take from five months up to about ten months.

Whoa! I’m sure some of my readers would think that’s fairly fast :-)

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Again, an answer that involves several factors. My passion for the work is foremost. I’ll begin writing after going out for breakfast and reading the newspaper. I return home about ten o’clock in the morning and write until five o’clock in the evening. I don’t tend to write at night, because it keeps me from sleeping.

So, Jon, do you think you have any interesting writing quirks?

I think one is in my last answer. I need to go out to eat breakfast and catch up on the news before starting to write. As to writing itself, I try to avoid foul language.

I think some of my readers might find that last “quirk” strange; though, I certainly can understand it

Would you give us some of your thoughts on the publishing process?

It has to be an excellent book; however, that’s far from being the sole criterion, as many good manuscripts are rejected by publishers. Research the publishers, so you send it to the right one for your genre. You need an excellent query letter to grab a publisher. Perseverance is important, too. Keep sending it out; and, if everything fails, you might consider self publishing; but, this is a major choice that more than likely will cost you a lot of money, and is rarely successful.

Well, Jon, I feel some of my readers might disagree with what you’ve said about self-publishing; but, that’s one of the reasons I have so many different author interviews on this blog :-)

Where do you get the ideas for your books?

Ideas for books pop into my head all the time. I’ll never write all the books I’d like to write. Social issues and the emotions surrounding them are the main sources of my ideas.

When did you write your first book?

I wrote some short stories when I was eighteen and a book when I was in my thirties, which I never did anything with. The first novel that I submitted, and was published, was in my fifties. I truly wish I’d pursued my dream to write as a youth.

I’m totally with you on that last thought, Jon…

So, what does your family think of your writing?

They love it, and are very supportive.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I have a passion for horse racing and politics.

My father owned race horses when I was growing up, and I developed an ardor for them. Some weekends I go to the local tracks.

Politics fascinates me. There is so much misery in our society, and I see an ignorant electorate perpetuating their condition by voting against their best interests, over and over. I write some political essays that are posted on LinkedIn, and my social media.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Getting into people’s heads. Expressing emotions that the reader can feel and relate to is what writing is about.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite, Jon? THE NARCISSIST: A DARK JOURNEY

I’ve written six novels, and the one I just finished, The Narcissist: A Dark Journey, is my favorite, to date. However, the novel, Tranquility: Book Two of the God Chronicles, that I’m currently writing, is going to be my new favorite. It’s a fantasy about an afterlife, if there is one, that’s believable.

Do you have any suggestions to help folks become better writers?

That’s a very hard question. I could give one of the standard answers and say, just believe in yourself, and that is true; but, it still may not lead to a success story. You need to be able to tell a tale that will satisfy your reader, both emotionally and in terms of time well spent.

Do you hear from your readers much?

I mostly hear from friends and relatives about my books and they’re usually favorable, as expected. However, reviewers are a little more honest. Sometimes they grasp your theme and other times they don’t. It’s up to you to determine true criticism.

So, Jon, what do you think makes a good story?

There are so many things that make a good story, regardless of genre. But the basic thing is that the reader becomes involved. Even if they don’t share the emotions of the characters, a good story has them come away with an understanding of those emotions; and, when they’re finished, they feel good about the experience.

Well, Jon, it’s been a very different sort of interview for me; and, I appreciate that.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with my readers :-)


Here’s a link to all of Jon’s books.

And, here’s a blurb for, The Narcissist: A Dark Journey

“Charlotte Prentice is beautiful, intellectual, and dangerous. She will do whatever it takes to achieve the adoration and success she desires. Who is this woman whose beauty is only overshadowed by her intellect? Charlotte herself doesn’t know. Is she guilty of her crimes or the victim of the ills of society? In “The Narcissist: A Dark Journey”, the reader is both judge and jury where Charlotte Prentice is concerned.”

Now’s the time to ask Jon a question or two in the Comments :-)
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2 responses to “Author Interview ~ Jon D. Zimmer

  1. Elise Abram July 19, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Hi, Alexander.

    Thank you so much for posting. This looks great!

    Best wishes,

    Elise Abram
    Owner, EMSA Publishing


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