We had the good fortune of connecting with John North and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always enjoyed stories of all kinds, whether it was in movies, tv shows, anime, and books. As someone with an overactive imagination, I’ve always been infatuated with bringing some of my stories and ideas to life. After writing my own stories through most of high school and college, I figured why not make a career of my passion? So, becoming an author and pushing to do it full time was a big decision, but so far in the early stages. I don’t regret it at all!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Becoming a self-published author wasn’t as easy as just throwing some words together and publishing it to Amazon (I wish it was).
First things first was learning to write itself in terms of crafting a good, consistent narrative. I learned most of what I know about stories on my own via YouTube videos such as writing advice videos or analysis videos of fictional characters (that and a lot of reading and advice from friends).
After that and plenty of drafting, the big challenge came into publishing on my own. Self-publishing was the most appealing to me for my first book since it gives me creative control and I own all of the rights to my product rather than sharing them with a publishing company that would want to control or dictate how I write. That being said, it’s an investment, both time wise and financially. Everything from book cover art to interior formatting either has to be done yourself or outsourced (which costs big money). I outsourced, which I don’t regret at all since it gave me more time to focus on launch and promoting while everything else was being prepared.
Point is, despite all of these steps and obstacles along the way, I was still able to publish my debut novel, The Crimson Witch, first of a multi-book fantasy series, within one year of the conception of the idea, mostly through self-research. With the will power, right attitude, and plenty of support, I believe anyone can bring their long-term projects to life and share them with the world!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My oh my, Atlanta. As an outdoorsy/sportsy person, Piedmont Park in midtown is a must (when it isn’t 95 degrees). Great big park, lots of green space for sports (and there’s a basketball court for all the hoopers out there), fun activities, public events are hosted there a lot, and plenty of dogs to look at (because who doesn’t LOVE dogs?). Also there is a tavern within the park itself with great drinks and amazing food, so with this park, there’s plenty to love!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Special shout-out to my amazing friends: Faith Mbadugha, Cameron Geer, Clifton McFarlane, Andrew McFarlane, Darryl Bentley, Zephia Cannon and Nia Campbell; for all the support through college on my Author journey as well as helping out with story ideas for years when it’s come to my writing.
Also a HUGE shoutout to my family, both my parents and my older sisters, who’ve also supported me huge and helped a lot with my first book launch. It wouldn’t have been successful without them.