Author Interview with Jan Notzon
It’s difficult not to write without having the audience in mind during the writing process. Wondering how readers will react to your work can be both motivating and intimidating to a writer. This desire to please your audience can be a major accomplishment when it pays off. Author Jan Notzon has experienced this praise firsthand in response to his work. Check out his answers to my 10 interview questions below to find out how readers have reacted to his writing.
1. How many books have you written and where can you buy them?
I’ve written two novels: The Dogs…Barking and And Ye Shall Be As Gods. Both are available at all the major online booksellers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. in both print and electronic format.
2. What famous books can you compare to your own?
I like to compare And Ye Shall Be As Gods to Steinbeck’s East of Eden in content and it exploration of some of the enigmas of this life. But I think it also delves into family relationships and their challenges the way Pat Conroy’s Beach Music and The Prince of Tides do. The Dogs…Barking is more in the vein of Conroy and deals with the effects of bullying and abuse and the protagonist’s efforts to overcome them. The stakes are very high in both.
3. Why do you write for this particular age group?
I have written a children’s story, The Gift of Arbol Ceiba, and would love to write others, but “the bitter disposition of time” will not have it so. I want to concentrate what precious time I have on the themes and experiences that I think are most central to our lives as social human beings. I want to provoke thought and stimulate dialogue.
4. How autobiographical are your books?
Oh, the first one is heavily, heavily autobiographical. (But don’t tell my family!). As far as And Ye Shall Be As Gods is concerned, one can only write (well) about what one knows, but is a mixture of characters based on people I’ve known and some invented or are composites. The same is true of the plot lines, although most of them are fictional.
5. What’s the best compliment that you’ve ever received about your writing?
Being compared to Cormac McCarthy, both in terms of profundity and use of language. And from a person who doesn’t hand out compliments easily.
6. What has been your greatest moment as a writer so far?
Hmm. I would say having extraordinarily well-read (and demanding) people enamored of my work. But also seeing my plays produced and having wonderful reactions from audiences. Hearing them react and discuss my work; seeing them come to life.
7. Where do you get your covers?
Well, I published both time through a self-publishing company and they had designers. For the one I’m working on now, I’m going to publish it myself and spend some coin to hire a good cover artist. I like the covers for the two I’ve written, but I’d like something more elaborate in the future.
8. Who is your biggest fan?
I would say two extremely well-read friends, although I have cousins who are also very enthusiastic. I also have a British follower on Goodreads who is very complimentary.
9. What is next for you?
I’m just going to keep plugging away. The novel I’m working on now is related to And Ye Shall Be As Gods, with the same protagonist in Part I and a different one for Part II. The plot is completely different and the other main characters in Gods are only tangentially mentioned, with new ones taking their place.
10. End with a quote from one of your books.
“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods."