Sunday, January 23, 2011


In Donovan Creed, author John Locke has created a character you'd love to sit down with and share a drink--unless you bring your hot girlfriend.  Creed is an ex-CIA agent who moonlights as a hit man and loves the women.  If you like succinct, fast-moving thrillers with violent plot twists and razor sharp dialogue, then John Locke is the author for you.  He has three Donovan Creed novels out and is working on a fourth.  As of this post his latest thriller, Saving Rachel, is currently #15 on the Kindle Bestseller List.  That's an amazing feat for a guy who used be an insurance salesman, a rock & roll singer and a private investor.  Really, I'm not making this up.  In his spare time he's working on a formula to turn ocean water into draft beer. Okay that I made up.  I want to thank John for taking the time to play 5 questions with me.

1.      You're a successful businessman, who's owned an insurance company and became a private investor, yet you've been a Rock-n-Roll singer and a successful fiction writer.  How do you go from such a dry business career to flourishing as an artist?  And how did you contain all those creative juices for so long?

I love stories. Love reading them, love telling them, and always wanted to write some. But I’m one of those guys who “never got around” to writing a novel because I was too busy building my insurance company. I wasn’t frustrated creatively in the insurance business because I taught training and marketing seminars, wrote and gave speeches, self-published numerous marketing manuals, and two non-fiction books of the “How To” nature. After selling the company, I had more free time and NO creative outlet, a combination that generated the motive force for my becoming a novelist.

2.      If you had to choose between one of these careers, which would you want to do the rest of your life?

It would depend on which one I was best at. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a successful Rock-n-Roll singer? Haha.

3.      Good point.   What percentage of your workday is dedicated to writing?


      And a lot.

 Sometimes I go six months without writing a word. Other times, like this past Thursday and Friday, I wrote for eight and fourteen hours, respectively. In other words, I never sit down at my computer with the thought, “I’m going to write 500 words today.” That might be a smarter way to write, but for me, it would remove the element of fun. Instead, I write scenes, and/or transitions between scenes. I write the entire scene or the transition, or both—but it never comes down to a daily commitment. When the scene is in my head, completely worked out, I park it there until I have to put it on paper. Usually if a scene makes me laugh out loud, or gnaws at me in some other way, it’s ready to write.

       4. Where did you come up with the idea for your Donovan Creed character?

Creed was easy! He’s the man every guy wants to be, and every woman wants to fix. Everything beyond that premise is situational, but reinforces what each gender wants from him. For example, Creed is tough (guy) but has a tender side (woman). He’s irreverent (guy) with redeeming qualities that pop up when you least expect them (woman). He has relationships with hookers (guy) but he’s unfulfilled, and yearning for something he can’t quite put his finger on (woman).  Above all, Creed is unpredictable. If I do my job right as an author, you’re not sure how he’s going to react to a given situation, or what he’s going to say—but after he does or says it, you think “Ah, of course!"

5.      With the changes digital technology has had on the publishing industry, where do you think the majority of readers will be finding your novels in 5 years?

I’m a 100% believer in the electronic book medium. It offers more than a level playing field for self-published authors—it gives us a game that is actually stacked in our favor! Readers are just starting to learn that ebooks can be created and sold at a profit for 99 cents. And this is going to make them re-think their buying options, and their attitudes toward value. If you and I can electronically publish a book for 99 cents and still make a profit, and the giants in the business like James Patterson, John Grisham, Stephen King and Dean Koontz have to charge $9.95 for their ebooks, the onus is no longer on Gary Ponzo and John Locke to prove our books are just as good as theirs. It’s on them to prove their books are TEN TIMES better than ours! And Gary, in a game like that, I like our chances!


  1. Thanks Gary, I thought you asked great questions and I had a lot of fun answering them!

  2. Great interview, Gary - thanks for sending me over. ;-)

    John, Gary sent me here after I was chanting "more words" for a friend on twitter...he wanted me to read about your "non-traditional" (his words) way of writing. Ironically, I write in scenes as well, I just do one per day, 6 days per week (around 500-1000 words or so, usually, it just happens that way, I don't try to constrain or expand them). So while our discipline styles are vastly different, our writing style is actually similar in how the story forms and goes on the page. Interesting, I think.

    I don't think there's any such thing as a "smarter" or "better" or whatever way to write - the best way is always up to the individual...whatever gets the story on paper. That's really all that matters in the end.

    Major congrats on #15 on the Amazon lists...that's quite an accomplishment!

    Creed sounds like a fascinating and fun character - he's on my TBR list. I look forward to meeting him. ;-)

  3. Nice interview. yes, ebooks and just authors go very well together. I'm still considering this 99 cents, but it would be just for a short time if I do on novels, maybe to see the difference. I am selling $2.99 right now for my novel, The Greek Seaman. I have short stories coming at $99 cents. My poetry books are 99 cents. I got to say, I do buy more frequently at 99 cents. Why does $1.99 never come up much? So, Creed is a CIA agent eh?

  4. Yes, Jacqueline it's funny, but $2.99 seems to be the going rate for novels from Indie authors anyway. I priced mine at $1.99 to attract attention and traffic and now that I've had so much success, I'm too spooked to change it. I think it will permantly be $1.99.
    John, however has a different approach to the pricing thing and who's to say he's wrong. #15 on the Kindle bestseller list--that's amazing, and will attract attention all by itself.

  5. John Locke "Saving Lady Gaga with Creed" Amazon Kindle ~ check it out!

  6. OOps bad link before. Sorry READERS.

    John Locke "Saving Lady Gaga with Creed" Amazon Kindle ~ check it out!

  7. These last two posts are not from the real John Locke and should not be taken seriously.