Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Author Spotlight - Johnny Worthen

Posted by LD Keach on Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Johnny Worthen graduated with a B.A. in English, minor in Classics and Master's in American Studies from the University of Utah. After a series of businesses and adventures, including running his own bakery, Worthen found himself drawn to the only thing he ever wanted to do--write. And write he does. When he's not pounding on his keyboard or attending writers conferences, Worthen spends his time with his wife and two boys in Sandy, Utah.

DM: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Tell us a little more about your writing style and your novel Beatrysel.

Beatrysel is the tale of a demon, created by her Magus lover, rent from him but seeking return. It is the tale of the Magus who made her and lost himself in the act. It is a tale of jilted lovers, betrayals and loss; power and Magick. It explores modern occult theory as practiced today and the manifest power of love made real.

As for me, I am a publicist’s worst nightmare: I am multi-genre author experimenting with language.  has best been well described as a “literary horror,” which means heavy on ideas and mood. My next book, Eleanor coming from Jolly Fish Press next year, is a gentle young-adult paranormal series about a strange and singular girl trying not to be noticed in a small Wyoming town. After that, I have a comedic mystery series beginning with The Finger Trap, also from Jolly Fish Press, probably in mid 2015. Just of these three titles, no two are structurally or narratively alike.The Finger Trap is conversational, first person narrative, past tense. Eleanor is third person subjective, singular POV, also past tense. Beatrysel however, is third person subjective, shifting POV and present tense - structurally the most challenging of the bunch. Beatrysel is chilling, Eleanor is emotional, The Finger Trap is funny. I’m all over the board. My motto is “I write what I want to read” and I live in tie-dye to show my many colors.

DM: What's it like working with Omnium Gatherum Media?

Beatrysel is debut so every step with Omnium Gatherum has been an education. Kate Jonez at OG has been a fine teacher. It a small press, a good example of how the industry is changing; it’s quick from start to finish and as reactive as a jet ski compared to an ocean liner. It’s stripped down the same way though - not a lot of deck chairs. It concentrates its efforts well, focusing its resources where they’ll do the most good. It’s a good business model but skips some of the fun niceties a new writer dreams of, like book tours and hard covers. But publishing is a business and I’m learning that. It’s been a good relationship; good people, good product, good times.

DM: What's some advice you can give to writers just starting out?

Don’t bother chasing agents. You don’t need them. Go directly to editors and small presses. Query them with a polished manuscript and eager enthusiasm and see how the doors open up for you. I wasted two years learning this. Save yourself that.