Replay: JH Bogran!
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. Ironically, he prefers to write fiction rather than fact. His genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the Short Fiction Writers Guild and the International Thriller
Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator and contributing editor of their official e-zine The Big Thrill.
He is the author of several books, including Firefall. You can learn more on his website: www.jhbogran.com or follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jhbogran and Twitter
Welcome JH! Tell us a little about your background!
Thanks ROCCO! I’m a native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t go to bilingual school, but started learning English during my mid-teens. I enrolled in Bank Management at the local university, only to have the career closed after a semester due to lack of enough students, thus I was transferred by default to Business Administration. Then I started working in the fashion manufacturing, an area mostly populated by industrial engineers. You see, I always find myself swimming against the current. Then of course was the writing. I find it funny that when people know you like writing they think you can write anything, from contracts, to letters and notifications, to novels, to speeches. Some people seem to think that because I liked to write I could do any of those…and I have, but most out of necessity rather than inclination.
I consider myself a storyteller, not much different from the troubadours in the middle ages, except I traded the musical instrument for a typewriter.
Tell us a bit about your latest book Poisoned Tears.
Poisoned Tears is set in New Orleans, a city I longed to visit since I was young. The book tells the story of a retired PI, named Alan Knox, who comes to a city he hates—he lost his professional football career after an injured in the Superdome—but he can’t deny helping his son. You see, it’s his fiancée who’s missing.
When she turns up dead in a local park, people rule it as a terrible accident. However, Alan thinks differently. Call it a hunch, call it insider’s knowledge. He teams with a disgruntled newspaper columnist past his prime, and together they put together a theory, along with an exposé, that brings the city into a frenzy.
You do interviews for the Big Thrill. Who’s the most interesting author you’ve ever interviewed?
I’m a big fan of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. During a truth or dare game at The Late Late Show he preferred to eat a disgusting piece of raw meat instead of singling out his least favorite guest in the series. I admire him for it and will emulate his courage and take the Fifth Amendment on this one.
The fact is I enjoy every interview I’ve done and I’ve always found something interesting from the author’s I’ve met, be that how they work, their experiences with the craft and business of publishing, or their peculiarities…(Here’s looking at you, Rocco.) ROCCO: Merow?????
Do you prefer interviewing or writing fiction?
Can’t compare apples and pears.
Writing fiction to me is more like storytelling, working behind closed doors to create my own plots. It’s wonderful, but sometimes also a solitary undertaking. So doing the interviews provide a much needed break, but also a contact with the current market, and with peers writing novels in the same genre. Besides, I also get to read their books before they are published. People would kill for that gig.
How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
Since I usually come up with the plot before the characters, I kind of make them tailor-finished to what serves the story. I may have a vague idea, mostly physically, when going into the first draft, but they become real as I write the story. Very often they surprise me with blows right out of the left field. So you can say I’ve been sucker-punched by my characters.
How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I’d like to say a combination of both. When I first come up with the concept I write a short synopsis of what’s going to happen. Later I break that into a chapter list in a spreadsheet. This helps in case I run against a wall, I know where the story is going so there’s no such thing as writer’s block in my process. Later, when I sit and write the first draft I let it be “by the seat of my pants,” and if I need to make changes to the plot or outline I go ahead and do it. It’s not set in stone.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
As a native Spanish speaker, writing in English is a huge challenge all in itself. I’ve been blessed with wonderful writer friends who put up with my horrible lost-in-translation mistakes.
My motivation comes from the readers. Having a person quoting my book, saying they like it, or even the one-star reviews, all contribute to me. They give me a boost and make me work harder the next time around.
What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I have a couple of projects in the air, two novels and one potential movie-script deal. I’m currently working on one of the novels, but that may change in short notice.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
It would depend on your idea of crazy. Writing a novel is crazy enough for some people. Making five of them even more.
Let’s see, I got a tattoo before it was fashionable, I’ve jumped from one car to another while in motion, attended a party in a military camp while carrying a concealed unregistered handgun, and one time I scolded students and teachers in a college after I asked who’s currently reading a book and only two people raised their hands. Needless to say they never invited me again.
What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I think reading the second paragraph of the previous questions would bring gasps out of a few of them.
What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
What’s my favorite color? Just kidding!
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
Well, you can visit my website, www.jhbogran.com and I keep updating my Facebook author page. www.facebook.com/jhbogran0
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Both…there are fun activities for each of them and I enjoy them both.
Dog or Cat? (Answer carefully) I’ll take the Fifth then.
Beach or Pool? Pool.
Steak or salad? Salad. (Are you surprised?)
Favorite Drink? Scotch, neat or on the rocks, sometimes with soda. However, given my James Bond infatuation I’ve learned to make a mean Vodka Martini.
Favorite Book? Too many to mention, but I’ll share a list of the ones I’ve read more than twice: Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor, Clive Cussler’s Deep Six, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Half-blood Prince are at the top of the list.
Favorite TV Series? Nowadays, Doctor Who.
Favorite Movie? I enjoy movies a lot, but can’t pinpoint a favorite anymore. Keep in mind I’ve worked as a professional movie reviewer for a local newspaper.
Favorite Actor: Harrison Ford.
Favorite Actress: You really want to get me in trouble with wife, right? I think Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep are wonderful and try to see everything they’re on. Natalie Portman and Anna Hathaway have had hit and misses.
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Hawaii or Alaska? Never been to any of the two, so I’ll take a raincheck…or invitations to visit before taking a choice.
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Honduras’ national hero Francisco Morazán.
If I had just one wish, it would be to be a better human being.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be nobody, because I’m happy as I am! I wouldn’t mind trading bank accounts though.
Thanks for a great interview, JH!
Find out more about JH at:
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/JHBogran0
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jhbogran
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/j.-h.-bogran
JH will giveaway an autographed digital copy of Poisoned Tears to a lucky winner.
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:
* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link: https://twitter.com/RoccoBlogger)
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link: https://www.facebook.com/ToniLotempio)#!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)
Winner will be chosen at random using random.org. Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest ends midnight, March 26.