Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Author Interview - Blake Johnson

Hey gang! Another spectacular interview coming your way!!

The Penguin chased down the accomplished 19-year-old author Blake Johnson-author of Memoir of Earth-for an interview. Let's get to know this young author and find out what makes him tick!!

First, allow me to introduce you to his book, Memoir of Earth!


Everyone wants super powers, right? But what if they hinged on your emotions? What if simply feeling angry or sad could cause destruction beyond any man made weapon? What if feelings of compassion and justice had the capacity to heal a multitude of wounds? Depressed, sixteen year old John Stryker walks this line every day, either heralding peace or destruction wherever he goes. His curse of depression is instantly made a weapon. Two sides awaken in him, both light and dark. As both vie for control, John is forced to face the darkness within him and to examine his true character, up close and personal. After becoming the subject of a bet made by two god-like figures named the Watcher and the Keeper, John is given this immense power. The question is what will he do with it? If his power consumes him or he turns his back on mankind, then the Watcher is given clearance to destroy the world. If he becomes a selfless hero, then the twisted entity would be bound in the dimension called the Inferno, a place of torment and suffering. John, not knowing that his every decision could result in the destruction of mankind, searches for the purpose in all of the madness around him, hoping to find what he was destined to do with these new found abilities. After bearing witness to the brutal and sadistic nature of the world, John ponders the question that will alter the fate of all living things; is the world worth saving? DISCLAIMER: Memoir of Earth depicts some situations containing intense violence. This book is not recommended for readers under the age of 16.

Pretty awesome, right? Okay, on to the next part that I know y'all have been craving...


DSP: For starters, tell us a bit about you, we like to get to know our authors as a person!

Blake: I’m a nineteen year old guy who enjoys jamming on the guitar and playing video games. I see myself as somewhat of a geek. Superheroes have always been a huge inspiration to me as a writer and a person. I’ve always loved black, although it’s the absence of color. And I love tacos. Tacos are good.

DSP: Nice to meet you! So tell us, where did you find the inspiration for your most recent book?

Blake: I had had this particular tale in my head for quite some time before I actually sat down to write it. What actually caused me to take the plunge into penning this novel was hearing a friend of mine tell me about his own book he was writing. Seeing how passionate he was about the story he crafted inspired me to tell my own story. There was a certain joy he had about him when he talked about his characters. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to breathe life into characters of my own.

DSP: So, do you have any kind of ritual for writing? Such as, you have to write with music on, or you can only write when you’re completely alone, etc

Blake: I have a few, but one in particular stands out. For each novel I write I listen to particular band that I feel captures the essence of the story. For Memoir of Earth that band was Coheed and Cambria. Listening to them help inspire my writing so much that I even included them in the dedication.

DSP: Who is your favorite character in your book, and why? How about the character you had the most trouble with

Blake: The main character, John Stryker is definitely my favorite. I feel as though he is a very real, relatable character, especially to those who struggle with depression. He makes mistakes, does things that he later regrets, but he still presses on. The character I had the most trouble with was Isabel Faintheart. She is a multidimensional but I couldn’t delve too deep into her psyche for fear of taking the focus off of John.

DSP: Now, when you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing?

Blake: Normally, I have my thoughts pretty well organized in my head when I sit down to write. As the saying goes, “The stories write themselves.”

DSP: Do you foresee any more books to continue this story? If so, do you think we can get a taste of what’s to come?

Blake: Definitely. I am currently working on a different novel apart from this series, but once that is done I will begin writing The Pillars of the Universe-Book 2. The story will explore just how far John is willing to go to save the people he cares about.

DSP: Other than this most recent story, do you have any ideas for different books that might be published in the future? Care to give us a teaser?

Blake: I have quite a few ideas. Currently, I am working on a standalone novel that is dedicated to my late Grandmother who passed away from cancer. The main theme of the novel is sacrifice and selflessness. Her whole life she gave to others freely. I hope I can honor her memory through this upcoming piece.

DSP: Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why?

Blake: I have always looked up to Stephen King seeing as we’re both from Maine. His words have been very encouraging to me, most notably his introductory essay On Being Nineteen (And a Few Other Things) which was included in the re-released edition of his novel The Gunslinger. I felt as though he understood where I was coming from as a young writer.

DSP: What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?

Blake: Holding the finished product in my hands. It’s an amazing thing to see all of the hard work that goes into writing become tangible.

DSP: Have you named the computer you use for writing?

Blake: I haven’t but I may just do that now that you mentioned it.

DSP: What is your greatest fear about being an author?

Blake: That my story will not have any impact on others whatsoever. One of the reasons I write is to hopefully inspire and help others. It would be heart-wrenching not to accomplish that end in some way, shape or form.

DSP: Which of the characters in your book do you feel is the most like yourself, and in what way?

Blake: John Stryker. We are both striving to learn the meaning of our existence.

DSP: From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish this most recent novel?

Blake: About two years. There were times I felt it would never be completed. Perseverance pays off!

And now, for something completely different…some slightly off-the-wall and possibly irrelevant questions so we can see a different side of Blake!

DSP: Are you planning to bring sexy back?
Blake: That’s above my payroll…

DSP: If you could be any cartoon character for 24 hours, who would you pick and why?
Blake: Bugs Bunny! Nothing seems to bring that rabbit down!

DSP: How many ridges are there around a quarter?
Blake: OVER 9000!

DSP: Do you believe in fate or destiny?
Blake: Destiny. Fate denotes we are trapped, helpless to change the course of our lives. In my opinion, destiny is something we can forge.

DSP: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Blake: About four cords on a good day.

DSP: What are your thoughts on string?
Blake: That all depends on the kind of string. Silly string? Amazing. The String Theory? Too complex for my taste. Yarn? I’m neutral about it. Unless you’re spinning a darn good one.

DSP: Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?
Blake: I think he would be surprised. I don’t think the 8-year old Blake ever thought he would get into writing.

DSP: What is the last song you listened to?
Blake: Feathers by Coheed and Cambria

DSP: Do you have any talents you haven’t shared with us?
Blake: I can juggle. My father used to be a professional magician so I picked up a few tricks of the trade. When I was younger he would even let my sister and me perform in his shows!

DSP: Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?
Blake: A mysterious remote with a single button. I don’t know what it does or if it will even help me escape. The consequences could be dire if I dare to press it, but then again it could be harmless. There’s only one way to find out…

Ooh, now I want one of those remote controls...hehe. Fantastic interview, and this guy sounds pretty awesome. Let's find out how we can keep up with him!!


Nineteen year old Blake Johnson is a young, up and coming, author from Veazie, Maine. At the age of six he made an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno during the segment 'Kid Magicians.' When he turned ten, he embarked on a journey overseas to Russia on missions trip. These are but two of the experiences Blake has used to help fuel his writing. At an early age, Blake's passion for storytelling mixed with his odd experiences has spurred him to write a multitude of tales ranging from comical to downright scary.

Well, personally, I think this book is gonna rock, and to have accomplished such a feat at so young an age, this author is one who with a bright future ahead of him. 

Many thanks to Blake for giving us the chance to get to know him, and we wish you all the best! Feel free to stop by and update us down the road and update us on all the great things that are sure to come. :)

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