Author's Ink

We grow writers!

Interview with JC Mogensen, by Courtnie Dotson

·        Where are you from?

I was born just outside of Pecos Texas and lived within an hour of there until I was 14. After a few years in the wilds of Northern Idaho (Moscow, to be precise) I ended up in central Minnesota, where I've been since 1994.

·        Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have two girls, five years apart, who are a constant source of entertainment and inspiration and I've been married for 13 years. I work as a freelance writer so my days are spent in front of an LCD deity.

·        What do you do when you are not writing?

I spend a lot of the warmer months using my trusty rod and reel to make sure that the bass, pike and walleye populations understand what end of the food chain they're on. My love of all things gadgety has led me to earning my Associate's Degree in Software Development in my spare time.

·        How long does it take you to write a book?

I'll let you know when I finally finish one. I still have a screenplay on my shelf from '96 that just needs a little polishing (and the final two acts).

·        Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

As a kid, my go-to authors were Stephen King and Louis L'Amour. Nowadays, it's anything by Christopher Moore and A. Lee Martinez.

·        Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?

Only if I can't believably make it up. Actually, I do study up on certain things; I think it gives the story a more authentic feel.

·        Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Mostly just personalities and bits of dialogue, pure flights of fancy beyond that.

·        What scares you?

Ventriloquist dummies – so evil as to be called 'e-vile', as in the 'froo-its of the de-vil.'

·        Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite horror book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of the horror genre?

'Needful Things' by Stephen King is my all-time favorite horror novel and one of his best books from beginning to end, in my opinion. The slow build-up and huge cast of characters make it unique in the genre. My fave non-horror book would probably be 'The Stupidest Angel' by Christopher Moore because it's freakin' hilarious.

·        What do you think makes a good story?

Characters who are interesting, relatable and, most importantly, flawed. None of that 'like a marble Adonis' business for me, thank you very much.

·        Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Joss Whedon. Not so much an author as a writer, I suppose, but when it comes to putting a new spin on an old genre or crafting characters that you really care about, he's second to none.

·        What does your family think of your writing?

Those who know are very supportive; those who don't are in for a surprise.

·        What book are you reading now?

I'm switching back and forth between 'What Would Satan Do' by A.P. Miller and 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins because I like to keep my bases covered. I just finished 'Meany' by Peazy Monellon and 'Asylum' by Kristen Selleck is waiting for me on my digital bookshelf.

·        What are your current projects?

My current work-in-progress keeps me pretty busy. Besides that, I spend a little time every week trying to keep my blog from getting stale.  

·        Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Absolutely. Go here:

·        Will you have a new book coming out soon?

Yes. Assuming that the Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyers books I've been sacrificing to Odin do the trick. Probably (hopefully) next year sometime.

·        Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 I once heard that the first book a person writes is going to be garbage, which I scoffed at because there is no way I would waste my time on a sucky book. Then I remembered the dozens of partially finished books I've written over the years and realized that I had at least three books worth of writing that was complete crapola. Keep writing and learn that honest critiques are worth more than gold.