Interview with John Forrester, Author of Demigod Rising
20 May 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Demigod Rising?
After finishing my last book, I struggled for six months with a new project I was working on. It just wasn’t working. I felt like I need to re-engineer myself as a writer and change both my process and approach to crafting stories. Luckily, I stumbled upon the book Story Genius, by Lisa Cron. It literally blew me away. Though I’d read countless books on writing, her approach and process to developing stories really resonated. I had written over twelve books, but I realized I needed to change what I was doing. So, I scrapped an entire book I had written and started over with a new idea for a new fantasy series, The Song of the Gods. I had this idea about the close bond between brothers and the impact of beliefs upon your life. I looked deeply into the protagonists core internal conflict (between his religious beliefs and his desire to find his heretical mother) and how the forces around him were knocking him out of his comfort zone. From there, the story propelled into a magical journey into an unknown and forbidden realm. Demigod Rising was quite a personal journey and it reflects the path many of us take in discovering our beliefs, the meaning in our lives, and our purpose. I had the privilege, at my twelve-year-old son’s insistence, of reading the entire final draft out loud to him. I smiled when he asked, “Just one more chapter?” at the end of each chapter. I knew then, that Demigod Rising was ready.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Like many, I had a wonderful English Teacher, Mrs. Zesch, in my Sophomore year of High School. She inspired me to be a writer. My imagination and storytelling drive never left me, and writing a book was always in the back of my mind. In 2008, after learning about Nanowrimo from a friend, I finally wrote the first draft of a book that I would later publish in 2011, Fire Mage, after fifteen or more complete rewrites.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Super tough question as I read broadly in fiction and non-fiction, and the fantasy genre along with literary fiction. But here you go: The Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix, East of Eden, The Way of Kings, and A Prayer for Owen Meany.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I’d invite John Steinbeck (via time-travel or seance). I’d ask him how we can inspire students to become storytellers and nurture their imaginations. I’d love to hear more about his ideas around free-thinking and allowing the mind to roam and how this sparks inventiveness. He railed against overly structured thinking and forcing students to become automatons.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The endless blue horizon of imagination combined with getting to know my characters.
What is a typical day like for you?
As a writer, I try to write early or late, squeezing in as much time as possible each day. I also try to write every day, knowing it is much easier to keep a good cadence and build momentum.
What scene in Demigod Rising was your favorite to write?
The scene toward the end of the book where Jeno is with his friends watching the sunrise over the Saranathian Sea. He sees this brilliant sparkle over the waters and he gets this strong sense of knowing where his mother is. The reunion scene in that humble temple stirs up something powerful every time I read it. Not only is it the moment Jeno realizes his divine nature, but it is also the moment he accepts himself, releases his doubts, and embraces what he is and who he has become. It is a moment of personal transcendence.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
That which does not kill us makes us stronger – Nietzsche.
Buy The Book
Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.