WOTJ: In one paragraph, tell us about your latest book: Roly’s Relic: The Cross of Baal.
Jon: Here’s the elevator pitch: Ancient bronze Celtic cross plus intriguing young woman with butterfly tattoo on her bottom and larceny in her heart equals big trouble for Roly O’Leary.
On a trip to the small town of Bordum Grove, Tennessee, Baby-boomer salesman discovers a fabled Celtic cross reputed to fulfill innermost desires. Is the cross a magical ancient relic or a hoax? Little does he know that the cross is the sacred relic of an ancient band of assassins who want it back. Murder and mayhem follow. Roly challenges the wonderfully terrible Mr. Pimm and his rookie hitman, Kenny. Can Roly find the cross and save Gumby?
WOTJ: Writing humor seems to come so natural to you. How do you do it?
Jon: Being the middle boy with an older and younger brother (a genuine genius who once learned Polish so he could read a couple books in their original edition) got me to look at things in different way. My father owned cafeterias and greasy spoon restaurants in Indiana. As a small businessman with three sons, he believed in slave labor. If you want a laugh, watch the eating habits of customers. Being a rebel came naturally to me. I always looked for the other viewpoint from the conventional wisdom. I’ve had some interesting experiences. I once did some systems consulting for a bi-polar doctor who hated bad news. He would fire me on Friday and hire me back on Monday. This went on for six months. Life throws some curves. You can either laugh or cry. I choose the former.
WOTJ: How much, if any, of your character’s personalities are really you?
Jon: I have vivid imagination and try to put myself in a character’s shoes. I’m always storing away bits and pieces of interesting people’s personality for future use in my stories.
WOTJ: Did you hate your mother?
Jon: Not as much as she hated me.
WOTJ: Okay, a serious question: What do you hope your readers get out of reading your books?
Jon: A relaxing, fun experience. Come into my world and meet some ordinary people coping with extraordinary circumstances. One reader called my books “The best stress buster.”
WOTJ: What’s your best advice for a first time novelist?
Jon: Put your butt in the chair and write. Keep doing it. Forget about perfection. Get the story down on paper. Rewrite, edit, rewrite, edit, etc. if you want people to buy your book, write for the reader, not your ego. Associate with other writers who share the same cockeyed need to create stories.
WOTJ: Tell us the truth, do you dress up like a Klingon when you write?
Jon: Klingons have no sense of humor. Although I did see two of them walking down the hotel corridor at Bay Con.
WOTJ: Who is your favorite author?
Jon: Donald Westlake. Christopher Moore writes some outrageous stuff.
WOTJ: Have you ever found a mistake in your published books?
Jon: Yes and it bugs me. My latest manuscript had a professional editor plus two copy edits, a couple blips eluded all the eyeballs. Standards are falling with ebooks. You can find a lot of really bad writing and editing, even with traditional publishers. Formatting seems to be an ongoing problem.
WOTJ: Do you enjoy killing off your characters?
Jon: I can always bring them back to life. It worked for A. Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes.
WOTJ: What is your favorite time of day to write and why? Is that the time of day your anti-depressants kick in, or perhaps several cocktails?
Jon: Early mornings. But when the muse takes over, I can write just about any time of day. Normally my stomach sends signals around eleven o’clock that it’s break time. Afternoons are for doing normal, everyday stuff. I come up with lines, plot twists, and half-baked characters before I finally go to sleep.
WOTJ: What is your favorite weather to write by?
Jon: Sunny days tend to pull me out of the house. A good wind and rainstorm makes a nice background for fantasy and mystery stories.
WOTJ: We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Jon Cory. His latest book Roly’s Relic: The Cross of Baal can be ordered online at http://www.amazon.com/Rolys-Relic-Cross-Baal-ebook/dp/B00CGC26UW. And while you’re at it check out Jon’s other novel: A Plague of Scoundrels.