First, let me thank you for joining me. I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.
That is great. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?
I’m John Matthew Fox, and I help authors write better novels, mostly through editing and courses at Bookfox.
What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?
I played a lot of chess when I was young, and so naturally I tried to write a chess novel. I wasn’t quite good enough to make it sexy enough, and then Queen’s Gambit happened and I realized he had written a much better book forty years prior.
"It’s not about talent. It’s about the number of hours you sit in the chair."
What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?
Well, read my articles on Bookfox, for starters. Or take a course with me, or follow me on Tiktok or Instagram or Youtube. Seriously – I’m giving away a wealth of information.
But I’d also add that you need to find a good community of fellow writers to share your work with.
What is the best advice you have ever been given as a writer?
It’s not about talent. It’s about the number of hours you sit in the chair.
Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?
I wake up before the family and go out to my shed which doubles as an office, and write there. The most important thing is that I have a program called Freedom that turns off my internet between 5:00 and 7:30. That way I can’t do anything but write.
What is your favorite part about writing?
Probably the imagination. I like to write books that no one else could write. I feel like most books published each year are interchangeable – there are hundreds of thousands of other people who could have written the exact same book.
I’m trying to publish a book that has so much of my imaginative DNA in it that it couldn’t have been replicated by anyone else on earth.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success looks like getting a single email from someone who loved my book, and for them to say: this is one of my all-time favorite books.
It doesn’t matter how much money I make or how many glowing reviews I get or how many people read my book.
Success happens in the tiny human interactions. I’d rather a single person say, “This is one of my top-10 books,” than a thousand people read my book and forget it the next week.
Please tell us about your current release.
“The Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel’s Key Moments” helps writer level up their craft. Wherever you are as a writer, whether you’re just starting off or you have a few books under your belt, I’ll help you improve.
The book focuses on key moments inside your novel, the make-it-or-break-it moments (death scene, first character interaction, end of your chapters) and gives practical advice on how to write them better (with plenty of examples!).
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a novel set entirely upon a cruise ship.
Who are your favorite authors?
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The Dwarf by Pär Lagerkvist. Nobody has ever heard of it, and it’s quite a dark little book, but I’m fascinated by it.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
To go to conferences. You meet people and you get jolts of inspiration and insight and connections.
What is your writer’s kryptonite?
What part of writing and publishing was most difficult for you?
Are you involved in any writer groups?
Not currently. I was involved in two and I miss them dearly. I’m trying to start up another in North Orange County, CA, so feel free to reach out if locals want to get together!
Freckles: The Dark Wizard Middle Grade Fantasy
Simon is bullied. He also just discovered he is the only kid in school who can conjure a dragon.
Pitch knows three things. This is not his America, someone is trying to hunt him, and he is very good with a gun.
Or keep an eye out for these other titles!