Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Interview With Thriller Writer J. H. Bogran
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist; he ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José is the author of “Treasure Hunt,” the first in the series of a professional thief who goes by the handle of The Falcon. Other works include short stories, “The Outpost” and “Love Me Two Times,” published by Red Rose Publishing. He is also the author of “Heredero Del Mal,” a thriller published by Editorial Letra Negra.
He’s a contributor editor to The Big Thrill magazine; co-screenwriter for two TV serials and writes movie reviews for the Honduran newspaper La Prensa.
He’s a member of the International Thriller Writers.
JRL: Good morning, Jose. Let’s start with the question what was your biggest challenge in finishing this novel? What was your path to publication?
JHB: You mean besides writing it in a language other than my native one? :- ) I wrote the first draft back in 1998 and after the events of 9/11, I feared that a book with a hijacked plane in the opening chapter would never see the light. Eventually, it did, thanks to Whiskey Creek Press who believed the story should be told. I guess that pretty much covers the path I took, but here is the simple form for any beginner writer: query, receive rejection, study and rewrite, repeat N times. Then in 2005 a new ebook publisher took me in, only to close its doors a year or so later. Spent a few years in the limbo of orphan books but got back to the original program. I received the offer from WCP in January 2010 and last January the book went live after a through editing process.
JRL: Hmph, I know how frustrating it can be to have a publisher accept a book and then go bust. I had a similar experience early on. Getting back to your book, have you ever had the urge to do any treasure hunting yourself?
JHB: Yes, every time I see an Indiana Jones movie! I was a Boy Scout, so camping was a part of my teenage life. Treasure hunting is fun.
JRL: In addition to this novel, you’ve also published a thriller in Spanish, Heredero Del Mal. Any plans for an English version?
JHB: Although I’d love to see “Heredero” in English, I just can’t spend the time translating a book I already published. I rather direct my efforts towards a new book. However, the door is not closed either. Letra Negra, my publisher in Guatemala, has the final version and anybody can approach them about it.
JRL: Curiosity is an important factor in a writer’s makeup. What is it that sparks your curiosity or makes you wonder about a subject?
JHB: Hmmm, so authors are curious by nature…I may use this to justify the fact that I’m a “trivia freak.” I find little-known facts really interesting as they add to the greater picture. The first idea from my stories more often than not comes from a “what if…” question and they are usually prompted by trivia bits.
JRL: What do you find most rewarding about being a published writer?
JHB: The email from the unknown reader. It has happened quite a few times now, but it is still exciting.
JRL: What’s your process in writing? Do you use an outline, or are you a pantser?
JHB: This one I have to do response in a twofold: For novels I use an outline. Once I tried not to do it and ended up in a dead street that forced me to either introduce a new character or delete five previous chapters.
On short stories yes, I can work from the head to the keyboard without the outline.
JRL: What was the last book you read?
JHB: “Boiling Point” by K. L. Dionne. An exciting eco-thriller. The fact that I know the author added a new flavor to the reading of it.
JRL: Do you have any favorite books on the craft of writing?
JHB: Not in any particular orders, but these are the ones that I always keep at hand:
“Dynamic Characters” by Nancy Kress
“On Writing” by Stephen King
“The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White
“Grammatically Correct” by Anne Stilman.
JRL: A good selection. What’s next on your agenda?
JHB: I have one manuscript doing the rounds with agents and at the same time I’m writing another thriller. Definitely promoting Treasure Hunt is also on the priority list. GWE created a wonderful video trailer, you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEaG5CjDmG8
JRL: What are some of the things you like to do aside from writing? Anything in particular you’d like to tell readers?
JHB: I have the blessing of having a day-job that I also like. I work in the garment manufacturing industry. I think it is the biggest employer in my little corner of the world and I’m happy to be a part of it.
JRL: Anything in particular you’d like to tell readers?
JHB: I truly wish they can enjoy my stories and please, by all means, fell free to drop me a line when you finish reading it. Also, I have a short story giveaway, it is titled “Absolution Withheld” and it’s kind of a prequel to Treasure Hunt. To get it just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can send mobi, pdf and even text only formats, so just let me know.
JRL: Thanks for spending the time with us today, Jose. More information about this writer and his work is available at: