John Fishwick grew up on the Isle of Man—home of the Manx cat and the first country in the world to give the vote to women. He earned a degree in chemistry and geology from England’s Liverpool University then promptly joined the British Army to study Russian with British Intelligence. Following two wonderful years in Canada as a field geologist, he immigrated to the US where, after working on a top secret project for the government, he became a citizen.
The founder and principal operator of a high-tech materials company that has been in business for over forty years, John also holds various patents and enjoys lecturing on various subjects such as astronomy, geology, evolution theory, and logic, critical thinking, climate change, energy sources, and the relation of art and science to universities, colleges, and world-wide on cruise ships. He is a longtime member of Mensa and a previous President of the Everglades Astronomical Society.
Previous publishing projects include over fifty technical articles, as well as a nonfiction book entitled The Applications of Lithium in Ceramics. He cautions prospective buyers to beware-once you put it down you can’t pick it up! His current writing focuses on fiction with the recent release of a novel A Flight to Romance. Other titles will follow.
John is married to Nancy, who makes sure he has clean clothes and a spotless tie when he lectures, and is proud to have a son who is a professor of computer science at UT in Dallas and a granddaughter who just graduated from Harvard Law School.
He spends his time between South West Florida and the mountains of North Carolina, where Nancy and he enjoy playing golf and bridge.
PJ: How long have you been writing?
John: I have been writing, mostly technical articles and patents, for about 50 years
PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?
John: After my articles had been published in technical magazines and favorably received, I started to believe that, while not yet an accomplished writer, at least I was on the right track.
PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?
John: The writing of technical articles and books is quite different from writing fiction. There is little or no competition in the non-fiction market and you pretty much know the readers before you publish. Housewives are not going to buy my book on Lithium in Ceramics: this is not meant to be chauvinistic!
PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?
John: Writing my first novel-A FLIGHT TO ROMANCE- has been an absolutely fascinating experience for me from planning the story to publishing and promoting. The competition for readers is huge. The subsequent book talks and signings is a way to meet new people, mostly women, and to find out their opinions on plots and characters.
I never expected to make money on my first novel. Nor do I really expect to make a fortune on subsequent books . Name recognition is, of course, critical. I don’t feel that I should write solely to appeal to a wider audience. I write largely to satisfy a desire to educate as well as tell a story.
PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?
John: Publishing has not changed my focus. Comments from members of book clubs will, to a certain degree, modify my writing. Maybe a little less technical stuff and a little more story!
PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?
John: My first technical book and my technical articles were published immediately.
PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?
John: Writing my second novel-THE YELLOWSTONE AFFAIR- will be modified a little for broader appeal. I told my publisher that the genre of my first novel was a “Romance”. In retrospect, I should have called it “An Intellectual Romance” so as to distinguish it from a “bodice ripper”.
PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?
John: I write only when I feel like it. I don’t plan several hours per day, every day.
PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?
John: The most interesting and exciting thing that has happened is that I have met many people, mostly women, on more of an intellectual basis.
PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that has happened to you as a writer?
John: No real disappointments yet. I think of myself as a realist and pragmatist. I never expected to receive a call from Woody Allen anxious to buy the movie rights. But it’s early days yet!
PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?
John: Promoting books is, for me, a new experience and I’m loving it.
PJ: With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?
John: I try to bring fascinating science into my books and I think, at least I’m told, that I can present science in an easy-to-understand manner.
PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?
John: For new writers: Don’t be afraid to fail-go for it.
PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?
John: So far, working with an experienced book promoter has been rewarding.
PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?
John: No real challenges. I am very comfortable talking to large audiences.
John: Published titles. Two books- “THE APPLICATION OF LITHIUM IN CERAMICS” and “A FLIGHT TO ROMANCE”
Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:
Two protagonists, having lost their respective spouses, find a second chance of love through science, literature, and art.
Where can we buy it?
From Create Space: http://createspace.com/4410601
PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?
John: Beneath a cold, scientific exterior, I’m actually a romantic.