J.H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. He ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix.
His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. His debut novel TREASURE HUNT, which The Celebrity Café hails as an intriguing novel that provides interesting insight of architecture and the life of a fictional thief, has also been selected as the Top Ten in Preditors & Editor’s Reader Poll.
His other works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish.
He’s a member of the Short Fiction Writers Guild and the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator and contributor editor their official e-zine The Big Thrill.
He lives in Honduras with his family and one “Lucky” dog.
PJ: How long have you been writing?
JHB: Well, well, well, you begin with what I consider a trick question. The fact is, I’ve been writing for ages. My first fiction attempts were back in high-school. Now, being a published author is a whole different ballgame and the timing there is considerably shorter.
PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?
JHB: Still waiting for that moment. 🙂
Now seriously, there have been many instances or milestones, in my writing journey. One of them happened last December while I was vacationing with the family in a small town called Copan Ruinas. We had bought coffee and were strolling down the picture-perfect central park when a couple approached us. The woman asked if I was Mr. Bográn. She had read about me in a local newspaper and wanted to find out where to buy my book. So being recognized in public is definitely a sign that I’m on the correct track, right?
PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?
JHB: It is not what I envisioned. I’m a natural shy person, so taking an active role in promoting my work has been an effort, But one that has been worth it.
PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?
JHB: My first royalty check back in 2008 was for the exorbitant amount of ten dollars and thirty seven cents. I debated whether I should frame it or cash it. The amounts have increased since then, thankfully, but not yet enough to quit my day job.
PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?
JHB: My road to publication is very unusual, considering I come from a Spanish-speaking country, my first task after deciding to search publication in the U.S. was to bring my English up to par. So, I wrote the first draft of Treasure Hunt back in 1998, and it saw the light of publication until 2006. During that time, the manuscript suffered from lots of problems and I made the mistake of submitting them. One sympathetic editor took me under her wind and we brought it up to level. She taught me a great deal about commercial fiction.
The second novel took less time, from first draft completed in 2010 to publication in 2013, but with a different publisher, so I spent all of 2010 and 2011 in the querying stage.
PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?
JHB: Yes, I would concentrate more on craft before submitting and getting many rejections simply because the work was not ready.
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?
JHB: Who says I’m giving it “adequate” attention? It is a balancing act, and one that can benefit from being an organized. It takes discipline, but when your time is scarce, you have to maximize the time you have, use your creativity. I mean, we can dream up thrilling stories, so a little type planning shouldn’t be difficult.
PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?
JHB: It happened around March of last year. Out of the blues I received this email from a stranger who wanted to include my short story “The Assassin’s Mistress” into an anthology led by UK’s big hitter Stephen Leather, with Jack Needham doing the introduction, among other authors. The Death Told anthology has been doing so good, we actually put out a second one a few months ago.
PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?
JHB: Immerse in the craft, but also, when possible, visit writer’s conferences. Mingling with other writers in different stages of their careers is a good way to learn the ropes. Let’s not forget, as author Jonathan Maberry taught me, that writing is an art form, but publication is a business.
The problem with being reborn from the ashes is, you have to die first.
After the loss of his wife and child in a plane crash, former NYC firefighter Sebastian Martin is spiraling down into alcoholic oblivion when his brother offers him a last-chance job opportunity as an insurance fraud investigator; his first case takes a deadly turn that lands Sebastian to a chair facing torture at the hand of a former KGB trainee.
PJ: Where can we buy Firefall?
JHB: There are several places where you can get both the print and the e-book version: