Author of Nearhope: The Rise of the Demons.
Today, I am pleased to welcome Indie author John Regan to talk to us about his latest fantasy novel Nearhope The Rise of the demons which released on November 7th, 2022.
Helen: Welcome John. I am so excited to meeet you and that we get to chat about your book today! Tell us about Nearhope.
John: My current book is NEARHOPE – Rise of the Demons. A fantasy horror. Synopsis: Felix has lost everything. On an ordinary evening, he meets a lonely figure at a service station who needs his help. How can Felix be of any assistance to this man, and where is he taking him? Plunged into blackness and faced with demons from his past, he must fight to help save the future of humankind. Nearhope, a place populated by the damned, acts as a buffer between the demon’s realm and our world. But the first incursion has occurred. Can the chosen twelve and their leader return evil to where it came from? If they fail, He who reigns over all the darkness will claim the prize he has long sought, and the consequences for the human race will be devastating. A fantasy horror, where the fight between good and evil rises to a new level and takes the reader on a journey to a place like Hell… only far, far worse.
Helen: The premise sounds suitably horrifying. What inspired your cover?
John: My covers are designed by an illustrator. I gave her a short synopsis of my story, and she produced several designs. I wanted to give potential readers an idea of what the book is about and decided on the design I used.
Helen: It is such fun choosing the right design to match the story in your head and not always as straight forward as you’d think. How about the title? How did decide on that?
John: The title is a play on words. Nearhope is a village between our world and hell, acting as a buffer between the two. The people that inhabit Nearhope were saved from purgatory by a mysterious individual called James. The idea is that no one is beyond forgiveness, and there is always hope that they could be saved. Hope is always near (Nearhope). The Rise of the Demons subtitle is to separate it from the rest of the series.
Helen: Nice to hear that this the first book in a series. What made you write this particular book?
John: My wife and I assist authors to self-publish their work through our company (JV Author Services) – part-time. We have proper jobs – and one of our authors writes horror stories. It was a genre I hadn’t previously tried, so I thought I would give it a go. The beginning came to me, and I just wrote that. I’ve got a loose outline for the end, two or three books down the line.
Helen: I don’t know how you find the time to write, along with working and assisting other authors. Though writing can take over when you get that burning idea. When did you realise you had a passion for writing?
John: Writing is something I have enjoyed sporadically throughout my life, so I joined a creative writing course in my late forties. My first story – The Hanging Tree – was born from that.
Helen: Which part of the writing process do you find most challenging?
John: Having to edit my own work. By the time I’ve been through my manuscript several times, I am sick of the story and characters.
Helen: Nearhope is fantasy horror. Is that your prefered genre to write or do you write more?
John: Several. I like to stretch my writing wings. I have written: Adult Thrillers/Police procedurals, Comedy Thrillers, Sci-fi/Fantasy and even a contemporary love story with a twist. I also write quite a bit of poetry.
Helen: Most indie authors are juggling many things, a day job, family, writing. How do you fit writing into your daily life?
John: With difficulty. I work full-time, and as I explained above, my wife and I assist other authors, so I am always busy. I have one rule: Never beat yourself up about not writing. If you’re not actually writing, you should be thinking about your book. This way, you will know what to write when sitting behind your laptop
Helen: In thoise brief moments when you are not working! Where do you get your ideas and who inspires you write?
John: No one in particular. Inspiration is everywhere. Many people want to write, especially those who read a lot. Maybe the ideas already live out there waiting to be discovered. If we’re lucky enough, we find them.
Helen: I’m glad to hear you still have many ideas for new books. Tell us about your current WIP.
John: The Dappled Shade. It is the third in a series – The Hanging Tree and The Fallen Leaves are the other two. They’re about a police detective haunted by someone from his past while trying to decipher murder cases. He has an uncanny ability of getting to the bottom of seemingly unfathomable cases using his Thin-slicing skills (something honed over years of practice) while trying to stop his life from falling apart.
Helen: Who is you protagonist and why did you write her/him?
John: Detective Inspector Peter Graveney. A troubled soul who has a weakness for drink and women. His character has changed throughout the books, and if I’ve managed to portray him as I see him in my head, the readers should be torn between like and dislike for him.
Helen: If DI Graveney could answer, why would they say we should read your book?
John: Even the darkest of secrets deserves an audience.
Helen: Tell us the best thing that has happened to you since you began writing.
John: I met my wife, who greatly helps with my writing and editing.
Helen: That is wonderful. Every writer experiences self-doubt. How do you overcome the fear and the little voice in your head to keep writing?
John: Ignore it. Never get blown away by praise or depressed because of criticism. Treat those two imposters just the same to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling. Your story will not be for everyone.
Helen: Many writers struggle to get there ideas down on paper. Do you encounter writer’s block? And if so, how do you deal with it?
John: I genuinely don’t believe it exists. If I was running a marathon, I wouldn’t expect to complete it without training. Writing is the same. As I explained earlier, if you are constantly mulling the story over in your head, you will be able to write when you sit down. Think about what you’re going to write much more than actually writing. Be easy on yourself.
Helen: Thank you so much for joining me today, John. I’ve enjoyed chatting to you. Just to close us out, tell us the best piece of writing advice you’ve recieved, and what you would say to aspiring writers.
John: Write for enjoyment. Can’t remember where I gained this advice. You don’t have to write in a linear way (chap 1, chap 2 … etc.) If you have a good idea for a chapter later in the book, write it and drop it into the story later. Writing linearly can sometimes stultify your writing if you’re unsure what should happen next. Writers often struggle to finish their stories because of this.
About the Author:
I am John Regan, a self-published author and poet from the North-East of England.
I began writing in my late forties and completed eight novels. I am writing my ninth (the 3rd in a detective series.) I live in Redcar – North Yorkshire, with my wife Vicky. Together we assist authors to self-publish their work affordably through our company JV Author Services. Although most of our writers are located close to where we live, we have assisted writers from across the country and recently helped an author in the States.
You can find him on:
You can purchase the book Nearhope The Rise of the Demons here:
Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook | Paperback
Link to book on Amazon US: eBook | Paperback
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If you enjoy fantasy romance books then you will love SoulBreather, and my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring, a bonus short story and get notified when my next books are published.