Welcome to John Paul Wohlschied
Where are you from and where do you live now? The answer to both is Grand Rapids, Michigan. USA
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I have self-published two books so far. In December 2013, I published Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth, my take on the post-WW2 hard-boiled detective genre. It involves a detective named Benny Cahill, a dead jockey, a fixed horse race, and a pile of money. After I published it, someone suggested that I published a collection of stories with the same main character. So, last month I published Trouble is my Client, a collection of four new Benny Cahill stories. In this book, Cahill deals with a scuffle over a rich man’s will, a radio actor receiving death threats, a bank robbery and a dead scientist.
Where do you find inspiration? I’m a big fan of radio shows from the 30s-50s, known as the golden age of radio. I also enjoy older films, especially comedies and detective shows. I also do a lot of reading on a wide range of topics, history, technology, religion.
Do you have a favourite character? If so why? Not really. I have hundreds of characters in stories both published and not, so it’s almost impossible to pick out one.
Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? Yes, the ones that make me work the hardest.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? No. I’ve read of other authors doing that, but I’ve never had to.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? When I took English Lit in college, my prof asked us what message Phillip Marlowe was trying to get across in The Big Sleep. I thought to myself, “I don’t know, I just enjoyed the story.” To be honest I don’t think stories need a message. If anything, the message of all my detective stories is the same: “crime doesn’t pay.”
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Solid plot, great characters, great world building, and technically perfect. Plot is the most important part. If you don’t have plot, you don’t have anything. After plot, you need great characters to make the plot work. I don’t do a lot of world building, I just drop hints. If can get everything technically correct, that’s great but sometimes you need your character to use something from a different time. The plot comes before being technically correct.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason?Currently, all my published stories are available as ebooks. Right now I don’t have any plans to expand into other formats. I’m busy writing and ebooks are a cheap way to publish.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do some self-editing, but I have a couple of people who help me out. It probably helps to hire someone to do the editing professionally, but you don’t always need it. Just have some friends who are good with grammar take a look at it.
Do you read work by self-published authors? Yep. I trawl Smashwords and check out the latest releases from time to time.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? It can helpful, if the author needs to clarify something that the reviewer didn’t understand or like. But it can be a problem if the author doesn’t know how to take criticism and it turns into a shouting match. Reviews can help inform future readers.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot?Books can provide better imagery and more story that both movies and video games can’t provide. I mean, quite often when they make the movie version of a book, they leave a lot of information out or condense it. Also, some battle scenes may look great on the big screen, but in the mind’s eye they can look even bigger and cooler.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I finished reading my friend’s book, Chasing Liberty. It is a great book with suspense and an enjoyable main character.
Do you have a favourite movie? When I was younger, I almost wore out a VHS copy of Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Do you have any pets? No. Used to have an outside cat, but he left.