A Conversation with Author, John Migacz

For the next few months, I plan to feature various authors and writers in interview-styled posts. Writers will find some jewels of helpful information within these interviews, and readers, I hope, will find their next "To Be Read" book.

In 2007, an ad for a writers conference sponsored by the South Carolina Writers' Workshop led me to the Greenville chapter of SCWW (now SCWA). I'd been looking for a local writing group for two years and was thrilled to discover one existed where I lived. At the time, John Migacz led the Greenville chapter, so I met him and a lot of great writers through that one ad. To my relief, John wrote speculative fiction, so there was at least one person in the group who understood fantasy. Today, we have several. Because John writes in several genres, many of you may find your next book to read in his list of publications.

John Migacz

John Migacz was drawn at an early age to stories of action, adventure and inspiration, so he began searching for an outlet for his overactive imagination. Misguided youthful exuberance interrupted this pursuit as he volunteered for the US Army, where he served with the 198th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam. After detours into the fields of photography, painting, and film making, he discovered his passion for writing during his tenure as a computer administrator for a major telecommunications firm. John has written novels in several genres including Romance, Mystery, SciFi, and Speculative Fiction, as well as numerous short stories and essays. He is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers, and the South Carolina Writers Association.

What are you working on?

Currently I’m working on the third book in my SciFi trilogy The Dieya Chronicles, and also on an anthology of Dieya Chronicles short stories. I bounce back and forth as the muse shoves me around. I’ve veered into other genres as well and there are other books cooking in the back of my head. People have a TBR (To Be Read) list of books, I have a TBW (To Be Written) list. Some are concrete in my mind and others are just nebulous in the scattered fog of my brain.

How does your book differ from others in its genre?

It doesn’t. I once took umbrage when someone disparaged my books as being merely “space opera.” After throttling my impulse to throttle him, I realized with the popularity of Star Wars, Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc., I was in good company. I don’t wish to examine the “human condition,” I just want to point out how much fun it is.

Why do you write what you do?

I began writing after reading a number of disappointing, uninspiring books. Declaring, “I can do better than that piece of junk,” I gave writing a try. I had read mostly scifi/fantasy novels at that time, so my first novels were in that genre. After reading a time-travel novel by an author named Nora Roberts I realized that in all my works there is a constant thread of romance. I focused on that genre and wrote a pure contemporary romance trilogy—Blind Love, Boundless Love, Binding Love—featuring three strong women who overcome physical and mental disabilities. The interaction between people is what I find most interesting. Though the characters are acting only in my head, they are real when I write about them. For my second romance novel, a side character from the first novel demanded her own book. She forced me to sit down and tell her story, all the time yapping in my ear about what to write.

How does your writing process work?

There are two types of writers, pantsers and plotters. I am fully a pantser. I sit down and write by the seat of my pants. Most times the characters lead me in the direction they want to go. In one of my novels, I conceived a character who would be the lovable mentor of my protagonist — turns out he was the evil bad guy. Who knew?

At times a word someone says will fill my head with an idea and off to the keyboard I go. I’ve been known to react to an idea my wife has mentioned over dinner and leave my full plate to go write. 

I’d like to say that as a disciplined person I sit down every day at a scheduled time to write a scheduled section. I’d like to say that, but I won’t. I’m like a two-year-old who gets distracted by a new toy. I’m currently painting a twenty-eight-foot mural on my basement wall. Why? Re-read the third sentence in this paragraph.

After forays into painting, photography, and film school, writing is a cheap way to release my creative side. I can create galaxies and fill them with incredible worlds — or destroy them all with the evil backspace key.

God I love writing…

How do I find your books?

I have a website, John Migacz, where you can find the links to purchase them on several sites including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Phil Arnold said…
This was a wonderful insight into one of my favorite writers. Great job, Barbara.

But why is volunteering for the US Army called misguided youthful exuberance? Seems like this kind of personal sacrifice should be praised.
Jo Anne said…
Good interview. Interesting author. I'm not normally a sci-fi fan, but I was intrigued enough to go online and buy the first of his Dieya Chronicles. Look forward to reading it!
Phil, thank you! I’ll leave it to John to answer why he chose that phrasing for joining the military.

Jo Anne, I hope you enjoy it!
Phil Arnold said…
OK, I didn't get that misguided was John's word. So it is right. Never mind.

John Migacz said…
Jo Anne -Thanks for buying my book, I hope you enjoy it SO MUCH that you'll order the second one as well. :)

Phil, as far as the "misguided" word I'll leave you with a quote from General Sherman: “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, war is all hell.” He was correct.

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