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Interview with John G. Dyer

Born in Chickamauga, Georgia, John Dyer moved to Asia in 1956 when his father took an engineering assignment with a power utility. He attended grades 1-12 at an international school, touring with his family through 29 countries before settling in the Midwest. 

A computer scientist, he is a founder of an IBM-affiliated software company and an early innovator in electronic commerce. He brings a lifelong interest in science and engineering to everything he writes.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I like peanut butter on my hamburgers. It’s a common garnish in Indonesian cuisine, to which I was exposed growing up, although I learned the habit from a friend who was raised in Illinois.

Q.2 What inspired you to write The Anye Legacy series?
I experienced a fifteen-second dream I couldn’t stop thinking about, which motivated me to start a book. The story kept demanding backstory, which informed the author to write the previous book first. That story demanded backstory. I started three books before figuring out where the story actually started.

Q.3 Are we going to read more from you in the near future? Any new project you’re working on?
I’m on the cusp of publishing two books from the final series in the Anye universe, a do-it-yourself video on YouTube, an introduction video on TikTok, and I’m learning 3D animation on the Unreal Engine platform so I can make a promo video featuring a flying house.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Excluding my internal fifteen-year-old from the process.

Q.5 Do you plan out your books before you start writing, or do you just write and see where it takes you?
I’ve tried both approaches. Seat-of-the-pants feels best for me, but I have an outline for a mystery novel that I will undoubtedly consult when I start work on it.

Q.6 How long, on average it takes you to write a book?
One to two years. I don’t have deadlines, and I try to have a life while I’m doing it.

Q.7 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I’ve published four books. Two more are ready to publish. Elbert, the next book on my release schedule, is my favorite, partly because the story leads into scenes I composed in my earliest writing days.

Q.8 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d integrate music theory into my fingerstyle guitar playing. It’s overdue by about fifty years.

Q.9 If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead role?
I’d pick Ryan Reynolds for Rivan Saraf in The Illusion of Gravity for the lightness he’d bring to the role.

Q.10 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I’m sure it’s vital, and I’d love to tell you about my marketing campaign if I had one that actually worked. What a tough business we’re in.

Q.11 If you could be a member of any fantasy race, which would you choose and why?
I’d be a Tolkien elf. Apparently, they don’t have to diet to stay slim.

Q.12 If you could invite one character to dinner from your books, who would it be and why?
Guru Masala Brahmarsi, Prefect of the SagGha in the Legacy books. He’s tough, wise, and witty.

Q.13 What three things can a reader expect from your books?
Heart. Texture. Novelty.

Q.14 Among all the supporting characters in your books, who is dear to you and why?
Isa Kaviza, a ‘soul in a bottle’ who appears in all three series. He’s as complete a package of virtue, honor, courage, and therapied insecurities as I could make him.

Q.15 Who designed your book cover? How do you select them?
My covers are a collaboration with artist Paul Trif at Trif Book Designs. Each one is a digital painting. The man’s artistry knocks me out.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
For Anye characters in the Legacy books, I searched an English/Sanskrit dictionary with qualities pertinent to specific characters. For instance, attorney Uttara Vadin … his name means ‘speaks the law.’

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
In ten years, I’ve garnered twelve reviews. Haven’t had a bad one. I reread them occasionally for encouragement.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
Media personality Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs). The man has his feet on the ground.

Q.19 Are there any new books or authors in science fiction or fantasy (or both!) have you excited about? What are you reading right now?
The last novel I read was Spook Country (2007), by William Gibson, which I really liked. I usually don’t read the long form when I’m writing because it breaks the spell, but I’m queued up on a review exchange group, starting with Verb Tenses by Portuguese author M G da Mota. It looks like real yarn. I’m hopeful.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
I started to relate a story trapped in my head. Then I wrote another book and another. Then I published because that’s what one does after finishing a book. I’ve been content to write for the sake of doing it. However, I’m about to have a catalog of six books. It seems rational I should tell people about it, just in case.

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