I published my first novel, The Mine, in February 2012 and followed with The Journey and The Show. My next book, The Fire, the fourth novel in the Northwest Passage series, will be released in September 2013.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
Each of my books cuts across several genres, including romance, historical fiction, time travel, adventure, mystery, and even fantasy.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was inspired by several books and movies, including The Time Traveler's Wife, The Notebook, Back to the Future, Racing with the Moon, A Walk in the Clouds, and Yanks, and also by the success of a college friend, the romance novelist Maureen Driscoll.
How long did it take you to write The Mine?
I wrote the first draft of The Mine in three months and then spent another four months refining it.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
The working title of book five in the series is The Looking Glass. I hope to have that novel out by the spring of 2014.
When and why did you begin writing?
I've been writing since grade school and writing professionally since I landed a job as a newspaper sportswriter shortly after graduating from college. I did some creative writing in school, mostly poems, plays, and essays, but didn't even consider putting out a novel until two years ago. I write because I love it. Writing is the ultimate creative release.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I have self-published each of my three novels and plan to do the same with future books. When you go the indie route, you have control over the content and have greater flexibility in marketing your works.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
I've always struggled with what I call the soft middle. Writing the beginning and ending chapters of a novel is relatively easy. Developing the meat of the story is the most difficult part.
What do you do in your spare time?
I fish, make homemade beer, watch sports, walk the dog, and ride bikes. I enjoy spending time outdoors. Going on a long walk is a great way to clear a mind and come up with new ideas for books.
Who is your favourite author?
It's a tie between Nelson DeMille and Vince Flynn.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I like thrillers, which is why I gravitate toward the works of DeMille, Flynn, John Grisham, Daniel Silva, and Alex Berenson. But I also enjoy adventure stories, horror, and historical fiction, particularly books featuring humor and romance.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes. Always put your best work forward. Take the time to do it right, even if it means delaying a release date by weeks or even months.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have a blog at: http://johnheldt.blogspot.com/