Welcome back to The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. Today we are sitting and talking with Joseph John, author of The Eighth Day, a techno-thriller set in New York City.
An Army officer and combat veteran with seventeen years of active duty service, John graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and attended flight school at Fort Rucker, AL. He remained in Army Aviation as a CH-47 Chinook pilot until 2013, when he transitioned to Operations Research and Systems Analysis.
The Eighth Day is John’s debut novel. It envisions a near future where we’ve begun meddling with the human genome and taken evolution into our own hands. It will be published this week on March 31, 2016.
Joseph John is currently stationed in Italy but through the magic of a vast array of satellites and The Master Control Program he joins us here in The Last Cafe at the End of the Internet.
Astounding Books (AB): Joseph, thank you for joining us today all the way from Italy. As we are in a cafe, tell us what are you drinking?
Joseph Johns (JJ): A coffee. One brewed from a Keurig coffee brewer, to be precise. Or, even more precisely, a Van Houtte French Vanilla K-Cup with two packets of Splenda and a generous helping of Nestle Original Coffee-Mate creamer. I’m usually sipping on one throughout by day-job until I return home in the evening and slip into my author’s chair. At that point, I’m sipping pure, unadulterated imagination.
AB: Ah yes, unadulterated imagination. We get that a lot here at the Last Cafe at the End of the Internet. Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you.
JJ: Oh, man. That’s a tough one. Give me awhile to think about it.
AB: Not a problem. I’ll just take a short nap…
(Tick Tock. Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock…)
JJ: Okay. Note that a significant amount of time has passed here. Here’s five things most people don’t know about me.
1. I am a second-degree black belt and certified instructor of Tae Kwon Do.
2. As a cadet at United States Military Academy at West Point, I spent over 200 hours walking the area (Walking the Area- Click to View), the most in my class.
3. On two separate and unrelated occasions, I was accused of trying to bomb both West Point and Fort Bragg.
4. I love to travel and go exploring on spontaneous adventures. I’m currently stationed in Italy and having the time of my life.
5. While deployed to Iraq, I served as the Protocol Officer for General David Petraeus.
AB: What books or authors influenced you?
The Three Investigators
JJ: I think most red-blooded American males growing up in the 1970s and 1980s who enjoyed a good book read the Hardy Boys series. Props to ghost writers like Leslie McFarlane and crew. I was also into The Three Investigators series, created and written by Robert Arthur, Jr., and The Black Stallion series, by Walter Farley.
I read my first “adult” novel in the third grade: Cujo, by Stephen King. After that, I was hooked, and once I’d consumed everything by good ol’ Steve, I moved onto authors like Dean R. Koontz and Michael Crichton. I was also really into the Dragonlance series by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, as well as books in the Forgotten Realms universe—specifically The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. I think my stepdad’s father had almost all of Louis L’amour’s westerns—like 70 or 80 of them—and I read all of them, too.
So, yeah. I read a lot, and I had an eclectic taste for books and authors that influenced me. Even nowadays I’ll read anything, although I tend to shy away from series. I prefer a breadth of experience versus depth into a single author’s works.
That being said, I’ll still pick up a new book by Stephen King anytime and anywhere. Hell, sometimes I’ll even pick up one I’ve already read, like going back to a former lover for another romp in the hay because I know it’s going to curl my toes and give me goosebumps all over again.
AB: The Three Investigators! Loved those books. The Alfred Hitchcock versions were the best. (Click HERE!). Right now I can’t get enough of the Marvel series on Netflix. What TV show or Movie are you currently obsessed with?
JJ: Stories are my passion. Whether it’s movies, television, or books, it doesn’t matter. I love them. I love being captivated by a writer, losing myself to the story and its characters. It’s like, for that period when I’m staring at the screen or flipping the pages, I’m right there with them, experiencing their fear, frustration, anger, joy, failures, and triumphs. There’s nothing like a well-crafted story. You know what I mean. The kind that pulls you in and keeps you up all night, whether it be a Netflix marathon or hunched over your Kindle with eyes wide and heart pounding until the break of dawn.
The Walking Dead current tops my list of television obsessions. I mean, wow. The storyline, the character development—forget about it. Rick Grimes is both a hero and a son of a bitch. I love it. Honorable mention goes out to Supernatural (maybe it’s past its prime, but I’ve been watching it since day one, so I don’t care), Castle (of course I love a series about a bestselling novelist!), The Americans (the suspense is incredible), and Homeland (Carrie Mathison is flawed, twisted, and the perfect heroine).
Also, anything from the Marvel Universe—television or movie—and I’m all in.
AB: What was your favorite toy growing up?
JJ: G.I. Joe. I had no idea I’d grow up to be a career Army officer, but I loved G.I. Joe. My best friend and I were very systematic about the way we played, too. I’m talking to the point of obsessive compulsive. None of this grabbing the guys and leaping through the air and traveling vast distances and doing crazy, unbelievable things like most kids would play. Oh no. Our Joes obeyed the laws of physics. They got turns, and each turn, they could either move a limited distance (measured to be realistic, of course), or they could fire their weapon, and as the bullet left the weapon, we’d line up the shot and chart the course to see if it was a hit or not.
AB: My two brothers owned the large Aircraft Carrier that took up something like half our basement. I hope you saved the boxes from those toys.
Joseph, thank you so much for taking some time away from preparing for the release of your debut novel, The Eighth Day, and joining us here today. Good luck with the launch and I hope you come visit us again soon.
To order The Eighth Day, Click HERE! Be sure to come back to Astounding Books and let us know what you thought. You can follow Joseph John by visiting his website: JosephJohnFiction.com, liking him on Facebook : JosephJohnFiction or following him on Twitter: @JosephJohn