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Author Interview img

The Author Interview

Tom Doganoglu
Latest book title
Johnny B. Fast: The Super Spy
Available at
There’s a quote that I can’t quite remember where I read, but it stayed with me: “There’s a word for writers who never give up: published.”
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out, or do you just let it unfold?

I have tried both methods, and have found that used as an extreme, they both don’t work for me. I have to do a little bit of each, mapping out characters and scenes loosely, but leaving the adventure free to unfold as it does, with a vague, foggy, distorted vision of where I’m going.

What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
I like stories that have action and adventure and relationships and a chance for growth and redemption. It’s something about who we become as people along our own life journeys that really pulls me toward this type of storytelling.
Tell us about your latest effort, (Title, genre, etc.)

Johnny B. Fast is the story about Johnny Clunker, an everyday average kid at school who turns out to have a secret identity as a super spy. He finds out this girl in his class, Nancy Korrins, is also a spy, and has to discover if she’s on the same side as him.

The story is a mix between Fantasy and Science Fiction, because the gadgets the kids use could never exist in real life (at least not yet).


How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
That’s a really hard question to answer. I would like to say none, but I can’t help looking back at some of the traits my characters have and think that perhaps those are idealized versions of what I wish I could be.
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
I make sure to protect my writing time. There’s a certain amount of time I give myself to write, and no matter what I never miss it. Of course there are exceptions, sometimes emergencies happen, and sometimes bad news can put you in a mood where the last thing you want to do is write. So I give myself the odd day off here and there, but I try to minimize them.
What breaks you out of a creative slump?
Other stories or movies that are really great. I can’t help but get inspired by the great works of art that people create. They make me want to rush out and try and make something just as good that maybe, although this is hard to imagine sometimes, my work will inspire others out of their slumps.
Do you ever censor your writing to avoid offending or displeasing people?
Sometimes I catch myself holding back, and when I do that I stop and think about what it is I’m trying to say, and if that message belongs in this story. There was one moment between Johnny and Nancy that I agonized over, which had to do with her betrayal of him and if their relationship could be mended and restored. Ultimately, I decided to go with my original intent, as part of the moral of Johnny B. Fast: The Super Spy is that you can always redeem yourself if you’ve gone down a wrong turn, it’s never too late to turn back.
Is there a story you want to tell but avoid because it would be too controversial?
Nothing so far. I have reasons to work through the stories that I do, and I wouldn’t be doing myself or others any good if I never examined the nature of the subjects that interest me.
How do YOU build or create an effective platform to reach your audience?

That’s a really good question. How do you do that? One of the biggest problems I’m faced with is that no one knows that Johnny B. Fast is out there. I know this is a story with characters that people would strongly relate and respond to, but it’s always a challenge trying to build momentum on the internet and separate yourself from the crowd.

Hopefully there will come a day when people know who Johnny and Nancy are.
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?

Never stop writing. Things will never go according to plan, and your first few books might not be that good (mine certainly weren’t), but never stop trying. There’s a quote that I can’t quite remember where I read, but it stayed with me: “There’s a word for writers who never give up: published.”


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