I want to welcome a friend of mine, John Fioravanti. John and I met at Rave Reviews Book Club and realized we share a number of interests. Also, we are both over 65, so there is that as well. John is a very talented author and has been quite busy since retiring from his teaching responsibilities. John lives in Waterloo, Ontario and has graciously consented to a visit here with me today.
Hi John and welcome. Help yourself to the coffee.
Thank you very much, John. I’m honoured to visit here at “Fiction Favorites”. Mmmm, great coffee!
Thank you. I got the recipe from a friend of mine. Well now if you are comfy why don’t we get to the questions.
Tell us a little about yourself, John. I know you spent your working life as a history teacher but after that what made you decide to become a writer?
One of my passions in the classroom was to teach writing skills–within the context of my history lessons. I knew then I had a gift to write well, but I never thought of writing outside educational skills manuals until the end of my teaching career.
What a career it has been so far. You have four of your own books published, one anthology and in at least three genres. Tell my readers a little about your writing discipline. How are you able to stay with your writing regimen?
My writing discipline could be much more disciplined! However, almost everything I write is on a keyboard – I use pen and paper for rough notes. When I sit with pen in hand, I find it difficult to write anything of value. When I’m behind the keyboard, the magic begins to happen, and ideas flow from my head to my fingers. I can’t explain it, but that’s my reality.
Interesting. I feel the same way at the keyboard. Okay, so you have done some memoirs, Sci-fi fiction, and a collection of reflections. Let me ask what genre or book was the most fun for you to write?
Writing fiction is the most enjoyable writing that I do. I don’t write classic science fiction, but rather, I write about human drama in a science fiction universe. I thoroughly enjoy exploring life on planet Genesis, seven centuries into the future. I never thought I could write fiction, nor did I have a burning desire to do so. Kenneth Tam, my former student, and prolific novelist challenged me to write within the sci-fi universe that he created for his Equations novels. Fiction is delightfully creative and a great escape for the writer.
You mention the planet Genesis. Let’s turn a minute to the Genesis Saga. First, tell us a little about the inspiration for this series.
As I mentioned earlier, the inspiration for the Genesis Saga was Kenneth Tam’s eight-book Equations series. There is a forty-year gap in the middle of the series – a period of peace between two intergalactic wars. I complained to him that I wanted to know what happened during that peacetime. He challenged me to write those stories. So, my Genesis Saga tells what happened to the people of Genesis between Kenneth’s Book 4 and Book 5.
Now, give us a brief overview of the Saga. What is the story about?
The people of Genesis are the descendants of the humans who escaped a killer self-aware virus in the late 21 st Century. The UN sent 1 million survivors out into space in a great colonizer ship to find planet Genesis and begin human civilisation anew, after a 95-year journey, the ship arrives at Genesis, and the grandchildren of the original survivors began to settle their new world. The Genesis Saga picks up the story 600 years after that arrival point when their civilisation is teetering on the edge of self-destruction.
Sounds very exciting. I know you have been posting a prequel to the Genesis Saga in a serial format on your blog. Tell us about the story you are telling.
Kenneth Tam created this universe, but he begins his novels just five years before the Genesis Saga. Therefore, the stories about the first 600 years of human history on Genesis have not been written. I asked Kenneth for permission to create that early history, and he encouraged me to continue. The short posts in the “Genesis Chronicles” on the Fiora Books website are experimental forays into this period. After writing 23 of these posts, I am very excited about that time in Genesis history
That sounds great, John. Do you anticipate publishing a book about the prequel to the Genesis Saga?
A month ago I asked Kenneth Tam for permission to create a new series of novels I’ve been writing. He thinks it is a promising idea and encouraged me to think about writing both series at the same time. I think I will go ahead with the project.
How about the Saga itself? Can we expect another book?
I have started the third book in The Genesis Saga, and the original plan was for an 8-book series. I want to finish telling the story of the developments on Genesis to the end of that 40-year peacetime.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on the general outline for Book 3 as mentioned earlier, and I want to begin planning the new series – which I haven’t named yet. As well I write two blog posts per week.
You are very busy. What is the most challenging thing about writing for you and why?
One of the demons I’ve always struggled with is that of self-doubt. I find that it causes me to hesitate and it forms a roadblock that I have to overcome to get to the serious job of writing. Once I start, the magic begins to happen. I call it ‘magic’ because I don’t know where this ability to create fiction emanates.
Self-doubt tends to haunt us all. What can we expect from you in the years to come?
Lots of new books, I hope! I want to finish the Genesis Saga and its sister series. As well, I plan to write more inspirational non-fiction. I enjoy writing reflections based on quotes that I find because that exercise helps me to clarify, for myself, many aspects of what it takes to live my life well.
How about the personal John? (After all, this is the title of the post) What do you like to do in your spare time and do you have a family?
Anne and I married when we were just 22 years of age – and she still puts up with me! We have three children and three grandchildren. Fortunately, we all live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. In our spare time, Anne and I love to attend live theatre performances. In each of the last five years, we spent a week in the winter on Caribbean cruises.
Where can my readers reach you?
My Fiora Books website: www.fiorabooks.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU
John’s other books.
‘Thank you so much, John we are all going to look forward to your work. Thank you for visiting my blog. Here have an American IPA I know it’s not as good as your Molson Ale but it must do for now.