Saturday, November 2, 2013

Interview with John O’Brien

Full Name:
John O’Brien

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you
Depends. My old call sign was Otter.
Call sign?
That’s a nickname that is used. You become known as that rather than your real name or rank.

In a galaxy far, far away…

Current hometown:
Pacific Northwest. It is too a hometown.

Favorite city and why?
Portland, Oregon. It’s very laid back yet offers a ton of things to do. The scenery isn’t as nice as where I am at in Washington but it’s a great city to live in and around.

How would you describe yourself physically?
Well, on the outside is a layer of light-colored skin wrapped around a sturdy calcium frame.

How would someone else describe you physically
I’d hope they’d describe me the same way. If not, then my disguise is wearing thin.

The first thing people notice about you is…
My intense yet smoldering eyes and gaze set within my bronzed, chiseled face. Okay, I think I threw up a little too. I don’t know. I guess I never really asked.

Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
Salt and pepper/Eyes vary in color from Hazel to gray/ I don’t race much anymore, you know, the knees bother me these days.

Sexual orientation?
Yes please, when is that class offered.
I think it was held sometime between 7th and12th grade for most people. It happened sometime in college for the rest. Guess you called out sick or bunked that day. See what happens when you don’t maintain perfect attendance?
That sucks.  Sounds like it was a good class.  I guess I’ll have to look for the cliff notes.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I’m not a fan of heights if they are open heights like on a tall cliff. Climbing the cliff is fine, just not standing on it. I goes away after a brief moment though.

Current occupation / Dream job:
Author. This is my dream job although flying in the Air Force was a lot of fun. Long hours but fun.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Hike, Kayak, Cycling, Road trips.
Oof! That all sounds exhausting!
Well, it’s not like I do them all every day but I do enjoy being outdoors.  Mostly I’m here at the keyboard looking outside wishing I was doing one or the other.
Grass is always greener on the other side… of the window.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Hang right here in the country. I have everything I need.

Weapon of choice:
M4A1 or the 6.8 variant of the AR-15

Do you have any special skills?
I can fly…aircraft that is. I have hours in light civilian aircraft, jet aircraft, and heavies.
Why did you give that up? I was under the impression that field of work is pretty remunerative.
When I got out of the Air Force, it was at a time when a lot of pilots were – either forced or volunteered.  It was during the massive drawdown during President Clinton’s era.  The airlines were packed full and there weren’t any guard slots.  So, I ventured off into other arenas…and ending up here, writing.  I will take it back up here soon though as a hobby.  That’s something you can’t ever get out of your blood.  I started flying when I was 17 and hopefully will until dirt is being shoveled over my head.
You could get your ashes packed into a canister and launched into orbit. That way you could fly forever. Just a suggestion.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Yes – Business Management. It was to get a degree for my commission.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Yes. It took some time but I managed to finally pay them off.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have a rottie named Brock. He’s six months old.

What is your favorite animal?
Hard to say. Bear.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
I’d be writing until the sun exploded were I to list them all. Chewing with your mouth open or talking while chewing.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Favorite food is a tough one as there are so many I like. Bacon-wrapped Scallops has to be up there. Of course, you can’t go wrong with bacon-wrapped anything…almost. Least favorite is much easier – Liver.

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways at the last minute, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO - That was Fun!

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
My kids.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
My dad dying.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Flipped an omelet without tearing it apart.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Stuck said omelet on the ceiling.

If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
That dude who took my motorcycle when I was fifteen. Look out, man. I know who you are and coming to get you. Just kidding. I mean, I know who you are, but I can’t think of anyone I hate enough to end their life. Unless, that is, you want to count every other driver on the road.

What do you do?
Is it bad to say that I envision napalm drops when stuck in traffic. It is? Then never mind.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I was reading one night and thought about the survival scenarios that I run through my head. I thought, why not put them into a story.
Same here. Kind of.
Everyone has a story/scenario or two in their head that they run through often.

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Write the story in your head the way you see it and not what you think others want to read. Write what you know and do your research.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
I am currently writing on the series, A New World. So far, there are seven books in it and the eighth will be published in about a week.
How long is each book in the series? And how long does it take you to write each book? Do you ever get writer’s block or do you just write through it?
I try to keep each book within the 90,000 to 100,000 word range.  It really varies with regards to how long each book takes.  When I’m on a roll and there’s not a ton of other things going on, I can usually get in about 5,000 words a day.  I’d like to say that I can get a book down in a month but it usually takes a little longer than that.
This book that is about to be released, A New World: Conspiracy, was the first time I experienced anything like writer’s block.  When I do find myself lagging, I just write through it and then something gives and I find myself on a roll again.

What projects are you working on now?
The series.

What are you watching?
Family Guy.

What are you listening to?
Imagine dragons.

What are you reading?
I am re-reading the Thomas Covenant series.

Favorite author / book?
Robert Jordan, Wheel of Time series.

Favorite band / song?
That’s a difficult one because it depends on the mood. Iron Maiden, The Cure, Billy Idol.

Least favorite band / song?
Journey has been a pretty popular answer to this question. What’s so bad about Journey?
That was back in the day and, well, it’s Journey.  That’s the best way I can answer that one.

Desert Island Music / Movies / Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
I’d like the book, How to Escape Off an Island. Maybe the audio version as well. Building the Indestructible Raft. Okay, kidding. I’d be happy with Robert Jordan’s series and The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Read by Stephen King or Frank Muller & George Guidall?
I’ve never heard any of their narrations so I couldn’t answer that one honestly.
Oh, I thought you were still talking audio books. Fair enough.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Bask on a white sand beach having fruity drinks with umbrellas in them brought.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Erwin Rommel, Muhammad Ali, Our Creator – see, that would assure that I go up and not down.

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Mark Tufo, Shawn Chesser, Joe McKinney, Heath Stallcup, James Cook, Timothy Long, Gary Mountjoy, Eloise Knapp, Armand Rosamillia.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.

About the Interviewee:John O'Brien is a former Air Force fighter instructor pilot who transitioned to Special Operations for the latter part of his career gathering his campaign ribbon for Desert Storm. Immediately following his military service, John became a firefighter/EMT with a local department. Along with becoming a firefighter, he fell into the Information Technology industry starting two large casinos in Washington as the Information Technology Manager and becoming the Network Manager for the Washington State Legislature, the Northwest Information Technology Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Network Systems Manager for Hollywood Video. Currently, John writes full-time.
As a former marathon runner, John lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and can now be found kayaking out in the waters of Puget Sound, mountain biking in the Capital Forest, hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, or pedaling his road bike along the many scenic roads.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

OPTIONAL: Prove you’re not a replicant.

Question 1:
A tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't, not without your help, but you're not helping. Why is that?

Why am I in the desert?
Blade Runner – awesome movie.

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