WELCOME TO THE TRAIN KEVIN!
Kevin T. Johns is an author, writing coach, ghostwriter, and podcaster who is passionate about helping writers.
Were you born and raised in Canada?
Yup. I’ve lived in and around Ottawa, Ontario, most of my life. I did a brief stint in Toronto after high school, but, for the most part, Ottawa has been my home.
I’ve yet to go to Canada. Can’t wait to tour the country!
What sparked your love of literature?
Comic books and Stephen King. I wasn’t a big reader before the age of ten or eleven, but around then I started reading super hero comics and Stephen King books and it just took off from there.
I started with a comic bent too, but I didn’t start with novels until much later. I should’ve asked you about your favorites.
After studying literature in college what 3 things have you come away with? (Besides debt)
1. An understanding that we all bring different lenses to our reading experiences, i.e. a book can be read with a feminist lens, a structural lens, a post-colonial lens. No one point of view is the “right” one. Each lens will provide different take-aways from a work of literature, all of which will be valid.
2. Literature (and art in general) plays a massive role in defining the culture we live in. We generally think of storytelling as escapism or just entertainment, when, in fact, it’s often key to formulating the world around us and how we understand it.
3. The analytical skill-sets used by literary scholars are applicable across a wide range of disciplines and situations, and are, therefore, well worth developing.
I love it. These 3 are great nuggets to chew on and appreciate.
What drives you to help other writers?
I believe books and stories are profoundly important to our world and to people’s happiness in general. But books, and novels in particular, are exceptionally difficult to create. If I can help make the writing process a little bit easier for someone, I feel like I have a duty to do so. Shawn Coyne said something when I interviewed him for The Writing Coach podcast that I totally agree with: “When you learn a particular craft, it’s kind of your responsibility to share it so that we can take storytelling to a new level.” Sharing what you know, helping others as a teacher and a mentor, is how we all get better. So there’s a certain moral responsibility to sharing what I know about writing. I also just love working with writers. For whatever reason, it’s the thing that lights me up and makes me happy.
That’s awesome! I’m all about taking storytelling to the next level. It’s fun to work with writers!
~A brand is a story that is always being told- Scott Bedbury
Can you name up to 5 common problems you see most in writers?
1. Not writing (procrastinating, overthinking, delaying, giving-in to resistance, avoiding doing the work, etc.)
2. Not having a regular writing schedule
3. Thinking software and tools will solve their problems
4. Taking themselves too seriously
I’m definitely guilty of some of these. But if you don’t know the problem then you can’t fix it.
The only mistake you can make is not asking for help.-Sandeep Jauhar
What are some of the ways that you help them?
The great thing about being a writing coach is that I can tailor my help to the individual writer’s situation. While there are certain common challenges every writer struggles with, the way each writers overcomes those challenges is totally unique to them. I don’t have a one-size- fits-all approach to helping authors. There is no secret answer or push-button solution. My job is to work with writers to explore options and find solutions that allow them to excel in their own special way.
I like the tailoring approach to helping writers. That’d be the most beneficial because everyone is so different.
Tell us about some of your own writings.
My novels The Page Turners and The Page Turners: Economy of Fear are young adult horror/sci-fi/fantasy mash-ups about a group of teenager who accidently unleash their favourite fictional villains into the real world.
Rocket Princess vs. Snaggletooth the Dragon is a children’s picture book for rebellious young ladies who want to be more than just another princess. It’s beautifully illustrated by Rich Lauzon.
Smash Fear and Write like a Pro is a short self-help manual for writers grappling with self-doubt.
The Novel Writer’s Blueprint: Five Steps to Creating and Completing Your First Book is a writing instructional book that helps aspiring authors craft their first novel.
I also blog regularly about writer’s craft.
AWESOME. I’d definitely like to check out some of your writings!
Who are some popular Canadian authors?
I certainly wouldn’t consider myself an expert on Canadian literature. My reading tastes are more focused on the cannon of “great literature” without much concern for the nationality of the author. There are, of course, certain Canadian authors everyone knows and reads like Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje, but that’s not really my thing. I guess some of my favourite Canadian writers would be indie comic book guys from Toronto like Chester Brown, Joe Matt, and Seth.
Just wondered. I’ve been meeting so many writers from Canada I couldn’t help but ask.
How can we sign up for your podcast?
On my podcast, The Writing Coach, I speak with all sorts of people who, like me, work with authors, be it editors, coaches, or book marketing experts. You can check out the full archive of past episodes and subscribe via iTunes right here.
Sweet. I listened to one these a while back and really enjoyed the production and audio quality.
Tell us about some of the services you provide.
My one-on- one coaching offers support, accountability, and expert advice to authors via weekly video-conference coaching sessions. Each week, I hop on a call with the writer and we dive deep into their writing, goals, and challenges.
My group program is similar to the one-on- one coaching, but takes place in a group context. I have an amazing collection of authors in the program right now who have created a wonderful community of support for one another.
I also have an online course, The Novel Writer’s Blueprint Master Class, which consists of video tutorials that walk aspiring authors through the entire process of writing a book, from idea creation all the way through to completed manuscript. I’ve set up a coupon code for your readers, so if they use the code WRITINGTRAIN at the checkout, they’ll get $200 off the course.
I also work as a ghostwriter. Successful entrepreneurs, coaches, and business people hire me to help write their self-help, business, or other non-fiction books and articles.
Sounds like a great deal that offers a lot of good services. You sound really busy!
Are you currently working on a project or novel?
This fall I’m releasing my latest novel, M School. It’s an action thriller with an all-girl cast. It deals with issues of violence and mental health, and I’m super excited to share it with the world. Folks can get some free goodies if they join the book’s early notification list here.
I just signed up. Curious about your new novel!
M School by Kevin T. Johns
DUE THIS FALL!!
Favorite inspirational quotes.
I often come back to the Ernest Hemingway quote: “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
DON’T FORGET THIS MARVELOUS OPPORTUNITY
THANK YOU KEVIN!
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