John J. Zelenski is an award-winning author who has appeared on television, radio, and has been featured in numerous print articles as well as receiving high-profile reviews from the popular community.
Having been inspired, in part, to write his first novel Walker’s Vale, by his own paranormal experiences as a child, John has developed a keen understanding of the supernatural.
His second novel and prequel to Walker’s Vale – The Journal of Ezekiel Walker – continues with the saga of Walker’s Vale, with a future third installment presently in the works.
Walker’s Vale, the film will be released through Allegentsia Productions with filming scheduled to begin sometime in 2015.
John, along with his wife and two children, love to watch the seasons change in beautiful Northeast Pennsylvania.
What makes you proud to be a writer from the United States? I think the most obvious answer would be the freedom and liberty to express myself in the form of the written word.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer? My high school English teacher was the first person who believed that I had the ability to express myself with words. My debut novel, Walker’s Vale was in part inspired by supernatural experiences I had as a child.
When did you begin writing with the intention of being published? I have written for my own pleasure since high school, but only began to get serious about writing within the last five years.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Yes, being raised in a strict Christian upbringing I was influenced a lot by the church I grew up in. Generally speaking, writers usually write about what they know; so for me the obvious tendencies to reflect the people and events I saw will make their way to the pages in some form.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? The title came to me before the manuscript was written, mainly through trial and error in the sense of what I thought sounded creepy or mysterious.
Why do you write in the genre(s) that you’ve chosen? I have always been fascinated by the paranormal or supernatural, most likely for the reasons I mentioned earlier. To combine them with Christian ideals was something that not a lot of people were or are doing right now.
What has been your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? Having someone tell me that my book has caused them to reaffirm their faith in God. I think sometimes writers forget that regardless of what genre their writing in; they have the power to influence the reader in so many ways.
What has been your most negative experience while in the writing process? Mainly, just the rejection e-mails. After a while though, you have to develop a thicker skin to let the negatives roll off like water.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? One has been to see my book on shelves next to best-selling authors. Kind of a surreal moment of sorts.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? It may sound almost clichéd, but just don’t give up. Writing to me is a skill that needs to be developed and honed like any other learning process. With time, each bit of writing gets better and more polished and you will notice a difference in the way it begins to flow.
Who is your favorite author and why? I don’t think that I have one favorite author. I admire the work of many diverse writers, but like to think that my main influences are Frank Pieretti and Ted Dekker.
What special projects are you working on now and what books do we have to look forward to in the future? There is a sequel and possibly a trilogy to Walker’s Vale. However, I am currently working on something totally different, although still in the supernatural / paranormal realm.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Walker’s Vale is available on all of the larger online book sellers as well as many other smaller independent sites, so please don’t forget the little guys. The book is also available directly from Tate Publishing as a paperback and exclusively as an e-book.
James Cooper moved his family to Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was the just opposite. As this small town’s eerie history is revealed and repeated, it’s clear the devil is in the details and he’s waiting for the Cooper’s young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family’s safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.
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