John Dizon is the author of over Twenty Books. He’s a charismatic, good-natured individual who’s also become a valued friend of mine on Facebook. He’s had a full life and you can tell in the way he writes. Read on and find out a few nuggets of truth and fun facts from John and be sure to check out his books, touch bases with him on Facebook, and see if I’m wrong.
What made you become a writer? Did it start as a hobby or meant to be a side-business?
I started writing dialogue for my stick-figure cartoons when I first got out of diapers. I wrote my first novella in sixth grade as an A+ student in English, and the general consensus was that I ‘had something’. I always thought that it was going to be something to fall back on, so after coming up short as a rock star and a pro wrestler, here I am.
What do you consider your best novel and why?
That’s a hard one. Out of all twenty of them, I’ve got to go with Tiara (with Nightcrawler a close second). Believe it or not, it started out as a space opera over a quarter century ago. The idea of a Princess being kidnapped by terrorists in an effort to disrupt political negotiations continued to resonate, and when the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 rolled around it was as good a time as any. The Princess Diana legend was icing on the cake. Berlin Mansfield is one of my greatest villains, and the Patty Hearst scenario was also a 70’s flashback. Jon and Slash were the original names of the space opera heroes, so they became CIA agents without losing a step. Mark O’Shaughnessy was like a Lieutenant Javert from Les Miserables, looking to add Mansfield’s head to his trophy wall.
Politically speaking, it was a major statement on my part as an ethnic Irishman on my Mom’s side. I’m what you might call a Protestant but went through twelve years of Catholic school, so I’ve got a foot in both camps. When I visited Northern Ireland in 2000, I broke bread in both communities and got to see both sides of the conflict. Like Jon Stevens says in the narrative, the idea of Irish killing Irish is repugnant to me. I think I faithfully represented both sides in the novel in portraying the political and social manipulations that perpetuated the Troubles. Plus there was considerable discussion of women’s issues in Ulster, which is another of my areas of interest. People are all about diversity and inclusivity these days as regards race and sexual preference, but gender continues to be overlooked in many situations.
Excluding me, if you made it big – NY Times Bestseller lists/movie deals, etc – what three authors would you like to elevate to the top?
This is going to come back and bite me in the arse because I’ve got over a dozen great indie writers that I swap reviews and correspond with regularly. It reminds me of back in the Punk Revolution when all the groups were like bands of brothers trying to achieve success together. I’d have to single out Elle Klass, whose first novel As Snow Falls was a unique example of what narrative dialogue can do for overall atmosphere. Her Baby Girl series is also very promising. P.S. Winn is a hard-working author who is not only adding steadily to her anthology but is branching out into different genres. I think a savvy agent could drive Pam to the next level. Marcha Fox is not only a sci-fi author but a seasoned astrologer who brings both portfolios to the table. It’s a matter of time before recognition in one genre catapults Marcha into major success in both fields.
Describe your method of writing a novel. From idea to finish.
There are four pillars that act as the foundation to every JRD novel: a profound concept, dynamic characters, snappy dialogue and a powerful ending. Without these there is no JRD novel. One reason why I prefer historical fiction is because the sociological impact is already there. Lately I’ve been able to grab hold of current headlines and run with the ball with all the turmoil these days. Creating characters is a matter of developing a charismatic anti-hero and a sympathetic co-star, a lovely and spirited heroine, and a compelling antagonist. Dialogue comes easiest for me as I’m pretty dark-humored in real life and always have off-the-wall things to say that tend to blow people’s minds. The end game comes from my pro wrestling days. You always come up with a stunning finish, and from there you just work backwards to the beginning and fill in the gaps.
Who’s your favorite actress/actor and what role would you pick for them in one of your novels?
I’ve always seen Richard Gere as Berlin Mansfield and Gwyneth Paltrow as Princess Jennifer (In Tiara). Only these days they’d probably have to spend a couple of hours in the makeup room. My favorite actress is Demi Moore, and I could easily see her as Debbie Munson in Hezbollah, a no-nonsense punk rocker who refuses to grow old. I don’t really have any favorite actors to speak of that are in their prime or still above ground. At the risk of turning The Standard series into B-movie clunkers, I could see them giving Armie Hammer a shot at playing William Shanahan and pro wrestler Austin Aries as Jack Gawain. Sometimes great hams can become great actors, look at Pacino and De Niro.
Which novel gave you fits to write? Why?
Generations II was (and is) a work in progress. I’ve got Part One on Amazon, and intend to republish a second and third edition by adding Part Two and Part Three. This is another one I wrote a quarter century ago, and anyone can tell you that rewriting can be a bitch. The major stumbling block was that, in retrospect, I focused more on the action/adventure angle of my paternal grandfather’s life rather than the legacy he left behind. The human element I recaptured made it a more realistic and enduring story. Still, the thing about rewriting is that it’s like redoing a room addition. You have to tear the whole thing down and start over, and it is a major pain in the arse. Especially after the effort you put into it the first time. It’s why I think most authors give up their dream, the rewriting effort can be so daunting.
You used to be a pro wrestler. Did you go by a moniker, what was your record, and why did you leave?
I’ve been Broadway Turk Superstar since I was fifteen years old. I just never thought he’d become an underground rock star, then a pro wrestler, a martial arts fighter and a hockey goon. I broke in at the Valdez Arena in San Antonio TX in 1987, then went on to the Texas Wrestling Association before hanging up the tights at Broadway Turk’s Rock and Roll Club in 1990. As everyone knows, you don’t win or lose in pro wrestling. You put on a good show and try to make sure no one gets hurt. Some workers don’t abide by the rules, and I nearly went back in 1999 after earning my degree in martial arts to settle some scores. Actually I lost my shoot wrestling title as the Butler Street Wrestling Club champion in NYC in 2004. I’m still thinking of a rematch, stay tuned.
We will, John. Thanks for a great interview and keep pumping out the novels that take us into lands and situations we’d never know…unless we read.
THREE OF THE BOOKS ON AMAZON FROM JOHN DIZON. CHECK OUT THE LINK BELOW TO SEE HIS ENTIRE LIBRARY.
SYNOPSIS — Tiara is an action-packed, historical fiction, romantic thriller centering around the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. The main female protagonist is Princess Jennifer of Edinburgh, a civil rights activist involved in the negotiations between the British government and the coalition groups in Ulster. She becomes an object of fascination to Berlin Mansfield, an international terrorist of Irish descent who is equally intent on attending the historic event as it transpires. The two eventually cross paths in a tale of intrigue and suspense with the future of a nation at stake.
MY REVIEW OF TIARA
This historical drama taught me everything I needed to know about Ireland’s political struggles but was always afraid to ask. From the Irish Republican Army to the Palestine Liberation Organization, Sein Finn to Al Qaeda, Tiara is much more than a simmering romance wrapped around a kidnapping of a princess involving every Irish faction along with some timely intervention by the good old USA. Dizon’s words, along with a cast of disparate characters and events, mixes danger, intrigue, and a bottom line plot of good vs evil vs everything in between.
When Jennifer Mac Manus, beloved Princess of Edinburgh is kidnapped, an eclectic group of villains, heroes, and a charming assassin called Berlin Mansfield vie to retrieve her for their own means. While Jennifer is at the mercy of her largely incompetent captors, the lethal but suave Mansfield locates and liberates her, starting a romance with the woman he has always wanted.
Throw in a recklessly humorous pair of Marines, a ruthless teenaged assassin, and a plethora of Irish baddies, Tiara is a non-stop thrill ride that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. If you like novels with a full set of characters, plot twists, and a look into the history of a country burdened by inner strife since…well…forever, grab this novel. Five Stars and worth every penny.
Transplant is reminiscent of a modern day Frankenstein; experimental medicine gone horribly wrong, creating monsters. With scientific developments as they are today, and questionable ethics the novel is entirely believable, and made of our nightmares