In what I hope will be the first of many public readings, here’s a video of me reading the first scene of Big John Irons.
Hello, and welcome! If you’re reading this post, then you either hate my book or you love it more than life itself. Those are your options, take it or leave it. As you can tell, I’m very excited about my new character, and about the universe I’ve created. You can look forward to many more Big John Irons books in the coming years.
I’m sure your first question is “Why is John a supporting character in his own book?” Well I have my reasons, and no it’s not a permanent thing. You see, John has a very inhuman way of looking at things, and I realized early on that he wasn’t the guy to introduce this new world to you. Over the decades, people have gotten somewhat used to robotic characters, namely because they follow a pretty predictable path. The tin man from the Wizard Of Oz, despite being made of metal, and supposedly having no heart… yeah… spoiler… .he totally did.
A slightly more modern example, and possibly the template for many more after, would be Commander Data from Star Trek TNG. Lovable character to be sure, but even though he theoretically didn’t have emotions, he was basically a really big, really awkward child. He liked people because he was people.
John doesn’t fall inside that cliche. He’s a bucket. What’s that mean? I guess you’ll have to stay tuned and find out.
“Big deal, you made a steampunk terminator.”
You’d think so wouldn’t you. Surprisingly, the Terminator movies had absolutely nothing to do with John’s creation. This actually started after I watched the movie Hugo. It’s a unique, if sluggish, movie that’s set in 1930s Paris. And it features a rather interesting clockwork automaton. *Hugo Spoiler Ahead*
Still reading? Are you sure you want me to spoil Hugo for you? Alright, read on.
I was disappointed that the automaton didn’t turn out to be alive, at least not in an obvious sense. Also that Hugo himself didn’t turn out to be some elaborate toy built by his father. Still a nice movie. Anyway, I was captivated by the idea of a mechanical man in that early 1900s setting. The first incarnation of “John” to take shape in my head actually had the head of a lion, and was just randomly disovered in the Paris catacombs. But that story didn’t go anywhere for me. For some reason, I have no idea why, I got onto the idea of John as a mob enforcer in 1920s Chicago. I gave him an every man sort of name, which quickly turned into “Big John”. Then in a moment of inspiration, the title “Big John Irons” was born.
“But he’s got red eyes like a terminator.”
When you get down to it, there’s only so many ways to do robot eyes. It’d be natural for you to wonder if John’s are electronic in nature, but really they’re red quartz. I’ll explain how they work in the next book.
Then there’s Jack. He evolved in response to my earlier point about John not being suited to introduce things. I needed a human perspective, and so Jack was born. Admittedly, he became a far richer character than I first planned. I probably could have just written a series about him, and it would have been good. Oh well. If you loved him, I thank you. Will you see him again? Nothing’s impossible. In the meantime, you’re going to meet a wide assortment of memorable characters in this series, so don’t worry.
So what’s coming next? I have a pretty long series planned around John. He’s an emotionless anti-hero in the employ of criminals, but you’ll find that his opponents are frequently worse than he is, so there’s plenty to root for. The series antagonists are a colorful mix that includes both human and supernatural foes. Yes, I said supernatural. Trust me when I say that I’ve got some really fun ideas in mind.
I keep turning my head to watch the Superbowl halftime show, so I think this is a good place to conclude. Keep coming back to the site for new posts, and of course news of my next book. Feel free to join my mailing list as well. I swear on the honor of the internet that I won’t spam you, or resell your address to someone else. Seriously though, I won’t.
Thanks for coming!