Local author Antony John appeared at Left Bank Books on Tuesday, November 20 to celebrate his latest release, Elemental. John is the author of four novels, with Five Flavors of Dumb being one of the most talked about books in 2010. His newest release, Elemental is his first piece of fantasy and is the beginning of a trilogy that is set to be released over the next couple of years.
The bookstore buzzed with excitement to hear all about Elemental. John treated everyone with refreshments as he shared an array of photos and images that led to his newest story. He was inspired by his doctoral dissertation, a musical composition titled “Hemisphere of Darkness” and organized by the elements: earth, wind, water, and fire. He then tapped into the past while staying near the Outer Banks in North Carolina, creating an alternate explanation of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. John’s characters even step into the lost young adult lives by taking the names of the original colony members. As John passionately shared his inspirations, both old and new fans surrounding him grew in excitement.
Opening the floor, John answered a multitude of questions about writing and books, particularly focusing on his published works. Ranging from contemporary to fantasy, John’s books differ in so many ways, including voice. He explained that he wants and enjoys exploring diversity in his writing, starting every book as a blank slate, creating a new voice and structure every time. In addition, he admits that writing a trilogy is more challenging than writing a stand-alone novel; afterall, one has to develop the arc for the entire series as well as each individual book, without losing the interest of the reader along the way. And, when it comes to using an outline or going without, John is more comfortable with planning. He confessed to using a BIG outline when writing Five Flavors of Dumb.
The night ended with John reminding audience members of the refreshments and encouraging all to stay and mingle. He had personal conversations with each individual who wanted a book signed. Whether the fan was old or new to his work, he treated each and every one as a friend.
I had heard a lot of buzz about Antony John and his books prior to attending this event. I still have not yet read any of his work, but I cannot wait to dive in. I left inspired, awed by his presentation, and excited for the next time I could hear John’s words of wisdom. Thankfully, I did not have to wait long as he would be appearing in the near future for a special panel, featuring local young adult authors.