5 Questions John Darryl Winston

Today, I am sharing John Darryl Winston’s Answers to 5 Questions. Mr. Winston is the author of Two middle grade/young adult books. IA: Initiate and its sequel IA:B.O.S.S. with a third book, IA: Union, due out summer of 2017. Click on the links above to read IRWYW reviews for books 1 & 2

About The Author-

8059188A Detroit native and public school educator, Winston created the coming of age hero’s journey as part of a creative writing and “Boys Read” program. He is a graduate of The Recording Institute of Detroit, Wayne State University, The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan and is currently enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing program at Wilkes University. He has written songs with and for Grammy winner David Foster and record mogul Clive Davis. He has been a recording artist on Arista and Polygram records, and has written and/or produced songs for Gerald Levert, Gerald Alston, and many others. Winston currently lives with his daughter, Marquette in Michigan.

Author Links: Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / AmazonInstagram / Blog / Website

1. What does it mean to you to be called an author?
Interesting question, Lian. For the first time, I looked the words author and writer up and found them to mean virtually the same thing. That being said, for me, being an author means having the honor and responsibility of being open to the universe to receive a story, then crafting and delivering that story in a manner that is consistent with the unwritten contract between my readers and I, and I take that responsibility seriously.

Lian– That is cool. I think of “writer” and “author” as different and never thought to look them up. I love how being author means something noble for you.

2. What is the first book that you remember reading?
The first book I remember reading was Jerry Segal’s One on One, a book about a small town high school basketball star trying to succeed as a scholarship athlete at a big college. It was also a movie that starred Robby Benson and Annette O’Toole. It was of particular interest to me at the time because of my love for basketball, an element I include in the IA series.

They say you should write what you know 😉

3. If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past and present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch?
I would have lunch with James Baldwin, J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King. I would ask all the authors about their take on multiculturalism as it applies to publishing in contemporary literature. I would like to talk to Rowling about her world-building and King about the realism and dark themes in his work.

I have heard of James Baldwin, but have never read anything of his, but I totally agree with the other two. They are masters at both and that would be a great conversation.

4. If you could be friends with a character in one of your stories who would it be and what kinds of things would you do together?
I would love to be friends with Cory, Naz’s father. We would play basketball and chess (I’d get killed) and talk about the power of the mind and the possibilities within. I’d really like to pick his brain. I’d also like to know if he has any regrets and what he would change if he could.

Mom and I are hoping to learn some more about Cory, we really enjoyed him in IA: BOSS .

5. Who do your stories appeal to?
I’d like to think my stories appeal to all. I started out with middle graders in mind because those are the grades I teach, but ultimately I wanted to talk to everyone, all ages, races, and both genders. I write my stories with layers, different levels, encompassing all emotions, positive and negative.

Well, my mom likes your books and so I do I, so maybe you have done that.

6. What is your all time favorite book or author?
Hmmm … I’m going with two books: it’s a tie between Catching Fire and Carrie, Catching Fire because of how Collins was able to make a great novel even greater, something rare in a sequel, and Carrie because of how King writes the story as if it’s an actual account that took place, interviews and all. It feels so real.

I had to talk with mom about this answer, as I haven’t read either of those (I want to though!). She totally agrees.

7. Which of your current works in progress are you most passionate about?
I’m equally passionate about my 5-part IA series and my stand alone novel, Ultima Humana, a story about the last human being.

I can’t wait to read Ultima Humana, I did enjoy the other two.

8. What or who inspired you to begin writing?
My students inspired me to begin writing. They wanted to read a story that wasn’t out there, and I took it as my mission to create that story.

Teachers like that are so awesome. It makes coming to school something to look forward to. Thanks for that.

9. How do you avoid or defeat writers block?
To defeat writer’s block, I sit down at my computer or grab my pen and my composition notebook, and I begin to write whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be good and I don’t judge it, I just write, even if it’s the same word over and over again. When you lower the bar, there’s no such thing as writer’s block. At some point the muse returns, she always does.

Great advice!

10. How do you define success as an author?
I think that definition resides with each individual author. For me it’s being able to make a comfortable living at the craft. Then and only then will I consider myself successful. Until then, it’s just my glorious hobby.

Then it becomes a job so earning more money seems like a good idea.

My Thanks to John Darryl Winston for answering SO MANY of my 5 Question choices. I really enjoyed his answers. Check out his books, you won’t be disappointed.


IA: Initiate





IA: B.O.S.S.




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