I knew I wanted to be a writer in grade school, when I was first asked to put thoughts on paper. Many of my classmates hated writing stories, essays, and book reports, but I loved it. I loved the opportunity to create and experiment with words. I didn't think about writing professionally, however, until I started college and didn't consider writing a novel until just a few years ago.
Which authors/works have influenced and inspired you?
Vince Flynn, Clive Cussler, John Jakes, Stephen King, Nelson DeMille, and Nicholas Sparks come to mind. I was a great admirer of Flynn and his work.
How did you get the inspiration for your book?
Books, movies, and my family history inspired The Mine. I wrote the novel shortly after reading and watching The Time Traveler's Wife in 2011. Back to the Future was also an influence, as were A Walk in the Clouds, From Here to Eternity, The Time Machine, Racing with the Moon, The Notebook, and Ray Bradbury's short story, "A Sound of Thunder." I was also inspired by stories about the attack on Pearl Harbor. One of my uncles, a construction worker in Honolulu who later served in the Army Air Corps, witnessed the whole thing from his car.
I wanted to write about 1941 almost from the start, but I wanted to approach that historic year from a different angle. I wanted to cover the months leading up to Pearl Harbor and cover them from the perspective of a civilian time traveler who knew war was coming and wasn't all that thrilled about jumping into it. My protagonist wrestles with difficult decisions, the kind that can only confront someone with knowledge of things to come.
What other projects are you working on?
I recently completed September Sky, the first novel of the American Journey series. In this book, an unemployed reporter and his college-dropout son travel from 2016 Los Angeles to 1900 Galveston — the time and place of one of the deadliest hurricanes in history. Like the five novels of the Northwest Passage series, September Sky will span several genres and offer multiple points of view. I intend to publish it in late December or early January.
Could you talk a bit about your publication process?
I begin every novel with an outline: a detailed, chapter-by-chapter summary of the entire book. I won't write a word until the outline is at least 95-percent complete. I then take three to five months to write the first draft and revise that draft extensively before turning it over to beta readers and an editor. I usually reread the full manuscript three times before I publish. When you produce a work with more than 100,000 words, there are many errors to catch. I do my best to catch them all.
If you could give your main character one piece of advice, what would it be?
Joel Smith is the protagonist of The Mine, the first book of the Northwest Passage series. If I could give him one piece of advice, it would be to remember the idiom, "Curiosity killed the cat." His curiosity gets him into a lot of trouble.
In five words, why should people read your book?
It will make you smile.
Title: THE MINE
Author: John A. Heldt
Series: Northwest Passage No. 1
File size: 537 KB (Kindle)
Formats: MOBI, EPUB, PDF
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Genres: Romance-Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Adventure, New Adult
Description: In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether tol leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.
The Mine on Amazon
The Mine on Amazon