Interview with John Coon, Author of Dark Metamorphosis

What can you tell us about your new release, Dark Metamorphosis?

Dark Metamorphosis is the second book in the Alien People Chronicles, my science fiction series detailing the adventures of Calandra Menankar and Xttra Oogan. It is set one year after the events of Alien People, the first book in the series. Calandra and Xttra are still dealing with the aftermath of making first contact with Earth when Xttra is abducted by agents from an enemy nation. Calandra is drawn into a conspiracy that threatens her life while searching for her missing husband. Meanwhile, Xttra is forced into an alliance with an old Earthian foe as he tries to find a way back home.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

My mother was a major source of inspiration. She fostered a love of reading in me at an early age. I always had an active imagination as a child and started writing stories at age 12. Those first stories centered around a litter of mischievous kittens and their adventures. I based the characters on pet cats my family had at the time. I gained a deep love of storytelling at that early age and made it a goal to become an author.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

So many books I could rattle off that are worthy to count among the best. It’s tough to pick out only five to slide into that category. I’ll go with some of my favorite authors instead. I enjoy stories from classic authors like Jack London, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Edgar Allan Poe. Closer to modern times, I’ve enjoyed the fiction of C.S. Lewis, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Phillip K. Dick, and Ray Bradbury.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I would love to talk to Stephen King. He’s such a prolific author. It’s rare that one genre becomes so synonymous with a single author like horror has with King. It would be fascinating to get some insights into his creative process and what drives him to keep creating so many stories after all this time.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love building new worlds. It’s so much fun to dive into my imagination and create characters, history, mythology, culture, and other elements from scratch. My stories are rooted deeply in these explorations. My characters and fictional worlds are as familiar to me as a family member or close friend.

What is a typical day like for you?

It starts and ends with tons of writing. I work as a sports journalist at my regular job, so I’m busy most of the year reporting on the NBA, college sports, and winter sports. When I’m not engaged in doing those things, I’m either planning out, writing, or editing a novel or short story. I do take breaks to occasionally go on a hike or go watch a movie. Most of the time, I push myself to stay focused on creating stories because I eventually want to make a full-time living from being a fiction author.

What scene from Dark Metamorphosis was your favorite to write?

I don’t want to give away any huge spoilers, but my favorite scene is a conversation between Calandra and Kevin when he unexpectedly turns up at her place several months after fleeing from the planet Lathos. Deep emotions are in play for both characters during this reunion. Kevin sacrificed his life on Earth to save Calandra and Xttra in Alien People and felt like both abandoned him in his hour of need. Calandra is in a dark place mentally and emotionally after Xttra’s abduction. It was fun to explore the dynamic between these friends and see how their relationship evolved since the first book.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Life without imagination or creativity is hollow. I truly subscribe to that philosophy. You learn so much about yourself through creative expression and you leave a mark on the world around you through stories. There is no joy in embracing the status quo.

John Coon is the author of the new book Dark Metamorphosis

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