Years ago, I came across J.C. Hutchins when he was in the middle of presenting his techno-thriller trilogy 7th Son as an audio podcast series. Not only did the books addict me immediately, but the way he got the word out about it amazed me. His friendly and inclusive charisma, and gratitude toward his listeners, and fellow podcasters, quickly found him the recognition he deserved. As an early adopter of social media, he understood how it works from the beginning, and helped others doing great things gain the recognition they needed as well.
He is really just an all around nice guy, and a great story teller. It was my pleasure to have had the opportunity to interview him via email. Please take the time to introduce yourself to some of his work by clicking through on the links throughout.
Joshua Mormann | von Creedy: I was introduced to your work back when you were just about through Book Two of the 7th Son trilogy in episodic podcast form. It was great because, just like the book, I hit the ground running and listened to every episode back to back until I caught up with you. Now for Decent to hit the ground running, and keep moving, all the way through, like it does, you must have been at this fiction writing stuff for a while. How long have you been writing fiction? and who/what inspired you?
J.C. Hutchins: I’ve been a storyteller since I was a kid; back then, I wrote comics and ultra-short stories. I went on to become a nonfiction writer in high school and college — I studied journalism, and spent a few years professionally writing for newspapers and magazines. I started writing fiction again in 2002, when I came up with the idea for 7th Son.
My creative inspirations include novelists Stephen King, Brad Meltzer, Jeffrey Deaver and Neil Gaiman. Comic book writers Alan Moore, Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison are major inspirations. I’m also wildly influenced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron.
vonC: Now, being a fiction writer of all types, isn’t enough for you. You are working on whole new forms of interactive story telling; you’re also a podcaster, and social media icon. (You introduced me to Twitter) I would venture to say that your social media presence and savvy, has likely earned you as much attention as your writing has. You write, and collaborate on creative storytelling projects and consult on business outreach programs. It’s like two concurrent, vast and growing, successful careers. Do you sleep, ever? or are there real-life clones of J.C.?
J.C.: When I was actively producing free podcast fiction and promoting the print releases of my novels, I worked on very little sleep. Now that I’ve stopped podcasting my fiction and am working on stories to sell in other media, I get more sleep these days.
vonC: Writing, in and of itself, can be tough; working through a scene, or getting plot points to work properly, etc., and many of us have occasional self-motivational struggles that can be a part of any line of work. Your career being so broad-reaching, and often requiring, and exploiting new technology must also have it’s own set of challenges. How do you stay motivated through the dips, and the likely exhaustion?
J.C.: I suppose it boils down to being determined — being determined to realize the creative ideas I have, with the intent of sharing them with others. Since it all rides on me, I make every attempt to remain as dedicated as possible to the work, and delivering the best-possible story my skills will allow.
vonC: Your ability to grow and cultivate your audience has been amazing to observe. I think one of the philosophies you go by has already been summed up in your greeting, “Welcome Up!” You have an amazing ability to generate buzz about what you’re promoting, by directing positive attention toward others and lifting them to the spotlight with you. Can you tell me a bit about your approach to social marketing, and developing and managing your fan base?
J.C.: I’m not much of an ego-tripper, and resent people who are. Rather than shine the spotlight on myself all the time, I like to create promotional events that build community. I enjoy inviting my audience to become an active part in spreading the word about what I do, or inviting them to participate in the fictional worlds I create. This helps build a sense of togetherness and fan goodwill not just toward me, but to other fans. I like throwing the online equivalent of parties, and inviting my online friends to join in the fun.
vonC: Ok, so you’ve got an exciting techno thriller trilogy (7th Son) available as a podcast; the first book of which (Decent) now available in bookstores, a new prequel series of podcasts, an interactive supernatural thriller “Personal Effects: Dark Art” with Jordan Weisman also available in bookstores; you have your UltraCreatives Series podcast, and lots more to look into on your site. You’ve already produced so much great content, that I shouldn’t even have the audacity to ask this, but none the less: What’s on the horizon for you? [More, more! We want MORE!] What’s in the works that we might, one day, get a chance, to hear, see, read, or otherwise experience, from the mind of JC Hutchins (and possible collaborators)? [Without giving too much away of course]
J.C.: I recently announced that I will no longer release free podcast fiction for the foreseeable future, in an effort to dedicate as much time as I wish to new creative pursuits. I’m currently working on several movie pitches, and developing a concept for episodic television. I don’t know if those projects will ever see the light of day, but I’m keen to pursue them. My muse is tugging me in that direction, and I’m listening to it. I have other ideas for novels, which I might pursue later this year.
There’s lots to write and pitch; if I’m blessed, we may see some of this content on the screen or in stores in the upcoming years.
Visit the following locations to learn more about JC Hutchins and his work:
- Website: jchutchins.net/- October 26, 2014: Sleep - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 17, 2014: Would You Read It? - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 16, 2014: Or - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 13, 2014: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 13, 2014: Camp - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 12, 2014: Anticipating Curiosity - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 12, 2014: Kirby - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 10, 2014: The House of Now - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 9, 2014: The Stanley - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- October 7, 2014: Secret - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- September 30, 2014: 392,985 - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- April 8, 2014: Help Kickstart Storium, the New Online Storytelling Game - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- February 26, 2014: This Is Me When The Coffee's Ready - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- February 12, 2014: Get A Sneak Peek: John Swords III - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins
- January 31, 2014: The World Has The 33 - Updates, Interviews and More - J.C. Hutchins