Meet John Romanos, Author of Shallow Graves
BBB: What inspired you to become an author?
JR: My own imagination. As a kid, I liked to make up all these different scenarios and play them out like my life depended on it. One day I might be on the run from ninjas, while the next day I was caught in a huge storm and had to find shelter before it was too late. As soon as I learned how to type, I began taking my pretend world and putting it down on paper. It was just always something that was fun for me. It was like watching a movie, only better because I was the main character.
Years later, when it was time to figure out what I wanted to do as a career, I decided to sit down and think of what I really enjoyed doing consistently throughout my life. After all, if there was something I enjoyed doing on my own time, why not try and make a living out of it? Writing was what I came up with.
JR: Aside from writing, I also play music. A couple of friends and I have played in a band for years, originally just jamming out cover songs at our houses. But in 2008, when our employers at the Russian River Brewing Company offered us our first real show, we recruited our friend and co-worker, Al Gorton, to come up with some art work for a flyer. When he showed us the final product, we were blown away! It was this really detailed drawing of a skeleton with kind of a punk/cowboy persona, raising a glass of beer filled with tiny skulls spilling over the rim. The character immediately became our mascot, and our drummer, Gabe, gave him a name and wrote a song about him called "The Ballad of Buck Bloodshot". I felt that the lyrics made an intriguing story, and I decided to take Buck’s evolution one step further.
BBB: Tell us about your main character.
JR: Buck Bloodshot is a gun-slinging, whiskey-guzzling skeleton living (figuratively of course) in the southern United States during the American Civil War. From the moment he crawls from his grave, his mind seems to be fixed on only two things; loyalty to his friends, and revenge on the man who killed them. Through various flashbacks, we venture into his past and see how he has developed from a troubled adolescent, caring for his younger brother and mentally unstable mother, to the stoic, yet fiery gambler whose life gets ripped away before its time.
JR: Currently, I'm working on the 2nd installment of the "Shallow Graves" trilogy. I pre-planned the story as a trilogy because I have always hated the disconnected feeling of sequels and I knew there was so much more I wanted to tell in this story. I wrote it so it can stand on its own as an individual story, but I have also hidden some things in there that the readers won’t even realize until they read the second and third books. Hopefully it will all tie together pretty well.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
JR: Since this is my first published work, there is not too much out there to discover. I have a Facebook page, which will eventually have a link to a website I'm working on, but for now, that's pretty much it. The book will be available on Amazon.com and by request at most major book stores.
If people are interested in hearing the music that inspired the story, they can search for our band, The Mud the Blood and the Beer. We have videos on YouTube, and our album, "Madhouse", can be heard on ReverbNation, and purchased at Amazon.com.