Interview with Author Johnny Baker Jr. – Ramona Portelli Blog

Interview with Author Johnny Baker Jr.

Author Johnny Baker Jr. is from Dallas, TX.  The book he has written is a story of historical fiction entitled Burnt Alive in Gumption Junction.  This is the fictional account of Texas Ranger O.R. “German Jack” Fordern and his close-knit group of men.  When Reconstruction made everything illegal in Texas after the War of Northern Aggression, even the Texas Rangers became outlaws. They were replaced by State Police, whose primary function was to hunt down and round up former Texas Rangers. German Jack and his men try to go into hiding and start over with new lives. However, they are forced to come out of hiding when something happens to one of their loves ones. The story of the main characters is entirely fictional, but events that take place around them are historically accurate.

“They say that artists are uncomfortable in their own skin, so the pursuit of art is the effort to hide who they are and become someone else. This allows artists to express their feelings in a way that is somewhat detached from reality. Actors from stage and screen speak of this inspiration often, but it’s true of writers too. I had terrible health issues as a child, and still deal with them today. Part of that was my speech impediment. I have trouble saying words that start with vowel sounds. I learned early on in my childhood that I could figure out the synonyms of those words that did not start with vowel sounds, plug them in, and keep going. I am a quick thinker, so I only seem to be trying to think of what to say. In fact, I’m working out how to say it. When you know all the synonyms, you end up writing well”, stated Author Johnny Baker Jr. in his introduction to this interview.

He continues by stating that he was fortunate enough to attend a private Christian school.  “There were even bullies there, but I received an excellent education. I was able to run track and cross country, which I would not have been able to do at one of the Dallas public schools. I started writing back then. I never shared it with anyone (except my dad), before writing this book. I know all the things that went into writing this book, and I hope that comes through for the reader. I realize that the reader might get something out of it that I didn’t even put into it, and that’s alright too”.

Ramona: What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?

Johnny Baker Jr.: The most challenging aspect of writing this book was finding time, after a normal workday.

Ramona: What is your normal procedure to get your books published?

Johnny Baker Jr.: This was the first book I ever published, even though I have written for myself all my life. I published it myself, because I wanted to have all the creative control. I am glad I did.

Ramona: What motivated you to become an author?

Johnny Baker Jr.: I began writing to overcome my speech impediment, and to vent the negative feelings building up inside of me because of the treatment from bullies at my school. That continues in this book.

Ramona: How many books have you written so far? List and name them all here

Johnny Baker Jr.: This is my first book, Burnt Alive in Gumption Junction. I am trying to write another, hopefully.

Ramona: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotion strongly?

Johnny Baker Jr.: I don’t know why someone would want or need to be an artist (particularly a writer), if they didn’t feel emotion strongly. Writing down those strong feelings is necessary to survive in a world where we cannot always talk about these emotions, much less act on them. Writing is a form of therapy. Some perceive writing as a strange way to deal with emotions, but others feel the same way about talking to a professional about their thoughts and feelings. With the written word, you can work that out on your own. If it works, you can share it with others. Perhaps they will benefit as well.

Ramona: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Johnny Baker Jr.: My advice for aspiring writers is to write for yourself. The only way to become a better writer is to read and write more. But all you have to do to be a writer is start writing down your thoughts. If you are going to share those thoughts with others, it does help to be a better writer though.

Visit Johnny Baker Jr. book links:-

Burnt Alive in Gumption Junction

Johnny Baker Jr. MLA Gumption Junction Facebook Page
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