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The Online Home of Mystery Author John Misak       

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 Soft Case
 Time Stand Still
 All in a Row
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Welcome to the online home of mystery author John Misak.

John's Answers to Frequently
Asked Questions...

Some True

Some Not So Much So


Time Stand Still Gets Acclaim

Reveiwers at have given the mystery Time Stand Still five stars.

On top of that, the folks at have also praised the novel, saying it 'offers answers to deep, interesting questions.'

And, the people at have also had some good things to say about the book...imagine that!


What made you want to write?
Real life just seemed too boring. I wanted to liven it up a bit, without actually having to exert
any real effort. That, and after reading a book by Clive Cussler (Dragon) and being totally
taken in by it. I wanted to do that to someone else.

When did you decide to truly pursue writing?
My senior year of high school. I chose creative writing as an elective. I wrote a story, a variation of
The Princess and the Pea that had the entire class, including the teacher, in stitches. I said to myself,
this is it. I was hooked. Addicted. It continued in college. One professor would choose three stories
to read in class, and mine was always one of them. It's almost like an actor or stand-up comedian

working the audience. And mine can't throw tomatoes at me.

Is John Keegan, the main character in Soft Case, you?
I get this one a lot. Maybe because I write in the first person. The answer is no. Sure, Keegan and I
have some similarities, and he is a creation of my mind, but it stops there. I'd read a lot about writers
being accused of this even before I wrote the book. I didn't want that for myself. I made Keegan
say and do things that I obviously wouldn't. Unfortunately, all that has done is made people think
I do those sort of things. It's funny.

What made you write mysteries?
The voices in my head. Well, actually, that's part of it. I started writing espionage-type stuff, even
completed a full-length novel that was seriously considered for publication. Looking back, that writing
was forced. I was trying to write like someone else. With Soft Case, I decided to write a book for myself.
I had no intentions of submitting it. I just had an idea one day. A 'what if this happened' idea that turned
into the novel. I didn't plan on it being a mystery. It was fascinating while it was happening. When it was done, I read it, and impressed myself. I decided to submit, and the rest, as they say, is history. Well, not yet. Hopefully soon.

Is writing difficult?
No. It is simple. Everyone can do it. I never do any work. I just play around and something creates itself. Writing is the biggest scam of mankind. That answer the question?

Why a book about time travel? What made you write Time Stand Still?
I've always been fascinated by time travel, particularly about being able to relive parts of my past. I've thought about it countless nights, lying in my bed, imagining what it would be like to do some things over again. I know a lot of people have thought about the same thing, so I figured it would be great to write about it. I didn't want to make it a sci-fi book, I just wanted to throw the time travel element in. The best
part is that Darren gets to right some of the wrongs in my life. I won't say which ones, but it was gratifying
to carry them out on the page.

How long does it take you to write a novel?
It takes about eight weeks of writing every day to get from beginning to end. Then, there's a break. Editing and changes take about another month. Final editing takes one more month. So, about four months of constant work. That's if I am firing on all cylinders.

You certainly do seem to put a lot of yourself into your novels.
Is this intentional, accidental, or a little of both?
I think it all depends on how you look at it. People who know me tend to think there is a lot more of myself in the novels than there actually is. Some people can even see themselves in characters that were created without even the slightest thought of them coming to my mind. There are maybe two characters based on people I know. Every other character is based on a slew of people, say, 7 or 8. This is so heavily mixed that no single character trait or history can be attributed to one person. I would never want to write about someone I know, and I never intended for people to see themselves in my characters. Now, my life experiences certainly come into play, and someone who has a history with me might see something similar. Still, in my mind, it has been diluted to the point where it really doesn't apply. To answer the question directly, neither. If anything, I intentionally try to make sure nothing is retained. I know that people will come to their own conclusions. Have fun, that's what I say.

Both of your novels leave the reader with some questions. You don't say whether John Keegan's partner actually set him up, and you're not clear about whether or not Darren Camponi really did go back in time. Why?
I like to be a pain. Oh, and for the big-budget sequels. Actually, I do this because I feel it truly reflects real life. If you feel that you've been done wrong by someone, but aren't sure, there's really no way you ever will be. Nothing they say will ever make you feel better. There are few things we can be sure of, so I make some things vague in my books because that's how they'd be in real life. With Darren going back in time, I left all the clues there. The real answer lies with the reader, and dies with me.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes. Keep aspiring. I don't portend to be some guru or expert in this field. I'm just a lucky guy who submitted the right bad novel at the right time. Keep plugging away and understand it is a numbers game. No one editor holds your destiny, and do not let anyone's comments mold your future as a writer. Just as I would advise not to let the actions of one moron change your mood and ruin your day, don't let a rejection letter alter the course of your career in a negative way. I have plenty of rejection letters. They are a part of the business. Anyone who doesn't have one is not a real writer.



The New Site
Been hard at work trying to update the look and feel of the site. Let me know what you think!
Online Story Continuation
Want to find out what happens to the characters after the book is over? Head over to the Online Continuation section and stay up to date! Click here.

John Misak will be giving away the manuscript for his next book in a contest for all who buy Time Stand Still.



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