The following is an interview with writer John Kaniecki regarding the release of the horror novel, In the Mind of Maggoo. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Kaniecki about the creative process of bringing the story to life, what he hopes that readers will take away from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of In the Mind of Maggoo! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
John Kaniecki: Maggoo is the story of an evil man in a nursing home suffering from total paralysis. But “In the Mind of Maggoo” thoughts are running like a juggernaut sliding on a steep icy mountain trail out of control. Maggoo is thus dead on the outside but vibrantly alive on the inside. Maggoo was one of those stories that seemed to involve out of nothing into a well-planned book. It all started with idea of some hopeless wretch stuffed out of sight in the nursing home. From there the pieces manifested. It wasn’t bad enough that this poor man was totally paralyzed only able to move his eyes. No, this man was the recipient of wondrous visions. While this may be a glorious blessing these visions of only added to the horror as he could not share them. As the story goes on, Maggoo’s past is revealed, which is torturous tale in itself.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this story to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
JK: One thing about the writing process is that no matter who well-planned or how spontaneous the book is there is always time in writing the story. I write song lyrics and poems and you can produce a final draft in a half hour or less. This is impossible with a book as long as In the Mind of Maggoo. I wrote the book when my wife Sylvia was ill with dementia and took the writing very seriously. Pretty much everyday I’d be at the computer writing. The chapters in the story were natural breaks. They go back and forth from a day in the nursing home to a fantastic dream. While conscious in the nursing home we learn about Maggoo’s past. The alternative chapters could stand as independent short stories. So, the creative process was broken down into writing small chapters all leading to an exciting and unexpected climax.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Maggoo’s story will connect with and impact readers?
JK: Maggoo is a story of redemption. A story of a man given a second chance though he certainly doesn’t deserve one. I don’t want to give away too much of the ending. I think that despite all the wrong that Maggoo did in his life that the reader will be on his side hoping he will overcome. Maggoo’s dreams are highly entertaining all with dark twists of their own appropriate for the horror genre. In The Mind Of Maggoo is unlike any other horror book written and really works on three levels. The story of Maggoo past, the story of Maggoo present, and a collection of fantastical dreams.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JK: I am very excited to be working with Aleena Zahir, an extremely talented singer from Uganda. We just finished the recording of ten of my song lyrics and we hope for big things. The project is called “Wake Up Africa.” As far as horror goes, I hope to get out Scarecrow Scarecrow and Satan’s Siren out into publication again. To put in nicely there were some problems with the publisher. Both of these books deal with the satanic witch Anne McFry. I have written the third book in this series, as well as the sequel to Maggoo. I mention these together as I have grand plans for the pair to interact. Now that’s a question for the ages to ponder, who is more wicked: Anne McFry or Maggoo?
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about In the Mind of Maggoo and your other work?
JK: You can always go to one of my websites.
I would purchase one of my books and start reading! I am confident that you will enjoy reading Maggoo.