Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, John.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure. Well, my real name is Juan H. Alvarado and I was born in El Salvador, C.A. I currently live in Belize and my passions are writing, reading and spending time with the ones I love. I began writing in 2009 and after posting some of my work on an internet website and receiving positive feedback, I went on to write several full-length novels under my penname, John Henry Ames. My first completed series is the Surviving Elite High Saga which chronicles the life of a gay sixteen-year-old boy as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies.
What inspires your writing?
There are several factors that have influenced my novels:
- Life experiences. My work is not autobiographical, but my stories are inspired by my past experiences in life, especially in my high school life.
- Dreams. I’m heavily influenced by my dreams. I dream some crazy and bizarre things that I use as plots for my novels.
- Movies, music and novels. All of these have also influenced my writing. I love drawing inspiration from them.
When did you start writing m/m romance? And why this genre?
Well, I love YA novels with a good jock/nerd theme. The first m/m romance that I read was A Better Place by Mark A. Roeder. That little novel has a jock/nerd theme, and I absolutely loved it. I researched for that genre and came across Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno. I fell in love with that novel almost immediately. That little work of fiction inspired me to write Surviving Elite High in 2010 and the rest is history.
Are you a full time author?
I wish, but I’m not. I sometimes don’t have enough time to read and worst, write. That’s why it takes me longer to complete a novel, but when I do, it’s worth the wait.
Who is your favorite author?
I would say the amazing J.K. Rowling. Who is not a fan of Harry Potter? No one. The first time I read a Harry Potter novel was back in 2003. That novel pulled me into a world that I had never seen or heard of before, leaving me wanting more. When the last novel came out, it blew my mind to the point that it made me sit down and write a novel of my own. I spent a few months writing, and the finish product was called Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories.
Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories tells the story of two guys who meet in high school and find out that they have more in common than they thought, since they share the same memories, dreams, and nightmares. Soon enough, they discover that they are unearthly beings from another world and that they are the incarnation of the beautiful Raven and the amazing Crow. You might be wondering two guys, the incarnation of a man and a woman? Not much of a Twilight novel, right? True, but let the story flow, and you'll see that not everything is quite what it seemed. I’m currently looking for the right publisher for this novel, but when I find it, I will let you know where to get it.
How many books have you written so far?
I have three novels out right now.
1. Surviving Elite High – Surviving Elite High tells the story of John Henry Ames, a sixteen-year-old boy from a small New Jersey town. John is humble, shy and studious. He lives as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies.
On the verge of dropping out of school due to overdue payments, a teacher enrolls him in a tutoring program where he meets the school's star quarterback and hero, Nick Anthony Hawking. Since he was doing poorly in several subjects, Nick needs John's help to pass and graduate high school. But as John becomes closer to the jock, he develops a strong affection towards him even though Nick has a strong reputation of sleeping around with a lot of women.
Pretty soon, Nick becomes his friend and protector in school and their sincere friendship helps to bring out the best in each of them. Several tragedies, like a school shooting, threaten to change their young lives forever and leave them scar for life.
2. Surviving Elite High: Senior Year - After a summer of love, hard work and cohabitation, Nick and John are beginning their senior year at Elite High. However, putting the memory of last year’s turbulent events at Elite High behind them proves harder than ever. Many mysterious notes begin to appear inside John’s locker, but something is definitely wrong since the writer of the notes is none other than Matthew Ward, the homicidal student who nearly killed John the previous year. Is Matthew now free to finish what he started?
As if that weren’t bad enough, a new girl at school has an obsession with Nick that makes her do terrible things, things that threaten to tear Nick and John apart at every twist and turn. Will Nick and John ever find happiness and stability together? Or will they end up going their separate ways?
All of these questions and more will be answered in part two of the Surviving Elite High Saga!
3. Surviving Elite High: Loving James - Surviving a normal high school is hard enough. Surviving Elite High? Close to impossible! Not until you learn the difference between love and obsession.
Sixteen year old James Gordon has it all. He’s rich, studious, and bears quite a strong resemblance to Justin Bieber. So, what’s stopping him from being a normal kid in high school? The deadly jocks. They torment anyone who’s gay or possibly closeted, even though Nick Wild Hawk, star of the football team and the love of his life, John, came out to the whole school in previous years and made being gay at Elite High just another walk of life.
However, even though the jocks have bullied James nonstop and made his life a living hell, he can’t help but fantasize about the king of the jocks, Nathan Parker. Nathan is rugged, straight and the most popular guy in school. When fate intercepts and places James and Nathan under the same roof, James’ torture really begins. And yet, through it all, James hopes that that his steadfast love for Nathan will change the jock into a lover rather than an abuser. Unless a certain hot, loyal, guy in the background can find a way to show James he is really, truly loved, and has been for a long time. Before it’s too late.
Surviving Elite High: Loving James is the third part of the Surviving Elite High Saga which features one the most famous and loved characters in the series, Jacob Ashmore.
What is the most frequently asked question by the fans?
Will there be more books in the Surviving Elite High Saga? Yes. Right now, I’m working on a possible plot for Rick Sanders, a minor character in the Surviving Elite High Saga. I also want to write a third for Nick and John. Wish me luck guys!
What are you working on now?
I’m working on several novels right now:
- Part two of Raven and Crow known as Raven and Crow: Dark Horizon.
- The not so unrealistic detailed account of how my best friend and I swap bodies for a short period of time. Swapatize for short.
- Spirit Indestructible.
- And The Lake View Psychopath.
The last three novels in the list above are three short stories that can stand alone, but together, they make up a long one. So, if you like short novels, you will enjoy each one of them to their fullest, but if you like long ones, the three will please you. However, I will have the three novels out as one like my very own compilation of short stories.
What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?
Never give up. If you want to be a writer, know that the journey will be long, tedious, and hard. But remember that classic Lao Tzu quote, 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. You'll get there eventually. Just keep a positive mind and attitude and aim for the stars, because you might just end up on the moon.
Oh my God! On several places:
Surviving Elite High
Matthew stared down at me like a raging bull on the loose. He stepped toward me in a very threatening manner. "Why the fuck did you hit me for?" I had to get away from them and fast. I crawled down the hallway, but Matthew grabbed my legs and spun me around. With a single tug, he pulled me under his feet. I was scared now. Matthew looked deranged. He bent down and grabbed me by the collar of my shirt, lifting me into the air and slamming me into a nearby wall. A malicious smile developed on his face. "I'm going to fucking kill you, you little piece of shit."
"Let's fuck him up, Matt," Jacob suggested with a mischievous smile. "I bet a homo like him would love to get fucked by two jocks. We can fuck him in the locker room, and no one will hear a thing."
My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach, rendering me sick. I couldn't believe what Jacob suggested. They had always made sexual comments, but never that filthy or nasty. Matthew's smile grew as Jacob's idea settled in.
"Shut the fuck up, you little fag!" Matthew slammed me against the wall again.
"Put him the fuck down!"
It was Nick; he stood a few feet away from us. I immediately thanked God because his presence guaranteed my safety from Matthew and Jacob. Anyone's presence, as a matter of fact.
Surviving Elite High: Senior Year
I’d just finished taping the “Congratulations, Nick!” banner above the sofa when I heard a small noise coming from my bedroom. I glanced at the clock on my wall. It was four-thirty. Maybe Emily was there, using the bathroom. After all, she had a spare key and had come here to leave off the decorations. “Emily? Are you in there?”
No one answered, but there was a rustling noise coming from inside. I went to the bedroom and opened the door. My eyes quickly fell on Emily who lay on the floor, sobbing, her cries muffled by a white cloth gag, her hands and feet bound. My heart lurched. “Emily!”
I immediately ran to her and pulled the gag out.
“Behind you, John!”
Someone slammed the door close. Every hair on my body stood on end as I spun around and came face to face with my worst nightmare.
He wore a filthy orange jumpsuit with his name across the chest and waved a gun at me. A creepy smile spread across his demonic and psychopathic face. He stood in front of the door and blocked my only way to safety. “I’m back, John, and I’m here to kill you.”
Surviving Elite High: Loving James
“Wait!” Nathan said. “What are you guys doing?”
Daniel quickly stripped down to his white undies. “Well, what do you think, Nate? We’re going to turn this bitch into a man. Stop acting like a fool. You pretty much enjoyed the last time we made Rick into a man.”
My heart felt like it was replaced with a giant stone. My terror mounted. I curled up into fetal position, in too much pain even to try escape from them. When Aaron stood in front of me naked and hard, I realized what they had done to Rick. That’s why he’d changed overnight. They raped him. Oh my God. I was about to suffer the same fate!
“But that was Rick,” Nate stammered, one hand out as if to defend me, “he was asking for it.”
“Aww. Isn’t that cute?” Louis teased, shoving down his boxers. “Nate cares about his baby brother.”
“Fuck you! No I don’t.”
“Then prove it.” Daniel pointed at me and stepped aside.
Nathan crossed over to me.
“Good. Nathan’s still a man.”
“Nathan! Please!” I begged him. My cries did not stop him. In a swift second, Nathan flipped me over and exposed my butt cheeks. “Nathan, stop it. Please! Don’t do it, Nathan. Don’t! Please.” I squeezed my eyes shut. Some corner of my terrified self was in utter disbelief. I was begging not to be gang raped.
(WIP) Raven and Crow: a Chain of Memories
The two cloaked figures appeared out of thin air, running up the narrow, moonlit pathway and in the direction of what appeared to be an abandoned old house by the edge of a cliff. The decrepit wooden structure stood there frozen in time as the wind blew from side to side, shaking its shingle from left to right. The moonlight shone over its face and revealed the dense vegetation and corroded old paint that was once fresh and vibrant. Without warning, the two figures froze, silently listening to the sounds of the night with their chests heaving from the running. Now, the air stood still and everything else went silent. Something was terribly wrong.
The taller of the two looked down on his companion. “Do you hear anything?”
“No.” She whispered shaking her head and looking around. “I can't even hear the wind. They must be near. We’ve got to keep going.”
He nodded, but did not elaborate on her words. The mysterious figures continued running up the hill while they inspected their surroundings. A rocky cliff side bordered the pathway on the left and a low-growing meadow on the right. The meadow also served as the entrance to a dark and thick forest. The two teens kept running until they arrived at the footsteps of the old and abandoned house. As they stood there, hand in hand, a strange eerie sensation made its way up their spines, embracing them in a cold hug. At once, they turned to the forest behind them. Their jaws dropped open while their eyes widened. Several gleaming red eyes appeared under the cover of the night and among the darkness of the trees.
“Crow!” cried the woman, turning to face him. “They found us. There must be at least three dozens of them and she’s not home.”
Crow looked down at her, a tear rolling down his right cheek. All of a sudden, he gently held her face and kissed her good bye, savoring her lips for one last time. Crow held her inside his arms, doing his best to protect her from what was to come. In an instant, a thick fog descended on the grounds around them and out of nowhere, dozens of cloaked creatures slowly hovered towards them. The air became icy cold and breathing was close to impossible. All of a sudden, the creatures froze in midair and focused their attention on the two lovers in front of them that were now shaking in fear. In a swift second, they lifted their long arms and revealed a long scythe with a crystal blue orb attached at top of the staff. When the blue orbs changed to dark red, the unearthly beings were ready for the kill. While they glided towards the duo, the hooded creatures took aim at them, getting ready to strike. Without warning, a white shadow stepped in the middle of the attack and that was quickly followed by a massive explosion that obscured the scenery and brightened the dark and cold night. Two screams echoed and slowly faded as the darkness took over once again.
No! Thank you for having me here today!