#authorcorner Interview with GEONN CANNON

Welcome everyone!! Today we have an interview with none other than Geonn Cannon. I know Geonn through fandom and twitter. We both have a strong love of Amanda Tapping and writing!

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Geonn Cannon, I was born in Oklahoma, and my original plan was to be an actor. I took a half-semester of Creative Writing and four years of Drama (theatre class) so you can see where my priorities were back in those days. We had a project senior year to write and film something, and our group decided to do a Saturday Night Live-type thing. I wrote most of the skits, and it turned out I enjoyed that much, much more than acting in them. Plus writing seemed much, much less constrained and I had more freedom to do what I wanted with a story.

What is one thing not in your bio, something totally random that only a few people know?

I like my bed to be as cold as possible when I get into it. So much so that I will move my pillows and blankets if I have to sit on the side of the mattress for any length of time. I know it’s supposed to be the other way around, it’s supposed to be a nice cozy cocoon, but I prefer warming it up myself.

What are you currently writing?

At the moment I’m working on revisions for my official Stargate SG-1 novel, “Two Roads.” It was such a huge honor getting the opportunity to write for the series. I credit Stargate with jumpstarting my writing career. Before taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest for a Stargate convention, I had never really thought of it as a place to set stories. I was randomly putting everything I wrote in Chicago. But once I was there, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I think On the Air might have been as popular if it had been set somewhere else, but it wouldn’t have been the same story. Would it have been snapped up by the publishers if Nadine was a disc-jockey in a small Chicago suburb? Maybe.  But I wouldn’t want to find out.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Geonn Cannon, I was born in Oklahoma, and my original plan was to be an actor. I took a half-semester of Creative Writing and four years of Drama (theatre class) so you can see where my priorities were back in those days. We had a project senior year to write and film something, and our group decided to do a Saturday Night Live-type thing. I wrote most of the skits, and it turned out I enjoyed that much, much more than acting in them. Plus writing seemed much, much less constrained and I had more freedom to do what I wanted with a story.

What is one thing not in your bio, something totally random that only a few people know?

I like my bed to be as cold as possible when I get into it. So much so that I will move my pillows and blankets if I have to sit on the side of the mattress for any length of time. I know it’s supposed to be the other way around, it’s supposed to be a nice cozy cocoon, but I prefer warming it up myself.

What are you currently writing?

At the moment I’m working on revisions for my official Stargate SG-1 novel, “Two Roads.” It was such a huge honor getting the opportunity to write for the series. I credit Stargate with jumpstarting my writing career. Before taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest for a Stargate convention, I had never really thought of it as a place to set stories. I was randomly putting everything I wrote in Chicago. But once I was there, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I think On the Air might have been as popular if it had been set somewhere else, but it wouldn’t have been the same story. Would it have been snapped up by the publishers if Nadine was a disc-jockey in a small Chicago suburb? Maybe.  But I wouldn’t want to find out.

Who has been your biggest inspiration and support in writing and in publishing? Doesn’t have to be an author or anything, and yes, it can be your mom or dad.

My best friend in high school, Robert, was a big influence on me in terms of giving me confidence in myself and my abilities. It wasn’t the usual motivational situation where he gave me a pep talk or rallied me to put pen to paper. We randomly started writing a story together that highly exaggerated our lives, sort of like South Park meets… some highly self-indulgence thinly-veiled bio pic. We were the heroes, our least-favorite teacher was the villain, Bruce Willis made a cameo if I recall. We would alternate chapters, with me writing one and then he’d respond. That went on for a few weeks until he finally said he wanted to stop because my chapters were always so much better than his and he couldn’t compete. But he wanted me to keep writing until the story was done because he wanted to see how it ended. So that’s the lesson here, kids. If you rage-quit, you may just inspire your friend’s entire career.

Why write lesbian fiction?

I won’t lie and claim there’s no “lesbians are hot” component, but that’s not the reason. I realized early on that I always preferred the female characters in fiction. Who cares what Riker is doing, what is Troi up to on the bridge? Can we see some more of Dr. Crusher, please? When I started writing I went the traditional route with a male protagonist who had several women in his life (and yes, one of them was a lesbian). The story never felt complete, never felt right, and I’ve written and rewritten that novel so many times that I honestly have just given up on it. After that I thought, “Well, I like writing the female characters so much more… why don’t I just put as many of them as I can into a story? And if there needs to be a romance, I’ll let them romance each other.” Not to mention the fact the world is overstuffed with male protagonists. Let the women run the show for a change.

What do you think about authors who continue to write both fanfiction and original fiction? (This seems to be a constant debate/conversation to me.)

I don’t really have an opinion on it. I think fanfiction is a great way to hone your skills, using a ready-made template of characters and universe rules so you can focus on the actual process of telling a story without the extra work. It’s like a self-taught class in How to Write. That said, in my experience, once you start focusing more on original writing, the less you’ll be inspired for fanfiction. I wanted to build in my own worlds and play in my own sandbox. Plus every day spent writing fanfiction is a day you can’t spend writing a story you could sell.

Tell us about Girls Don’t Hit.

It started as just a two-word reminder in my notepad: “female hitman.” I thought it would be a good action-y, thriller story to fill the void Riley Parra left when that series ended. After that I started building the world, figuring out who Joss/Jocelyn was, what her motivations were, and I realized this would be one of my least-loved characters ever. Which is not a bad thing! Everyone who has read it so far says that they would cross the street to avoid Joss, but they were also oddly drawn to her. I think that’s the intriguing thing about her. She’s cold, heartless, methodical, and unapologetic. She’s a sociopath, really. She observes other people for clues of how she should react in various situations. She may be unlovable, but she’s certainly one of my more intriguing characters.

What do you do when you get stuck in your writing? What happens when that nasty writer’s block sets down and refuses to budge—if you believe in writer’s block that is?

I really don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in bad days, out of the writing mood, uninspired, logy… everyone needs a weekend/vacation/mental health day. But since writers can decide when and how we get those days, we feel guilty taking them and we have to call it writer’s block. When a story isn’t coming or the words are like pulling teeth, I usually just decide it’s an off day and catch up on Netflix or reading. Odds are the inspiration of someone else’s fiction will put me back on the right track.

I know you love Radiation Canary, tell us why?

First and foremost, I wrote it for an extremely dear friend of mine. She introduced me to Brandi Carlile, and almost immediately said, “You need to write a book about a singer!” I was utterly uninterested and kept putting her off, but then I buckled down and thought, “Well, what would that look like?” Secondly, because of the scope (the novel takes place over ten years), I was able to toss in a few things that might not have gotten covered in an ordinary novel. I had relationships that started and ended, I had Karen growing from a nervous and awkward outsider to a proud band member. I really, truly love all my characters, but the band feels even more special. They’re my girls! As I was writing them I found myself falling in love with all of them in different ways, and I’m so proud of how they turned out.

What does your dream writing location look like?

A wood-paneled room with a window looking out at something Pacific Northwest-y, a desk and a comfy couch (I’d do most of my writing on the couch, I’m sure, because the desk is facing the window and much too distracting) with one wall of bookshelves. Not too big, just enough room to pace around if necessary.

Would you mind sharing some of your ups and some of your downs about writing and about publishing? Any advice to new and upcoming authors?

Writing is so slow and frustrating. I remember way back when William H Macy was on Leno, promoting a movie he had written. Leno, in his infinite obtuseness, mentioned that it must have been fun to relax and write instead of having to act. Macy quite seriously said, “No, writing is not FUN. Writing SUCKS.” The act of writing, creating characters, is one of the most fun things you can do. Actually crafting and polishing that into a readable story can be one of the most frustrating things. My advice to anyone who wants to write is to write. I’ll steal Stephen King’s advice: “If you want to write, then you have to write a lot and read a lot.” It’s brilliant and very true. Don’t get discouraged when you realize how tedious editing can be, don’t throw in the towel when you finally get paid for a story and you can deposit that seven bucks directly into your account. Writing is one of the few jobs you can get by just showing up every day and getting to work.

What is your best memory from the whole writing and publishing process?

The night I got an email from P.D. Publishing telling me they wanted On the Air. My best friend/supporter/current publisher was just about to leave for the night when I got the news, so I was able to celebrate with her. Afterward I went for a walk and it was cold, and it was drizzling, and I was just so thrilled that I couldn’t stop smiling. Someone wanted my book! I was finally a professional writer. You never forget your first.

QUICKIES!

1. Dog or Cat? Cat
2. Favorite color? Blue
3. Favorite junk food? Donut Sticks
4. Favorite musician? Josh Ritter/David Bowie (depending on my mood)
5. Favorite curse word? Shite. It just sounds so refined and classy.
6. Favorite quote? “You are all better than you think you are. You are just designed not to believe it when you hear it from yourself.” – Community
7. Rolaids or Tums? What’s the generic?
8. Short or Tall? Short, I guess.
9. Favorite body part? Dangerous question… But I’ll say my head. In high school I hated getting haircuts so it would get so long and unruly, and I’d have to wash the whole mess, and comb it and ugh. When it started to fall out, I said, “Screw it,” and started getting it cut as close as I could without shaving. Then I went whole hog and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. I really like how my head looks. It’s a good shape for baldness. I seriously sometimes even catch a glimpse of my shadow and think, “Yeah, that’s a good head shape. I approve, skull.”
10. Favorite holiday? I don’t really have one. It’s a bit narcissistic to say my birthday, because that’s all about me, but I don’t really like any one holiday above another.

Books

 

OTACover

 

Nadine Butler is a popular disc-jockey at KELF, the classic rock station in Squire’s Isle, Washington. She’s currently in the closet with her girlfriend and she thinks she’s happy that way. And the end of a bad day, Nadine goes to a Town Hall meeting to take sides in a book-banning debate and manages to out herself in front of the town. Desperate, under pressure and under siege from the startled, family-oriented advertisers and the station’s unsupportive owner, Nadine does one last show. With help coming from some unforeseen corners, she decides to make the most of her last time on the air.

 

 

 

 

 

RCCover

 

 

Karen Everett isn’t looking to join a band the day she loses her notebook of poetry. She plays the cello and is unsure about what she wants in life, but she’s pretty sure it doesn’t involve being a professional musician. But a crush on the band’s beautiful lead singer Lana Kent, along with the desire to have her poetry shared with a larger audience, leads her to throw caution to the wind and play an audition that leads to her being invited to join the band at gigs. After a spur of the moment decision lands them a spot on national television, Karen and the band find themselves riding an unexpected wave of popularity.

BUY LINKS
BIO
Geonn Cannon is the author of 20 novels (and counting). He was born in Oklahoma and spends his free time thinking up cool and exciting things to do. Then he creates fictional characters and has them to all the cool and exciting things for him, since it’s much easier than actually going outside himself. He is currently writing an official Stargate SG-1 novel for Fandemonium and working with Tello Films in an effort to bring Riley Parra to life as a webseries. Contrary to popular belief, he does sleep. Usually every day.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Geonn Cannon, I was born in Oklahoma, and my original plan was to be an actor. I took a half-semester of Creative Writing and four years of Drama (theatre class) so you can see where my priorities were back in those days. We had a project senior year to write and film something, and our group decided to do a Saturday Night Live-type thing. I wrote most of the skits, and it turned out I enjoyed that much, much more than acting in them. Plus writing seemed much, much less constrained and I had more freedom to do what I wanted with a story.

What is one thing not in your bio, something totally random that only a few people know?

I like my bed to be as cold as possible when I get into it. So much so that I will move my pillows and blankets if I have to sit on the side of the mattress for any length of time. I know it’s supposed to be the other way around, it’s supposed to be a nice cozy cocoon, but I prefer warming it up myself.

What are you currently writing?

At the moment I’m working on revisions for my official Stargate SG-1 novel, “Two Roads.” It was such a huge honor getting the opportunity to write for the series. I credit Stargate with jumpstarting my writing career. Before taking a trip to the Pacific Northwest for a Stargate convention, I had never really thought of it as a place to set stories. I was randomly putting everything I wrote in Chicago. But once I was there, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I think On the Air might have been as popular if it had been set somewhere else, but it wouldn’t have been the same story. Would it have been snapped up by the publishers if Nadine was a disc-jockey in a small Chicago suburb? Maybe.  But I wouldn’t want to find out.

Who has been your biggest inspiration and support in writing and in publishing? Doesn’t have to be an author or anything, and yes, it can be your mom or dad.

My best friend in high school, Robert, was a big influence on me in terms of giving me confidence in myself and my abilities. It wasn’t the usual motivational situation where he gave me a pep talk or rallied me to put pen to paper. We randomly started writing a story together that highly exaggerated our lives, sort of like South Park meets… some highly self-indulgence thinly-veiled bio pic. We were the heroes, our least-favorite teacher was the villain, Bruce Willis made a cameo if I recall. We would alternate chapters, with me writing one and then he’d respond. That went on for a few weeks until he finally said he wanted to stop because my chapters were always so much better than his and he couldn’t compete. But he wanted me to keep writing until the story was done because he wanted to see how it ended. So that’s the lesson here, kids. If you rage-quit, you may just inspire your friend’s entire career.

Why write lesbian fiction?

I won’t lie and claim there’s no “lesbians are hot” component, but that’s not the reason. I realized early on that I always preferred the female characters in fiction. Who cares what Riker is doing, what is Troi up to on the bridge? Can we see some more of Dr. Crusher, please? When I started writing I went the traditional route with a male protagonist who had several women in his life (and yes, one of them was a lesbian). The story never felt complete, never felt right, and I’ve written and rewritten that novel so many times that I honestly have just given up on it. After that I thought, “Well, I like writing the female characters so much more… why don’t I just put as many of them as I can into a story? And if there needs to be a romance, I’ll let them romance each other.” Not to mention the fact the world is overstuffed with male protagonists. Let the women run the show for a change.

What do you think about authors who continue to write both fanfiction and original fiction? (This seems to be a constant debate/conversation to me.)

I don’t really have an opinion on it. I think fanfiction is a great way to hone your skills, using a ready-made template of characters and universe rules so you can focus on the actual process of telling a story without the extra work. It’s like a self-taught class in How to Write. That said, in my experience, once you start focusing more on original writing, the less you’ll be inspired for fanfiction. I wanted to build in my own worlds and play in my own sandbox. Plus every day spent writing fanfiction is a day you can’t spend writing a story you could sell.

Tell us about Girls Don’t Hit.

It started as just a two-word reminder in my notepad: “female hitman.” I thought it would be a good action-y, thriller story to fill the void Riley Parra left when that series ended. After that I started building the world, figuring out who Joss/Jocelyn was, what her motivations were, and I realized this would be one of my least-loved characters ever. Which is not a bad thing! Everyone who has read it so far says that they would cross the street to avoid Joss, but they were also oddly drawn to her. I think that’s the intriguing thing about her. She’s cold, heartless, methodical, and unapologetic. She’s a sociopath, really. She observes other people for clues of how she should react in various situations. She may be unlovable, but she’s certainly one of my more intriguing characters.

What do you do when you get stuck in your writing? What happens when that nasty writer’s block sets down and refuses to budge—if you believe in writer’s block that is?

I really don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe in bad days, out of the writing mood, uninspired, logy… everyone needs a weekend/vacation/mental health day. But since writers can decide when and how we get those days, we feel guilty taking them and we have to call it writer’s block. When a story isn’t coming or the words are like pulling teeth, I usually just decide it’s an off day and catch up on Netflix or reading. Odds are the inspiration of someone else’s fiction will put me back on the right track.

I know you love Radiation Canary, tell us why?

First and foremost, I wrote it for an extremely dear friend of mine. She introduced me to Brandi Carlile, and almost immediately said, “You need to write a book about a singer!” I was utterly uninterested and kept putting her off, but then I buckled down and thought, “Well, what would that look like?” Secondly, because of the scope (the novel takes place over ten years), I was able to toss in a few things that might not have gotten covered in an ordinary novel. I had relationships that started and ended, I had Karen growing from a nervous and awkward outsider to a proud band member. I really, truly love all my characters, but the band feels even more special. They’re my girls! As I was writing them I found myself falling in love with all of them in different ways, and I’m so proud of how they turned out.

What does your dream writing location look like?

A wood-paneled room with a window looking out at something Pacific Northwest-y, a desk and a comfy couch (I’d do most of my writing on the couch, I’m sure, because the desk is facing the window and much too distracting) with one wall of bookshelves. Not too big, just enough room to pace around if necessary.

Would you mind sharing some of your ups and some of your downs about writing and about publishing? Any advice to new and upcoming authors?

Writing is so slow and frustrating. I remember way back when William H Macy was on Leno, promoting a movie he had written. Leno, in his infinite obtuseness, mentioned that it must have been fun to relax and write instead of having to act. Macy quite seriously said, “No, writing is not FUN. Writing SUCKS.” The act of writing, creating characters, is one of the most fun things you can do. Actually crafting and polishing that into a readable story can be one of the most frustrating things. My advice to anyone who wants to write is to write. I’ll steal Stephen King’s advice: “If you want to write, then you have to write a lot and read a lot.” It’s brilliant and very true. Don’t get discouraged when you realize how tedious editing can be, don’t throw in the towel when you finally get paid for a story and you can deposit that seven bucks directly into your account. Writing is one of the few jobs you can get by just showing up every day and getting to work.

What is your best memory from the whole writing and publishing process?

The night I got an email from P.D. Publishing telling me they wanted On the Air. My best friend/supporter/current publisher was just about to leave for the night when I got the news, so I was able to celebrate with her. Afterward I went for a walk and it was cold, and it was drizzling, and I was just so thrilled that I couldn’t stop smiling. Someone wanted my book! I was finally a professional writer. You never forget your first.

QUICKIES!

1. Dog or Cat? Cat
2. Favorite color?
Blue
3. Favorite junk food?
Donut Sticks
4. Favorite musician?
Josh Ritter/David Bowie (depending on my mood)
5. Favorite curse word?
Shite. It just sounds so refined and classy.
6. Favorite quote?
“You are all better than you think you are. You are just designed not to believe it when you hear it from yourself.” – Community
7. Rolaids or Tums?
What’s the generic?
8. Short or Tall?
Short, I guess.
9. Favorite body part?
Dangerous question… But I’ll say my head. In high school I hated getting haircuts so it would get so long and unruly, and I’d have to wash the whole mess, and comb it and ugh. When it started to fall out, I said, “Screw it,” and started getting it cut as close as I could without shaving. Then I went whole hog and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. I really like how my head looks. It’s a good shape for baldness. I seriously sometimes even catch a glimpse of my shadow and think, “Yeah, that’s a good head shape. I approve, skull.”
10. Favorite holiday?
I don’t really have one. It’s a bit narcissistic to say my birthday, because that’s all about me, but I don’t really like any one holiday above another.

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