Author Interview & Book Giveaway: The Bog by John P. Smith

Welcome to Author John P. Smith

John is an insurance agent in Huntington, WV, experienced in public relations, journalism and sales. He worked for the Military District of Washington and met President Kennedy before he was killed in Dallas. John handled U. S. Army press relations for the funerals of President Kennedy, General Douglas MacArthur former President Herbert Hoover and the inaugural of President Lyndon Johnson. After graduation from Marshall University, he worked in press relations for Kent State University where he witnessed the killing of four students by the Ohio National Guard in 1970. Over the past 48 years he has trained more than 14000 dogs. He draws from this array of experiences to fashion his stories.


If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
1. A Genie who could provide another three things.
2. A Bowie knife for protection, food, clothing and lodging.
3. A copy of the book, Survive on a Desert Island by Claire Llewellyn.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
It is the most unique story ever written about dogs.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
It would be nice to answer this by listing the number of Best Selling books I had written. I’ve written seven books and none have been given a nod regarding such lists. I would hope, though, that my answer would still be the same had I received any of those kudos’. The most rewarding experience is the feeling of accomplishment…and I have been able to experience that all seven times.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Yesterday, a friend asked how I set my short-term and long-term writing goals. Simple, I said. I write both goals in great detail on separate sheets of paper. Then I shred the sheet of long-term goals. The ‘great detail’ written on the remaining sheet is this, “Write everyday!”

What is your favorite Quote?
“Never, never, never, never, never give up.” Winston Churchill

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
Dog and a man discussing spirituality, the levels of heaven, interspecies communication, momentary understanding, and choice versus predestination.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
My dad cautioned me to be careful in my attempt to understand the moods of my wife after our first child. “They can do something that you and I cannot do, they can bring life into the world, and therefore you will never be able to understand them. Just do what you are told!”

Hidden talent?
I am an amateur magician.

How do you react to a bad review?
Pretty much the same way I react to rejections from agents and publishers. I save every one, Hoping the day will come that I can say, “I tried to tell you!

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
I wish that I could be more patient and more humble. Those are two of my weaknesses.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
The Choice by Og Mandino. The defining factor that separates humans from all other animals is our ability to make decisions. We make choices every moment of every day. Those decisions
affect all aspects of our lives, and also significantly impact our relationship of those around us. Nothing better exemplifies that God-given gift better than Mandino’s story.

Which authors have influenced you most how?
Maxwwell Maltz, (Psycoh-cybernetics), Og Mandino (Greatest Salesman in the World, A Better Way to Live, The Choice, Return of the Ragpicker), Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking). These authors and their books have positively shaped the lives of millions of people through simple messages: Do unto others, see the good in yourself and others, appreciate what you have been given, set goals, move forward with purpose in mind, avoid negative people, places and things, be your brother’s keeper, respect The Power that guides all things.

What do you do in your free time?
I swim, bike or run six days a week.

Favorite music?
I play the snare drum in a jug and string band.

Favorite sport?
The personal challenge of golf is greatly understated.

If you had 24 hours alone how would you spend it?
For most people that I know, me included, reflection, quiet time, meditation and contemplation, are mostly absent in our world of daily survival. I would use that time as retreat time. I would pack essentials and (along with my Labrador) I would find a place in the wilderness. I would set my tent, build a fire, and reflect on all aspects of my life…childhood, time with Mom and Dad, school years, college, the military, sweetheart-time with my wife, the growing years of my children, the difficulties and tragedies, the gifts I have been given. I would reflect on my friends and family that have passed. And I would look into a mirror to see if I am comfortable with the reflection.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Matthew, Mark, Luke or John

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am 69 years of age and completed a half-Ironman race in NC last October.

The Bog

This is a story of fantasy. It occurs in a swampy grove of marshland infested by snakes, rats and mosquitoes…a place commonly believed to be where animals go to die. It is the story of a man who enters this forsaken quagmire while following the cry of a wounded animal…and that is where he encounters a wolf named Napoleon. This is the story of what happens after that meeting… This book is for those of you dealing with an insatiable desire to have a dog at your side. It is my answer to questions coming from deep within your heart and answers I have avoided expressing until now. “If you want to know about dogs beyond the norm, if you want a truth illuminated through fantasy which will warm your heart – read this book!” Robert Middlemiss, editor; past trustee, Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists; member, advisory board, Tennessee Mountain Writers Conference.

Giveaway Details
3 print copies
Open to US only
Ends 4/20/12

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