The Tree With No Branches by Johnny Knew: Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Johnny Knew

Said to write with the depth of Shel Silverstein and with the rhythmic pulse of Dr. Seuss, he writes in lively rhythm and rhyme. Johnny Knew’s books will capture the heart and imagination of every reader and show in subtle and masterful ways why character is important to all of us.

Born in 1972, John Newcomb (Johnny Knew) grew up in sunny Southern California. After earning his Doctor of Medical Dentistry from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, he spent six-years on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado where he practices as a certified endodontic specialist.

It was at that time when “Johnny Knew” began to write. Inspired by his own children, he cut to the chase and wrote a series of children’s books every person could enjoy.  The Tree With No Branches, his first of six books with Cutie Pie Publishing was released in September of 2012.

His books are sure to be classics and teach those lessons that every child needs and every parent wants their children to learn.

We know you’ll enjoy his books for years to come.

Be sure to take a minute or two to visit Johnny’s awesome website: Knewville

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
I would definitely go into the future because the past is the past and it’s already been done.  Sure, perhaps there is a person or two that I’d like to meet.  That’s why there are history books and autobiographies.  Traveling back into the past affords one the opportunity to be rich by using current information for a past advantage, but my riches are my family.  If I go to the future, I still have that.   If I go to the past, well, I get to have what’s already been, but in the future, I get to experience what is to be.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I always seem to order pistachio.  It’s not that I don’t like others.  Believe me, I’m not too picky when it comes to such things; however, pistachio seems to be the one that always calls me.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
There is a place in Nashville called Pancake Pantry where the line seems to never end.  Freezing snow or  pouring rain, sweltering heat or … uh … pleasant, it has the best French toast I have ever had, bar none.  Perhaps it’s the way it’s cooked or simply the syrup, which I am convinced has some sort of addictive substance.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it’s the best French Toast ever.  I think about it often.

Night owl, or early bird?
Both.  I get up early and like it.  Then, I stay up late to the disgruntled pleads of my wife prodding me to go to bed.  It seems as though I can accomplish more things before and after all the distractions figure out the day has begun.

One food you would never eat?
Organs.  I’m just not going to do it.  Organs aren’t meat.  They’re organs!  From liver to cows brain to gizzard, heart, and Rocky Mountain Oysters, I am not going to do it.  Maybe I would if I were French or something.  They’re always eating things they shouldn’t.  I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  No organs for me.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The Tree With No Branches is a heartwarming  tale about growing on the inside, growing what can’t be seen, growing one’s roots deep, and shows why perseverance, love, and being true to one’s self ultimately helps you weather any storm.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 
The Tree With No Branches is the first of a six-book deal with Cutie Pie Publishing.  My second book to be release is about a “flounder that flounders around, while the fish that build houses would hammer and pound,” titled, Phoebe The Swimlazy Fish.  It comes out in December 2012.  Once these six are published, the publisher is already talking about more books which I have plenty; twenty-three in all.  I’ve also written two action-thriller novels, one of which is being looked at by a publisher, and a non-fiction book about faith and truth I am just about finished with.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Three things: Deploying soldiers, rejection, and my children.
Soldiers: I was a dentist in the military when the troops were deploying.  My job was to evaluate them to see if they were good-to-go.  One thing led to another and they’d mention something about their faith.  I’d ask them a question about it and inevitably they wouldn’t be able to answer.  So, I was inspired to write a book about faith and truth.  
Rejection: I pitched that book at a writers conference where the overwhelming reply was…aren’t you a dentist?  Shouldn’t you write about teeth.  Ha ha.  I get it.  I need a platform.  So, I decided to write a novel.  Halfway through my first novel, I had the revelation that I could write children’s books.
Children: I’ve read to my two boys, Max and Connor, nearly every night of their lives, and came to a quick realization that many children’s books lack a good message and/or had lousy illustrations. One evening while reading to my oldest boy (he was three at the time) and mentally correcting a Dr. Seuss book to sound more “Seussy”, I looked at him and said, “I can do that.”  When my wife walked in I told her the same to which I was met with an eye-roll.  You have to understand that I was in the writing mode and so going downstairs to try a new thing was no problem at all.  That night I went downstairs and wrote a book.  The next night I wrote another, then another, and another.  Before I knew it, I had four books in just four nights.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
It’s difficult to finish a book you never start.  I promise, that’s a true statement.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a Toys-R-Us executive.  I heard they were paid $300,000 a year and had access to all the toys.

How did you know you should become an author?
I didn’t.  I never received a good grade in English or grammar.  Maybe that’s why the kid’s book appeal to so many children.  I sound like them.  Such is life.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?  
I love Clive Cussler and Louis L’amour.

What was your favorite children’s book?  
The Flower Man by Mark Ludy.  There are no words, though he tells a hundred stories through his illustrations beginning with a dismal grey city until the Flower Man begins to brighten things up with his gifts—flowers.  It’s a great book and you see something new every time.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
“Oh no!”

Pizza or Pasta?
One of my favorite dishes is this thing called Pizza-Pasta.  It’s got bowtie pasta, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, pepperoni, onions, salt, and mozzarella.  Oh mama!  It’s so good.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
I’ve always been more of a spontaneous type of guy.  Take my writing for example: on a whim I decided to write a nonfiction book about faith and truth; on a whim I decided to write an action-thriller novel; on a whim I decided to write children’s books.  Don’t get me wrong.  I plan things. I just don’t usually know what those plans might be until I spontaneously decide to do them.

The Tree With No Branches

In the heart of the Full-Of-Pride forest lives a tree without any leaves, blossoms or even a single branch. Teased and bullied for being different, what is this simple tree to do? Get ready to watch some leaves get rustled as you embark on a trunk-warming tale of gargantuan proportions. The Tree With No Branches is a story about love, courage, and growing where it counts. Hold onto your petunias because the most funtastical story that’s ever been told is about to unfold and is sure to take you and your imagination on the log ride of your life! The Tree With No Branches, by Johnny Knew, is the first of 6 books to be released by CutiePie Publishing. With the depth of Shel Silverstein and the rhythmic pulse of Dr. Seuss, Johnny Knew has created a world without boundaries that touches the heart, mesmerizes the mind and delivers a smile. . . leaving us all wanting more.

View the first 6 pages:

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of The Tree With No Branches
Shipping to US only
Ends 10/30/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway