John W. Nassivera
Upstate Eastern New York
Good morning, John, and thank you for being with us this morning. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?
The Garden Raid, (middle grades fiction) presently a paperback. Being republished summer 2020 as an interactive eBook version featuring 15 original songs by various artists.
Chain Links We’re Better Together, an interactive eBook version featuring 19 original songs by various artists. (middle grades fiction) Also available in paperback.
The Magic You Don’t See, (children picture book) interactive eBook.
All my music is available through streaming on Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. Also available on iTunes, Amazon Music, and Apple Music.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I’m presently writing middle grades fiction and children books. I would also like to experiment with YA fantasy and adult historical fiction in the future.
Tea or coffee?
Pizza or ice cream?
Wine or beer?
Where would you like to visit?
I would love to travel the US through a variety of adventure travels.
There are so many beautiful places to visit here in the US. The Grand Canton is a must. It's truly life-changing. Favorite musical artist.
I enjoy artists who are storytellers, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, but I enjoy the guitar of Stevie Rey Vaughn, Carlos Santana, and BB King. Also enjoy classic rock; The Who, Beatles, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy. No favorites, but a lot of likes.
Do you listen to music when you write? What?
I don’t listen to music when I write.
I write music to complement my stories.
Books Set to Songs
I offer a totally unique reading experience by opening chapters of my stories with music. My books feature a variety of artists and music genres alongside the written text. Music and lyrics are composed to enhance the setting, character development, provoke an emotion, and allow you the reader to become more amerce in the story.
What makes you laugh?
Young children and the human experience.
Favorite work of art or sculpture.
I enjoy realism.
How old were you when you started writing?
Do you plan out your book with outlines and notecards? Or just write?
I have a story idea in my head that leads to research and sharing. Once my pen goes to paper I just write, which reveals new ideas that lead to additional research and conversations.
Describe your perfect evening.
Hanging with family and friends in the natural environment, (forest, beech, mountain top, lake, ocean) especially after/during a physical adventure or challenge.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Growing up in small town America, my mother used our front porch as an outdoor living room for family and friends to pass the time. A place where advice was garnered, jokes were told, melodies were sung, and stories were spun. It was a place where my mother told tales that taught us the cultural ideals of family, friends, and community. I’ve carried her lessons into my approach to writing. My stories and music address subtle messages of friendships, community acceptance, respect, collaboration, forgiveness, and acceptance.
My mission/vision for writing is Creating community one story at a time by complementing the good work our neighbors are doing, so that good work continues. When designing and developing my work, I try to use the following elements of JOY to guide my work.
Connect: Engaging in the needs of the community.
Relationships: Forming and nurturing social groups that create and support healthy communities.
Purpose: Helping people use their strengths to create innovative and sustainable solutions and deepen their sense of purpose.
Service: Activating and cultivating Acts of service to humanity.
Gratitude & Celebration: Expressing and nourishing the accomplishments of the work and giving back so that the good continues.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Close the draft, walk away, do something totally different, and then come back.
Who is your favorite author?
At the moment I’m really enjoying Neil Gaiman.
I like Neil Gaiman, too. What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
I just completed 30+ years as an educator in New York City. I started as a classroom teacher, designed curriculum, professionally published, presented at NSTA, awarded over 4 million dollars in grants, designed and open a new public high school, and was a teaching professor in the CUNY University system. I was fortunate to have many professional opportunities and I’m very thankful to all the people who made it happen. Without their hard work and partnerships, it would not have happened.
What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
Be ready to do the hard work to find and develop your voice. Most importantly just be you. There’s nobody else in the universe like you and the world deserves to hear from you.
Do you have some links for us to follow you?
Front Porch Storytelling blog: https://frontporchstorytelling.com/