J.W. Northrup and I had a chat the other day. He was writing as usual as we started the interview. J.W. is always writing, and his concentration face is always stern. He is becoming aware of his own talents as people read his blog and listen to his words. Anyway, I sat down and bided my time… I bided my time and I bided my time. The writer was ready for his interview finally and we began.
Q) You seem to be very interested in people J.W. How did your interest in the inner workings of the human mind begin?
A) I have spent much of my life studying the human mind and spirit. My studies have always been based upon observation rather than on authorities and opinion.
Q) Have you always been a writer? Were you a bookworm child? Actually, tell me more about the young J.W.?
A) My youth was spent on sports and on the outdoors – much of it with my father — wandering through the beauty of the high mountains, feeling the tranquility of the outdoors and the sense of adventure that comes therein, only to return to the dissonance and conflicts, the rules and regulations of modern civilization. And I believe because of that, I developed a rather exterior view of life.
Q) So when did you get the writing bug?
A) I began writing in the mid ’80s. Back then I was literally writing as a professional calligrapher and my works adorn many a wall with a favorite saying or poem.
Q) You went on to become a writer rather than an artist, how did that happen? What caused you to change your approach to creating art?
A) Life as a starving artist was not suitable for me nor was a professional pursuit of the mind and the spirit as offered by the established institutions. Psychobabble was repulsive to my sense of scientific logic, and administering drugs as a solution to mental disorders was even more abhorrent and degrading to a human being, despite the promise of a healthy income that seems to come with a diploma hanging on the wall. I nevertheless caved into a pursuit of some kind of monetary success by entering the trade of a designer.
Thus, I became skilled at the art of 3D modeling in the field of mechanical design for engineers – which was rather ironic as my purpose was not the technical expertise and accuracy they required, but rather, whether or not the models I created were beautiful – which is the artist in me. I got away with it because my models WERE beautiful and because I grudgingly spent the required time to add the technical details that satisfied the requirements of the anal mind of an engineer.
(J.W. was heading to the ski-lift at this point so we took a break.)
Q) How was the skiing J.W.? Looked like you were having fun out there!
A) I always try to have fun- that’s what makes us human right? Those feelings we can emote. Fun, Sadness, Love, Hate… How very human…
Q) You obviously have felt the need to return to the arena of writing. What caused that change?
A) Knowing that my real purposes were somewhat deviant in the field of engineering, I began writing as an outlet for my creativity and my desire to communicate what I have learned in the field of the mind and the spirit; and because my life would never be believed unless it was written down on paper.
Q) You lead a very fulfilled life- how do you find time for your writing? You are, after all, a working man with a family.
A) Though I must admit that I have often been distracted by various pursuits, from humanitarian activities to purely physical goals – such as running marathons and of course spending time fishing in the mountains – I have still remained steadfast in my desire to write. I have written two novels and dozens other hilarious short stories describing some of the more bizarre events in my life and will continue to do so until I have faded away and there is no more to write about.
Recently, I have decided that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever NOT to do the thing I love to do and I am profoundly embarrassed that it has taken fifty years to fully realize this. Therefore, I am taking the steps that need to be taken to achieve my goal of being a writer by profession and ignoring the naysayers that inevitably surround anyone who seeks to pursue their dream.
Q) You mentioned your humanitarian activities right there. Do you write with social statements in mind? Is that something you like to include in your writing?
A) My fictional stories are always based upon an important social theme, but rather than being dogmatic and philosophic, I create a story that is interesting and add to it hyperbole and humor. My non-fiction is hilarious and self-abasing – much like I am myself on a good day.
Q) Tell me about your first book The Gold Slaves (which will be out soon). Can you tell me a little about the story, please?
A) The people of “Space” believe they live in a hollow pocket in an otherwise solid universe.
They are tunneling through this solid universe following a golden path that will lead them to the fabled “Nirvana” – a world of infinite space and light.
When they put their gold in the “Gods Chamber” as an offering to the gods, they are rewarded with food.
There are “Spinners” that burrow through the universe until they strike space, then recede into their burrows and eat the smoke produced by the people and emit oxygen.
Obviously we, the people on the surface, who are “in the know” realize that these are simply brainwashed miners unknowingly working for a mining company. They are Slaves – Gold Slaves.
Two of the miners accidentally find a way to the surface and to freedom from their underground trap.
But who is really trapped? The Gold Slaves’ trap is obvious– it’s easy to see material barriers, but it’s impossible for the people on the surface to “see” how they are trapped by the barriers of their irrational philosophies and ideas. Thus Gold Slaves have something to offer more valuable than gold.
Q) It sounds like a very socially aware story and it sounds interesting to me!
A) Thank you, Nick. I hope you will join me on this new adventure into time and space….