Johnny Worthen is an author I’ve met through the writing industry. He’s a giant teddy bear that everyone loves, and his magnetic energy is also in his writing. In honor of his latest release, I had the privilege to interview him!
If you’re interested in attending his launch party on April 18th, click here for details – it’ll be a blast!
Me: What’s your favorite music to listen to while you write?
Johnny: Sometimes I have a song that inspires a book. Lady Gaga was at the center of ELEANOR, The Temptations for ANDI KENDRICK (not published yet) but I had nothing special for THE BRAND DEMAND.
I do however have a favorite playlist featuring Godspeed, You Black Emperor!, but that’s only for my dark stuff and only when I’m in a zone. Otherwise, silence is usually required. Never anything with lyrics. I write by sound. I read every word aloud, paying close attention to rhythms and cadences. Lyrics mess me up.
Me: Do you like writing heroes or villains more?
Johnny: If I’m doing my job right, they’re very much the same insofar as my heroes are flawed and my villains believe they’re doing the right thing. I tend to make my villains so villainous that they make me uncomfortable so a short visit with them is usually enough. My heroes however are complex and reward the effort I put into them.
Me: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Johnny: In THE BRAND DEMAND, I love Galen Reed, my protagonist. Though the book is ostensibly a mystery and a bit of political polemic, the book evolved into a character study of a lonely man. Power and limitations, source of purpose and connection became the theme.
Me: Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks?
Johnny: Sweet. And it shows.
Me: What authors do you look up to and why?
Johnny: Elmore Leonard and Tim Dorsey are my mystery heroes. Leonard defined a genre, Dorsey writes to my irony. Cormac McCarthy shows me what language can do, the shadows it can cast.
Me: What’s your favorite food?
Johnny: Beef Barbecue Back Ribs – my own recipe.
Me: What’s your favorite movie?
Johnny: Generally speaking, I’d say Blade Runner, but I have many favorites. Noir, detective, mystery, heavy thematic influence and cool as all get out. Thoughtful science fiction.
Me: If your book was turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?
Galen: Jake Gyllenhaal
Bonnie: Chloë Grace Moretz
Brand: Ben Mendelsohn
Carson: Gary Busey
Alice: Lena Headey
Me: Describe your book in one sentence.
Johnny: Galen Reed and his gang of political activists face ruin when things get out of control during a blackmail scheme of a local Utah philanderer.
Me: What kind of interaction do you hope to see from your fans?
Johnny: I dream of a connection the way Edward Abbey had with his fans for THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG, but I’ll settle for a fan-base who enjoy thoughtful character driven thrillers. I’m sure I’ll get letters complaining about the beginning of THE BRAND DEMAND from one group and the end from another. There is controversy in the book. I might piss people off. I might give them hope.
Me: Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
Without a doubt I’m an extrovert. I draw power from crowds.
Me: If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Calvin. I’d punch him in the nose. The whole “God loves the wealthy more than the He does the poor” has done more social damage than any other single idea.
Galen is political. Galen is fed up. Galen is a blackmailer.
Brand is a jerk who has money. He had an affair and Galen found out. Now Brand has
A criminal and self-styled Robin Hood, Galen must face down a ruthless enemy who
does not share his ideological limitations.
In the footsteps of Edward Abbey’s THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG, THE BRAND
DEMAND follows a group of political activists who strike at the system with cunning and
guile while getting rich doing it.
Galen takes risks and money, but when his plans go awry, he quickly learns that politics
are no substitute for wits.
Galen has to come to grips with his own boundaries of action and love while running for
his life in Southern Utah. He has to stay under the radar, dodging skinheads and corporate
moguls, Latter Day Saints romance writers and cheating husbands and—of course and
Learn more about Johnny and all of his published works at the following links:
About the Author:
Johnny Worthen is a nationally acclaimed, award winning author of books and stories.
A son of the Wasatch Mountains, he graduated with a BA in English and Master’s in
American Studies from the University of Utah. With this basis in literary and cultural
criticism plus a lifetime of scars, he writes upmarket, multi-genre fiction seeking truth in
When not presenting at conferences or attending conventions, Johnny is most likely
hard at work at his keyboard somewhere in Sandy, Utah with his wife, two sons and cat.
“I write what I like to read; this guarantees me at least one fan.”