About John Rogers

I have thought of myself as a writer for most of my adult life. In 2011, I became a fiction writer full time. I studied creative writing as an English major in college. Then came family and career. I worked in finance and biotech and did a wonderful stint in Vienna. Now, I have the opportunity to use those experiences as the substrate for my stories. My first novel takes on the world of Big Data and the very timely issue of cyber war. The second uses the manipulation of financial derivatives as impetus for attempted murder during a trip from Vienna to Budapest on the Danube. I have taken writing instruction at the Cape Cod Writers Conference and from The Loft in Minneapolis. I am finding writers’ groups to be very helpful as concept editors, as well as practical advice from the published authors. I am in three such groups. I have taken writing instruction at the Cape Cod Writers Conference and from The Loft in Minneapolis.

An Epiphany

This morning, I attended a brunch to honor Carl Brookins, a founder of the critique group Crème de la Crime and author of several crime novels and series. Crème de la Crime was born from a writing course at The Loft, the organization which is to the Twin Cities writing community what infrastructure is to travel. Carl has decided to become emeritus after a 20-year-plus run of providing coffee, popcorn, and a lovely home to the group.The gathering of current and former members was an occasion for reminiscence, celebration, and conversation.  How lucky I am to live in the Twin Cities and to have such resources as these.

So there I was, enjoying breakfast with friends, when the epiphany hit.

See, I have always been a science-based sort of guy.  No mysterious suprafactual forces in my universe.  But … something happened as I was bathing in the flow of conversation this morning. Maybe sitting in the aura of massive writerly power (there were seventeen of us) threw a switch somewhere in the occipital or parietal lobes and made me see the truth I have been missing.

I have been struggling with the design of my fourth Mayfield-Napolitani novel.  So far, it has the problems I was tasked to change in the other novels:  a complex plot (gene therapy gone bad) and too many characters.  In writing Mayfield-Napolitani #1, Fatal Score, I was a proud seat-of-the-pantser.  Also a not so proud and often frustrated rewriter (I published rewrite #14).  This time, I knew I needed to outline.  As a result, I have been writing out the procession of people and events, getting tangled, tripping, starting over.  

Maybe it was always obvious, just not to me, but the outline I need is about what happens; how the story is finally presented is another matter entirely.  Nobody told me that directly this afternoon; it appeared while I was contemplating the last bits of scrambled egg.  I guess there are things we do not understand about the brain.  

The brunch buffet was tasty, too.