If you like books that make you think, you’re in the right place.
If crossing the story-streams of intelligent, funny, complex, poignant, and even a touch of subversive sounds interesting to you (or at least not totally offensive), you’re in the right place.
If you’ve ever wondered how successful writers do what they do and wondered what it’s like (or what it takes) to be a full-time creator, you’re in the right place … because I’m an open book around here. I share everything.
Even if you’re a writer yourself, and just want to see how another writer works? Then you too are in the right place.
If you’ve seen Being John Malkovitch and want to get inside a creator’s head in exactly the same way except with less John Malkovitch, less Cameron Diaz making friends with a chimpanzee, and more talk about Robocop … then yeah, this is the place for you.
You just read my Being John Malkovitch joke. If it wasn’t totally repellant, you should definitely:
But what I do here goes beyond story, really. And so: If you’re weird — if you live outside the usual nine dots, or feel like Neo living in the Matrix, or are bummed out by the world and bothered by how divided we’ve become — then you’re in the right place, too. Because, my friends, story has the power to change all of that.
If you’ll never “grow up” by the usual definition, if you refuse to lose your sense of wonder and curiosity about the world, and are always, always willing to believe in (or at least hope for) the best … then yeah, you’re in the right place.
Story is the root of who we are as people. It does more than entertain us and make us feel. It also bonds us. It explains everything. And it’s how we make our worlds what we want them to be.
Join me, will you?
Who I am
I’m a bestselling full-time author with over a hundred books to my name.
My best-known book is probably Fat Vampire, which was adapted by the SyFy Network as Reginald the Vampire. I don’t love the name change, but I do love the cast and creators. Some of my other big hits are Pretty Killer, The Beam, Pattern Black, Gore Point, Dead City, Invasion, and of course Unicorn Western.
Before I had a TV show, I was a minor publishing celebrity. My partners and I wrote a book called Write. Publish. Repeat. that became an industry cornerstone and taught a whole lot of people how to write and get published. We also held an annual convention in Austin, Texas called The Smarter Artist Summit, hosted the industry-leading Self Publishing Podcast, and did about ten billion other things … or so my agenda felt at the time.
Before I was a publishing celebrity, I was sort of an internet rabblerouser. I talked a lot about breaking out of the matrix of our everyday lives even back then, and these days my philosophy background — as well as recent books I’ve written — makes me talk about it even more.
Before I was an internet rabblerouser, I was a PhD graduate student in molecular genetics who spent his days counting fruit flies under a microscope and sorting-out the ones with red eyes. But that’s another story.
What I do
I write books. I talk about story wherever I can. I speak at events.
Little by little, I’m learning to write scripts.
For three years after I stopped doing the writing-education thing, I really only wrote books. It was great for a long time, but then I realized that the extrovert part of me (absent in most writers; I’m a weirdo) was no longer being fed. I wanted to be part of a community again. I missed having a connection with my fans, other than through email.
So I decided to start this site, come out of my writer’s cave, and get back in front of the world again.
Here I am, everyone … whether you want me or not.
What this site is
The short answer is that it’s all my best old shit, plus a bunch of new shit.
If you look at the dates on the oldest posts here, you’ll see that the most ancient is an essay called “The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You.” Yes, I really named it that. Yes, it went viral as hell when I first published it on a site that no longer exists. Yes, I published it again here and backdated the post because it’s a damn good essay. I read it through recently and felt it held up. A reader once told me that particular essay was “a spoiler for all of my books.” I’d never thought of it that way, but it’s true. What I believe is mostly in there, and what I believe has a tendency to make its way into my fiction. I’m deep like that.
I’ve done something similar with many of my old writings — some posts from my old blog, some posts I sent to my loyal list of awesome fans over the years. I only kept the stuff that stood the test of time.
I also launched the companion podcast for the TV show based on my books here. You’ll find it under “Podcast” in the top nav bar. It’s called Reginald the Vampire: After Sunrise. That’s a play on “after dark.” Because they’re vampires. Get it?
But mostly, this site exists so I could come out of the shell I’ve slowly built around myself ever since my old blog died in 2012. I missed being out there mixing it up, but had no platform anymore from which to do it. I hate social media with a red-hot passion, so re-joining Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whatever-the-fuck infuriating soul-suckers are out there now definitely wasn’t the answer. If you find me on social media … well, whatever you found isn’t me because fuck that shit. I’m kickin’ it old-school, trying to pretend social media never existed or just died a massive fiery death.
In the past, given my aversions, sending emails to my list was my only public outlet. My only platform. But that all changes with the launch of the new JohnnyBTruant.com.
Oh, and by the way? I’ve got a group of great readers and fans who’ve been with me forever — some of them since just after the fruit fly days. And that means it’s not just me around here. We’re building a community, yo.
If you want to join us, just click the button below. It’s a different subscription than any list of mine you might already be on, and doesn’t need to cost you a dime.
That’s subscribing. But FYI, members get more.
If you look around the site, you’ll see a bunch of videos and bonus posts that you need to be a member to see. A lot here is free … but members get more.
I wanted to keep membership affordable, but all the kimono-opening I do for members was worth more than free. I settled on charging $9 a month. You probably spend more than that when you go to Starbucks.
Members get me at my most raw. They’re basically right here in my office with me, seeing what only the people closest to me used to see. They also get behind-the-scenes footage whenever I travel somewhere interesting, an open line to ask me whatever questions they have, plus a bunch of members-only posts.
And that’s that.
I really hope you enjoy my site, my podcasts, and my work in general. You know what Jerry Maguire said: You complete me.
Now: Before you leave this page, don’t forget to subscribe to the site below. You don’t want to miss any of the fun, do you?
Subscribing costs nothing.