John H. Byk (pen name, Conrad Johnson) was born and raised on the gritty streets of Detroit, Michigan. After surviving high school, he joined the Coast Guard and then went back to school to earn his Masters of Art in English. Still aching to see more of the world, he worked as a Merchant Seaman and then taught English in Japan and Thailand before returning to Detroit to teach high school.
Having had enough, Byk retired early and now spends his time writing and interviewing contemporary authors on his podcast blog, 2012writersALIVE, from his home in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula. When not chained to the computer, he spends his free time hunting, fishing, hiking, sailing and enjoying nature with his best friend Judy and his adoring canine, Sarah.
About the book:
Detroit Daze is a novel about guts, glory, and gangs set in the Mad Motor City of Detroit, Michigan. Not for the faint of heart. Not for the nostalgic minded reader. Not for suckers but for survivors only.
What was your inspiration for Detroit Daze?
I wrote my first novel, Till the Moon Falls, in 2010. When I finished it, a sequel came to mind so I went right to work on that. It's called, Xe-Nophobia. After finding an old high school friend on Facebook, he suggested that I should write a novel about those wild and crazy days so I did, figuring that a trilogy was better than a "duology." The book is a prequel that completes The John Oxman Voyages series.
How long did it take you to complete it?
Once I finished my first novel I couldn't stop writing. I finished all three books in a year and then a fourth one and now I'm working on my fifth. I've also written nonfiction, chapbooks along the way. If there's a day that goes by that I'm not writing, then I'm thinking about writing.
What do you find most challenging about writing crime fiction?
Avoiding sensationalism. Blood and violence for its own sake does not a good story make. There has to be a compelling narrative to justify it all.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
To be honest, I hated the entire manuscript when I was done with it. But then I shared it with Rebecca Forster, indie author of the best selling Witness Series and she nearly flipped out because she loved it so much. She answers this question best when she posted a review on Amazon that says, "Every word, every plot turn, every scene was so graphically presented that the reader prays the main character will be able to escape his circumstances. You will never forget Heavy, Berwyn and the rich cast of characters portrayed in this novel."