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Monday, 11 April 2016

NBTM & #GIVEAWAY - In Defense of the Moth by Johnny Newport

In Defense of the Moth


A Meaningless Dance in Blinding Heat and Light

by Johnny Newport



Literary Fiction



The Moon...

It is said the moon’s spell can move us and nobody understands her pull like Johnny Gomez.

Johnny, a devil-may-care and fatalistic salesman, remains tethered to his privileged life by a love for his children, his career and the moon—and not necessarily in that order. In fact, it’s Johnny’s lifelong passion for the moon, through both obsessive, independent study and a communal involvement in an astronomy society, that serves as the only outward distraction as a life of standard struggles waxes into a burgeoning crisis.

Until one night Johnny finds that the moon—his preferred method of self-medication-- no longer exists...but for him only and not anyone else.

Or so it seems, leaving Johnny’s continued marriage with reality to hinge on his rediscovery of the moon!

If you like allegories and/or philosophical apologies for acute insanity, grab “In Defense of the Moth or A Meaningless Dance in the Blinding Heat and Light” and join the eclipse.

 “I walked past a block of shuttered buildings. Most I noticed had been shuttered for a long time, but the last office was a more recent failure. It was a beauty salon last I remembered. I reached the street corner where the tall street lamp was planted in the sidewalk and I gazed upward. A flutter of moths danced to the low hum of energy the light created. It wasn’t much and it wasn’t for long as they would be dead soon, but at least without the light of the moon they had the luck of having a substitute for their meaning, even if artificial, through man’s production.

They owe us one, I thought.”

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m just a moth enjoying the hum of an incandescent light bulb. I’m just another, oft-failed man trying to survive. I’m just a voice in the increasingly suburban wilderness; a would-be three-time felon if not for the privilege of my lawyerly friends. I’m just another husband and dad, trying to be good and provide for those that mean the most to me.

But mostly I’m just trying not to throw it all away, day by day.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I work a 9-5 job in technology, I play a lot of freeze tag in the backyard, I pretend I’m Wile E. Coyote amongst excited “meep” “meep” and tongue rolls, I throw a lot of balls, clean a mean room, I play dolls, have tea parties, I chauffer swim practices and enforce piano lesson practice. I try to read and every once in a while can actually write.

But mostly I probably charge iPads.

Do you have a day job as well?

I do, I’m a territory sales rep for the West Coast. I spend a lot of time talking to people in my territory, traveling to conferences on the West Coast, doing demo’s of software and educating the industry on our RCM and EMR solutions.

But mostly I think about my fiction.

What was your favourite book as a child?

My favorite book as a child was Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I have the original copy I was given with the inscription and date of 1983, and gave it to my son. I remember enjoying the monsters and even had little yard dolls of them. My grandmother was crafty and decorated a chair for me with the Wild Things theme. While I didn’t like the movie, I loved the book for its illustrations and the feel-good story and ending.

But mostly I think I liked it because I found a kindred kid-soul, in Max.

What book do you wish you had written?

I wish I had written Blood Meridian. I just reread it for the third time and it amazes each time. I’m as big a Hemingway fan as anyone else, but I agree with those that say that Blood Meridian is the best American offering to world literature and the greatest of American canon. I wish I had written it because maybe my long sentences and word choices and rare vulgarities would be looked upon as artistic and not hackneyed.

Who are we kidding? Mostly I wish I wrote it because there is not a more fascinating character than McCarthy’s “The Judge”.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I suppose it was a natural extension from the type of books that interested me and that I read. I can’t, or at least I don’t, recall ever making a conscious choice or decision to write in any genre at the exclusion of any other. I didn’t sit down and say “okay, I’m going to write transgressive, fabulist litfic and will not write cyber thrillers, or whatever else.”

Mostly it’s like Tupac said, “I didn’t choose [literary fiction] life, [literary fiction] life chose me.”

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

The book that influenced me the most was Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I can go on and on and on and on, but if you want the long and short of it, it pretty much changed my life when I read it as a 19 year old. This book was a very formative narrative for me and tapped within me the wellspring of existential living, of which I adhere, and sprung from the deep the driving questions that move my life: Why do I do the things I do? Why do I want the things I want? What are my passions and goals? What do I strive for? Why even live?

But Mostly: What is the meaning of my living? For what am I living for?

How did you come up with the title?

The original and working title for the novel was “The Moth and the Moon”. I’d just read The Old Man and the Sea and I think subconsciously that name stuck with me. But then I googled and there was a children’s book in that name and so I thought to myself, “what is this book really about? It’s the defense of something…”

Mostly the name is an homage to my pettiness and how serious I take everything because I’m weak and insecure and nothing at all like Jesus or a prophet, unfortunately.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you for your support and I love you.

I say that mostly because my readers are my friends, family, writing group/writer friends, and support group.

Do you read your reviews?

Quick Fire
1. Light or dark chocolate- Dark
2. Favourite colour - Orange
3. Dogs or cats - Cats
4. Tea or coffee – Iced Tea
5. Light side or dark side – Light
6. Morning, noon or night? Night
7. Black and white or colour? Color
8. Drawings or paintings? Paintings
9. Dresses or skirts? Skirts
10. Books or movies? Books
11. Pepsi or Coke? Coke
12. Chinese or Italian? Chinese
13. Early bird or night owl? Night Owl
14. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
15. Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert
16. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
17. Hunting or fishing? Hunting
18. Winter or summer? Summer
19. Spring or fall? Fall
20. Rural or urban? Urban
21. PC or Mac?  PC
22. Tan or pale? Tan
23. Cake or pie? Pie
24. Ice cream or yogurt? Ice Cream
25. Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
26. Sweet pickles or dill pickles? Dill
27. Comedy or mystery? Comedy
28. Boots or sandals? Boots
29. Silver or gold? Gold
30. Jazz or classical? Classical
31. Dancing or singing? Singing
32. Checkers or chess? Chess
33. Board games or video games? Board
34. Wine or beer?
35. Freckles or dimples? freckles
36. Honey mustard or BBQ sauce? BBQ
37. Body weight exercises or lifting weights? weights
38. Baseball or basketball? Tie
39. Crossword puzzles or sudokus? Crossword
40. Facial hair or clean shaven? Clean
41. Crushed ice or cubed ice? Cubed
42. Skiing or snowboarding? Skiing
43. Smile or game face? Smile
44. Bracelet or necklace? Necklace
45. Fruit or vegetables? Fruit
46. Sausage or bacon? Sausage
47. Scrambled or fried? Fried
48. Tattoos or piercings? Piercings
49. Antique or brand new? Antique
50. Dress up or dress down? Dress up
51. Cowboys or aliens? Cowboys
52. Pancakes or waffles? Pancakes
53. Bond or Bourne? Bond
54. Sci-Fi or fantasy? Fantasy
55. Numbers or letters? Letters
56. Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek
57. Fair or theme park? Fair
58. Money or fame? Fame
59. Washing dishes or doing laundry? Dishes
60. Snakes or sharks? Snakes
61. Orange juice or apple juice? Orange
62. Sunrise or sunset? Sunset
63. Slacker or over-achiever? Over-achiever
64. Pen or pencil? Pen
65. Peanut butter or jelly? Jelly
66. Grammys or Oscars? Oscars
67. Detailed or abstract? Abstract
68. Multiple choice questions or essay questions? Essay
69. Adventurous or cautious? Adventurous
70. Saver or spender? Spender
71. Glasses or contacts? Glasses
72. Laptop or desktop? laptop
73. Classic or modern? classic
74. Personal chef or personal fitness trainer? chef
75. Internet or cell phone? Internet
76. Call or text? Text
77. Curly hair or straight hair? Straight
78. Shower in the morning or shower in the evening? morning
79. Spicy or mild? spicy
80. Marvel or DC? Marvel
81. Paying a mortgage or paying rent? rent
82. Sky dive or bungee jump? Bungee jump
83. Oreos or Chips Ahoy? oreos
84. Jelly or pudding? pudding
85. Truth or dare? dare
86. Roller coaster or Ferris wheel? Roller coaster
87. Leather or denim? denim
88. Stripes or solids? solids
89. Bagels or muffins? bagels
90. Whole wheat or white? wheat
91. Beads or pearls? pearls
92. Hardwood or carpet? carpet
93. Bright colours or neutral tones? bright
94. Be older than you are or younger than you are? younger
95. Raisins or nuts? raisins
96. Picnic or nice restaurant? Nice restaurant
97. Black leather or brown leather? black
98. Long hair or short hair? short
99. “Ready, aim, fire” or “Ready, fire, aim”? ready, aim, fire
100. Fiction or non-fiction? fiction
101. Smoking or non-smoking? Non-smoking
102. Think before you talk or talk before you think?  Talk before think
103. Asking questions or answering questions? asking

Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  B&N  |  Kobo

Johnny Newport will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here

 Johnny Newport (The Moth) is carrying the consciousness of the oft-failed man native to 2016. Strictly from a visual standpoint he looks like he may be kept in a nice package, but this is not so. Johnny Newport has two feet on the warpath and probably smells like last night’s street tacos.

Johnny knows that his devil-may-care attitude is unfair—to himself and to others—but this is precisely the origin for the voice of an unbridled generation of privilege; the 21st-century-livers that intimately know they have squandered (squandered what? How can we say definitively and with any assurance despite knowing that a squandering has, indeed, befallen?), and will continue to do so, happily.

Otherwise about me, I studied at the University of Texas at Austin, have spent the last two years in The Writer's Path program at SMU (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and have applied to a handful of low-res MFA programs for fall of '16.

Short story publications in 2015 were:

* Mr. Franklin’s Heartbreaking Sympathy (The Speculative Book, anthology)

* La Tortuga, (Limestone, University of Kentucky MFA journal)

* He, Who Controls the Spices (Euphemism, Illinois State University graduate journal)

* I Blame Lolita (Moth magazine, Ireland's premiere literary review)
* Letter to the Jew's Mom (The Vehicle, Eastern Illinois University online journal)

Website  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter

Tour Organised By: 

Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

  3. Great post, I enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for sharing :)