Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sinnerman by Jonathan M. Cook: Spotlight and giveaway

From the author of 'YOUTH AND OTHER FICTIONS' comes a love story for those who live in the real world, where love does not conquer all and actions do have consequences.

Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Category/Genre: Literary Fiction, Romance, Coming of Age

Available in: Print & ebook, 185 Pages

“Love makes sinners of us all.”
In the sleepy Midwestern town of Vespers…
In the sweltering summer heat…
Julian Sane, high school teacher and cad’s cad, is a man at war with himself. But a chance encounter with a former student will push him across professional boundaries and force him to confront his personal demons.

Note: SINNERMAN has attracted some controversy in Jonathan M. Cook’s  hometown due to a number of similarities between events in the book and actual events in the community over the past several years. This book is a work of fiction!

Praise for Youth and Other Fictions:
” I found myself totally engrossed in the book, almost against my will. I was drawn in by the inner dialog of the best friend, but also repulsed by some of his thoughts. The writing is clear, concise and effective and the tragic characters seem very real.”Theresa, Frugal Experiments

About Jonathan M. Cook:
Jonathan M. Cook was born in 1982.  He studied Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing at Eastern Illinois University before moving to Robinson, IL, to become a high school English teacher and faculty advisor for the student newspaper.  He is currently at work on his third novel.
Jonathan M. Cook’s 

Author Links:



  1. For people who haven’t heard of SINNERMAN, make a brief description.

It’s a dirty little book chock full of bad people doing terrible things!

A disreputable teacher falls for one of his former students and their hometown goes nuts.  The story traces how people fall in love and what love means in the face of external interference.

  1. When did you decided to become a writer?

My parents encouraged me from a young age to read widely and extensively.  Nothing I wanted to read was ever off limits.  As a result, I read a lot of really good books and a lot of really bad books.  One day when I was fourteen, I read this horrifically written book about office politics and computer nerds and decided I could write something at least better than that.  Once I started seriously writing, I realized how much I enjoyed it and that was that.

  1. What does your family think of your works?

I think they’d be happier if I wrote something a little more upbeat, but they’ve always been very supportive.  They tend to be very honest with me—my brother especially—which is a good thing, as so many of my readers seem uncomfortable at the idea of admitting something I wrote didn’t connect with them.

  1. Do you have specific habits when you write?

I generally write first drafts only in complete silence.  When I do almost anything else, I have music on in the background, but for first drafts, I like to be completely focused on the writing itself.  I don’t do a lot of outlining except in very broad terms—what the major moments in the story are and their chronological order—but I do extensive character sketches to make sure I know through and through who my characters are—what they want out of life, what significant events occurred in their pasts, what they drink, et cetera—even if many or sometimes most of those details never make it into the finished story.  When I finish a draft, I stick in a drawer for two weeks before looking at it again—that’s something I think Stephen King mentioned doing and it’s served me very well.

I also make sure I have a bottle of Scotch handy for when things get frustrating.

  1. Where do you get your inspiration?

That’s a loaded question!  Basically, anything can inspire me.  Anything that interests me, whether immediately or years later, can provide the germ of something.  When I wrote my master’s thesis, my inspiration was an article on the child pornography and the internet that I had read probably ten or twelve years earlier.  My first novel came out of my own personal reaction to and coping with the Columbine shooting and its aftermath.   SINNERMAN came out of a misunderstanding that turned into a hypothetical question.

One of my former students posted something on Twitter about a boy she was dating, and I happened to mention to one of my students at the time that I didn’t know she was dating anyone.  This led to a week of good-natured ribbing:  “Ooh, Mr. Cook likes Former Student R!  Tee-hee-hee!”  After awhile, I started wondering, what would happen if I did try to date a recent graduate?  The novel became my attempt to answer that question.

  1. Which of your characters is your favorite and why?

Clara Sane.  She is wonderfully eccentric but levelheaded.  She is fiercely loyal to those she cares about, even as she’s brutally honest with them.  To me, she represents a kind of moral center in a book that grays out much conventional morality.

  1. If you could have coffee with any character of any book, who would it be and why?

Nicholas Urfe from John Fowles’ The Magus.  I’d like to know who he is after the events of that book, how he views himself after experiencing all that he does.  And I’d like to know what happens to him and Allison after the last page.

  1. Name a book you wish you had written.

Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  The complete abandon with which he wrote always appealed me and I do wish I could let myself go the way he did.  Also, the way in which he blurs the line between actual experience and fiction is incredible to me.

  1. Would you like your book turned into a movie? Do you have any actors in mind?

Absolutely, though I’m not sure anyone would go to see it.  As a joke, I used to say I would cast James Deen and Lily Carter as Julian and Lily, because then the dirty parts could be really dirty, but I could see Ian Somerhalder or Jensen Ackles as the lead.  Mila Kunis was the actress I heard in my head when I was writing Clara, and Emma Watson would be my first choice for Lily.

  1. What do you do, besides writing?

I’m a high school English teacher—just like the guy in my dirty little book!  In that capacity, I sponsor the school newspaper and the Interact club.

  1. Do you have any hobbies?

I play the piano and try to play the guitar, though I’m not very good.  I’m a huge film buff—at night, I’m almost always watching movies if I’m not working on a draft or lesson plans.

  1. Guilty pleasures?

The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.  It’s one of the best classical music compilations I’ve heard.  I love The Vampire Diaries and Californication.

  1. What are you reading right now?

Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design.

  1. Name your favorite books.

James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  John Fowles’ A Maggot and The Magus.  Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.  Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 and After Dark.  Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.  Tristan Egolf’s Lord of the Barnyard.

  1. Name your favorite authors.

John Fowles.  Cormac McCarthy.  Jorge Luis Borges.  Bret Easton Ellis.  Thomas Pynchon.  Umberto Eco.  Shakespeare.  James Joyce.  William Faulkner.  Haruki Murakami.

  1. Best reward as a writer?

Hearing students of mine who aren’t necessarily big readers say they really enjoyed my work.  Getting people to read anything anymore is an uphill battle and hearing that I contributed somewhat to that really touches me.

  1. Biggest trouble you faced as a writer?

Being misunderstand.  Since I live in a very small community, most of the people I know know that I have published two novels and are at least passing familiar with their content.  By the nature of what I’ve written about, people tend to get uncomfortable, especially with my day job as a teacher.  For the most part, that hasn’t been a problem, but I have had the odd person try to make an issue out of my writing.

The strangest problem I’ve run into was when I hired a former student to help edit the manuscript for SINNERMAN.  She seemed very enthusiastic and made a number of good editorial calls, but shortly after I published, I heard that she had become convinced the book was about her, that she was Lily, and that the entire story was some kind of perverse fantasy on my part about her and I.  None of that is true, but I was faced with the problem of how to respond.  Simply put, there is no response to be given in a situation like that.  If I deny her claims, she’ll see that as further evidence of their accuracy; if I feign a confession, I’ll be run out of town.  For a long time, I debated whether or not to send her an email and apologize for somehow giving her that impression and tell her that was never my intention, but I’ve since decided it’s not worth the risks.  People will believe whatever they want to believe.

An interesting aside:  a number of people in town have evidently started a pool as to who Lily is based on, with my editor being the most popular guess.

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

I remind myself that everyone has his or her own likes and dislikes.  Then I look at the criticisms and try to objectively determine if they have any merit.  I once had a review that criticized the number of names in my first book that began with the letter J.  In my mind, that’s a ridiculous criticism, but that reviewer took issue with it, as was her right.  Bad reviews are simply part of publishing one’s work.

  1. Does music inspire you?

Very much so.  So much so that SINNERMAN’s chapter are all named after songs that I like.  To me, music is both a means of communication across boundaries and a major art form, perhaps the art form of the twenty-first century.  Music reflects emotions but also instills emotions in its audiences.  At one point in SINNERMAN, Julian even discusses modern music as a new kind of standard of aesthetics.

  1. Favorite movies?

The Social Network, The Crow, Kingdom of Heaven, Pretty Woman and Lost Highway.

  1. Do you have a nice relationship with your fans?

I like to think so.  I always try to stay in communication with them and answer questions they have or respond to their comments.  Readers of my first book came back to read my second book, so we have a pretty decent relationship.

 THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING INTERVIEW JONATHAN! and btw, The Vampire Diaries is a great show lol and if you speak Spanish and someday have the chance, you should read Borges in his original language, it's incredible! :)


  • There will be 1 winnner. 
  • If the winner is international it will get an e-copy of Sinnerman and if it is from the U.S, it will get a Paperback copy.
  • The winner has 48hs to answer when they get notified by email, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
  • 'I know that Book' will send the details of the winner to the author, and there ends our responsibility. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour:
So Many Precious Books Oct 15 Review & Giveaway
Rainy Days & Mondays Oct 16 Review
Rainy Days & Mondays Oct 17 Guest Post
From Isi Oct 18 Review
I Know That Book Oct 22 Interview
Faerie Tale Books Oct 24 Review
Sweeps for Bloggers Oct 25 Review & Giveaway
Giveaways & Glitter Oct 28 Review
Rose & Beps Blog Oct 29 Excerpt & Spotlight
M. Denise C. Oct30 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Oct 31 Review
Romance & Inspiration Nov 1 Review
Rainy Days & Pajamas Nov 4 Review
Joie Networking Witches Nov 5 Review & Giveaway
Harlie’s Book Blog Nov 6 Review
Harlie’s Book Blog Nov 7 Guest Post
Joystory Nov 7 Review
GrownUp Fangirl  Nov 11 Review
GrownUp Fangirl  Nov 12 Interview & Giveaway
Let’s Talk About Books Nov 13 Review
Princess & the Gummy Bear Nov 13 Video Review
Paperback Writer Nov 14 Mini Interview

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking part in the tour and hosting Jonathan!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
In accordance with FTC guidelines/regulations for bloggers and endorsements, please note that all the books reviewed on this blog were either purchased by me or provided to me by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased review and nothing else. In case of reviews for Blog Tours - while the company may have received some payment for their services, I as a host do not accept any payment and gain nothing in return for the review other than the book itself.

Book covers & Summary of the books are copied from Goodreads. No Copyright infringement Intended.
My reviews are my honest opinion and remain uninfluenced.