SPOTLIGHT: Jonathan Ballagh

Welcome to SPOTLIGHT! Each Tuesday I’ll be posting a quick interview with an awesome person you need to know. This week, my new friend Jonathan Ballagh kindly gave his time to answer some questions.


1. For those that don’t know, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Thanks, Alan. I’m a science fiction writer, relatively new, still learning the ropes. I self-published my first book, The Quantum Door, a few years back. It’s a middle-grade sci-fi story about two brothers who make a startling discovery in the woods behind their house. I’m getting ready to release the sequel this week. It’s called The Quantum Ghost and I’m excited (and nervous) to get it out there.

2. What inspires you from day to day?

Inspiration comes from all directions, and for writing, I try to focus on the interplay between technology, nature, and humanity, and how each one has the power to influence the other in strange and unpredictable ways. Sometimes it feels like we’re actually living inside a sci-fi novel. Every day brings some kind of breakthrough: some positive, some downright terrifying. But it means that life is never boring.

I mentioned that my first two books are written for a middle-grade audience. I have three young children that keep my head buzzing with ideas. Seeing things through their eyes, watching how each of them perceives the world differently, you can’t help but be inspired. There’s a magic in life that can fade as you get older, and spending time with family is a way for me to bring it back. I’ve always wanted to write—my family is the reason I finally got serious about it.

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3. Is there significance in the way you go about your work?

I set goals for my writing so that I have at least some metrics to evaluate my progress. They’re also there to push me toward the finish line. The truth is I miss them more often than not, and so I’ve learned to be more reasonable with expectations and not give myself too hard of a time if I fail. That’s been a bit of a struggle, honestly.

4. Can you describe your process for us?

I would love to have a more structured process: coffee + 500 words first thing in the morning, or something like that. But it wasn’t meant to be—not for now at least. Times to write are scarce, so I write when I can: usually when everyone’s still asleep, often very early in the morning. For some reason, I write better (at least I hope I do) when I first wake up. There’s a mental filter that clogs with the tensions of the day, so I have a harder time writing at night.

5. How has that process changed over the years?

It’s a process that remains in constant flux. But now at least, after two novels and several short stories, I know what to expect for each part of the self-publishing process. When I get near the end of a project, my wife helps me carve out more time than usual in order to wrap things up. She’s a rock star and I owe her everything for helping me chase my dream.

6. Where can people go to find more about you?

I hope you’ll visit my website: You’ll find links to my books, as well as a few free short stories I’ve posted online.


Check out Jonathan’s Work!

About Alan V. Nelson

Alan V. Nelson is a writer living in North Carolina. Through the use of fiction and non-fiction, his mission is to encourage hope and healing in others. When he isn't writing, reading, taking pictures, or on a long walk, he can be found enjoying good chai and conversation at a local coffee shop. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram @alanvnelson

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