For Jon Goode, nothing is more valuable than connection. Whether he is performing or writing, he wants his audience to feel tied to the content of his work. From that desire, Conduit was born. Ranked as the #1 New Release in African-American poetry on Amazon, Conduit by author/poet Jon Goode captures the intimate emotions that draw readers together. This week the Atlanta-based writer took time out to answer our questions about Conduit and his writing process. 
1. What is Conduit about? rsz_jon_goode_final_edit_-40_1

Conduit is about life. The book is a microcosm of life, especially as seen through the lens of the African-American experience. The book runs the gamut thematically and emotionally. You’ll read about love, politics, success, failure, pain, joy, laughter, tears, child rearing, corporate America, injustice, hope, disease, wellness and much more. The book is a mirror reflecting back to the reader a life both known and, at times, unknown to them; and hopefully by the conclusion the readers will feel better for having taken such a long and deep look at society and by extension themselves.
 
2. Nostalgia is a noticeable theme in Conduit. Can you tell us what role it plays in your life?

Taking readily recognized themes and situations from the past and using them as a common ground to make a salient point about society has great value. The familiarity invites the reader in, the warmth urges the reader to stay and hopefully the poems and stories will leave the reader hungry to read on.
 
3. What is the Good(e) Experiment?

In this day and age artists have unprecedented access to their audience. There was a time when you needed a record label or publishing house or some intermediary to reach the people who enjoy your work, but now they are only a click away. 

I began the Good(e) Experiment on www.jongoode.webs.com, my Facebook page and other social media outlets to see if I could capture my audience. I wanted to see if I could bring them my content in a way that would be interesting and exciting. I wanted to encourage them to support my art and career as a writer. I must say, the experiment has been a wonderful success.


4. When did you start writing Conduit?

I began writing poems in college at James Madison University. I had no plans for the few poems I wrote. They lived in a notebook where they would never see the light of day… except in the rare instance when I wrote a love poem to a young lady that I was trying to impress a bit (side note: it didn’t work). 

In time I moved to Atlanta where a friend (Veronica Robinson) forced me to go to an open mic one evening. I remember telling her, “I have no desire to see or hear people reciting poetry!” before begrudgingly going with her to the Yin Yang Cafe’s open mic night. 

That night was without a doubt one of the most trans-formative evenings of my life. I was beyond moved, impressed and inspired. I began that evening to explore the idea of writing poems for the stage. That exploration led to a love affair with words, stories and performance that I’ve maintained ever since. That love affair has seen me on stages across the world, nominated for an Emmy and the winner of a Promax.

You could say in fact that I began writing Conduit that very first night at the Yin Yang Cafe. There are poems in the book from my early days at the Yin Yang and poems that were written mere weeks before the final publication of Conduit.
 
5. What do you do when you’re not writing?

I eat. I sleep (a little). I tell good jokes. I tell bad jokes. I play basketball. I play chess in the park. I travel the nation and abroad performing at colleges, universities, festivals and on cruise ships; and I’m always thinking about what I’m going to write next.
 
6. What inspires you? 

Life. I love taking what appears to be mundane and pulling from it some truth, some insight that might be easily missed. I tell people all the time, “There is a song or poem or play or movie waiting for you every day on the other side of your door; whether you choose to write it or not is up to you… but it’s there.”
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McKenna Heintz

McKenna is a short story author and blogger with an affinity for all things science fiction. Originally hailing from northern Wisconsin, she has work appearing in Her Campus Roosevelt chapter, Eau Claire’s Volume One magazine, and various blogs. When she’s not daydreaming and writing, you can find her cycling in Chicago or in small coffee shops with her head in a book.

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