John Rallios had dreamed of being a published author since the age of 14.
Though his very first job as a freelance reporter for the French Camp community seemed to be leaning him in the direction of a writing profession, he ended up choosing a different career path. Rallios spent 18 years as a firefighter and 8 years as a detention officer at Juvenile Hall before working in welfare and mental health and now his present position as a Deputy Public Conservator for people with dementia.
While having an extremely fulfilling career in a field geared toward helping others, Rallios’ passion for writing and his childhood dreams of being a published author always remained in the back of his mind.
It was a good eight years in the making due to writing and re-writing but his dreams finally came true in 2015 when publisher, Black Rose Writing, published Rallios first book, “The Gopher and the Erstwhile Gopher” which is available at amazon.com as well as the publisher’s website.
The enchanting story tells of a gopher who accidentally eats a magic carrot from the garden of a recluse ex-wizard, giving him the ability to speak and in time befriend the former warlock. As the story progresses, the two unlikely friends become separated when traveling to a nearby village and must face many perilous adventures culminating in a battle between good and evil, in effort to be reunited.
The inspiration for the novel which theme reveals, size does not count for significance but it’s the heart that makes all the difference, came after Rallios wrote a short story for his church bulletin.
“I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy in the tradition of The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia, and I thought it would be perfect to expound into a full length novel that would appeal to the young and the young at heart. I would never have finished it, if I hadn’t finally quit trying so hard and decided to just do it,” he said.
While the dream-come-true, publishing experience was euphoric, Rallios admits that the process itself grounded him back to earth with all the hard work that comes with writing and publishing a novel, particularly in the area of editing.
It is often very difficult for a writer to edit his own work and being that professional editing does not come cheap, sometimes authors have no other chose but to tackle the tedious editing task alone, which often leads to grammatical errors making its way into the final draft which can be a bit of a disappointment. Nonetheless, as Rallios discovered, minor errors don’t take away from the quality of the story and the overall wonderful experience.
“It was a great experience, from which I’ve learned a lot, and the end result is a book that I’m very happy with,” he said.
The Manteca author plans to hold book signings at Barnes & Noble and other bookstores over the next few months in Modesto, Stockton and Sacramento. Also plans to participate in the 2016 Annual Great Valley Bookfest held at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley in the fall, just as he did in 2015.
Gaining a wealth of knowledge from his first published book, Rallios is excited about completing his next book, a mystery/adventure titled, “Had a Great Fall”, which he hopes to have ready for publication in the near future.
To learn more about author John Rallios visit his website gopherfantasy.weebly.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@jrallios).