I am pleased to be able to tell you guys that today I have a special thing planned. The author James L Hill has agreed to do interview with me and that it is now complete. He is the author of the two book to the left and if you want to go see what they are all about the links will be at the bottom of this post. And now without further ado here is the interview:
1. What inspires you to write?
I draw inspirations from every day occurrences. Social and political events can be a great source for thrillers. Scientific discoveries are always an inspiration for a science fiction writer. I’ll see something in the papers, on television, or hear it on the radio and it will spark my imagination. I ask that all powerful question, “What If?” and go from there. I heard of a process called cryotherapy for treating certain cancers and from that came my short story Cold Storage. Sometimes it is a person. The look in their eyes, or the way they talk, or the way the way they dress will cause me to build an entire world around them.
2. What research do you do, if any, before you start writing a novel?
For science fiction I research the technology and conditions that the story will contain. For Pegasus: A Journey To New Eden I researched Mars, fusion technology, and the jumpjets – planes being develop to function as jets in Earth’s atmosphere and rockets outside of it.
For Killer With A Heart, my adult crime fiction I really didn’t have to do that much research. I grew up in the time and place that I am writing about, with the types of people in the story. I did, however, go to a gun range a few times to fire different types of weapons to get a feel for the way they handle. And it was a lot of fun.
3. Do you have any weird writing habits? If yes, what?
I sometimes put on some cartoon channel that runs all night and let it play while I write. Since I write at night and have no clocks around, it helps me keep track of the time. Each show runs a half hour and after five or six shows I know it is time to go to bed, or I would wind up writing until the sun comes up. Also I always have to have a big cup of hot tea when I sit down to write.
4. Do you have a certain time that you set aside to write? Or do you just write when the mood hits?
I got into the habit of writing late at night after everyone has gone to bed, usually starting around 1a.m. I am also an insomniac so I don’t sleep that much anyway. If an idea comes to me, I try to write it down right away, I’ll email myself the idea to be worked on later, or jot it down on a piece of paper and stick it in my pocket.
5. What does your writing process look like?
It is quite orderly. I start with a synopsis, a page or two detailing the flow and main characters in the story. Next I’ll write characterizations on all the major characters in the story. After that I begin writing the chapter outline, I get very detailed here, describing the action, other characters, and any subplots that may occur. Then I write the book in order, from chapter one to the end. If I think of something that should be in a later chapter, I’ll add it to the outline. I then copy that part in when I get to it.
6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are very important and are the hardest thing for me to come up with. A good name is memorable, and a bad name is disastrous. Both, the way they sound and their meanings are important, especially for foreign names. I like to find names that fit the character’s position in the story. I googled sites like http://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/russian for Killer With A Heart. You can change the country and find names and their meaning on this site.
7. How long does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from a year and a half to two years. I wrote Killer With A Heart in a little over a year because it is the first book in the series and I was planning it for a long time. I am more than a year in on the second book, Killer With Three Heads, and I’m only half way done. It is a bigger book and a bit more complex story.
8. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book when I was in my twenties. That was so many years ago. That book I never tried to get published. A few years later I wrote Pegasus while riding the subway to and from work. I wrote in exactly one hour intervals.
9. What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very supportive of my writing. They were all very happy to hear I published my books. Some, especially the women, found it hard to read Killer With A Heart. They could not separate the images therein from the author they knew. I take it as a complement.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How much post work is involved. I spend a good amount of time promoting and publicizing my work. I thank you, and people like you, for your support and help in getting my books to a wider audience.
11. What do you think makes a good story?
Without a question good characters, you must have strong characters to propel your story along. If people don’t care about your characters, they won’t care about the story they are telling. Strong, believably characters in believable situations is what makes a good story.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Never give up. Remember rejection is part of the business, learn to deal with it and to learn from it. Write everyday, get in the habit of writing and throw nothing away. A piece of a story that fizzles out after a couple of pages might one day be a part of a book.
If you want to contact or just check him out here are his web connections:
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/jlhill
Killer With A Heart:
Pegasus: A Journey To New Eden: