After a cool week and a dusting of snow (blech!) this weekend is back up into the high 50s. This morning, however, I’m off to pick up this week’s featured author who say he has the perfect spot for our interview. Soon we’re relaxing in a clearing on Mt. Shasta in California. The sky is blue and a snow-capped peak rises above us. Late season birds twitter and it’s just beautiful.
So beautiful I’m content to lean back, close my eyes, and drift…ouch! Somebody poked me with a stick. Oh, sorry, I’m not bored, just comfortable…so comfortable…ouch! Okay, enough with the stick. Let’s get to the interview.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I’m not even the most fascinating person on my street! There’s a guy nearby that repairs computer and iPhones and does family counseling–all in the same clinic/shop. Now that’s talent. But for those who find writers interesting, I guess I might lead an interesting life, although it’s filled with a lot of work. But, to answer your question…my name’s J.R. Rain and I’m a writing-aholic. I write too much and play too little, although my goal is to flip-flop that formula.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
Well, it’s no surprise that I worked as a private investigator, unless one never reads the “About the Authors” at the back of my books. Readers might be surprised to know that I run my own publishing company now, J.R. Rain Press.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as a movie star?
I’m a bit of an introvert, despite what you might see at a book signing or book reading. Talking in front of people stresses me out, although once I get started, it’s hard to shut me up! I prefer communication from behind a keyboard.
4. Writers are readers. With which author would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Oh, man. All of them? I think I’ve enjoyed every dinner (or coffee) with every author I’d had the pleasure to meet. Probably high up there on the list would be Stephen King. Can you imagine talking shop with him? Granted, I would be listening.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book be great company?
Well, a copy of Samantha Moon (which is five books in one), might make a nice pillow…or a prop for your iPad! But, if you do settle in for a read…you might chuckle here and there, and there’s a small chance I might surprise you with the ending, too. Mostly, I hope to get you to care about my characters. If I can do that, then I’m a happy writer.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
I will start thinking about a plot a few days before I sit down to write my next book. Some plots stay with me for a long time, and they’re waiting patiently for their turn. Mostly, though, I write on the fly, coming up with the story, often, a day or two before I begin writing. I don’t use an outline, although I do write notes to myself if I’m stuck in the story. Mostly, I just like to surprise myself…and follow the story wherever it might lead. I sometimes will travel to a location, although most of my books are set in my various hometowns (I’ve lived in a lot of places).
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
I would recommend taking a writing class, or buying some great books on writing. There’s so many wonderful books that will give you solid, workable, repeatable tools. Grab Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. Or Orson Scott Card’s Character & Viewpoint, and they will help right the ship.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Work smarter, not harder. One great idea is all you need.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing. What’s next for you?
Because writing sure beats 8-hour works days! Mostly, because I have hundreds of stories to tell.
I’ll be releasing the fourth Jim Knighthorse novel in about three weeks! He’s my hard-hitting, cocky private eye with a heart of gold.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
Find me on Facebook or at www.jrrain.com! Thank you for having me! Great questions!!