1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?
I have always written little throwaway things, even as a kid, but I didn't seriously pursue writing until I was 40. I have always been an avid reader and one day read a book so terrible I was inspired to write one that was everything I wanted to read. Then I read Lilith Saintcrow's series of blogs on writing and she made me realize that I could write a book. It didn't have to remain a dream. I could make it happen.
So I did. I sat down and wrote what became BLOOD AND BULLETS.
2. What first attracted you to your genre when it comes to writing?
I love the genre as a fan. I read a ton of urban fantasy. I the ability to take crazy ass monsters and shove them into this world. It makes for good stories. Plus the ability to update and spin mythology into new directions is awesome.
I mean I get to make up Were-spiders and in the same book I can have an Immortal who was cursed by God Himself. I love it.
3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?
That is a tough one. Deacon is the main man and is truly the closest voice in my head. I love the darkness that lives inside him because of his tragic past. I also like being able to play with writing someone who is the alpha male in an extreme world and situation.
But the secondary cast in the Deacon books is awesome.
Tiff is fun to write. She gives me the chance to write a very feminine character who can more than hold her own. She's a good counterpart to Deacon. He's all shoot first, kick ass now, straight ahead and wide open. Tiff is much more gentle, but in her core she has that strength that women have that makes them tough and resilient and damn near unstoppable. She has picked Deacon as her man and she has the strength to help him get to a place where he can accept that. It's not easy, since he's so damaged (who wouldn't be after losing their family to ritualistic slaughter at the hands of a monster and then spending five years killing evil things) but she is determined. Plus it's fun to watch her move from being a girl who knew nothing about the world Deacon lives in to being a woman who can hold her own in it.
There's some great stuff in store for her in book two.
4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?
I read mostly urban fantasy and crime with some horror. I'll read anything that is written well. Crime would be the one I love most besides my genre. I'll read every book that Andrew Vachss writes. I am reading the Ken Bruen books. Plus I love Anthony Neil Smith...I think everyone should read ALL THE YOUNG WARRIORS. It's a great book.
5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?
Actually I have a day job. For the last 16 year I have been a professional tattoo artist and I own my own shop just above Atlanta named Family Tradition Tattoo. So if I wasn't slinging words I would still be slinging ink. lol.
I love tattooing. It has an immediacy to it that I enjoy.
But if I have to pick something different than I would be an international assassin.
6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
I love this book. I have reread it many many times. It's a great movie too, but the book is something special. I think women should read it too if they want to understand how a man thinks.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I read this book before revising a manuscript. The language that Cormac imparts into his tale is breathtaking. I wish I could write even a quarter as beautifully as he. Truly a wonderful experience and a joy if you love the written word.
Bury Me Deep by Harold Q. Masur
I said I love crime books, the more hard-boiled the better. As much as I like Spillane, Chandler, and Parker my hands down favorite is Harold Q. Masur. This is a great book with a nice little plot and it is handled so smoothly you just read with a smile on your face.
Honorable mentions: Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?
Just a device for writing. I move around when I am writing from computer at work, to computer at home, to my netbook. Just here and there. I don't do longhand, but give me a keyboard and a word processing program and I am a house on fire!
I don't need a special tea, or a playlist.
I can write in silence or noise. I just can't have the tv on with dialog. If I do it begins to creep into my words.
8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)
Hmmmmm. All the characters I love have pretty crap lives. They go through a lot of tragedy cause it makes good storytelling.
Make me Conan. That seems fun. I could be an adventurer, a sell sword, a pirate, and a king. I could carve out my own destiny by the strength of my arm and the keen edge of my sword.
Do that, it sounds like a good idea.
About the author:
Born and raised in Georgia, James grew up enjoying all that the South had to offer. Good food, adventure in mild winters and got muggy summer, excellent music and good church folks.
Now he lives in a nice house that has a great yard with the missus, the daughter, the son , the nephew and six goofy dogs. He owns his own tattoo shop, FAMILY TRADITION TATTOO, and he is a published author.
Life is good.
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Coming August 2012:
Blood and Silver:He hasn't met a monster yet that could give him a scare. With ice in his veins, silver hollow-points in his chambers, and an innate ability to rise from the dead, what's to fear? The answer may be something he doesn't want to face...
Deacon Chalk normally has no trouble telling innocent victims from real monsters. So protecting an abused pregnant were-dog is a no-brainer...until a vicious lycanthrope leader and his brotherhood target Deacon, other shape-shifters, and any humans in their way. Suddenly Deacon is outnumbered, outgunned and unsure who--or what--to trust. The only edge he has left is a weapon hungry for his soul and his most savage impulses. And using it will exact a price even this hell-raising hunter fears to pay...
James is offering an ebook of any of the Deacon Chalk books to one lucky person!
Rules for entry:
- Must be 17 years old to enter
- Giveaway ends
- Open INTERNATIONALLY
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