- GUEST AUTHOR, PODCASTER AND POET -
Today, I interview an interesting character from Ireland.
Welcome, James ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I was born on a farm in Galway, close to the sea, raised there till I was almost ten then moved to County Meath in the midlands about a 100 miles away another farm and a totally different landscape. I was the youngest of a family of ten: 6 girls and 4 boys. By the time I was in my teens most had moved out to work in the city. I was 7 years younger than the rest so I spent much time on my own. At 15 we moved to a posh suburb of Dublin city.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I started to write at 17, when I first got the crazy notion into my head to be a writer. Of course my initial efforts were pretty dire. Though on some of my cringe worthy efforts I did indeed see some potential. Encouragement was mostly in short
supply in the society I inhabited at that time.
WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I am not a great planner but I do plan a little in my head. I do make copious notes and write stories to weld together to make up the book, whether a novel or short stories. Poetry is different.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I enjoy getting it finished as quickly and as well as I can.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Mostly in this country writing is indeed a thankless unappreciated task. Many writers wind up broke or alcoholic or both. For me whatever the drawbacks
it would be hard to be other than a writer, it is simply within me for better or worse.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I was in construction on and off for about 20 years or so. A bartender
and a Security Guard among other things.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
Getting my books published mostly on my own, in spite of adversity.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
A book about my bartender days.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Many things: Past events perhaps, good times,bad times. Who knows?
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Some perhaps autobiographical in origin, some based on experience, my poetry just from within and just life.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Read a lot, join a writer's group, get practice and learn. Don't be discouraged.
Believe in yourself and work at it. But you must enjoy life also and get experience.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Not so much writer's block, maybe laziness or possibly both.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
No just when I am in humour mostly.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Where I can get peace or enough light.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
A sunny day in the countryside, feeling well and something good to write.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
So many, it used to be Wilbur Smith, John Pilger and David Icke.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
They said to me as they were reading it, they felt like they had experienced it themselves.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
Someone said there was too much swearing in my writing, though I felt they
were motivated by something else I won't discuss. I am happy to say I have received
many more compliments.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Podcasting, Karaoke singing, surfing the web, reading.
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
No not really but lots of correcting and editing.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
A sunny day, lots of peace, a good book or good company.
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
No particular person, perhaps a dog.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Stop your wars, your endless greed, look after the poor and helpless and
under-privileged. Be kind to your citizens, listen to them, look after our planet, stop being tyrants.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I am not much of a planner. Live a good life and take it easy.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON BOOK TRAILERS? DO THEY SELL BOOKS?
Perhaps, truly I have no clue.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Being as much is autobiographical, obviously I do.
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Yes it has and does. Until self-publishing it was a totally closed shop
accessible only to the chosen few and it seems to be going back that way again, sadly.
DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
It was never a job to me, as you get paid for a job, writers just get exploited worse by the day. Except for the few, very few. When I die I will quit.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
Perhaps 'The life and times of a Gotcha' as it made me laugh out loud as I was writing it.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER?
Contentment, enough money to live on and a comfortable life.
WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
Perhaps that it was something they had enjoyed.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES? EVER WRITTEN A SCREENPLAY?
Well definitely some do have potential. People have said it to me.
HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
Simply put, a lot.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
I do not really have dreams anymore.
WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
I am no good at marketing.
ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
Ordinary, bookish and a bit lazy.
WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
I have lived a busy life and have tried to share some of it with my readers. My poetry is just what it is.
Clancy's comment: Thank you, James. Keep going. Regards to Ireland.