Interview with James Jackson

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually via the current social media hype, Facebook, Twitter, Friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I was twelve and wrote about my Siamese cat. I won, one of fifty Garfield special release comics for my efforts.
What is your writing process?
A brief paper draft, a synopsis really. Then I switch to my PC and jot down a summary of the stories events. Next I write the beginning, then the ending, that way I can stay focused on the stories goal. After this I fill in the gaps. A friend of mine does a storyline edit, then it goes to a group of test readers. Once their feedback is incorporated the story goes to a finishing editor. TADA, one year later and a new book is ready. :)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
'Wind in the Willows' was my first real book, unless you count the story of a little red truck filled with pots and pans. I recall this one from when I was very young. But Toad of Toad hall, driving like a mad man down the road, and meeting Mole. Yeah, I love it.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a mental image, then I contact a friend in the UK who hunts for covers. We chat via Skype as we peruse his finds. It can take weeks, or even months to find the right cover that conveys the stories message.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Wind in The Willows - Just love the Characters.
Foundation Series - The character of Hari Seldon is well done, as is the Empiric story.
Amtrak Wars - A great post apocalyptic story. The twist at the end of the series is excellent.
Bolo Brigade - Intelligent machines with a conscience, some of these stories are excellent.
Enders Game - Actually, I like the entire series, even though some books are better than others.
What do you read for pleasure?
Space Opera's, stories with a message of hope. :)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
PC at the moment, but we have an hand held that has access to multiple libraries. Thinking of getting a Kindle this year, but I can only read at home, so the PC works just fine.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
There is a code at the end of each main novel of mine that allows readers to go to my website and read a short story for free. Folks are doing this, then purchasing the book anyway, so that it's on their eReaders.
As for social media, I would have to say Facebook has been my greatest ally.
Describe your desk
Cluttered. I have a pair of monitors, one I write on and another I do research on. To my right is a can of soda, and to my left cookies and other munchies. I have a microphone in front so I can chat. Papers are stacked on the left and right. The left hand stack, under the cookies are old notes about my series. The right hand stack are upcoming bills, and important letters. Both stacks are getting bigger! Between my keyboard and the monitors rest my keys, a flashlight, and a multi-headed screwdriver. Right next to these is a stack of USB thumb drives, for back-ups. My PC case sits on the floor to my left, and on top of this is an external drive, also for back-ups. A subwoofer rests near my feet, while five small speakers are spread about, to listen to music when I write. Oh, I also have a soft mouse cushion for my wrist. Like I said cluttered. :)
When did you first start writing?
I first started when I was 12 years old or so, then did what most children do, I got sidetracked. Throughout the years work has interfered greatly, then finally in 2010 I decided to tackle my writing with greater vigor.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am writing a series based primarily on the exploits of the crew of the spacecraft 'Terran'
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am getting older, and thus it is time I got this story out of my head. :)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is a logical and practical first step for any indie author. The fee charged on each book is nominal when compared to the exposure given.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love it when test readers enjoy my work. The next greatest joy is hitting the 'Publish' icon, and letting the world read, and judge my efforts.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything... I have a small fan club which is growing. I feel honored to have fans at such an early stage of this series. :)
What are you working on next?
The series will continue, with main novels, short stories, and journals. The entire saga will take considerable time to complete.
Who are your favorite authors?
Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clark, Robert Heinlein, Stephen King, James Herbert, Orson Scot Card, Frank Herbert... Oh my, the list could go on..
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I can hardly wait to jump up and add more to the words to my stories.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Motor Bike riding, Computer Gaming, walks with my wife along the beach, or through the woods.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My family moved a lot exposing me to many places. Each has had an impact one way or another. The main theme that translates into my work, is that the future is always uncertain.
Published 2013-12-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Emma's Legacy
By
Series: Terran Chronicles Universe · Terran Chronicles Journals, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,030. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
This story takes place far in the future, long after the final voyage of the Terran is but a distant memory. It is during this time that Dianne catches her son, Benny, along with his friend Richard, in her study accessing her computer. She sates their curiosity by directing the boys to the ancient archives, and the fragments of Emma’s New Earth Ecology Journal.
Jie's World (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles Short Stories, Book 3 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,700. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
In the novel Colony, we learn that Jie launches China’s first colony ship, fires nuclear weapons at the Terran, then vanishes into the cosmos. The Chinese government quickly proclaim that Jie stole the spacecraft. Jie’s plan to establish a colony on another world under his leadership is not quite as straight forward as he expects it to be.
Colony (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles, Book 3 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,430. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2014. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Humanity’s first spacecraft, the Terran, returns home. The crew is stunned to discover that while their trek lasted for less than a year, three years has passed on Earth. Gamin technologies have begun making their way into everyday life for many countries. The crew of the Terran faces new challenges when they escort the coalition’s newest spacecraft, the colony ship Liberty, to New Earth.
Gamin Technology (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles Journals, Book 1 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,790. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
This journal contains Joe’s notes of his discoveries and observations during the Terran’s maiden voyage of exploration to the stars. This journal is not a stand-alone story, but rather a supplementary guide for those that have an understanding of the Gamin and their involvement with Earth. While Joe’s journal answers many questions about these aliens and their technology, it also raises more.
Pythos (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles Short Stories, Book 2 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,230. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Artemis One and her four man crew have returned to Pythos after a lengthy space mission. The men are stunned when they witness an apocalyptic space battle above their home world. Once the combatants leave, the crew apprehensively contacts ground control. The events following the Gamin occupation, and subsequent battle, have far reaching consequences, changing Pythos and its people forever.
Discovery (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles, Book 2 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 101,630. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
In this second installment of the Terran Chronicles series, the ‘Terran’ is preparing for her maiden voyage. Humanity’s next frontier, the exploration of space, is tantalizingly close. The daring crew rapidly find themselves overwhelmed and ill prepared for the dangers that lie ahead. Discovery introduces some new characters, while at the same time bids farewell to others as the adventure unfolds.
Johnny's Jaunt (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles Short Stories, Book 1 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,870. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The partially built alien spaceship is huge, tempting, and also off limits to nine year old Johnny. His father, George, is an important member of the team that are working hard to get the ship ready for launch. With everyone being busier than normal, Johnny is waiting for the day he can sneak aboard. Will he get aboard? If so what will he find?
First Contact (Terran Chronicles)
By
Series: Terran Chronicles, Book 1 · Terran Chronicles Universe. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,080. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
The adventure you’re about to embark upon is one of discovery and hope, as humanity comes to terms with its ‘First Contact’. As the ‘Terran Chronicles’ saga unfolds it will challenge the way we look at alien races, eliminating some old clichés. When a fleet of spaceships arrives in orbit, it raises a number of compelling questions. What brings them here? Are they friendly? What will happen to us?