Interview with James Hampton

What is your writing process?
I try to have several projects I am working on at any given time. That way, if I lose interest for awhile in one piece of writing, I have another story to turn to until I get that interest back.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I read that I remember really capturing my imagination was "The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall," by John Kendrick Bangs. I was in early elementary school at the time, and I found the story fascinating. Still do.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read mainly short stories. I'm a huge fan of the short stories of Ray Bradbury. Another author whose work I've really enjoyed, and probably emulated without even knowing it, is Robert Arthur. Among other things, he wrote for Amazing Stories and other popular science fiction/fantasy/detective magazines of the 1930s, and later on for television.
Describe your desk
The less said, the better, I'm afraid.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing around the time I was in ninth grade, I would say. On a typewriter.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had one short story commercially published years ago, but that was it. For a long time I gave up on writing. Now, though, as an independent, I can write works of any length I want, about whatever subject I want, and so can anyone else. I'm so grateful to have lived to see a time when it's possible for everyone's voice to be heard across the literary landscape.
What are you working on next?
Gosh, I have so many story ideas. The problem is getting them all down on paper. I'm making a conscious effort to diversify into different genres, challenge myself a little bit with different kinds of plots and characters. I think you have to be willing to take chances, in writing or any other field of human endeavor.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love Smashwords. I feel really supported here. And feeling supported is probably the biggest contributor to anyone's success.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ray Bradbury, Robert Arthur, Madeline L'Engle, H.G. Wells, Pat Conroy, Stephen King...it just goes on and on.
Published 2013-12-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Caller on Christmas Eve
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Price: Free! Words: 3,150. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
A woman who lies dying in a hospital room on Christmas Eve gets an unusual visitor.
Dark Bend
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Price: Free! Words: 8,860. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
Paula Quindlen has recently learned that a guy she was interested in isn't on the market. She assures herself that somebody else will come along eventually, and, indeed, while she's out for a jog early one morning, somebody does. Paula will have to use caution with him, though. He's kind of a wolf.
Night Driving
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Series: The Rise of the Totalitarians, Book 5. Price: Free! Words: 4,060. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Lester Baines, a man whose business is security, is on his way home after the night shift. He has no reason to expect anything other than an easy ride. But a malfunctioning computer aboard his vehicle is about to make things complicated...
The Loving Confines
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Series: The Rise of the Totalitarians, Book 4. Price: Free! Words: 6,600. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Literary
A guilt-haunted teenage girl visits a therapist in a future society where everything, it is claimed, is better than ever.
Offer Him Roses
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Price: Free! Words: 32,890. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
Annalee Rutledge, fourteen, doesn't know why there's a boy soldier from the Civil War hiding in her family's barn, especially since the conflict in which he fought ended almost one hundred and fifty years ago. What Annalee does know is that she loves him, and she's going to do whatever it takes to keep him safe.
When the Family Gathers
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Price: Free! Words: 3,000. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Mr. Carlin has a secret: he has been living a lie, a lie that, when revealed, could destroy his entire family. Today his loved ones are all gathered in one place...but can he bring himself to tell them the truth?
Flower Beds
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Series: The Rise of the Totalitarians, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 5,020. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
A man's decision to water the flowers in his front yard leads to a deadly confrontation.
Letters to a File
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Series: The Rise of the Totalitarians, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 2,540. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Folders in a storage room tell the story of a civilization's fall.
I'll Move So Fast
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Price: Free! Words: 7,940. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2013. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
He arrived on a bicycle, bringing with him a great mystery...and a message of hope.
The Sign of the Fiddler Crab
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Series: The Rise of the Totalitarians, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 3,120. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2013. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
In a totalitarian state of the future, a young teacher goes on trial. Her offense? Teaching...
Boom
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Price: Free! Words: 6,210. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
A young couple spends what could be the last night of their lives together.
The Golden Mask & The Throng
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,040. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
THE GOLDEN MASK: A lonely man whose only friends are books spends an evening with a strange novella he has been warned not to read. THE THRONG: In the Deep South of the early twentieth century, a bitter and impoverished aristocrat plans to sell the last remnant of his family's once-sprawling plantation; little does the buyer know that the property is full of monsters...
Doll Baby
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Price: Free! Words: 21,490. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
Norm Peters is looking for love on the Internet. He had better be careful, though, because the online world, like the physical one, has an abundance of shadowed paths. And down one such path lurks a shapeshifting monster that calls itself Doll Baby.
The Life and Times of Willard Grimsby
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,660. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Crime
Skip Dozier likes to say he's in the business of murder: he creates graphic novels that document the lives of fiendish mass killers from the darkest corners of history. One of Skip's newest fans, who happens to be a killer himself, is so impressed that he wants Skip to serve as his biographer. And he'll be overseeing the work personally, just to make sure it turns out right.
Beef Stew from Anna Lou
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Price: Free! Words: 17,780. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » General
This Halloween you're invited to dine at Murl's Famous Country Buffet, a place where folks gather to enjoy good food, friendly service, and a warm, down-home atmosphere as the world around them comes to a screaming end. Step right in and let our charming hostess, Anna Lou, find you a seat. We hope you enjoy your meal. It's probably your last.
Slocomb's Pond
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Price: Free! Words: 11,150. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2012. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Slocomb's Pond has a bad reputation. Some people have returned from it with tales of hideous creatures living beneath its placid waters. Others have not returned at all. This is the story of four boys who, one winter night, decide to tempt Fate at Slocomb's Pond, and who are caught most unaware when Fate takes them up on their wager.
That's All the Time We Have
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Price: Free! Words: 1,090. Language: English. Published: June 18, 2012. Category: Fiction » Literature » Drama
A friend comes to say goodbye in a short memoir of love, regret, and finality.
A Machine To Say I Love You
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Price: Free! Words: 640. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2012. Category: Essay » Literature
A tribute to the late Ray Bradbury, one of our greatest writers and thinkers. "Live forever!"
The Offices of M. Coopersmith
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Price: Free! Words: 20,460. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Nobody knows what sort of business goes on at the Offices of M. Coopersmith, an establishment that has operated in Summerville, Georgia, for as long as anyone can remember. But one thrilling autumn night, a pair of high school students will learn the truth about the mysterious M. Coopersmith...and have the honor of accompanying him on his final mission.
Magic Days
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Price: Free! Words: 8,800. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
Glenn Lockwood has made a new friend, a man by the name of Vernon Hudspeth. Today Vernon is seventy. Tomorrow he'll be sixty, and fifty the day after. Who knows how this is happening? Who knows why? Maybe these are just magic days, when impossible wishes are granted, dying loves are restored, and hints are everywhere that the cosmos is a far grander thing than anyone can imagine.
Destiny and the Ice Cream Man
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Price: Free! Words: 9,320. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Chad Stapleton has decided to drive home tonight, from Palm Beach to Savannah. It's not that long of a drive, and he's made it plenty of times before. The only difference is that, this time around, there's a madman lying in wait at the Welcome Center where Chad's going to make an ill-timed pit stop. A madman with a special lesson to impart...
Swim With Me
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Price: Free! Words: 1,340. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
A father, haunted by the memory of better days, laments his failure to make peace with his only son...before the end.
The Wonder Palace
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,060. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Rain has come to Summerville, Georgia—but rain unlike anything this little town has seen before. If not stopped, it will plunge first Summerville—and then the world—into unyielding, unending darkness. All hope lies with Minerva Knightly, host of the long-running children’s television show The Wonder Palace, and two intrepid middle school students. But what will be the price of victory?
The Lake of the Hathaways
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 25,280. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2012. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
It's the summer of 1985, and ten-year-old Jeremy Roberts has made some new friends recently: Bill and Nora Hathaway, a pleasant middle-aged couple who live in a big house by a lake. But the Hathaways are far more than they seem. Very soon they will be embarking on a voyage into the infinite...and they will ask Jeremy to come with them.
Treasure House
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 74,240. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2012. Category: Fiction » Adventure » General
Retired high school history teacher George Swift has disappeared. Two of his former students, Tyler Weldon and Karen McElroy, are determined to find him. Their search will take them into a world of rogues and thieves, scholars and assassins, ancient maps and forgotten knowledge; a twilight realm where the line between legend and history grows thin, and dreams of a lost civilization beckon...
The Summer of Beasts
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 30,140. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
It came under cover of night to prowl not just quiet suburban streets, but the shadowed places of the human heart. Preying as much on the psyche as the flesh, it carries a message for the residents of a small Coastal Georgia town: fear the sunset; the summer of beasts has arrived.
The Sandbar
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Price: Free! Words: 2,220. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Most often you see him in the morning, just after dawn, walking and walking but never arriving anywhere, his earthly existence bound to the dangerous sandbar that lies just offshore. Drew Addison, a local resident, has resolved to help this mysterious traveler complete his journey. But to do so he must first reveal a terrible truth.
The Way of All Things
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Price: Free! Words: 3,660. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2012. Category: Fiction » Science fiction » General
Jason and Maggie Chandler have traveled to the end of the universe: a cold, dark, silent place where, in the halls of the grand palace that represents life’s last outpost, they will bear witness to a universe in its death throes—and glimpse the beginning, perhaps, of what comes next.
Thickets
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Price: Free! Words: 3,730. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Nathan Merritt is trapped in a thicket. It's an in-between place, beautiful and strange, full of winding trails. Which of these paths he takes will be the most important decision of his life...for some of them lead home, others to nowhere, and others still to eternity.
The Silver Shore
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Price: Free! Words: 2,050. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2012. Category: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
On a deserted beach late at night, a man encounters a miracle...for the second time.