Interview with J.R. Stewart

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Buffalo, New York, Topsfield, Massachusetts (north of Boston), Dana Point, California, and Oregon. I think that spectrum gives me a useful bag of experience to draw from as a writer.
When did you first start writing?
I created a comic book when I was just a kid, like five, or so. It was about cowboys and rattlesnakes. I've always been an improviser and love the mindset that comes from. My mom saved it and I think it's still in a box someplace. I probably wrote my first story in fourth or fifth grade. In high school, I was the assistant editor on the yearly literature magazine and had a poem and a story in there. That was probably the first time I published anything.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm rewriting my first novel because I couldn't interest a single agent into representing it. It's a story of how the perception of violence changes, depending on which side you are on. It's about acceptance, family, and the nature of love. It's also about the difference between Good Guys and Bad Guys. I have another novel in the works too, a speculative look at the future of human civilization. It is, arguably (from my point of view), a Fantasy novel, but has roots in Quantum Physics. I may end up self-publishing both because I get impatient with the traditional process. And hey, I'm old and can hear the clock ticking.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Like I said, I get impatient with the traditional process. Like the music biz, a lot of it is the luck of the draw and I have too much to accomplish in the time I have left on this planet. Learning to do it right and present a great product is extremely important. I like the acceleration inherent with being an indie guy.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Success? Ask me that when I've earned that distinction.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My friends and family agree that I'm compulsively expressive. Honing the craft to make that happen is probably my biggest thrill.
Who are your favorite authors?
That is a very long list. Two authors made me love writing. They were Jim Kjelgaard and Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Those two set me free. But the short list from the top of my head would include John D. McDonald, James Lee Burke, Christopher Moore, Craig Johnson, William Faulkner, and David James Duncan. I apologize for leaving the rest of the multitude out.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Napping. Reading. Being outside.
What is your writing process?
I put my butt in the chair and keep telling the story. I start by reading what happened last and rediscover the rhythm of it and just go for it. I edit as I go unless it's ripping along as fast as I can type, which is a wonderful thing. But I always edit before I'm done for the day. That makes the first edit when it's done go a lot more smoothly. If I'm into a novel, I have to at least touch it everyday.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

White Ravens - And More Stories
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 9,330. Language: American English. Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
White Ravens is a collection of short stories by J.R. Stewart. All but one of the stories have been published previously in various literary journals (see the copyright page for details). All of the stories depict rites of passage through which men of varying ages must pass.