Interview with Jim Wills

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mainly through serious reviewers who know how to read critically and how to spell.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, first year of high school. A short story called "Boom."
What is your writing process?
1. Research, research, research. 2. Scout locations for atmosphere. 3. Loose chapter outline. 4. Write, rewrite, cut, expand or contract. 5. Treat this like a job: 9-5, no exceptions, no wandering away waiting for inspiration. 6. Hire a freelance editor with a track record. 7. Hire a professional cover designer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Sinbad the Sailor. I was hooked on reading forever.
How do you approach cover design?
While I'm writing a book, I assemble a folder of images related to it. When the text is ready, I turn that folder over to a professional book-cover designer, along with a sample chapter.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Bleak House, Crime and Punishment, Ulysses, Moby Dick, Tom Jones, Pride and Prejudice. All show extraordinary talent, discipline and sweep.
What do you read for pleasure?
Roddy Doyle's novels, but just about anything that gets in the way.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Laptop.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media, authors' groups.
Describe your desk
Secluded, messy, with a door I can close.
When did you first start writing?
Grade school.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The tale of a man and woman of completely disparate backgrounds who become lovers and friends despite the enormous odds stacked against them.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm a professional freelance trade editor and writer. In my view, the writing was on the wall for traditional publishing houses. Finding an honest agent with both a brain and a heart proved impossible, time consuming and expensive. Too many traditional houses treat authors like second class citizens who have to be shown how to write. Not for me thanks.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Without question, though the success is modest thus far.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating characters that eventually take on their own lives and language.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without readers, the books are pointless.
What are you working on next?
A wood-fired cooking book to complement my wood-fired bread baking book.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list. Short form: Dickens, Joyce, Melville, Roddy Doyle, Jane Austen.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I teach artisan bread baking to people in the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zeland, Turkey, and a lot of other places.
Did you use a professional editor and cover designer?
Absolutely. As a professional editor and writer, I was acutely aware of the difficulty of objectively editing my own work. For cover design, a professional was a given to make the books stand out from the crowd. This is especially true of the spine for printed versions. Too many indie authors don't do these things, and it gives us all a bad name.
Have any of your books received awards?
Yes. In 2013, the first in the Kavanagh Series, A Few Men Faithful, was awarded the Indiependents Certificate and Seal of Good Writing. This non-profit, non-affiliated group was founded so "no talent be lost to the chaos of the publishing explosion."
Published 2013-11-18.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Hard Gemlike Flame: A Kavanagh Story IV
Series: The Kavanagh Stories, IV. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 74,560. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
(4.00)
A Hard Gemlike Flame, the fourth novel in the Kavanagh saga, is an unblinking adult tale of love, betrayal, truth, honesty, falsehood, deception and tragedy. What binds Mick Kavanagh and Cathleen Murray, what saves them, is passion in the face of a devious and nearly successful campaign to separate them. Only their strength in each other keeps them together--and sane.
Shooter in a Plague Year: A Kavanagh Story III
Series: The Kavanagh Stories, III. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,050. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
(5.00)
In 2018, peace, possibly lasting, is getting far too close for the hardliners on both sides in Northern Ireland. Shooter in a Plague Year, the third in the Kavanagh saga, describes one possible outcome, a nightmare scenario that completes the gory chapters of the past. What happens if the moderates are eliminated? What happens if the New IRA and the shadowy Core Command square off in civil war?
Philly MC: A Kavanagh Story II
Series: The Kavanagh Stories, II. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 108,610. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
(5.00)
Philly MC is the story of Jack Kavanagh, grandson of Danny Kavanagh of A Few Men Faithful, the first of the Kavanagh stories. Jack's twisted, tortured life is a battle between his IRA heritage and his father's decision to reject violence. This is the dark backdrop for the even darker motorcycle underground in Philadelphia during the 1960s and 70s. It's about survival but also qualified salvation.
A Few Men Faithful: A Kavanagh Story I
Series: The Kavanagh Stories, I. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,910. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
(4.67)
A Few Men Faithul sets the stage, defines the Kavanagh family and tells of a troubled land and an equally troubled romance amid war and treachery. Time span: 1916 to 1924 in Dublin, County Cork and Northern Ireland. Major events: Easter Rising, Secret War, War of Independence, the Civil War. This last is little known and less explored, especially through the eyes of a soldier on the losing side.