Interview with James Butler

What are you working on next?
I'm working on an untitled fiction novel that surrounds four college roommates that must decide whether they want to obtain college degrees or fast money in a small town where it seems that everyone is involved in some type of illegal activity. I plan to release the book in the fall of 2015 so stay tuned for that.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Robert Green (The Art of Seduction, 48 Laws of Power), I also love Sun Tzu (The Art of War), and my third favorite author is Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad Series).
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I'm inspired by the opportunity to make the present day better than the previous day. I appreciate the fact that I'm in great health, so I don't have much to complain about.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read other novels that I'm interested in to spark my ideas and to learn different writing styles. I love traveling domestically and abroad to see different imagery as well as learn different cultures and dialects. I'm also an avid basketball and football fan, so I'm always tuned into a sporting event.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually discover ebooks by chatting with colleagues about the latest best-sellers or what books that they feel are intriguing to read.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a small book when I was in third-grade titled "The Fishing Trip." The funny thing about the book was that I had never went fishing in my life at that time, but I was able to paint a picture from my imagination that others had an appreciation for. The story was selected as one of the top five books in my class.
What is your writing process?
My writing style is very awkward in my opinion. I'll let a story form in my head for maybe months at a time, and then I just start envisioning what I should name the main three characters. After that process is done, I'll turn on my laptop, listen to music, and start typing. I may write the next day, or I may not write again for weeks until I feel inspired again. It's truly organic and never rushed.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've read so many stories over the years that I can't recall the first one that I read, but I will say that the first book that made an impact on me was "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton. I read it in junior high, and I could relate with the battle of good vs. peer-pressure that some of the characters were dealing with. It also showed me that others may judge you based on the people that you surround yourself with, and decide that they don't like you despite not knowing you personally.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm not the most creative person when it comes to designing a cover...lol I usually let one of my expert colleagues design the cover for me, and we communicate back and forth about the message that I want the front cover to convey to the reader.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Art of Seduction by Robert Green because it gives you insight to some historical icons that utilized clever tactics to take over nations, and to transcend themselves into the upper echelon of hierarchy.
48 Laws of Power by Robert Green because it's more of a self-help type of book that is used to motivate the reader to improve inequities within themselves.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Elanor Coerr is an easy read for middle schoolers, but it is very sad. It does provide historical insight into the bombing of Hiroshima and the effects that it had on the inhabitants of the country.
The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith because I am a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan and it chronicles their encounters during their first championship season.
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King is a page turner, and an easy read. It was so great that a movie was made out of it; case closed.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of autobiographies and biographies because I'm interested in hearing other people's stories and how they overcame many obstacles to obtain success, or how they succumbed to the pressures of success and lost their way.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Ipad.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media and word-of-mouth.
Describe your desk
No desk...lol I normally type on my laptop at my dining room table, or in my living room on my microfiber suede couch on top of my ottoman.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing about three-years ago.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book deals with a young man that hails from the south side of Chicago that has two parents that are searching for two different things in life. The father wants to raise his son and keep the peace with his son's mother, but he can't seem to curb his appetite for other women so that he can make his child's mother an honest woman by getting married. The mother wants to get married, but she soon realizes that it's not going to happen with the man she's with. Ultimately, the relationship of his parents shapes the man that he becomes and he later becomes torn between what's best for his well being, and which parent has his best interest at heart.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and in Country Club Hills which is a suburb 10 minutes outside of Chicago. Both areas have had a distinct effect on my writing because Chicago is very fast paced while Country Club Hills is a lot smaller and more laid back. Both places have given me two different perspectives, and I try to illustrate those thoughts on when I write.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well I believe that you have a lot more control over what mediums you would like to use to get your content out to your target market. You have more insight into the marketing, release dates, and how you would like to price your work. It's also becoming a lot more lucrative due to your typical bricks and mortar book stores closing more frequently because of this technical revolution that we've seen with ebooks in the past few years.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
We'll have to wait and see...lol
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is a therapeutic release that helps me get things off of my chest whether it's my own story or someone else's. I feel that people can relate other people's stories and identify a little bit of themselves in a character, and apply positive attributes to their own lives as well as to learn what not to do in certain situations depending on the realism of the literary work.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything because they're my number 1 supporters; without them there is no me.
What's your biggest fear?
Being a failure and not leaving behind a legacy before I leave this Earth.
Published 2014-12-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Honor Thy Father And Mother
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 38,920. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » General
(4.00)
College sweethearts Janet Tucker and John Banks want nothing but the best for their son Travis Banks, and will do anything to ensure that he has a bright future. Janet lost her mother at the age of five years old, and has always yearned for a traditional family structure. John isn't ready to commit. As the relationship between Janet and John dissolves, so does their relationship with their son.