Interview with James W. Nelson

What do you read for pleasure?
Thrillers. I like the feeling of intensity during those moments/seconds just before Truth!
Nature stories, from nonfiction authors like Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and the National Geographic, and especially the fictional stories by Sally Carrighar.
(I know. I'm still living in the sixties.)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Easy to answer. All I have is my trusty laptop.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
A storybook farm provided my home. "Storybook?" Yes, that farm had everything: milk cows; we milked eight by hand, separated the cream--which we sold--had our own supply of raw milk, and the left over milk we fed to our growing calves, our many cats, our dog, and if "still" some left over the hogs got it. One year I had four orphaned lambs which I fed milk by bottle. (Just so you know, they all wanted to be fed at the same time.) In the early years we had a team of draft horses (Dixie and Daisy) and later a friend's retired horse, a bay named "Silver."
I also had a pet rooster, "Makoos," and a brown pigeon. It had a name but I've forgotten. I also had a galvanized wash tub I filled with water for tadpoles, snails, and whatever other water creatures I could find, including a tiger salamander which I soon discovered was quite the predator.
When did you first start writing?
The first was during my four years in the submarine navy (1962-1967.) I kept a sparse journal that I haven't looked at since then. Maybe will one of these days. The first book I read was "The Chisel-toothed Tribe" a book about rodents which continued my love of nature. I know I read other books much earlier, but that's the first I remember.
My family experienced a killer tornado in 1955. When I got out of the navy I interviewed my family and wrote a first-person human interest story which my local newspaper paid me $75. My very first sale! Later a reprint sold to the main state magazine, North Dakota Horizons. They paid me too, a little more.
I began writing in earnest then, all fiction, but the next payment wouldn't come until 2008, when I finally got a laptop and the internet. But during those non-selling years I produced 3 novels, all of which I will be listing here at Smashwords once their term is up at Amazon. They are "The Bellwether" "Winter in July"--oh, and I guess the third one (much revised and edited endlessly) is already here: "Pharmacological Research Gone Berserk"
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest work is Book 5 of "Daughters" my human trafficking series, subtitle "Sorority Animal House."
You might wonder why I would include a sorority in a human trafficking series. Sorry, you would have to read the book to find out. It's fiction, but based on deep and dark sorority hazing. It will be almost 3 months before it'll be available at Smashwords.
I didn't just one day decide to start writing about human sex trafficking. Believe me, it's an unpleasant subject, and the stories that reach the mass media are...well, i won't say they are tame...I guess I will just say the stories don't reach mass media nearly enough.
No, I didn't just decide. A young girl I cared about ran away at one point in her growing up, but came back. When I learned about it I wondered, "What if she hadn't come back? What might have happened to her?"
So began my series and endless research.
Emma is the name of the main character introduced at age 18 in Book 1, and remains the main character throughout.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Again, an easy answer. Hundreds of form-rejections from bonafide publishers and magazines.
As Mark Coker said in one of the videos I watched (all 1 hour, 42 minutes, and 21 seconds) something like "...the publishers had all the power. they controlled who got published and, more importantly, what the public was, basically, allowed to read..." Those are not his exact words but something like that.
Anyway, that's no longer the case. Anybody can now write and anybody can publish. (Of course it isn't "quite" that easy, but it can be done.)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Again an easy answer. I'm just starting with Smashwords but I'm sure they will contribute, just as I hope to contribute to them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Again, an easy answer. My joy comes from seeing a good review and actually hearing from a reader.
There's also plenty of joy in uploading a new book, seeing its fruition.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. Hearing from them is great...and I always answer.
What are you working on next?
Presently I'm working on a true story. Interviewing a human sex trafficking victim by email. I'm thinking of including it in my "Daughters" series even though it is not fiction. It would be Book 6.
Also "thinking" about Book 7.
Also thinking about adding Book 4 to my other series, "New World Order Rising."
There is no limit to the subjects one can write about, and I believe the field is wide open for new writers to try their hand.
Published 2015-08-26.
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