Interview with Jimmy James Jr.

Describe your desk
I prefer writing in a comfortable chair with my laptop resting on my legs. Of course, writing in my apartment in Mexico or on my boat in Canada definitely helps with my inspiration.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northern Idaho and Southern British Columbia. My parents were from border towns about 30 miles apart. My father on the American side and my mother on the Canadian. Except for a brief one year period after my father's death, I lived the first 14 years of my life in the United States until the family moved to Canada in 1966. Since retiring in 2011, I have lived 6-7 months in Mexico and the remainder on Vancouver Island in Canada. My childhood years in the two countries are the direct inspiration for this, my first series of books.
When did you first start writing?
I have always wanted to write but life's challenges of raising children, managing a career and playing music in weekend bands, always seemed to get into the way. My last child has left the nest, I have now retired, and it is time to get down to the business of writing. Within months after retiring, my dream had been to return to Mexico, a country that I loved and missed. On the night of my arrival, I fell and broke the heel of my foot. This unfortunate accident severely dampened my mobility, and this in turn allowed me to focus on my writing. Within a few weeks, after reviewing two stories that I had written years earlier, I had completed the titles and outlines of over a hundred more stories. A few weeks later, I had organized them into about eight volumes, and started writing the first book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My first book is about a boy growing up in Northern Idaho (and sometimes British Columbia in Canada). It was a time before Facebook, before cell phones and even before the internet. It is a group of stories that are linked closely together by the main character, yet have a broad range of themes. Some are humorous and some are sad, but they are all wholesome stories of adolescence, and the process of growing up in the 1950's and 1960's.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have spent a lot of time reviewing the printed publishing business, and determined that it appears to be a market on the way down, and possibly out. Ebooks are the wave of the future, and when I searched the internet, I found that self-publishing and marketing through Smashwords was what I wanted to try.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was highly recommended by all of the Top 10 online self-publishing search engines, and this made the choice was easy for me. I will be publishing the first book of my series shortly, and will comment on my success at a later date. However, the Smashwords site has provided me with all the information and tools I require to complete the entire self-publishing process. Their site has been invaluable to me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Although all of the characters names in my books are fictional, the stories themselves are not. Writing has been like traveling back in time for me. It is almost as if I am able to relive my childhood through them. I must add that my mother has enjoyed my writing immensely too, because I send her each story to read as soon as I've written the first draft. She is my first and best critic for this entire process..
What do your fans mean to you?
I must say that fans are what make any writers work worthwhile. If no one appreciated our writing, what would be the sense. On the flip side though, I see my critics as my final editors. Their suggestions are as important as the praise received from fans. Praise motivates me to keep writing and criticism motivates me to write better.
What are you working on next?
I have almost completed the second book of my series. After my first self-edit, it will be sent to my editor for her critique. The boy (main character) is growing older and some of his experiences in this second book complement the stories in the first book. I will try to complete and publish one book of this series per year for at least the next five years. After that, I'll just see what inspires me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Okay, this is dating myself, but my all time favorite is Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). Today, I would have to say Stephen King. I have read many books by all of the classic authors; too many to list.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have always been inspired to enjoy life to the fullest and be productive. Now that I am retired and over 60 years old though, my main inspiration in life is to just be able to get out of bed. Aside from that, I am now living healthier and exercising more, and with coffee in hand I settle into my morning writing routine. Because I spend half of my life in Mexico and the other living on my yacht in Canada, I have discovered that the Canadian time seems to be much more difficult to manage as far as my writing is concerned. Through trial and error, I have now decided that the creative writing process works better in Mexico, and the editing and business side is easier to accomplish while I'm back in Canada. Of course, my three children and four grandchildren in Canada keep me motivated and inspired too, because really, these books are for them.
Published 2013-12-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Ghosts and Skeletons
Series: A Time Before Facebook, Book 2. You set the price! Words: 128,130. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Literary, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Family / General
The story of Jimmy growing up in Northern Idaho continues. 'Alfie' and 'The Meterman' are just a couple of the regular characters appearing in this second book in the series 'A Time Before Facebook'. Ghosts and Skeletons were the more sinister.
A Time Before Facebook
Series: A Time Before Facebook, Book 1. You set the price! Words: 138,000. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Literary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Two families on opposite sides of the US/Canada Border are forever united through a marriage, children, and death. Jimmy is now growing up in a time before computers, email and social networking. The stories are primarily true, but some persons and events have been fictionalized where necessary.