Interview with James Duprie

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Cheeseburgers. I really wanted enough money in my pocket to buy a cheeseburger now and then without worrying if I had money in the bank. I have been writing since I was in grade school off and on as I felt the urge, and I had gotten to the point that I thought I would give it a push again and see if I could come up with that cheeseburger money.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to the fact that I get to control the story. I always liked reading different kinds of books, different genres, but I always felt there was a lot of excess, that some parts seemed just like fluff to me. So in my writing I get to take the story where I want it to go, and I try to keep it a fast and entertaining read in the process.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a three book series entitled Deeds of the Kind. I wrote it about twenty five years ago, and I am just getting back to it. It has a backbone, but it needs some serious editing, and I am hoping to get the first one out this fall.(2015). It is a little different than my first three books, which all fell under historical fiction. I guess at this point it would probably fall under fantasy.
Who are your favorite authors?
It may sound a little strange, but one of my favorite reads is the Gospel of John for the way it is worded. The author on that is not cut and dry, and I will let the biblical theologians wrestle with that, but it is a beautifully worded book. Without a spoiler to my next novel, there is a nod to it in Deeds that sets up the premise of the book, even though the story is not a historical based book. I also like some of Hemingway's stories. They always seemed to flow so smoothly, and read fast.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
That is a long list, but here is the short version. My other job takes up about eighty hours a week August through December, and then sixty the rest of the year, and then fishing, hunting, playing with my children, watching movies, surfing, travelling, running errands, playing golf, and the list goes on and on.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That's a tuffy, as my grandma would say. Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed. Sometimes I know I need to work out, not because I want too, but because I know it is good for me. Sometimes I know I just need to get to work because I have a family counting on me. Sometimes I have something fun like a trip to the beach planned, and I pop up like a daisy. It just kind of depends!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sure. I found my grandmother's typewriter in her closet. It had two foldable doors, and when you opened them there was a big desk with a typewriter on it. I started typing a mystery about a man who looked suspicious, and had a dog. I followed him around for about half a paragraph, which took about thirty minutes to write, then I got bored so I ended it. I went and asked the man if the dog was his, he said no and said I could have it. The end. I then went off and played with something else at her house. I would guess I was probably around seven or eight when I wrote that. I wish I still had it somewhere, because I am sure it is hilarious.
What is your writing process?
It is a little different for my historical books, but for most of my books a story topic will just come to me, or maybe just the title of a book pops in my brain. From there I put down a general outline of each chapter, and after coming up with what I think is a solid story, I just connect the dots. Once I am finished, I will edit it through a time or two myself before sending it to a copy editor.
How do you approach cover design?
That is tricky. I want something that is going to stand out. Something that won't look like the cover of a romance novel, and something that lends itself to the story. I have used the same custom designer (Dave Fymbo) for my first two novels and he has been very helpful in meeting my goals. I would love to do one of those contests for cover design, but I am going to have to sell a lot more books yet to do that.
What do you read for pleasure?
This may sound a bit weird, but I pretty much spend all my reading time writing, or editing my own novels. I have a lot of ideas that now I have started putting them out there, it is going to take me a good five years to get caught up even if I don't come up with anything new right now. That combined with my myriad of other pursuits takes up a lot of my time. I will say the last book I read was either the John Carter of Mars Collection by Edgar Rice Burroughs, or the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and both of those was probably over a year ago.
Describe your desk
Ha ha. A desk. Currently all my books get written on my ipad or iphone is, so my desk is wherever I travel. Maybe Apple will give me some sort of endorsement and buy me a MacBook!
Published 2015-06-02.
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