Interview with Jim Hodgson

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The question assumes that I'd want to stay in bed if I could, that I need inspiration to get out of it. Aside from the obvious, what would motivate me to stay in bed?

Time is short. Life is short. I have things I want to do, stories I want to tell. I want to get out of bed and get moving.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like riding mountain bikes, driving, and doing work on cars. Currently my partner Meghann and I are building a car in our garage. We also race with the crazy 24 Horus of Lemons series.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A lot of searching, plus good recommendations. Letting friends know that you're looking for a recommendation works often, but I also read a lot of stuff by friends. I'm always on the lookout for new reading material.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't, no. I remember being a kid and asking my dad how to write a scary story. He said I was giving away too much information for the story to be scary. He was right. Great advice. A monster's not as scary if you know every single thing about it. That's why monsters usually don't have Facebook pages.
What is your writing process?
Get up, drink coffee, sit at desk, make work. I try not to get too fancy-pantsed about a "process" because I think anything that you let be a habit can become a crutch too. Mornings, though. I like mornings. And coffee.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've always been a big reader so, no, I don't remember. I do remember loving Stephen Kings "Eyes of the Dragon" when it came out. That might have been my first favorite book. I think I liked it because it was a fantasy novel, but it had some real-world stuff in it upon which the story hinged.

Then I tried some of his horror books and they scared the hell out of me. I was probably ten years old at the time. You so scary, Cujo!
How do you approach cover design?
I reach out to artists whose work I like and get them to help me with covers. I have a graphic design background so it's tempting to do the covers myself, but the fact is that I am not a visual artist. I get much better results from people who live and breathe visual art every day.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love Slaughterhouse-Five. It was Vonnegut at his best, I think.

1984 affected me, of course. Has there ever been a more true book? I doubt it.

The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey is so amazing. It's a joke made into a book that is new on every page. I love it so much.

"Guards! Guards!" is the first City Watch book by Terry Pratchett. I love all his books but I'll pick this one because I liked the City Watch series especially.

Post Office by Charles Bukowski. I'm not as enamored with him now but there was a time when Buk was my favorite author.
What do you read for pleasure?
Lately I've been reading a lot of James S.A. Corey's "The Expanse" series. I love a John Sandford detective novel every now and again, especially in audiobook form if I am traveling. Aside from that I just try to stay current on contemporary fiction of any and all genres. I don't want to limit myself to reading in the genres I want to write in.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. I prefer it to reading on a computer or tablet screen.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
There's no replacement for face-ment. I just made that up, but the point is that meeting people face to face is invaluable. So many writers want to be a basement-dwelling transom chucker, and I just don't think that works. I love meeting people. I want to tell them about my books, and I want to hear about their books.

I haven't had much success with advertisements or anything along those lines. But meeting people and being relatively not a jerk has worked.
Published 2015-10-15.
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