Interview with J. M. Davis

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small southern town that has a total of three traffic lights and one police car. Our house was located inside the city limits across a gravel road from a railroad track that ran through the middle of town. As a child and even into my high-school years, never once do I remember being awakened by the trains rumbling down the tracks by our house. Several years after I moved away from home, I lost the ability to sleep through those rumbling trains.
When did you start writing?
In an effort to reconnect with family members, I started writing a family newsletter which contained short stories based on my childhood memories. A little over ten years ago, my wife and daughter were traveling. With nothing pressing for me to get done, I sat at my computer and decided to see if I could write a novel. I had no idea what was involved so naturally I assumed it would be easy. After my wife and daughter returned from their trip, I continued to write and finished my first novel within a couple of months. Then I began the process of learning how much I didn’t know about writing fiction.
What do you write?
I write mystery/suspense novels, humorous short stories, a children’s story, and one romantic comedy. Although my main focus will be on mystery/suspense/thriller novels, I have written several short stories I already have or will publish from time to time. My goal is to offer different types of stories readers will hopefully enjoy, whether they be humorous or serious in tone. Some days I want to make people laugh or smile, and other days I want to create a character compelled to save the world, or someone in it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to see what it would be like to go the Indie route because of the freedom it offers a writer. I like being able to set my own time table, and offer a few of my stories for free. Before a reader will spend their hard earned money for a book, the reader needs to feel they can trust the author to deliver a good value. When a writer is unknown, the only way to build that trust is to offer some of your product for free, as least for some period of time. In my opinion, the best form of promotion comes from readers. If readers enjoy my stories, I hope they will tell their friends about my books. I sell my books one at a time, and I appreciate each and ever reader who gives one of my stories a chance. Being an Indie author has been most enjoyable, and I can't imagine I would change that. An indie author has financial and creative control, but along with that comes total responsibility for every aspect of being an author. I like having that responsibility and thrive on the challenges ahead.
What has been your most successful story?
No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to write a better love story than the one I’m living. From our marriage came two wonderful children, and so far two incredibly smart and beautiful grandchildren. My wife and I have been married 42 years. I feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world.

Oh, you meant written stories. Based on the number of total downloads, Portrait of Conspiracy is by far my most successful story to date.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love to hear from readers. I have received emails and comments on my blog from readers all over the world. I treasure every one of those. Whenever a reader takes the time to send a note, leave a comment on my blog, or write a review, I know one of my stories has made a good impression on that reader. If readers had any idea how much those notes and comments mean to writers, readers would probably send more notes, make more comments, and write more reviews.
What are you working on next?
I'm writing the sequel to Portrait of Conspiracy. The second book in this series, Bones and Black Pearls is a legal thriller. Philip and Sandra are pitted against a killer who has set Philip up to take the fall for a murder he did not commit. Although all of the evidence is circumstantial, Philip appears to be the only person who could have possibly committed the murder. On trial for his life, Philip's life rests in the hands of Sandra, who has been ordered to stay away from the case, and a rough-around-the-edges-bleached-blonde tattooed defense attorney, who Philip hand-picked to defend him. There is only one way out. Sandra has to find the real killer, who is more than eager to finish the game, winner take all.
Who are your favorite authors?
Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, Steve Berry, Jeffery Archer, Steve Martini, Sandra Brown, Dusty Richards, Stieg Larsson, and James Crumley.
What is the one thing you would like readers to know about you, as a person?
I’ve never been afraid to try. Too often, after contemplating what is required to reach a goal, people give up before they start.

In May of 2012, I gave a speech at a commencement for over 230 university graduates. In closing, I said the following:

“When you leave here tonight and continue your journey through life, I hope you will never stop chasing your dreams. One day, when you reflect back, it will be far better to know you gave it your best shot, than to say you were afraid to try.”
Published 2014-09-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Prom Friday
You set the price! Words: 8,390. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Many of you are too young to remember the sixties, but for those of us who were there, it was a time of innocence as well a mine field for false steps. Rabbit, a seventeen-year-old student, needs to find a date for the high school PROM, which is going to be held Friday evening, four days away. Short story. Excerpts included after end of story.
The Storekeeper
You set the price! Words: 11,070. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Western
Tom Carland, a young man from back east, has a lot to learn about women. Soon after arriving in a small one-street western town, Tom meets Harriet and her three-year-old daughter, Katie. Tom offers to help, but the widow does not want his pity. Dirk Thurman, a local ranch foreman, makes it known he will not tolerate any competition for the widow's attention.
The Durley Incident
Price: Free! Words: 10,300. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Photographic proof of Bigfoot and a ten million dollar reward bring thousands of outsiders to Bowden, a small town isolated deep in the Ozark Mountains. In his thirty-plus years of service, the town’s veteran sheriff, Hank Logan, has never had to solve a serious crime. While the new arrivals search for the creature, the sheriff and his young deputy are tasked with finding a missing farmer.
No Tears For Jack
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 48,420. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
A young widow and her children find an unlikely hero in a man who has been told, by a psychic, he has a year to live. Zelda, The Psychic Queen of Cricket Falls, has never been wrong in predicting the exact date of a client's demise, but anything can happen in a romantic comedy. This eBook also contains a children's bedtime story.
Portrait of Conspiracy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 92,220. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Philip Lewellan discovers a mysterious painting. He’s sure it’s proof his missing wife is alive … and may be living somewhere with a child, his daughter. The thought of being a father is more than enough to get Philip to turn to the one person who might believe him.
Murder And Mayham
Price: Free! Words: 8,960. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Jack Mayham, a criminal defense attorney who has been fired from three law firms in four years, believes he's been given the chance of a lifetime to get back on his feet. Soon after depositing a retainer for $250,000, he learns saving the stunning Lisa LeRouse Bedford from the prosecuting attorney is the least of his worries.
The Ghost of Leonard Korn
Price: Free! Words: 1,890. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Holiday » Halloween
On Halloween night, a young boy and his three friends set out to search for the ghost that has haunted their small town for decades. The four youths learn that searching for a ghost can be more perilous than they ever imagined.
A Woman To Die For
You set the price! Words: 3,700. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
A private investigator is hired by a wealthy Texas woman to find her husband and bring him back from his latest drinking binge. John Hartley is not that hard to find, but bringing him back is a whole different matter.
Tough As They Come
You set the price! Words: 14,030. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Bart Bengo, is on trial for a murder he did not commit. A woman, presumed dead for twenty years, gives Bart a second chance to prove his innocence. After his involvement with a second murder, his temporary freedom may be short-lived. With a nation-wide manhunt closing in on Bart, the key to his longterm freedom may be in the past, and a woman previously presumed dead may hold it.