Interview with J Morgan Woodall

Published 2017-02-05.
Who are your favorite authors?
Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, and lately James Corey. Most of all, I love the great and ageless one, Wilbur Smith. At age 12, I filled in a lot of blanks about women and sex reading "A Sparrow Falls." The man can write manly adventure and steamy sex like he's cooking up fried chicken and biscuits! Just go good together!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My lovely wife, Jennifer, my wonderful family, the fact I have bills to pay and the love of writing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working my full-time job, watching movies & tv (really into the Expanse and Emerald City right now). I love music of all kinds, and I will have spells where I will listen to country more and more as I get older, but I always seem to come back to good ol' rock & roll (I said rock & roll ... not the stuff they call music today). I guess it's the rebel in me.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
My nook, usually. I rarely go into a bookstore anymore. That's kinda sad, isn't it?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember a lot of stories I started back in junior high, but I never finished them. Many of them I still have in my head. Maybe one day ...
What is your writing process?
I'm not a structured writer. I don't write out a plot and lay out a story from start to finish. I get an idea and I just start at the beginning and let the story take me where it wants. After that, I will come back and streamline and fine-tune it over and over again until I have a finished product I am happy with. Then when I start editing, I more than likely will fine-tune it even more. By the time it's done, what it looked like at the beginning may look nothing like the end result.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
No. I've been an avid reader from an early age. I wouldn't even try to hazard a guess on that. But if you were to ask me the story that probably has influenced me the most, the answer would be "A Boy's Life," by Robert McCammon. I have read it 3 times at least, cover to cover. A great masterpiece!
How do you approach cover design?
Sometimes I have a picture in my head that I want; sometimes I just call my design artist and tell her what the book is about and she sends me ideas. We work very good together.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) A Boy's Life by Robert McCammon: Wonderful coming of age book about growing up in the South back before things got all modern.
2) A Sparrow Falls by Wilbur Smith: At age 12, I learned a lot of things I probably wasn't supposed to learn at that age.
3) Armada by Michael Jahn: A little-known 80's sci-fi book about an alien invasion. Short on boring techno-babble and long on action. My kind of sci-fi.
4) The Expanse by James Corey: Although long-winded at times, I liked the thought of real, blue-collar people in space.
5) The Godfather by Mario Puzo: Seriously? It's the Godfather ...
What do you read for pleasure?
Depends on my mood and whatever subject I may be interested in at the time. I'm kind of OCD, so if I get on a subject I'm curious about, I may read everything I can find on it. And shamefully, I'm a wikipedia addict.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Nook. It's all I've ever had and I'm on my 2nd, an HD. Not big on using the phone as a reader.
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