Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday Wonder Writer - James Goodman!

Wednesday, again, already? At least we're mostly through the week -- and this Wednesday, we have the absolutely fabulous James Goodman to ease the work week pain. I'm seriously excited to have him visit (a little fan girling? maybe...) Without further gushing, here's the interview:

James, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.

Well, I hate to disappoint, but my schedule is really quite mundane and very repetitious during the week, at least for the past few months. I’ve managed to get myself stuck on a project that has me working out of town four days a week.

Here it is in a nutshell:

5:00 am: Wake up and do some light weightlifting and strength training exercises to get the blood flowing and clear the mind.

5:20 am: Hit the shower, get dressed, grab first cup of coffee (black) while checking emails and then head out for the day job. Call my wife and son to wish them a great day and let them know I’m thinking of them. Tell my wife, I’m not getting enough sleep. She tells me I can sleep when I die.

6:30 am: Round up the troops and give everyone their assignments for the day and tend to my other babysitting management duties. Continue drinking copious amounts of coffee.

11:30 am: break for lunch, which consists of ten minutes of eating and twenty minutes of writing. Oh, and of course start tapering off my coffee intake.

12:00 pm: Begin mental countdown to end of day. Have argument with self over coffee vs. water. Coffee wins. I grab another cup.

5:00 pm: Leave work, finish up lingering emails while driving car with my knees. Try not to spill my “last” cup of coffee in the process. Call my wife and son to see how everyone’s day went.

5:30 pm: Do cardio, hope it is enough to burn off the effects of all the caffeine I ingested throughout the day.

6:00 pm: Hit shower, eat, and settle in for the evening.

7:00 pm: Work on quotes and/or various duties that come along with my day job.

7:30 pm: My wife and son call to tell me good night and I can’t wait until Thursday evening when I get to go home and see them (Doesn’t matter what day it is).

8:00 pm: Time to write. What I write tends to vary by the day. Sometimes, I write on my current WIPs, sometimes I write for my blog, sometimes I play around with Facebook, but mostly it is a combination of all three. Debate the merits and perils of having just one more cup of coffee and decide to switch to Mt. Dew.

10:00 pm: Grab book, crawl into bed and curse myself for not switching to water after dinner. Read until I can’t hold eyes open.

Somewhere between 11:00 pm and midnight: Decide reading just doesn’t make me as sleepy as it should, put book away, turn off lights and crash.

Repeat procedure the next day.

Hopefully this grueling schedule will end around the end of May and I can get back to working from home and spending more time with my family. Having said that, even when I’m at home, I don’t sleep much during the week, but at least I’m not on the road...

Under normal conditions I usually spend closer to six hours per day writing and I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night because some scene will pop into my head and I want to get it down on paper.

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?

I like to turn on some music (the genre is usually dictated by the mood of the piece I intend to write), re-read the last couple of pages I wrote the night before to put myself in the right mindset and dive in.

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?

Quick and Prolific. Once my fingers hit the keyboard it’s like I’m in a race to purge my mind of all the thoughts tumbling around in there lest I run the risk of them escaping.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a sequel to my first book with Resplendence Publishing, The Dance. It’s tentatively titled, Hell A and it is my official debut into the world of vampires. It is set in modern times and though the majority of the story takes place in Los Angeles, most of the characters are from north eastern Oklahoma. It is a story of love, loss and survival in a world where nothing is as it seems.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

Romantic suspense, hands down. I’m a firm believer that it is hard to become emotionally vested in characters when they don’t care enough to invest in each other. Also, a bond formed by surviving hardships is a powerful thing. When I care about a character and they are on the brink of danger, I often catch myself holding my breath until I find out what is going to happen to them (more often than not, I don’t know until the scene finally plays itself across the paper).

I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?

Truthfully, my reading tastes are quite varied. I like romantic suspense, thrillers, fantasy, paranormal, action/adventure, mystery and well pretty much anything as long as the story can suck me in and keep me there.

Do you have a favorite author or someone you look up to in the industry?

There are so many, I wouldn’t know where to start. Between conferences and fortuitous gatherings, I’ve had an opportunity to meet some of my favorites and discovered friends who would later become favorites as well.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.

Well, I’ve been writing for as long as I could read, but mostly the early years were filled with my attempts at poetry and even a few stabs at song writing. During my adolescent years, it slowly transitioned to short stories, but nothing I took too seriously.

Then one day, a girl I was dating in college, brought me to a book signing. Anne Rice was in town and I was a huge fan. Memnoch the Devil had just come out and I was anxious to read it. So, I gathered up the seven or so other books I owned and the girl quickly talked me out of taking them with me, explaining it would be better to just get the one book I actually bought while we were there signed. I relented.

When we showed up, the line was ginormous. It weaved in and out of all the ailes, out the door and along the sidewalk. While we waited, I thought about all the things I wanted to say, the characters I wanted to ask about, the “whys” behind the stories and so on...

By the time, it was my turn at the table, I opened my mouth to begin my witty banter and for reasons I still don’t understand, I was suddenly overwhelmed by just how much of her works had spoken to me or could be associated with emotions, trials and tribulations from my own life. I was dumbstruck. I barely managed to tell her how to sign the page.

After we left, I decided I wanted to have that effect on someone. So, I went home, and started writing my first book. It sucked. So did the next attempt. I wrote for about a year, before I started trying to get published.

It took just over ten years before I finally wrote something someone else liked enough to put into print. The first acceptance was on a short story, which appeared in the Fall 2006 edition of Spinetingler Magazine. It wasn’t long after, that my first book was accepted by Resplendence Publishing. In a strange twist of fate, my first release was actually a novella published by Wild Child Publishing, even though it was accepted several months later.

How many books have you had published and for whom?
Five books and two shorts published so far, but another three have been accepted under a nom de plume, but I am sworn to secrecy on those for the time being. :D

With Resplendence Publishing:
The Dance
Pixels and Pain
Drums of the Nunne’hi
Tuttle’s House of Horror

With Wild Child Publishing:
The Writing on the Wall
Esprit de Corps (in the Weirdly II Antho)

Spinetingler:
The New Kid

What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?

Tyler Duke has a plan. With the help of his closest friends, he will open the doors to the infamous Tuttle House on Halloween and provide a weekend of thrills and chills for curiosity seekers. Why is the house infamous? It was the sight of the largest mass murder in the history of Northeastern Oklahoma.

If all goes well, they’ll earn enough money to spend spring break in Cancun, but unbeknownst to them, someone has taken up residence in the old mansion and he has a plan of his own. Bobo hopes the weekend brings people in droves. Nothing would make this twisted clown happier than to put gaping smiles under the faces of the house’s patrons. If he can just maintain control of his inner demon until the grand opening, it will be his greatest achievement, a night so brutal even the Fallen will take notice.

Will Tyler and his friends discover the killer in their midst before it’s too late or will they become the main attraction in Tuttle’s House of Horror.

The original idea was brought to me by one of my publishers. She said she had attended a haunted house and thought it would be quite easy for a killer to actually be killing people and the masses would think it was just part of the show. She asked me if I could come up with a story that revolved around that idea. I told her I would give it a try.

Not long after that, I had a conversation with a few friends over drinks. We were discussing odd fears and the subject of clowns came up and it was unanimously decided they were just downright creepy. I decided to give the villain a clown mask as my own attempt to face a slight touch of coulrophobia.

What’s your writing space like?

It depends. Sometimes, it’s a desk/dining table in my hotel room, sometimes it’s the waiting lounge at the airport, sometimes it’s on the plane, sometimes it’s my desk at the day job, but my favorite place to write is my desk at home.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not enslaved by a soul-crushing schedule, we are actually a very active family. I enjoy cooking, wakeboarding, riding my motorcycle, exploring, travelling to strange and often exotic places, practicing MMA, playing Guitar Hero 5 (the one with the drums and the mic), playing my real guitar, dancing, karaoke, and hanging out with friends.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Freedom is often as elusive as it is idealistic; yet we all strive for more of it. All freedoms come at a price. Some we attain with little effort. Others we are granted at great expense. Yet in the end, we must all face the saddest of all truths: Freedom is an illusion. By its very nature, it is a permission given and anything that is given can be taken away.

Last questions…

Coke or Pepsi? Diet Mt. Dew, lol.

Bronte or Austen? Most definitely Jane Austen.

Star Trek or Star Wars? May the force be with you...

Team Edward or Team Jacob? I’m torn, they both have their appealing points, but I tend to favor the longer lasting attributes of Team Edward, though the animal in me is snarling and would rather run with the pack.

McDonalds or Burger King? Burger King burgers and McDonald’s fries.

Thank you James for being here!!! Readers, you can find James at:

His website: http://www.goodysworld.com/home.html

http://www.myspace.com/jamesgoodman

Blog: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/jamesgoodman/

Blog: http://goodysworld.blogspot.com/

6 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

Hi James:) Good to 'see' you again!

I'm soooo with you on the BK burgers and McD's fries! BK's were good up until 15 or so years ago, but I still (jokingly) consider it a sacrilege to put ketchup on McD's fries:)

Congrats on the new release!

Anny Cook said...

Yo, James! Good to see you around. I'm with you on that day job...may it be over soon!

James Goodman said...

Hiya, Molly. It's good to see you too. lol, I agree a good box o' fries needs no dressing. :D

Thanks, Anny. Keep your fingers crossed for my sanity, lol.

Bronwyn Green said...

Great interview, you too! I think it's wonderful that you call your family as much as you do when you're away. Here's hoping you get to get off the road soon. :)

James Goodman said...

I appreciate that, Bronwyn. It's hard, but at least I know it's not forever. :D

And thank you, Brynn. For doing this interview. It was a lot of fun. :D

Mona said...

You are taking the ghosts to LA this time??? Gosh! The Virus does spread!

I can't wait to read the sequel.

Wife is right, The only sleep you get is i the grave...

I like your philosophy of Freedom. It does come with a responsibility...

..Also response ability ;D