Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Author Interview – James Robinson Jr.

 

When did you first know you could be a writer? I realized that I could be a writer when I started writing Fighting the Effects of Gravity and something clicked for me; I discovered a style that of writing that I didn’t know I had. Writing non-fiction and writing about my own life gave me a new insight on writing. I realized that maybe non-fiction was a better fit for me because of my sense of humor and style.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? I’m in the process of writing a novella now which is challenging due to the elements of character and story development but I find that in all writing the hardest thing is getting started. I usually brainstorm with a pencil and pad before I sit down at the computer but that doesn’t make it a whole lot easier. First drafts can be absolutely dreadful! It seems like every time I write a first draft I read it over the next day and say to myself, there is no way this is going to work! I think when I was younger and wrote a first draft it may have stopped me from going any further because it was so bad. I have to keep reminding myself of something that the poet Maya Angelou once said to Oprah Winfrey: “I have never known writing to be anything other than hard work.” So, when I hear someone say how much they love writing I can’t help but think of what hard work it is and how awful those first drafts read!

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Writing this book taught me a lot about writing and a lot about myself. It taught me that I have the perseverance to stay with a project for 15 years and see it through to its conclusion—to make a book a book as good as it can be. When I was first picked up by an agent to represent the book it was nowhere near ready to be published—the book wasn’t mature enough and I wasn’t mature enough as a person to make it good enough. With each edit, I thought the book was good enough but it took until 2012 to really get it right.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? There is no such thing as writer’s block just writers who don’t feel like writing for the time being.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? It seemed like a natural. I was reaching middle age and the story about my ill-fitting jeans came to me and seemed like I could center the book around that idea. Everything grew from there.

Who designed the cover? Jennifer at Hot Damn Designs along with her associate Kim Killion designed the cover. I originally had a cover that most of my friends and associates thought was a bit juvenile for the mature level of my subject matter so I decided to make a change. I gave Jennifer a photo and she actually found another photo that looked a little more suitable. I simply made suggestions and corrections as we went along and she did the rest.

 

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Genre – Non Fiction Memoir

Rating – PG

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