It is with great pleasure that I feature James West and
The God King. I hope you enjoy this interview!
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was thirteen years old I read The Talisman, by Stephen King and Peter Straub, and that was when it hit me that I wanted to create different worlds and realities. That said, it was not until I went to college and took a creative writing class that I really started writing in earnest.
? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I’m laughing here, because to make a list of the jobs I have had—and the two I still hold—would make me sound like someone who simply cannot hold a job. With that in mind, I just tend to be someone driven to make a living as a writer, so all the other jobs I have and have had, are geared toward making that happen. Also, I thank my lucky stars that I have a supportive wife who happens to be a scientist, which keeps me from being a starving artist!
? How long does it take you to write a book?
In my head, it takes a few hours, and sometimes just a few moments. Putting it all together in written format, however, usually takes me a lot longer, like months. Some authors can crank out fiction at a prodigious rate, but I am not one of those. My intention for the future is to write two complete novels a year. My hope is more like six. So far, the former seems more likely.
? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it is a quirk, let alone interesting, but usually soon after I start a new project I begin to despair that I am writing absolute gibberish. This feeling rarely fades before I have completed the final draft. And even after that, I usually have this lingering sense of disappointment that I failed to write the words needed to properly describe how I first saw the story in my head.
? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
Life. There is no way around it. I interact with so many different people that characters are easy to come by.
? How do you decide what you want to write about?
Usually I have a basic concept in my head, but I will allow this idea to take shape and grow as the novel progresses. Usually by a quarter of the way through, I have decided where the story is going and why. Then I make notes of things I will need to change to make sure everything stays coherent. After those guideposts have been fully entrenched, I will actually let the story take over to some degree, which keeps it interesting to me and, hopefully, to my readers.
? What books have most influenced your life?
Without question, The Talisman. I read and love a lot of different genres, but that book opened my eyes to the fantastical in a way that no other book has. After that, I would say The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan, because his was the first true fantasy novel I ever read.
? What are you reading right now?
I am actually reading The Shining, by Stephen King, probably for the tenth time. Some people will watch their favorite movies over and over again, but I have weakness for re-reading books.
? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like studying history, because it gives me an idea where we are going. I know it has been said before, but there is nothing new under the sun, and history really does repeat itself. Depending on where a given society is at the moment, and of course your personal outlook, that can be scary or exciting. As for traditional hobbies, I have lived the majority of my life in a rural setting, so I enjoy all the usual outdoorsy stuff. I also have a woodshop, from which I used to make my living. I have since decided that it serves me better as a hobby, rather than a business.
? What is your favorite comfort food?
Tortilla chips and salsa. As far as I am concerned, that is not so much a comfort food as a staple.
? What do you think makes a good story?
For me it really depends on the genre, but in general I would say the characters and how I relate to them really bring a story together. I have read highly acclaimed works with beautiful prose and great storylines that did nothing for me, simply because I could not relate. Some few exceptional writers can bridge that gap, but only a few.
? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
I do not want to beat a dead horse, or irritate the literary purists, but Stephen King will always hold a special place in my heart. For me, he is one of those few authors who can write about something that means absolutely nothing to me yet draw me in, compel me to keep reading, and leave me feeling satisfied.
Fun random questions:
Dogs or cats? Dogs, hands down. For all the cat lovers out there, I humbly apologize, but I think felines are the Devil’s own children.
Coffee or tea? Iced tea, but with a goodly amount of that pink-packaged rat poison added for sweetness.
Dark or milk chocolate? I don’t want to sound like a heretic, but dark chocolate is like the de-evolution of a perfectly fine treat.
Rocks or flowers? A few flowers growing amongst carefully selected and arranged rocks works perfectly well for me.
Night or day? I don’t want to sound like a vampire, but I tend to like the night.
Favorite color? I like dark earth tones.
Crayons or markers? Neither. Crayons smear and markers bleed. Moreover, both smell kind of weird to me.
Pens or pencils? Pens. I tend to press too hard when I write, so I inevitably snap pencil lead.
More about the author:
When James was thirteen years old he read The Talisman, by Stephen King, and a seed of an idea was planted that someday he, too, would create different worlds and realities.
After a stint in the US Army, a year as a long-haul truck driver, and a couple as a log home builder, he enrolled at the University of Montana. There, he majored in Psychology and, by chance, took a creative writing course that allowed him to revisit that old seed of an idea of creating worlds. Words started to flow, and worlds were born.
After college, he started a small woodworking business with the express purpose of using it to fund his writing journey.
James lives in Montana with his wife and his bodyguard, a Mini-Schnauzer named Jonesy.
Book Title: The God King Author: James West Genre: Epic Fantasy Publication Date: November 11th 2011 Format: Kindle Book Synopsis:
Heroes are not born, they are forged in the fires of apocalypse…
n the heavens above, the three moons crash together, streaming fire and death in their wake; below, the seas rage as the roiling face of the world shatters. After Prince Varis Kilvar steals powers to transform himself into a god, chaos reigns from the king’s city of Ammathor to the forbidding walls of the Black Keep. At his heels marches a demonic army torn from the very bowels of the Thousand Hells, and the risen God King uses terror to stake his claim over all lands.
Betrayed and bound to Varis by powers he does not understand, mercenary Kian Valara is forced to masquerade as the world’s savior, while a beautiful Sister of Najihar prepares him for his last battle. Victory against a living god is far from certain, but vengeance? For Kian, when the battle rage falls upon his soul and the sword hilt is hot and alive against his palm, vengeance is never out of reach.