Hello and welcome back to The Spyglassviewer! Today is a sunny day and that means good things are about to happen. What might they be? Well, the heading has all the clues.
Today we have with us a delightful person who goes by the name Jim Liston. Jim is an author, a blogger, and most importantly, a friend I met when I hosted him right here on The Spyglassviewer as a guest author. If you haven’t read the post yet, don’t wait, just hop over here and check it out. Believe me, it will be worth your time.
Anyway, when Jim recently contacted me through email saying that he had just released a book in the market – Invasion of Privacy and other Short Stories, I was more than pleased to hear the fantastic news. It’s a writer thing – we are proud when one of us finally decides to go public with their writings.
And that’s why I decided right then and there to invite Jim on The Spyglassviewer once again, not as a guest author this time, but as a celebrity who deserves an interview. So, without any further delay, let’s call on Jim Liston and hear what he’s got to say:-
Me: Hi Jim and welcome to The Spyglassviewer.
Jim: Thanks Ria, it’s always a pleasure.
Me: So tell us how does it feel to be an author?
Jim: It’s been really fun getting feedback from people. It still surprises me when someone says they like a story or want to know more about one of the characters. I’ve had some interesting comments from people about how they interpreted a story I’ve written.
Me: Tell us something about your new book.
Jim: The title story, Invasion of Privacy, is about a computer nerd whose wife is murdered. He has to find a way to go on after her death. He searches for the killer using his programming skills and in the meantime runs across some interesting scenerios. The other stories are flash fiction and cover a wide range of topics.
Me: That sounds intriguing. How would you describe the response in the opening week?
Jim: I’ve been really happy with the response I’ve gotten. People have been giving it 4 and 5 star reviews and it’s been downloaded almost 2,000 times.
Me: Have you always dreamt of being a writer?
Jim: I’ve always dreamt about being a professional songwriter. I’ve been a musician all my life and have written songs for some of the bands I’ve played in, but nothing ever came of it.
Me: A musician? Wow! Quick, tell us, were you just the songwriter or do you play some instruments, or even better, sing?
Jim: I play the drums, guitar, and mandolin, and yes, I do sing.
Me: That’s amazing! Okay, so which was the band, out of the many you were a part of, that had the weirdest name of them all?
Jim: I was the drummer for “Dick Hulette and the Electric Cowboys,” a country band based out of Iowa.
Me: So from songwriting to just writing, how did that happen?
Jim: It really isn’t much of a stretch. I’ve always written down ideas that came to me and enjoyed finding words that rhymed. Story writing is just writing without rhyming.
Me: And why short stories? Usually writers like to go the extra mile and pen big fat novels.
Jim: I love short stories. I’ve always been fascinated by authors that could have a complete story line in only a few words.
Me: Are you fonder of reading short stories as compared to novels or the other way?
Jim: Definitely short stories. A novel has to be amazing to keep my attention for a long time.
Me: Who is your writing inspiration? I mean, for me J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, my first Harry Potter book weirdly, was the source that sparked the writer in me. Whose writing inspired you to start scribbling out stories?
Jim: I’ve read everything written by Edgar Allan Poe, Samuel Clemons, and O’Henry.
Me: So Jim, tell us more about your book, how do you come up with the story plots and characters?
Jim: Something that I like to do is to start writing a story without any planning at all. I have a routine of writing early in the morning for about 2 hours. I just start typing without any predetermined ideas and see where it goes. I guess it’s kind of a stream of consciousness thing. It’s like meeting the characters and letting them tell their story. Sometimes, more often than not, I get stuck in the middle and can’t come up with an ending. But, occasionally a story will start developing and I’ll stick with it a few days. I don’t know what’s going to happen and am always surprised by the ending.
Me: And do have any plans of releasing other titles in the market sometime?
Jim: I’m working on a collection of short stories that will be released in December.
Me: Tell us something about it. What is the new book going to be like?
Jim: It’s called, “Addicted to Fire and Other Short Stories.” The title story is about a serial arsonist being hunted by a fire investigator, with an interesting twist at the end. I haven’t decided which of my other stories will be included but I plan to add a few longer stories in this collection.
Me: Addicted to Fire… now that is a title I really like. Okay, tell us about the craziest thing that happened to you as you were putting together Invasion of Privacy.
Jim: When I was writing the ending for Invasion, I couldn’t get the characters to go along with my idea. It was really strange, but it was like they were fighting with me, they didn’t like my ending. I finally gave up and let them tell me how it should end.
Me: Alright, one last question before we say goodbye, do you have anything you would like to say to the young writers of today?
Jim: In one word, write! That is the most important thing you have to do. Don’t be overly critical of your writing; most of it will be terrible. But, it will get better. One of the tricks Stephen King suggests in his book, “On Writing,” which I highly recommend by the way, is to challenge yourself to write one thousand words every day. Don’t edit while you write, use the first words that come to you and just keep going. You have to spend hours and hours finding your voice and developing a style. There isn’t a short cut, just write!
Me: Thanks Jim for taking the time out of your busy schedule and coming on The Spyglassviewer. I loved this interaction and am sure my readers have taken an instant liking to you too.
Jim: Thanks Ria. I just wanted to say that I’ve always enjoyed the Spyglassviewer and look forward to reading your novel “Rage,” when it’s published.
Me: Thank you, Jim.
So that was Jim Liston, folks! If you wish to read The Invasion of Privacy, hop over to any of these links and grab your copy today:-
Amazon – here
Barnes & Noble – here
Kobo – here
Smashwords – here
Till the next time… have fun!