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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Author Interview – James R Johnson

5:30 AM Posted by James Noel , No comments

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? I think that the best tools out there for creators of story are Syd Field’s Screenplay and Dramatica by Melanie Anne Philips and Chris Huntley.  Screenplay, like Dramatica, offers great advice on creating the story structure needed to make a great story.  Although Screenplay offers some specifics to film projects, the basics of story composition are still hugely insightful.  I enthusiastically recommend both of these resources.

What contributes to making a writer successful? Drive.  I believe that if you can face the constant uphill battle of writing something you feel passionate about even though it feels like the world couldn’t care less, you can make it as an author.  I believe it was Bette Midler who once said, “If you’re not neurotic, get out of the business”. I believe that to be true.  You can’t fold at the first or forty-first sign of rejection.  You need to keep doing what you love and in time you will find that you are getting better and better at it.  Eventually, someone will recognize it enough to give it a chance.  Keep driving forward and find a successful writer at the end of the tunnel.

Do you have any advice for writers? Write, write, write.  Then write some more.  Don’t edit.  Don’t proofread.  Don’t rewrite.  When the time is right to do those other tasks, you’ll know because someone told you to do it.  Until that time arrives, just keep writing.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? Take everything I say with a grain of salt.  I’m not an expert on anything nor do I try to be.  Don’t completely rely on my word for anything.  Do your own research, your own soul searching.  Life is an adventure.  So remember to pay attention to the journey more than the destination.  I’m just full of clichés, right?

What do you do to unwind and relax? I watch movies.  I especially love the ones with a great script and splendid acting and incredible cinematography and seamless editing.  “Fine Feature Films” as we call them in my house.  A film can make any day brighter.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? The dream of helping others has always been a dream of mine.  My wife and I help as many people as we can.  We’ve done that throughout our marriage.  Now that there is another income stream, we have more resources to help people with.  You can always lend a helping hand, no matter what you have to offer.  We have lived our lives based on that principle.  Now we find we can help out even more.

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us? I plan on attending the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago this summer.  I’d love to meet each and every one of you there!

If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? Find what makes you happy.  Not just happy, but whole, complete.  Once you find it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Don’t stop searching until you have found it, then hang on with both hands.


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Genre – Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG13

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