Sunday, 4 September 2011

Words with... JT Lewis

 Thanks to JT Lewis for this interview

How long have you been writing? 

1-1/2 years seriously, with a few half-hearted false starts in the past.

Do you have a day job or do you write for a living?

I am an electrician by trade, owning a very small electrical contracting company in Southern Indiana. It is only at night and on the weekends that I morph into a fictional crime-fighting detective.

What do you feel is the ideal recipe for a good novel/story/poem?

My ultimate goal would be to develop a story that a reader could not put down. To me, a great story, one that taps on your shoulder and says ‘here I am’, is the goal. Character development is important, of course, as well as clean editing and word usage, but it is the story that get passed down from time immortal. No one may even remember who wrote a good story originally, and it may even get rewritten numerous times by others, but the story is what people remember. Nothing could be more rewarding to me then to create a story that stood the test of time, and I would hope that that is my goal every time I sit down at a keyboard. One more thing I find important is to let the story unfold from your mind and experiences, and from the story itself. Some of the best lines I feel I have ever written have almost written themselves, appearing magically before me as if the story was offering it up for me to include.

What/who inspired you to write and still inspires you?

Great stories inspire me.

What books have you written? Do you stick to one genre?

Mostly, I stick to action/adventure. My Indie published title The Ghost Murders is out now, the first in the series called ‘The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic’. I am working on the second in the series, Gabriel’s Revenge, as well as a book tentatively titled Murder, Too Close To Home.

How long did it take you to write your book/s? 

The Ghost Murders took almost a year of writing, three months of getting away from the story, and another three months revising and editing (although I’m not sure that part is ever done). Remember that it is very part-time for me.

How long did it take you to get published? Did you take the traditional route or DIY?

DIY, starting with Smashwords, but exploring the traditional route also.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers/those just starting out?

Decide to do it, and just do it when you can. Enjoy the process, and let your story evolve out of your mind, experiences and the story itself.

Which character from your books do you like most/are most like?

I could only hope to be more like Gabriel Celtic.

Where and when do you write – do you have set times during which you write or just when the mood takes you?

I write mostly at the kitchen table in front of some large bay windows. I write mostly at the weekends when there are no other obligations and sometimes at night. Many times, the story will speak to me and I will write wherever I am, or at least jot down some notes.

Marketing – the bane of self-publishers – how do you find the experience? Do you have any marketing advice for other writers? Do you use a blog or twitter, etc?

Right now I use Facebook and Twitter, but I certainly do not have the time needed to adequately market myself and the book. One of the biggest surprises to self-published authors has to be the time and attention away from writing that this process involves.

Who is your favourite character from any book and why?

Probably the one character that keeps popping up in my life is Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt.

Which three authors (living or not) would you like to take to the pub?

James Patterson, Clive Cussler and Paul Christopher are three who write in my genre and that I would love to talk to. 

What other hobbies/interests do you have or has writing taken over?

Writing first; a little landscaping periodically.

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

Fame and riches! LOL, not really! But, I would like to feel like I’m in a comfortable phase of my writing life where I have come close to the great story that I know is inside of me.

If you won the Lotto, what would you do with all it?

I’m old enough to hopefully not make huge mistakes with it; easy enough to do, I hear. I would pay off any debts I might have at that time, and hopefully set some aside for the future. Nothing too exciting I assure you.

Now for the creative bit… please finish this story in 100 words or less…

There once was a small gecko called Fred
Who hated to get out of bed
His mother was wrong, with her ranting and raving
Didn’t she know the energy he was saving?
The life of a gecko was hectic at best
And she wanted him to do it without any rest?
Ok, ok, he would get up
Before she resorted to calling him pup
After all, there were flies here and there, all needing caught
He’d catch him a few, then sneak back to his cot.
You see, unlike the lazy thought of his mother’s
He was just being nice, saving some for others
 (104 if you count the original words. L)

Your book/website/blog/twitter links

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