Wednesday, February 5, 2014

James R. Callan {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about James...

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing. He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published several non-fiction books. He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mystery/suspense, with his sixth book releasing in Spring, 2014.

How to connect with James...

Website: www.jamesrcallan.com
Blog: www.jamesrcallan.com/blog
Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1eeykvG
Twitter: @jamesrcallan
Purchase A Ton of Gold [Here]


Author Interview | James Callan

You and Writing

Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
...I like David Baldacci for his intricate plots. Also, Stephen Woodfin writes very interesting suspense books.
What is one book or resource you would recommend to other writers? Why?
...Beyond the thesaurus? That is my first choice for every day writing. But, for a more general view, I’d recommend The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler. It lays out the underlying structure necessary to produce great plots and great characters.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...I’m not the one to give advice on that. I do a terrible job in that regard. What I try to do is set aside the same time every day that is “writing time.” I try to let that be known so fewer interruptions will occur. Having said that, to be completely honest, I don’t seem to make it work more than half the time. But, that’s better than nothing.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book.
...A Ton of Gold is a look at how an old, long forgotten folk tale could affect the lives of people today. Crystal Moore, a brilliant computer researcher, learns that someone is trying to kill her grandmother, her only living relative. As she tries to find out who and why, the world seems to fall apart around her, with murders, arson, and kidnapping. And in the midst of this, the man who nearly destroyed her emotionally comes back. This time, he can ruin her career. She will need all the help she can get from a former bull rider, a street-wise housemate, and her feisty, 76 year-old grandmother.

What was one trial you faced when writing it? One success?
...I needed a way to get information to the greedy and unscrupulous characters and how to pin down a location where the thugs would search. A little “sittin’ and thinkin’” solved that. Crystal’s sidekick, Brandi, turned out to be a great success. I had expected Crystal’s grandmother to be really good (and she is quite popular with readers), but Brandi grew to be special and she plays an even bigger role in the sequel.

Who is your favorite character and why?
...I have to put Crystal Moore at the top. She must not only confront the thugs who try to kill her only living family, but she has to deal with a powerful man who has tried to destroy her emotionally. She has to grow or be swept away. However, Brandi was a pleasant surprise, a character that jumped in and demanded a larger role.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I’d like the reader to take away two thoughts. The first is that family is more important than job. And the second is that we cannot let others determine our self-worth.

You

Favorite writing snack:
...Dr Pepper and dry-roasted almonds.

Book you’re reading right now:
...Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton. 

If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why?
...That’s tough. But if I have to pick just one place, I think I’d pick Australia. Several years ago, my wife and I spent a month in Australia and didn’t begin to satisfy ourselves. It is an amazing country. Our one week in Tasmania was totally insufficient. Another month “down under” would be great.

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So great to hear from you again, James! I like your time-management advice, and the fact that you struggle with it. That sounds strange, but as a fellow writer, I can completely identify with you on how hard it is to stick to a schedule!

Your book sounds great and I hope that it will hit the "to read" list for many of my readers! As for the Dr. Pepper, that's just great. For some reason, it immediately makes me think of Ronie Kendig and one of her characters from her A Breed Apart series - he's always drinking Dr. Pepper haha :) Thanks again so much for the interview!