About J. A. Hailey:
I WANT TO KEEP EVERYTHING UNDER WRAPS, but I can give a valid reason for my caginess, because while I am able to say that I am most often to be found living in and around NYC, I can state that I count it stupid to give any further details that would reveal my identity and pinpoint my address. I shall explain.
When living in Dubai, I got dragged into a shouting match with a mega-bank, which then proceeded to ruin the life I was leading at the time. It was a credit card matter, and the criminal bank employed the criminal Sheikh of Dubai to implement his criminal systems on me, thus forcing me into hiding.
While in hiding, I wrote my first book – Dune Devils, to expose the misdeeds of the bank, and the horrific crimes and human rights abuses committed by rulers and ruling classes of the Middle East.
These people are so directly linked with terrorism and the underworld that they are the main players in those games.
They have global power and can reach around the world to harm enemies, and getting rid of troublesome writers is a cornerstone of their self defense mechanism.
In fact, they are so desperate that they can blunder badly, as the Saudi Arabian rulers did with Jamal Khashoggi, by actually murdering him inside their consulate in Istanbul!
And I am not doing myself any favors with my crusading attitude (to be soon also pushed by the new blog I am setting up) and the books I have in the works, containing information on crooks and abusers.
Oh, dear God, did I say NYC when I meant the Amazon rain forest? You know the part to the left of the right on any good wall-map? That’s where I can be found. My latest look, front face passport photograph, is attached directly below this section, where it says Author Photo (because I’m just so damn clever).
What inspires you to write?
I am going to take the risk of quoting myself (from Sometimes She Smiles) when I state that I write to finally hear the complete story I want to tell. I openly admit that, when kick-starting a novel, I do not actually know much of the story, beyond its outlines. By outlines I mean the major structure that is to constitute the framework inside which all the details will be entered, the characters be found, the deeds be done and the words be spoken.
I truly do not know in advance what will happen and with whom, and how they will behave, either generally or with each other, except that I know their personalities and expect them to never go out of character.
Outside of that, I look for crookedness, injustice and cruelty, because exposing hidden evil (the human -looking demons that bathe in blood but are invited to visit the White House) is a major driver.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Charles Dickens, Alistair MacLean, James Hadley Chase, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, the Brontë sisters, Louis L’Amour, Dostoevsky, Ayn Rand, Mickey Spillane, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Zane Grey, Joseph Heller… An endless and absolutely all inclusive list.
Tell us about your writing process.
I shall start by answering the questions below. I am absolutely not an outliner, but a writer who works directly within the story, and lets it lead me to wherever it goes.
I also do not experience any form of writer’s block (except once, early on, when writing Dune Devils, but more on this later), and I credit that to the method with which I approach storytelling.
While I do not know the entire story, I do acquire details, could be for the future or in the past, like incidents perhaps, and I write these down according to my mood.
I now know what a hellish task I face when I begin incorporating these into the main narrative, and end up creating a jumble that requires painstaking sorting out.
It is very confusing and tiring, but I believe this process also gives me great insights into the way I have told the story, and is a great mathematical-type tool to see if things are logical or not. Obviously, whatever you try, it is impossible to fit in things that just don’t fit in.
And that means an amazingly in-depth edit must be simultaneously naturally conducted. This could require adjustments in the story, either earlier or later, or otherwise adjustments in the segment itself.
I am now writing #6 of my sci-fi series in the same way. I think it is the safest way to do sci-fi or thriller, both of which need a very high level of accuracy to get right, so much so that it is almost like there is only one possible book, like a jigsaw puzzle which cannot be forcibly fitted together.
I suspect, as happened to me in Dune Devils, that writer’s block is a byproduct of an attempt to forcibly chronologically write a novel from beginning to end. My system, of also working with modules, obviously works to bypass the block.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
This is the easiest one of the lot.
I neither listen to nor talk to my characters. They are never with me.
I neither enter my story nor bring characters out to fool around with me.
I view my story, which plays out like a movie in my mind’s eye. I watch this movie being revealed in multiple shows, in which I spy on my characters doing things, and eavesdrop on them talking with each other.
I never get into the frame, ever. I am afraid of contaminating the story with my presence.
What advice would you give other writers?
The best advice for writers that I ever heard is something I stumbled upon fairly recently – the sayings of Ray Bradbury. He is unimaginably good. I regret that I have never read any of his works, but shall rectify this soon.
Google RAY BRADBURY and read his advice.
Don’t waste your time on Literary Agents. Everyone now wants you to prove your marketability – as an indie author with e-books.
Self publish. Go straight for it, and go with all retailers, but make sure you place your book on Amazon first, because almost every single website will refuse to even list your book unless it has an Amazon https.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
This is a no-brainer, because, like all other indie authors, I actually had, and even now continue to have, no option.
After losing time and money chasing agents, I self-published on Amazon.
Although I am no fan of Amazon, I realize and admit openly that if Amazon had not pioneered indie publishing, all of us would still be languishing in the hands of the relatively illiterate people who describe themselves as Literary Agents, and who function under the umbrella of the publisher cartel, probably in a system fed by kickbacks.
Looking at it dispassionately, one has to wonder why publishers cannot afford to directly employ qualified people to read books, but must outsource this to Literary Agents who then directly employ people to read books, and go on to themselves become multimillionaires.
Nothing satisfactorily explains this scenario, other than that Literary Agents are actually created by publishers to function within a secret system of kickbacks from the mega earnings diverted to them.
They are always trustworthy with money because in most cases they used to, once upon a time, work for those very same publishers.
And never mind if publisher or agent read what I have written here. They now matter not to me, and never again shall.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Children will always need to be given education, and education can never be imparted in any but in one fashion – through the written word. This means that people will always be literate in the manner they now are.
That in itself means the written word will not be replaced by audio or video, no matter if some voracious readers only listen to books.
The idea below is in my story, Homer’s Coming Home, contained in my book of short reads, Sometimes She Smiles:
If we redefine reading to be listening or seeing, we are going to end up with everyone reading at the same speed. However, if reading continues to be something to do with the written word, fast readers will be different to slow readers – making reading the written word many things, including a measurement of patience.
I do not know about what will happen to publishing, and am not going to be able to answer that question, but I do know about reading, and can confidently predict that the written word will continue to remain the primary form in which literate humans will read books.
What genres do you write?: literary fiction, thriller, science fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.