About J.E. Pendleton:
I am 68 years old born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. I am married with three children and six grand kids. Being the first born of a WW II Marine, I have always been fascinated with that war. In my younger years I was an active SCCA and GVRA road racer winning several championships. I have had a life long love affair with cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. After spending forty two years in the telephone business, I have pursued a long held interest in writing fiction. An avid reader, some of my favorite authors are W.E.B. Griffin, Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brien, Stephen Coonts, and Tom Clancy. I was moved to write my first novel after attending a 3rd Marine Division Reunion with my father. His only sibling was MIA from WW II and my father never gave up hope his brother was alive somewhere. The Special is a tribute to that long lost uncle and all the people that loved him.
What inspires you to write?
I love history and I think World War II changed the life of every person on the planet. I want to do my part to keep the memories of those that fought in that horrendous war alive. The sacrifices they made insured we would have the life we enjoy today. It is my hope that my writing will cause readers to reflect on the terrible price paid by so many all those years ago. Freedom isn’t free, it was bought and paid for with their sacrifices. There are young men and women defending us today. Never forget.
Tell us about your writing process.
My books are fiction, but they are written inside the framework of history. I begin with a desire to direct attention to a series of actual events. Characters, real and imagined, are written about as they participate in actual events. History gives me the timeline. History also provides me the events. What I try to add is how it would have felt to be there yourself, what an eye witness would have felt. What it would have looked like, smelled like, tasted like. My characters are born in my mind. They arrive as they are needed to fulfill their role in history. The major characters emerge fairly quickly. They each have their own personality. It isn’t long before they take over the story and all I have to do is write it down. I don’t write an outline because I never know exactly where they are going to take me. I may write down a short description of a scene that I want to be sure makes it into the story, but that is unusual. Normally the story bounces around inside my head until I have to write it down or go nuts. I have a fairly extensive library of WW II that I use to make sure I remain true to what actually happened. Sometimes my characters have minds of their own and they scream at me that it didn’t really happen the way the books say. When that happens I have to go with those that were there. There were so many things that happened when no one was there to record it. Spiral notebooks and post it notes abound in my office filled with the things my characters told me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Certainly I talk to my characters. How could I ever write their story without them telling me about it? It is an amazing experience to see what they saw and feel what they felt. I am the observer. They don’t ask me for my ideas, they just do what they have to do. I try to keep up with them, but sometimes I don’t have time to write it all down. They talk to me, but the story is in their hands. I am only the scribe.
What advice would you give other writers?
If you want to write, then write. Read all you can in the genre you want to write. Reading goes hand in hand with writing. Once you start writing you will find yourself immersed in the world you are writing about. People will speak to you and interrupt your reverie of a place and time far from where the speaker is. It will take time to transition back into the speaker’s world. They will look at you funny and wonder what is wrong with you, but those are just the things that happen. What they don’t know is you have your very own time machine and you make frequent trips to places far away, places they can’t visit before your words are on the page. As for the writing itself, it’s best to get a professional to edit your work. Your mind has been there so many times it never notices the little mistakes a newbie will trip over and get lost. You don’t need those things fixed, but your readers do. Only a professional will find them all.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self publish for several reasons. I had read about the sometimes lengthy process famous authors went through to get their books published in the traditional manner. After seeing what they went through I decided I didn’t have the time to devote to that process. I’m an old guy, time is precious. I also wanted to retain control of my work. With all that said, it still has taken a surprising amount of time and effort to get where I am today. There are many things I have learned and many yet to discover. I am in extreme debt to my wife Nancy. She does most of the heavy lifting here to turn my scribbles into a finished product. Without her, my stuff would still be in a drawer somewhere. She is an indispensable part of my process. Sorry, but I can’t share her with you.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think publishing is going through a metamorphosis. Technology has turned the world upside down. Almost everyone has access to the tool needed to get your words into a format that others can read. Books can be produced today when they are purchased instead of printing hundreds or thousands of copies in advance and keeping them in a warehouse. That process is called Print On Demand or POD. Books can also be transmitted in seconds to your device almost anywhere in the world. Those processes short circuit traditional publishing. However, the mainstay publishing houses are still there. Many people still enjoy wandering around a bookstore and holding their new find in their hands before the purchase. I believe technology will continue to evolve and make it even easier to produce a presentable book to the public. However, regardless of technology, it must live first in the mind of the author. I don’t see an alternative to that process.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction, military adventure, war, thriller
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, 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.