About James Cook:
I was born in Milwaukee, WI to a traveling family. We never lived in the same house more than a few years. We moved from place to place and I don’t remember ever living in a new home or even a modern home. Once, we lived an a two hundred year old house that had bees in the walls and no electricity or running water.
When we used the wood stove to heat the place, you’d hear this buzzing in the walls, because the hive was getting heated up. No one believes me, but I swear the wallpaper would leak honey.
At any rate, for years and years I’ve been researching the supernatural. That’s what got me into this book. It’s a life passion for me and I’ve been to places like the Whaley House and the Devil’s Backbone, I’ve broken out the electrometers and ghost hunting lens on my camera. Seen the reliquaries of the Cathedrals in Rome. It’s my life.
What inspires you to write?
I go through tons of true stories. Some that people email to me, and some I find in newspapers, books and whatnot. When I hit one that’s really good I just know it, and that’s when I start to do my in depth research. I like to find the details that no one else has dug up. I call people and email people for interviews to get their story fresh.
That kind of work, being like a bloodhound on a story, that’s what inspires me.
Tell us about your writing process.
I sit down and grind it out sometimes. Sometimes the words just come. Mostly I write in the evenings. Boy, can you write in the morning? If so, lucky you. I need to clear the cobwebs and get some food in me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I write non-fiction, but I do like to get to know people. I think if you just read about people it’s not the same. Even if some one has passed on I like to dig up recordings, video if I can, and try to see who they really were.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. That’s the biggest thing. Don’t read about writing, don’t plan how to write, don’t even read other books learning how to write.
That’s all fine as far as it goes, but ultimately you have to write. Imagine if you met someone who played violin and they said they spent 90% of their time listening to violin music, and 5% planning how to play the violin and 4% reading books on the best way to play the violin, and just 1% sitting down to play. That would be ludicrous, and yet so many writers divide their time that way. You can do all those other things, but 90% needs to be you in the chair writing.
What about reading the classics/important books/new books? Nonsense. You’ve read plenty. The largest library in the world in Shakespeare’s day contained 1400 books, and most of those were handwritten copies of the bible. You’ve read more than William Shakespeare, now get out there and write!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self published. I don’t see any reason not to anymore. I had a publisher once and if you’re not Stephen King they don’t promote your book at all. The might send you a letter with some tips. But if I’m going to write a book, and then get out there and sell it myself, I’ll do that and keep the lion’s share of the royalties.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
eBooks. But really that’s the TODAY of publishing. The future is probably more of the same. I think language is how our brains are coded from the time we learn to read. It’s one of the most important skills and one of the first we pass on (First you learn to talk, then to read. I mean, you crawl and walk too, but that’s another thing). So I don’t think books and stories are going anywhere. I just think people will find new ways to read them.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Non-Fiction, Supernatural, New Age, Spirituality
What formats are your books in?: eBook
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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.