About James Powers:
I was an undercover operative. I used well-supported undercover principles during operations in three continents.
For years following field operations, I taught university and government-sponsored courses in most aspects of undercover operations, investigations and international relations.
I’ve earned advanced university degrees and am fluent or semi-fluent in three foreign languages.
I have used the undercover skills found in my book “The Undercover Guide to Getting What You Want” to get what I wanted in my personal life.
I used these skills to get a full-time salary while attending two fully-paid Master of Arts degrees.
I used my undercover skills to be a “singleton” operator for the majority of my long career; allowing me to be in charge of my work, play, family and self-development time.
I used these undercover skills to influence powerful individuals to grant me coveted spots in high-level decision making bodies, community boards and commissions, commercial endeavors, political campaigns, criminal justice bodies, and associations related to my career advancement.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always wanted to write, but have really been too busy during my career to dedicate the time. I’m now retired and feel I still have something to offer, so decided to write.
During my work years, I wanted to write international intrigue, but felt that the stories would be too close to the confidential work I was doing; ergo, no writing.
Recently, my wife suggested we write how-to books based on our experiences. We cataloged our knowledge, interest, experiences, skills and talents to see what we could genuinely offer an how-to book audience. In my case, I had traveled a lot, communicated in foreign languages, worked in foreign cultures, played various roles while working undercover and frankly accomplished a lot in terms of my own advanced education, community leadership, and politics at the national, state and local levels.
This inspired me to write my first book on how others can use the undercover skills I had used so successfully in my life to get what they want.
I consider this a jumping off point to writing more detailed books on achieving success and possibly books on living and working overseas.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am an outliner. I consider the major points I want to cover and then start listing the sub-points, support and examples for each major point. I leave it all alone for a day or two and then edit my outline.
Next, I just start writing without stopping to check spelling, context, or grammar. I’ve found that free-flow writing usually takes care of the syntax.
Afterwards, I check to see if the ideas have flowed and weather I connected thoughts throughout and actually stayed true to my outline.
Then it’s to the endless edits by me and others.
What advice would you give other writers?
This is my first time writing for public consumption, so a lot is new to me. I would recommend you read and follow the steps provided in the many how-to books on writing for the genre and audience you’re targeting. In my case, my wife and I have been reading books on writing how-to books and for Kindle. Kindle writing is quite different than my professional writing and that which I required from my graduate students.
I suspect I will learn a lot more once I see what sells and what doesn’t.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Publishing with a publisher is a tremendously frustrating process with lots of rejection, but it’s the way to go if you want someone with dollars to print and distribute your books.
While I’m new to the process of professional writing and publishing, I want to go the self-publishing route so I can learn about marketing, the Internet, and ultimately what readers want. I want the time to develop and improve my craft so that I can become good enough to compete in the printed book markets one day.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I really don’t think printed books are obsolete. Too many of us still want to feel a book in our hands. We want to mark them up and dog-ear the pages as bookmarks.
Still, there’s no denying that e-books are here to stay.
E-books have opened up a market for inexperienced writers; which is good. I am, however, saddened by the tremendous number of poorly written e-books. Wow! I want to encourage new writers to develop and hone their crafts through e-publication, but still they should use spell check, get prolific readers to read and edit their drafts before publishing.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Self-help, business skills, travel
What formats are your books in?: eBook
Link To James Powers Page On Amazon
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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.