I’ve always been a story teller but only recently have a drummed up the courage to share my stories in writing. When my kids were young one of our favorite activities was to lay in bed, just before bedtime and make up stories. They would get to pick out some of the characters and I’d just start spinning the tale. They loved making me backup and change the story to fit their mind for the night. Since they are all too old for this now, I’ve taken to writing.
Today I am pleased to make my first two works available to you on Amazon. They are both set in the Privateer Tales universe. The first book, Rookie Privateer is the cornerstone of the series. It introduces the main cast. The second book, Fool Me Once, is a shorter, novella length work. While preparing Rookie Privateer for publication, I found myself daydreaming about what must have happened to one of the pirates that we were introduced to in Rookie Privateer and so Fool Me Once was introduced.
Currently I’m working on the third book, a full length novel, with a working title of Parley. As of middle of June, I’m about 65% done with the writing and hope to have a delivered product by Fall of 2014.
My influences are pretty wide ranging. Recent works I have enjoyed are; Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s war, Nathan Lowell’s Solar Clipper Tales. Perhaps my favorite modern author is L.E. Modesitt Jr. with his Recluce and Imager series. Early on I enjoyed just about anything Heinlein wrote, including, Starship Troopers and Have Spacesuit – Will Travel. I also loved Asimov, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle and when they got together for A Mote in God’s Eye it was magic!
I have had to separate my writing career from my professional career so as to not make things too confusing at work, so, yes Jamie McFarlane is a pseudonym. All of my writing is done in the evening hours and on the weekends. I have to admit to looking forward to coming home every evening so that I can spend time with my imaginary friends.
What inspires you to write?
I have to say that I enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing. I draw much of my inspiration from my quiet moments when I’m reading. When I was young, I read masters like Heinlein, Asimov, Pournelle and the like. Today I enjoy Elizabeth Moon (especially Vatta’s War), Nathan Lowell, L.E. Modesitt Jr., and the list goes on. Like most avid readers, my biggest challenge is finding new books to read.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am both an outliner and a seat of your pants writer. I always start with an outline but it doesn’t take me very long before I have strayed so far from that outline that it is unrecoverable. I’ll keep writing until I run out of ideas and then I’ll build a second outline. Generally, it takes me three or four of these iterations to get through a manuscript.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The characters in my books are reflections of the people around me. In many cases, with permission, I use parts or the whole of the names of those people. For example, Bit Coffman, a woman from my second and third books in the privateer tales series is actually a friend of mine who happens to be a man. He is a truly a wonderful character and I enjoyed writing him into my story. One of my villains, Harry Flark, is the personification of a man we ran into when raising our children. He was a smug, evil, high handed… well you get the idea. So, do I talk to them? Yeah, pretty much every day.
What advice would you give other writers?
I recently saw a quote by Richard Bach. “A professional writer is an amateur that didn’t quit.” To me that’s good advice. I would add to that, write every day. It doesn’t need to be two or three thousand words, but you need to keep working on your craft.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am self-published primarily because it is the only avenue open to me. I enjoy the freedom that it gives me, but to be honest, there is a lot of work involved in writing your own books, publishing, promoting, etc. I wouldn’t mind a little more help with that.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe there is a lot of room for both self-published and traditional publishers. I believe we will continue to see a large number of authors coming on to the stage and in my opinion that is wonderful. Personally, I read works by both self published and traditional. The only real difference I see is that of price. To be honest, if a book is over $6 or $7 I probably won’t buy it. There are just too many good books in the $3-$5 range.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Military
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print