Author Interview – Jim Overturf

Author Interviews 27 March 2010 | 0 Comments

 What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

How incredibly difficult it is to avoid the TELL-TELL-TOLD writing technique I used for 30 years writing training manuals.  During my engineering career I wrote hundreds of training programs.  In every lesson plan, (1) you tell the trainee that you are going to tell him/her something, then (2) you tell them the something, and then (3) you tell them you told them.

 But in fiction, readers don’t like that format.  Fiction must move forward in a straight line, a short straight line.  My old instincts sometimes rear their ugly heads, and I revert to my pre-fiction nature. 

  Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

There were dozens of AH-HAH moments when an epiphany showed me the way to solve plotting problems, or other issues.

 Other favorite experiences were the many times when I sat back to analyze the direction the story was going, and I would come up with a totally different line of thought that made the story move in new and  different directions, with many new and different possible paths ahead.

 What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

I hope my readers will have an enjoyable and relaxing experience reading my books and that the book entertains them.  I always hope my readers finish the book with a sense that it was a good investment.

 What projects are you currently working on?

Book No. 3 in the Kurt Maxxon series, Carpentier Falls, is currently in editing.  It will be ready to send to the publisher early next year.  It should be released in April or May 2010.

 Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

I retired in late 2003 from a career in engineering/project management.  Writing is my main work effort each day.  I’ve also become a career student, taking computer courses at the local community college.  That career is about to come to an end, however, since I’ve taken all the computer courses they offer.

 Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

Generally, I write about things I have experience with, or know at least a  little about,  but I always do the research needed to verify facts, figures, and other items to get it as right as I can. I don’t agonize over every tiny detail, and operate under the philosophy that “fiction just has to make sense to the reader.”

 How did you come up with your title?

The titles were part of the original scoping idea for the series. Each title is the name of the fictitious town where one of the series books is set.  Each town has a racetrack, and both the town and racetrack have a history, which I’ve developed for each title.

 What books have influenced you the most?

First and foremost would be The Bible.  After that, would be all the books by all the authors I’ve liked over the years.  Start with Aristotle, and come down to modern, Tony Hillerman, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Faulkner. Michener, Ayn Rand, Sue Grafton, Evanovich, and hundreds of others.

 Who was your publisher and why did you choose them?

iUniverse Publishing. I chose them because I wanted to be in control of my time, schedule and future.  I like the Print on Demand (POD) technology because it is more environmentally friendly.  I learned very early that the Greenies don’t mind my desire to sell a million books.  However to print a million books all at once  would require clear cutting 100 acres of trees.  They don’t like that.  If we cut down 100 trees each week to POD a thousand copies of my books, seems to be acceptable to the Greenies.

 What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

How incredibly difficult it is to avoid the TELL-TELL-TOLD writing technique I used for 30 years writing training manuals.  During my engineering career I wrote hundreds of training programs.  In every lesson plan, (1) you tell the trainee that you are going to tell him/her something, then (2) you tell them the something, and then (3) you tell them you told them.

 But in fiction, readers don’t like that format.  Fiction must move forward in a straight line, a short straight line.  My old instincts sometimes rear their ugly heads, and I revert to my pre-fiction nature. 

  Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

There were dozens of AH-HAH moments when an epiphany showed me the way to solve plotting problems, or other issues.

 Other favorite experiences were the many times when I sat back to analyze the direction the story was going, and I would come up with a totally different line of thought that made the story move in new and  different directions, with many new and different possible paths ahead.

 What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

I hope my readers will have an enjoyable and relaxing experience reading my books and that the book entertains them.  I always hope my readers finish the book with a sense that it was a good investment.

 What projects are you currently working on?

Book No. 3 in the Kurt Maxxon series, Carpentier Falls, is currently in editing.  It will be ready to send to the publisher early next year.  It should be released in April or May 2010.

 Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

I retired in late 2003 from a career in engineering/project management.  Writing is my main work effort each day.  I’ve also become a career student, taking computer courses at the local community college.  That career is about to come to an end, however, since I’ve taken all the computer courses they offer.

 Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

Generally, I write about things I have experience with, or know at least a  little about,  but I always do the research needed to verify facts, figures, and other items to get it as right as I can. I don’t agonize over every tiny detail, and operate under the philosophy that “fiction just has to make sense to the reader.”

 How did you come up with your title?

The titles were part of the original scoping idea for the series. Each title is the name of the fictitious town where one of the series books is set.  Each town has a racetrack, and both the town and racetrack have a history, which I’ve developed for each title.

 What books have influenced you the most?

First and foremost would be The Bible.  After that, would be all the books by all the authors I’ve liked over the years.  Start with Aristotle, and come down to modern, Tony Hillerman, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Faulkner. Michener, Ayn Rand, Sue Grafton, Evanovich, and hundreds of others.

 Who was your publisher and why did you choose them?

iUniverse Publishing. I chose them because I wanted to be in control of my time, schedule and future.  I like the Print on Demand (POD) technology because it is more environmentally friendly.  I learned very early that the Greenies don’t mind my desire to sell a million books.  However to print a million books all at once  would require clear cutting 100 acres of trees.  They don’t like that.  If we cut down 100 trees each week to POD a thousand copies of my books, seems to be acceptable to the Greenies.

 

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