1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I’m kind of like a machine when I write; I can pretty much sit down anytime and punch out a story. But that comes from years and years of practice. When I first started writing, I remember early morning, before sunrise, was the best time.
2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I do all my writing on the computer, unless I’m in a doctor’s office or someplace where I have no access to my PC and get the urge to jot down notes. Man, reading my writing from a piece of paper is about a damn nightmare. I was never an excellent speller, and my writing skills were never good in print or in cursive. Hell, I honestly don’t know if I can still write in cursive.
3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I think emotions are key for any writer. I find that a lot of my anger drains away when I write. It’s a form of medication for me, and it feels good to pound the hell out of that keyboard when you’re mad at the world. When you’re elated, depressed, or whatever emotion that happens to be in your head at the time of your writing, I think you’ll find that within your work.
As far as being prolific, I get a lot of inspiration from my past. Lots of hard times taught me to work my ass off. Even when I don’t feel like writing, I put in the time, because it’s very important to me to get that feeling of accomplishment. When I type “The End” after the last word in my manuscript, I feel accomplished every time, regardless of whether or not it’s well-written.
I mainly write horror, crime and dark humor. I guess this also comes from my past. Troubles with the law, prison, poverty, etc… Shit like that tends to make your writing gloomy. I think positively, but I tend to find a lot of negativity running throughout my stories.
4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
Based on my own personal experience, I find it harmful to set word count goals. I tend to get frustrated and start looking at the word count every other minute and wind up not completing anything. When I have no goals, I tend to breeze by on the story. A lot of people say, “But Stephen King in his book On Writing said . . .”, but damn that man’s just a writer, not a god. You can write 10,000 words a day, everyday, and still never be a good writer. Just write at your own pace and leisure. I’m also surprised at the number of writers who stress constantly reading to become better writers. This is also bullshit. Reading other people’s writings will give you ideas on your own plots and allow you to see different styles, but don’t think constantly reading is going to turn you into a great writer. The secret to being a good writer, in Jimmy’s opinion, is to just be original. Fuck trying to produce something someone wants. Produce what you want, playa. We’re in an exciting new world with the eBook revolution. Self-publish yourself, to hell with guidelines.
5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
I am both. I’ve had many short stories published in magazines and anthologies under a pen name. These weren’t necessarily my best works because I was producing content that I felt those markets would find suitable. When I turned to self-publishing, it’s like a huge gust of relief blew right over me. I could finally write beautiful stories for horrible people. Slimy, greasy stories with humor and sex and all those things that make reading on the toilet so enjoyable.
Cover art is very easy for me. I ask myself, “Jimmy what type of book would you buy? Would you buy one with a tattooed fist holding a knife?” “Yes.” “Would you buy one with a naked woman on the cover?” “Yes.” I choose my covers based on my greasy taste.
6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
I feel I must write. I remember when I was child, looking at E.B. White’s Stuart Little. The book had pictures in it, so I wrote a story to go with it. Didn’t read White’s tale until after I wrote my own. White’s was much better, but I’ll never forget the feeling it gave me to produce something on paper from my mind. Writing also seems like a pain killer for me. When I write, I can get all the demons out of my head.
7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
Yes, I recently received a Kindle as a gift. Before owning the Kindle, the idea of self-publishing never even crossed my mind. I was like these other writers who believed going the traditional route was the only way. Ha, ha, ha! If you go that way, you better either be really lucky, a damn William Shakespeare, or very good at networking. And I’m telling the truth about this one.
8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
Tough one. I like many authors. John D. McDonald was always my favorite author. I’ve probably read most of what he’s written, and that’s a lot of books! Louis L’Amour was also a writer I enjoyed. If you’ve ever been to jail, you’ll notice that L’Amour, along with dirty Romance novels, are the most common books to be had. Usually, there can be six books in a cell at one time. Three for each inmate. I’ve read a shitload of Louis L’Amour, Zane Gray, and Max Brand westerns.
9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I think that’s an excellent way to get your name out there. YouTube is a huge marketplace. You can bring in dozens to thousands of readers to your website for more information on your book. Now, as far as book trailers go, some of them can be pretty boring. I’m in the planning stages of one right now, but it will be live action. I won’t have photos or illustrations moving the book trailer. I think it’s critical to keep your audience’s attention, and I don’t believe the traditional book trailer—images flashing with music—is always the best approach. But then again, it depends on who your audience is. I know my audience, and they want humor and action. I fully plan on giving it to them in the near future.
10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
I felt Yo A$$ Is Gra$$: Tales from a Rednek Gangsta expressed what my stories were about. You’ll see lots of horror, some crime and even one science fiction story in the mix. So, in a sense, this collection is pulp fiction and I needed a title that could express this. I also wanted a title that would not draw the wrong type of audience to my work. If you like PG fiction, then Yo A$$ is Gra$$ is not for you. I can promise you this anthology contains some pretty gory shit, dirty sex and greasy characters. I needed my title to express this because I don’t want to make a sale by misleading someone.
11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Several projects, my friend. My editor is currently finishing up her edits of Yo A$$ is Gra$$. The book should have dropped on Amazon today, but it looks like it won’t make its debut until Wednesday. I’m okay with this. I’d rather release a book late, than produce a steaming pile of shit for my readers. Yo A$$ is Gra$$ will also be .99. It’s not because I feel the book’s quality isn’t good. Quite the opposite. I think it’s a highly original work of fiction that is well-written. The reason I’m pricing it so low is because Jimmy appreciates a good deal, and he’s a broke mothafucka, just like I’m sure many of his readers will be.
As far as works in progress, I’m in the final revisions of my novella Bad Billy. It’s the tale of a poor, inbred child who is taught he’s an abomination and completely evil. After being chained down in Mama’s basement for years, he finally escapes and goes on a killing spree. The character evolves as the novella progresses. I think it’s original and will make good reading. This should drop on Amazon next month.
I’m currently in rough draft stages of a crime novel that I hope to turn into a series of books. My character Benjamin Franklin is a convict who is told by his counselor that he has sociopathic tendencies. Determined to prove her wrong, he decides to investigate his cousin’s murder. I’m truly excited about Benjamin Franklin.