1. What inspired you to write?
Stories captured my brain and flung into new worlds when I was young. By the time I was ten I was reading under the covers every night with a flashlight so my mom wouldn’t catch me and tell me to go to sleep. (She still caught me most nights.) It was then I realized I wanted to try to take other people to new worlds the way it had been done for me.
2. What is the first thing you do when you start a new writing project?
Try to come up with a premise that makes people go, “Ooooo.” Hollywood calls this high concept. It’s an idea that can be communicated in a few words that captures the imagination. That’s where all my stories start.
3. Do you have any unpublished novels that you wrote before ROOMS?
I don’t. I know that’s a bit rare, but I played a novelist on TV and I think that helped.
4. What is your main goal when writing a novel?
You’ve probably guessed from my first answer. I want people to be swept away to the point they forget they’re reading a novel. It happens to me every now and then when reading or watching a movie, and I love to try to do that for others.
5. What is your perfect writing day?
When all I’m doing is being the scribe. Sometimes writing is a struggle. But often I see the story playing out in my head like a movie and I feel like all I’m going is transcribing. Anytime that happens it’s a perfect writing day.
6. You are an author, speaker, owner of a marketing company, husband and a dad. How do you manage all these?
Randy Ingermanson has been a mentor and friend from the very first step I took on the writing path. He’s also a massive brainiac. You know how some people say about others smarter than them, “It’s not like she’s a rocket scientist.” In Randy’s case he is a rocket scientist, or the equivalent; he has his PhD in physics. So I asked him one day to show me how to bend the laws of quantum mechanics and add three hours to every day. He graciously agreed and now all my weeks are an extra twenty one hours long.
7. What is your reaction and answer when people say that fiction is useless and there is nothing to learn from it?
I would say those people are out of touch with their heart. I’ve been in marketing for over twenty years and I know it’s true that people are changed through emotion, and passion, not logic. It’s the way we’re made. A great speaker doesn’t stir you to change with facts, he stirs you to change with a powerful anecdote or story. God himself (Jesus) communicated the majority of his teachings through fiction. People rarely remember a talk on, The Seven Principles of Becoming a Better Father, but (if they liked the movie) I’d bet they can remember the final scene of Field of Dreams vividly to this day. And I bet it impacts how they interact with their children.
8. What hobbies do you enjoy? Water skiing, dirt biking, backpacking, photography, guitar … you can see why I need those extra hours.
9. Who are your favorite authors? Just a few are, C.S. Lewis, Orson Scott Card, Stephen Lawhead, and Ted Dekker
10. Do you have any writing projects in the works at the moment? I’m finishing up my third novel The Chair, starting in on my fourth novel Backspace and are working on a small group study for ROOMS, so I’m staying busy.
Thank you, James, for taking your time to answer these questions!
James’ books are ROOMS and Book of Days. these are both out now. The Chair will be out in October, and Backspace is due out July of next year.
Visit his website at: http://jimrubart.com/