Getting to know James White #author #histfic #literary #scifi #fiction #stories #storytelling

My guest today found inspiration in written letters, much like I did to write my WWII home front Baltimore novel, Notes of Love and War. But he went a slightly different direction… Ready to find out more about James White and his inspiration?

Jim is a California-based writer of historical, literary and science fiction. He and his prize-winning poet wife enjoy a small-town lifestyle near the San Francisco Bay area. Jim earned an MA in U.S. History. His professional career has included military service, teaching, research librarian and technical writing. Jim is an active participant in his community’s literary organization, hosting prose workshops and mentoring writers. Jim’s stories have appeared in Datura Literary Journal, The Wapshott Press, Remington Review, Adelaide Books, and Rochak Publishing.

Author Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

James: Discovering how perceptive, funny and lively my aunt was through her letters.

Betty: What, if any, new writing skill did you develop while working on this story?

James: I took more time and effort constructing scenes and developing a character’s motivations.

Betty: Did you struggle with any part of this story? What and how?

James: The ending. Always a struggle with my writing.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

James: Researching Los Angeles social life in the 1930s.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

James: At least 3. Some drafts were focused on parts of the story.

Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?

James: About a year. For me a fairly quick turn-around.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

James: I write and rewrite in the afternoons and think about what I’ve written the following evenings.

Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts. What are yours?

James: Stood, stared; I often inadvertently repeat words.

Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?

James: The four Johns: Cheever, Updike, Irving, and McPhee

Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?

James: Everything happens in my office.

Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?

James: My day job is mentoring, managing and kvetching with writer groups.

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

James: So far, my first novel, Borders In Paradise.

Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?

James: Historical and literary fiction

Betty: How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

James: Fulfilling and constructive relationships with writer colleagues, including recognition of my accomplishments.

The subject of James W. White’s latest book, Helen and Her Brothers, is a young woman and her wanderlust wishes to leave her dull Texas family’s roots and head west, to California.

It’s 1936 when Helen Rose Steves is sidelined by a serious illness that lands her in a Central Texas Hospital. She has plenty of time to mull over her 19 years and determine that life must offer something more. Her two brothers are already in Los Angeles, and the Golden State beckons.

Friends are driving to California, and she joins them. Is this Helen’s chance to grab the golden ring on the carousel of life? Many surprises lie ahead for our young heroine and her lukewarm greeting from her brothers makes for an inauspicious beginning.

The novella follows Helen as she adjusts to modern, urban life that is considerably more fast-paced and ill-mannered than the slow but genteel town she left behind.

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | RochakPublishing

Thanks, Jim, for sharing about your writing process and the background to writing your novella.

Happy reading!


Award-winning Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories

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