Welcome everyone to this week’s edition of Friday Author Interviews! Today I am happy to welcome author and screenwriter Jim Vines to the mix. Away we go:
Q: What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?
A: I write under my actual name and only my actual name.
Q: Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.
A: After being a screenwriter for many years, I decided to write a novel. I got it written, but wasn’t completely sure if I had anything anyone would want to read. I’m a pretty decent judge of my own writing, and I was confident that I had something good, but I needed another opinion. I gave the manuscript to a friend…someone I knew would give me honest feedback. She read it and loved it…not only the story itself, but all the characters, the twists and turns. This gave me the push I needed to move forward on the rewrites and editing.
Q: What genre(s) do you write in, and why?
A: Any success I had as a screenwriter was in the horror and thriller genres. I’ve only been a novelist for a short time, so I haven’t had a chance yet to explore writing in those genres, but I’m sure I will eventually. I tend to be drawn to stories that take place in the real world…ordinary people going through ordinary tribulations.
Q: What genres are your favorites to read? Why?
A: I don’t really have a favorite genre. I’m pretty much willing to read just about anything that sounds interesting. But I will say that I’m not a big fan of period pieces or tales of the future, so I usually stick with contemporary stories. I understand present day, so that’s what I read…and it’s what I tend to write.
Q: Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: one that you wrote and one that someone else wrote.
A: I can’t say I have any all-time favorite characters in fiction. I guess Ian Fleming’s James Bond could be a candidate. I wasn’t crazy about the series of books (though I did find a few of them quite entertaining), but it’s what made the Bond films possible…and I grew up being quite a Bond fanatic. (I was also named after James Bond, so there’s that.) As for characters I’ve written…well, there have been some fun ones I’ve written in screenplays, but I’d have to vote for Trent Nordhoff, the main character in my debut novel, Luigi’s Chinese Delicatessen. To pick up and leave the safety and comfort of home and family, to drive clear across country and settle in a place like Hollywood, to start an entirely new life as a budding screenwriter…lemme tell ya, that boy’s got some guts!
Q: There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?
A: Sure, if a producer wants to make a TV show or movie out of one of my books, and if he pays me for it, I’d be thrilled. Will the resultant piece be true to my original vision? Well, probably not. But I’d be willing to bet they’d come up with an interesting slant on my material that I never gave thought to…and that can be pretty exciting. I wrote a web series a number of years ago and found a young fella who wanted to produce it. This wasn’t a big project and there was no money behind it. It was just a group of talented, creative people getting together to flex their creative muscles. The end result was probably about 80% my vision. That other 20% was a nice surprise. I really had a blast watching it all come to life!
Q: How do you handle writer’s block?
A: I don’t suffer much from writer’s block, though I might occasionally hit a snag on a scene. If that happens I just skip the scene and get back to it when the ideas are flowing. Sometimes your mind just needs to get away from whatever you’re working on. Given the time and a bit of distance, you’ll eventually figure out whatever problems you were having.
Q: What inspires you?
A: It’s all about creativity and entertainment. Those are the two driving forces for me. To create something that entertains…it’s magic.
Q: How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?
A: Nobody has ever made a face when I told them I’m a writer. Usually people get excited: “You’re a writer? Really? Cool!” I’ve had some great discussions about writing and the creative process. So many people seem to be fascinated by it.
Q: Finally, tell us where to go to find you
A: Here’s where you can find me:
My screenwriting blog: www.theworkingscreenwriter.blogspot.com
My indie author blog: www.jimvinespresents.blogspot.com
My creative page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jimvinespresents?ref=hl
My novel on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PxMsUq