Thursday, January 27, 2011
I define an authors “voice” as personality on the page. I think if authors write authentically, their stories will be an expression of their voice or better said, their heart on the page. I had a friend of mine from high school read ROOMS and say, “It felt like the old days when we used to sit in front of a fire and talk all night.” That’s a long way of saying I try to write from the deep desires and longing of my heart. And I write with liberal doses of “What if?” What if you could walk into the rooms of your soul? (ROOMS). What if you could find God’s book with all your days, past, present and future written down? (Book of Days). What if a chair Jesus built lasted until today and had healing power? (The Chair).
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I fell in love with my wife at second site. The first time I met Darci (fall ’83)I thought I was in love with her. The second time (spring of ’84) I knew. I married my dream girl in ’86 and almost twenty five years later she still is. So I’d have to say the day I realized we were meant for each other.
My husband and I have a love-at-first-sight romance story. How has being published changed your life?
Three things come to mind: First, it’s forced me to come forward. Having worked as a marketing professional for my whole career it’s always been about getting other people noticed. Now I have to promote myself. Second, like most people, I’ve always wondered if I was having any effect on the lives around me. Getting e-mails from readers saying I’ve changed their lives makes me realize, yep, I’m partnering with God on some very cool things. Third, I’ve had to focus. I have a ton of hobbies, and friends, but being an author takes a significant investment of time, so I’m not spending as much time with some of my hobbies or as much time with friends as I’d like. I’m still water skiing with my boys and dirt biking with them, but many of my other interests have been shoved to the back burner of my life.
What are you reading right now?
Just finished Immanuel’s Veins by Dekker, am reading Mike Dellosso’s soon to be published novel, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, The Secret Life of Bees, Stealing Fire from the Gods, Time Peace and probably ten others. I always have 10 – 12 books going at the same time. Too many books, not enough time.
I only have a couple of books going at one time. What is your current work in progress?
I just turned the first draft of my manuscript The Chair (Oct. 2011) to my editor. I’ll be getting back my macro edit soon and dive into that. In the meantime I’m starting work on my fourth novel (BACKSPACE) which will release July 2012. And I’m working on an ancillary product to ROOMS that I’m excited about and am about to sign the contract on.
That all sounds wonderful. You must come back with The Chair. What would be your dream vacation?
A month in Italy with Darci, then another month with Darci and the boys in Australia and New Zealand.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I put a map of the United States on the wall, pick up a dart, close my eyes and toss it toward the map. Nah, it’s a little more sophisticated than that. Once I understand who my characters are, I choose a place that will compliment them; their personalities, their fears, their challenges.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
a. Is C.S. Lewis still alive? He’s not? Shoot. One person? Not a dinner party with thirty people? If it’s only one I’m going to sound like a hopeless romantic and say my wife. With the insane schedule I’ve had this past year we don’t get as much time as I’d like and although we do get time together, we don’t get our time alone together for a weekend as often as we’d like.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
As I mentioned above, waterskiing, dirt biking, as well as photography, golf, tubing, back packing, sleight of hand, and watching movies.
a. Not enough time. Having a full time job and writing makes life crazy busy. So I’ve learned to focus and when I write, I get in a zone where I can write fast. I wrote ROOMS in six years, Book of Days in a year and a half, and The Chair in five months.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Get a good pair of running shoes, turn around and sprint in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Joking aside, I’d tell them to count the cost. I have people come to me often and say they want to write. I give them counsel on how to start: Read Rachelle Gardner’s blog, join a local writing group, get books and study the craft like a brain surgeon would study surgery, get to a writing conference. Most nod but take none of those actions. They have a desire to write, but don’t want it bad enough to work at it. Beginner writers have to realize they can’t be writing for money (unless .25 cents an hour sounds profitable) or for the fame.
And they’re crushed when everyone rejects the manuscript they’ve worked two years on. They wouldn’t expect to a record label to pick them up after playing the piano for two years, but since they’ve written since childhood they figure they know how to write. Nope. It’s a craft and an art like any other, and those who find success without putting in the time necessary are almost non-existent.
Tell us about the featured book.
God’s Book of Days. A record of the past, present, and future of every soul. Some say it’s fable. Others are sure it’s real, hidden somewhere on Earth...
If Cameron Vaux can’t find it, he will lose everything.
“You will lose your mind. When it starts happening … you must find the Book of Days.”
When Cameron’s dying father delivers this message, he brushes it off. Lose his memory? He’s only twenty-five. Find a book that doesn’t even exist. Foolishness. Nothing more than the product of his father’s dementia.
But now, eight years after his father’s death, it’s happening. Chunks of Cameron’s life are just--gone. Even memories of his wife, killed two years ago, have slipped away. Could it be…? Is his father’s eerie prediction coming true?
Desperate, Cameron determines to fulfill his father’s last wish. He will find the Book of Days. But when a lead takes him to the small town of Three Peaks, Oregon, Cameron realizes dark secrets are at work. The townspeople, warm as apple pie at first, turn cold as liquid nitrogen when Cameron mentions the Book.
As his mind works against him, Cameron discovers that friends may be enemies. And the one person Cameron can’t stand? She might well be his strongest ally.
But there are others seeking the Book. Others who will stop at nothing to get it. And they’re closer than Cameron ever imagined…
Intriguing! Please give us the first page of the book.
A stone slammed into the side of Hassun’s head, sending him to his knees. Pain exploded like lightning and streaked down his back as he slumped forward onto his hands. Careless. His moccasins must have left a trail. Foolish. How could he have let that happen?
Have to move! His assailant’s next attack would most likely be to his ribs. Hassun spun to his left, sending up a thin curtain of dust from the ledge overlooking the cliff, and caught the man’s dark leather moccasin as it flashed toward his face.
Hassun twisted his attacker’s leg and the man sprawled on the ground, his head inches from striking a rock.
Not close enough.
The man leaped to his feet, stepped back five paces, and snatched a bow and a pine shaft with a brilliant black arrowhead off the ground. By the time Hassun staggered to his feet and shook his head, the man had nocked the arrow.
“You are surprised?”
“You were my friend.”
“I am still your friend and ever will be.” Nukpana drew back slightly on the bowstring, the arrow pointed at Hassun’s chest, and laughed. “Do not worry, I am not going to kill you. I could have done that easily with a larger rock a moment ago.”
He released the pressure on the bowstring and stroked the arrow’s white feathers. “You never could hide your tracks. I only need to know where the Stories are and I will leave you.”
Hassun should have seen it. The rage two summers past when he was chosen guardian instead of Nukpana, then the false praise for having been given the honor. Being badgered almost daily ever since in a half-joking, half-serious manner about the location.
“And if I do not tell you where they are?”
“I will see how much pain you can endure before you die. But know before you join our ancestors, you will tell me.”
“The Stories are not for your eyes.”
“But they are for yours?”
“I am not the one who made that choice.”
“And who is?” Nukpana pierced the tip of his forefinger with the point of the arrowhead and a drop of blood seeped out.
I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive. How can readers find you on the Internet?
a. My Web site: http://www.jimrubart.com/
b. Facebook: James L. Rubart
c. Twitter: @jimrubar
Thanks, Lena, always great to be with you!
And I love having you on my blog.
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