Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by Jacquie Rogers to blog about my Next Big Thing. Here goes...
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing
  1. What is the working title of your book?
Fly Away Heart
  1. Where did the idea come from for the book?
This story takes place in 1932 during the Great Depression. The hero, Robin Pierpont, survived the Titanic when he was 10 years old along with his mother but his father went down with the ship. Robin has a dreaded fear of deep water but a love for the sky and airplanes. He and his mother make their first appearance in For Love of Banjo. I love the era of the Great Depression and Prohibition. Exciting times. Of course, Robin gets involved with rum running and is about to lose everything including the love of his life, Lilith Wilding.
  1. What genre does your book fall under?
Historical Western Romance
  1. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Boy oh boy, I wish it would become a movie. I would choose Liam Hemsworth from The Hunger Games as Robin PierpontAmy Adams would play Lilith Wilding.
  1. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In the time of the Great Depression, Robin Pierpont must choose between the love of his life, Lilith Wilding, or saving his friend and his family from a rum runner’s wrath.
  1. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I intend it for my publisher , Western Trail Blazers
  1. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I finished the synopsis. I’m presently on Chapter 4 of the first draft.
  1. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Thunder Road  I didn’t read the book but I saw the old movie on the late show with Robert Mitchum and one of his sons.
  1. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
While I was writing For Love of Banjo, I fell in love with the English kid, Robin Pierpont who had suffered so much. Banjo saved him and his mother from a factory fire when Banjo was in New York City. Maggie took Robin and his mother, Jane home with her to Hazard, Wyoming. Jane worked for Maggie on the ranch and Robin took to ranching as if he had been doing it since birth. In Fly Away Heart, Jane has married Banjo’s uncle, Teekonka Red Sky who, like Banjo, is a genius with mechanical things. He and Robin own a garage and work on cars but Robin yearns to fly a plane. In the Great Depression people didn’t have a lot of money so they bargained and bartered. As payment for some work Robin did on a man’s car, the man pays Robin with a broken down biplane—and the dream begins.
  1. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Fly Away Heart is part of a western series in which Harmonica Joe’s Reluctant Bride and For Love of Banjo are presently published. The characters from both previous books resurface in Fly Away Heart. I think readers might enjoy a visit with them and an update on what their lives are like fourteen years later.

Tagging Members:
Meg Mims
Toni Sweeny
Alison Henderson
Alison Bruce
Kat Flannery

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Meet Author, James Hatch

Interview Questions for James Hatch:

What would you like your readers to know about you?

First, thank you for inviting me here, Sarah. I’ve always admired your work and encouraging words for other authors, so I’m especially flattered to be here.

Relative to me, I would say I am a passionate person. When I write, I write. When I work, I work. I am highly focused, to the exclusion of almost everything except what I’m working on at the time. I throw myself at projects until I complete them, regardless of the frustration. I think a lot of Ph.D.s are that way. You have to have stamina to get through school, all the way, just as you need stamina to complete a 300-page novel. If a person is not passionate, he or she won’t get anything done. I am passionate, but also somewhat frivolous. I dance, fish, write, review works by others, collect art, build things, work in the yard and occasionally tend grandchildren. None of these things make the world a better place, but I justify that by repeating to myself, You’ve already paid your dues. Changing the world is for the young. At this time of life, I cherish my vote … and never waste an opportunity to use it.

How has your writing impacted –or significantly changed—other aspects of your life?

I am very lucky in this regard. I have retired three times, and choose to never work again. Unlike many authors who struggle to fit writing into their busy schedules, I have the luxury of scheduling other activities around my writing. There are times, however, when conflicts at home arise – mostly when my wife has some computer issue or mechanical problem. My cat can also be a distraction. We have all gradually come to a compromise. When I write, I begin very early in the morning and continue until around noon. The cat gets to go outside when it is still dark and my wife gets to sleep in as long as she likes. This works for both of them. It also works for me.  

How do you market or generate a mainstream, typical reader’s interest in your books?

This is the million dollar question, isn’t it? The short answer is that I haven’t found the key yet. I use Facebook (personal and professional), Goodreads, Amazon author’s page, Myspace, and Blogger, but have only recently passed the one thousand friend level on my personal page and my professional page only has a couple hundred “likers.” I have attended book fairs, submit to at least three blogs per month on various sites, won local writing competitions, placed third in a cover competition, presented at area book clubs, managed to get a half-page spread in our local newspaper, and will be included in a central Texas magazine (Tex-Appeal) soon, but reaching large numbers of people is almost impossible. All I can say is I have faith in my novels, especially the comedies (The Substitute, Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! and The Training Bra). When people read those books, they love them and laugh until they cry. That is my motivation to keep trying. People need to know what they are missing. The whole world needs a good laugh.

Please share some of the ways in which you have found most effective to promote your work.

I believe my two most effective promotion approaches are jokes and reviews, but I could be wrong. I try to post one of my book covers with relatively clean jokes on Facebook at least three to four times per week. The jokes are funny and I receive lots of feedback from all over the world relative to them from my Facebook friends. I believe I have a lot of followers associated with the jokes, and my covers are always “out there” for people to see. I have probably sold more books because of jokes than anything else. On a serious side, I read a lot. I review books written by other authors and post the reviews on my site at The reviews garner the attention of the individuals who follow the authors I review, and I try to ensure the reviews are (1) fair, (2) flawlessly written and (3) include a reference to one of my own books in the “Reviewed By” title. The reviews also get posted on Amazon and Goodreads, so others see the by-line as well. 

Your paranormal novels are unique, even the titles are very different. So, James, tell us from where you get your quirky story ideas.

Quirky? The living dead are quirky. My heroes are just plain dead. The concept for Miss Havana came to me in a dream. I had recently finished a romantic novel called Aftermath Horizon, which I still consider one of my best, and wondered what I’d write next as I drifted off to sleep. It hit me about 1 a.m. I woke up laughing and literally ran to my computer to begin writing The Substitute. The characters took on a life of their own, and I laughed all the way through writing the book, even becoming light headed at times. The novel took only two months to complete, and is my most successful work to date. I think that will change when The Training Bra is released. The Training Bra is drop dead hilarious … in the literal sense … even more so, in my editor’s opinion, than The Substitute.

If you could choose an animal that best represents your inner spirit, what animal would you choose? What characteristics do you share with your animal mascot?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe one of those strange looking little dogs that hot Hollywood actresses carry everywhere in their oversized purses – even into their dressing rooms. That might be fun. I could be pampered, and I find women fascinating. That’s probably the reason I often write as Miss Havana. Now you know the reason we never show her face on my book covers. I am also one of the Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas and write for that blog once each month. My 84-year-old beta reader says I write better as a woman than as a man. I’m not sure what to make of that, since I lack many of the basic qualifications for being female.

Tell us about your current and past projects.

I have written eight novels and one short story so far, with my first publishing contract being awarded in November 2009. Three novels are Sci-Fi (The Judge, Infinity Quest and The Empress of Tridon), two novels and one short story are contemporary fiction (Kill Zone, “The Final Experiment” and Aftermath Horizon), and three novels are paranormal comedy (The Substitute, Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! and The Training Bra). I suspect I have been searching for a genre that fits me well, and I think I’ve found it in paranormal comedy.

What’s up next for you? Any upcoming releases and/or WIPs on your desk?

I am currently editing The Training Bra in conjunction with my editor at Solstice Publishing, Cheryl Nichols. I have also begun the fourth Miss Havana novel called The Trophy Wife. In all Miss Havana novels, the heroine is a different physical woman, but has the same name (for different reasons). More important, she has the same spirit … mostly evil. Her nefarious nature gets her murdered early in each book, but there are afterlife lessons to be learned, and, as slow as she is to change, she makes progress toward being a better spirit. In The Trophy Wife, I want her to make the “good spirit” transition … and become God’s main squeeze. Just as she had a child with Lucifer in The Substitute (Lilith), I expect she will have one with God as well … Angel. That will lead to the fifth novel called Sisters, which should be throat-slitting funny.  

Where can readers find you?

Thank you, Sara, for allowing me to visit your blog, and to all of you who waded through this interview, thanks for reading!


James L. Hatch
Author for Eternal Press, Solstice Publishing and
The Training Bra
To be published by Solstice Publishing
Hilarious Comedy that follows "The Substitute" and "Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!"

Oh Heavens, Miss Havana
Buy link at
Publisher: Solstice Publishing Printer: Createspace Having performed a single selfless act, Miss Havana finds herself on probation in heaven. After many missteps, she discovers she still retains the powers she had as The Queen of Darkness, and realizes she’s on probation as much to keep her from joining forces with her daughter, The Princess of Darkness, as anything else. The Brazilian, a large black man with a dreadlocks beard who waxes regularly, is her “guide”, but she ignores his advice until he’s taken off her case. Guideless and in a foreign environment, she consorts with evil spirits from her former realm, especially Waldo, a shadow creature so named because he’s so hard to find. She acquires a copy of “The Angels Guide to Earth”, comes to believe she is the Angel of Death, and returns to the surface as an advice columnist and assassin. She wreaks havoc before God intervenes for a final showdown...which, as it turns out, isn’t as final as most would hope.

The Substitute:
Buy link:
Miss Havana’s public persona was far from the truth because, in her capacity as substitute teacher, the small community where she lived knew her as the breathtakingly beautiful young woman who demanded every student learn, but in her private life, ostensibly caring for aging parents in Chicago, she raced through the lives of powerful men, leaving a wake of destruction…and a deep desire for revenge. Little did she realize her conflicted life would end in a chaotic death at an early age, and to an eternal conflict with the devil.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

You're Invited to 2 places on August 18 & 19

                                                                            Photo from Free Photos at Photobucket

I'm going to have a busy weekend August 18-19. I have 2 blogs coming up on that Saturday and Sunday.
I am honored to post my first post on the prestigious, Sweethearts of the West blog. This blog is all about the west and the authors who post monthly, are western writers both contemporary and historic. All of my posts will be on the 18th and 19th of every month.
This month will be an introduction about me and my work. After this, I plan to write some articles about the historic west, some funny, some informative and some just weird. So, I hope you'll join me there once a month starting August 18 & 19.
I am also going to be on the Fifty Authors From Fifty States blog talking about my home, North Carolina on August 18. I have included tags to check out some of my favorite places to visit in North Carolina and I'll tell you a bit about them. I hope you'll come and see what I have to say about the state I love in which I love to live.
You know I want you there so I hope you'll make me happy and come on over and comments are welcome.