1) Tell us about your accident. How has that affected your writing?
I’ve been asked this on more than one occasion, and the answer is honestly “not much”. Folks have asked me if I plan to write a story about a killer tree, which always makes me laugh. The only way the whole horrible experience affected my writing: while I was out of work for 9 weeks I got soooo much writing done! So there’s always a silver lining.
2) If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?
What a great question. I’m gonna say during the days when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Just so I could sit back in a cave, watch ’em walking around fighting and stuff, and the ten-year-old in me could just keep saying, “Cooooool!”
I should add that I’d only want to visit. Can’t say I’d wanna live there for more than a day or so. But, yeah — the big kid in me would get such a kick out of that for a while.
3) Do you write every day? Would you still write if you didn’t need to make money?
I’m ashamed to say that I don’t write every day. I know I should. My favorite writers recommend it and some of them claim they don’t even take off holidays. I admire the hell out of that. I wish I had such discipline, but I don’t. Not sure I ever will.
I would still write if I didn’t need the income, definitely. Writing isn’t my full-time job anyway. I like a regular paycheck every week, and I like having insurance. Writing is enjoyable, but for now it’s just supplemental income for me. Sometimes it’s very, very good supplemental income, but I’m still nowhere close to my fiction being enough in and of itself to put food on the table and keep a roof over my family’s heads. That said, even if writing didn’t pay I’m sure I would still do it. Because I love it. And I love knowing there are people out there who dig my work. In fact, that might be the best thing about it. I guess I’m an egomaniac, as far as that’s concerned. I think all writers are, at least a little bit.
4) What are the next three books you’re planning to read?
Not sure what the next three will be, as I rarely think ahead and usually just grab something on a whim. But I’ll tell you what I’m reading at the moment. A ton of stuff, mostly revisiting old faves: Richard Matheson’s HELL HOUSE . . . that old anthology THE SKIN TRADE by Stephen King, Dan Simmons, and George R.R. Martin . . . Junji Ito’s UZUMAKI manga . . . VAMPYRRHIC by Simon Clark (remember when vampires used to be scary?!) . . . and a re-read of King’s IT for a series I’ve been writing with Kit Power (I invite readers to check that out and join in on our discussion here: http://www.gingernutsofhorror.com/9/post/2014/07/james-kit-ant-it-part-1-the-shadow-before.html).
5) What is your favorite meal?
This one’s easy. Doesn’t matter what entree it is specifically, but my favorite meal is any time my wife makes Mexican. My mouth starts watering just thinking about it!
6) What five people would you invite to a dinner party? Language and time is not an obstacle.
Jesus Christ. No one else. I’d want Him all to myself for a few hours, ’cause I’d have so many questions. And if anybody else was there I’m sure they’d just try to speak for Him.
7) Are you handy around the house?
Nope. Something needs fixing, I have to ask for my dad’s help. It’s pathetic!
A few years ago a guy at my day job made a comment, something to the effect of, “Give James a pencil and a piece of paper, he’ll impress the hell out of you. But give him a screwdriver, he’s completely useless.”
To which I replied, “Yep. That’s totally fair.”
8) Who would you like to co-author a book with?
I think my “voice” would gel really nicely with that of my favorite author, Joe R. Lansdale. That would be so much fun. I can dream . . . .
9) Is there something that you hope to accomplish in the near future?
I just hope I can continue to write stories that keep my fans turning the pages. That makes me happy. If you had told me 15 years ago that one day I would have fans, people who weren’t my immediate family telling their friends about my books and pleading with me to write more, I would have called you insane. What a great feeling. That’s success, as far as I’m concerned.
10) How do you want the world to remember you?
As a good guy, a humble guy who wrote stories that made the reader forget he or she was staring at words on a page.
I’ve been called the “Nicest Guy In Horror” a few times. I like that. I’ll take it. A fellow could certainly be called so much worse.
I’ll add my vote to the “Nicest Guy in Horror” moniker. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit Cat After Dark, James! My door is always open to you; please come by and let me know whenever you have a new book.
James Newman can be found at james-newman.com