One of the things we want to do here at Trust & Treachery is give you a chance to get to meet our authors. Over the next few weeks, you will see bios and Q&As for our amazing contributors. Today is author James Daniel Ross. I’m a little late for our regular Monday posting but I intend to get right back up on that horse for our last few authors. Stay tuned.
James Daniel Ross – Author Q&A
Do you have any recent events to announce (of publications or anything else exciting)?
What inspired you to write this story?
Two women I truly admire and adore, even from afar. One of them is portrayed as she is and as she wishes to be – even though she is much better as she really is, and the other the way she really is, even though I think she would be happier with 10% less intrigue.
What books and/or authors have most influenced you?
Joel Rosenberg – fantasy and science fiction author, Tom Clancy, Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Terry Pratchett, to name a few.
What are you reading now?
Government forms. Between working one job and another most of my entertainment time has gone *poof*! Normally I will save a day, once or twice a year, and plow through it in one go.
What are your current projects?
I am working day and night on a fantasy novel called Salient Dreams with Neal Levin. It involves a young lady who is drawn into the corruption and lies under the surface of the city she lives in. After that will be Fox Crow 2.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep going. No, go farther. Know more. Even more. Study everything, then never stop writing, not for a second. Do not stop! Are you writing? Why aren’t you writing now? There are a million stories inside of you, start letting them out, now! Go! Ok, finish the interview, then go!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Dear God, thank you all. Every day I am humbled to know you wanted to spend time with the stick figures in my head. While that might sound trite, there is no higher honor I aspire to. Please, stick with me. I got more to tell, more to show you.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
OUCH! As hard as picking my favorite child. So many good ones from Twain and Menkin, how about this one:
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.” ― George Washington
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Every day I shake off the pointed fingers, the sneering chuckles, the degrading laughter of people who knew as much of me as I know of the universe. Every day I get up and sluice the corpses of these biting insects off. Some days I am better than others. Yet, I have grown, become a novelist, own my own home, fathered three children, and have stood for what I believe even when the world told me to sit down and take what it had to give me. I am not silent, I am not cowardly, I am merciful, and I am kind. I find in a group, this pimply faced kd shqaped like an apple is looked to as a wise man, and even a leader. I am becoming who I always wanted to be, and I am amazed how often that never happens for most people.
What inspires you to write and why?
Oooh, dear! I am a writer, a poet, a novelist. I don’t do it ‘because’. It is written in my bones. Were I a caveman I would make up stories for why the scorpion chases the hunter. Were I dead, I would sit in the corner, reading and writing stories to the children who have yet to move on. I am alive, so I write. It is who I am.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The harshest criticism was from a game publisher who basically (and very, very, publically) told me I was a better pizza delivery guy than I would ever be an author. Since I am still writing, and his RPG company folded in on him like an English muffin made of dog excrement, I think it is time to be an adult and finally say:
“YO! James Wallace! You limey lickspittle! I hope you die in a fire you lukewarm, wildly untalented, sod-sodden pantywaist! You may have crapped over the dreams of others, but it still will never stop them being better than you! I’ve published more novels than you have games, you hack!”
AHEM. Yes, I think that will do it.
And, I guess the best compliment I have ever gotten involves a bit of hero worship. I was giving an interview and talked about how I was inspired to work by Mr. Rosenberg, and how I always wanted to thank him for writing. He helped me believe in something during one of the darkest periods of my life.
” But most importantly, when I didn’t have any friends, it made me feel like maybe I did.” -Phillip J Fry.
Anyway, he found the interview and posted: “sometimes making an old man cry is a hell of a nice thing to do.”
The complete opposite of Jim Wallace, he had heard my nerdity gushing, and was very nice about the whole thing. He passed on a few months later, so I never got to know him or take him up on his offer for lunch, but I take solace in the fact that he knew how much he meant to me, and how much he helped a nerdy kid escape highschool intact.
Tell us something unusual (or fun) about you.