Monday, May 6, 2013

Author Interview with James Morris

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a panel at Con Dor that James was on.  Afterwards I got to talk to him a bit and purchase his book Sky Bound.  I was blown away by the dedication he has.  I was able to see him once again at Wonder Con.  It has been so nice getting to know him and his amazing family.

The Nerdy Girlie:  When did you first begin writing?
James Morris:  I first began writing Sky Bound in my sophomore year of high school, on my birthday actually.  I had just turned sixteen when I started planning the story out.

TNG:  What was your inspiration for Sky Bound?
JM:  My inspiration for Sky Bound is honestly hard to pin point for me.  When I really think about it, I had been reading at least a book or two a week before I started writing it.  I rather quickly tore through the YA section of Barnes & Noble and ran out of books that I thought were awesome at the time.  So I for some reason decided that I would try to write a book, an awesome one.  One that's better than any other.  I'm not going to say that it is better than any other book out there, but I do really like it.

TNG:  With high school, how long did it take you to write Sky Bound and what was your process like?
JM:  To write the book, it took approximately six months of writing time.  During that period I basically didn't pay attention at all during class, instead hand writing the manuscript almost non stop.  I felt like I had gone partially insane.  One day when I was going to school I was looking forward to seeing my friends.  I walked passed everybody, went to class, sat down, opened up my notebook and thought to myself, "dear God, my friends are my characters."  As I was finishing writing the book it was almost like a clear sky was opening up.  I honestly can't explain my mental state because it's all a bit of a blur.
The process itself was pretty simple.  I wrote up the first five chapters maybe (prologue through Chapter 4) just making it up as I go.  At about that point, I realized that what I was working on was actually a good idea.  After that, I story boarded out the rest of the story and was impressed with myself.  From there I kept track of characters, wrote up paragraph summaries to myself of chapters as I finished writing them, and made a lot of personal notes.  There was a lot of information to keep at the front of my mind.

TNG:  What are your friend's thoughts on you being a published author?
JM:  My friends are kind of in two very distinct parties with opinions on me being a published author.  One party is the "That's so cool!" group who are genuinely impressed and are blown away by what I've done. the other group are the "So?" kids who really don't care at all, and aren't big readers to being with, or just plain don't believe me.  There are far more in the former group than the latter so I have no problems at all :)
TNG:  What is your favorite book?
JM:  My favorite novel is probably Ender's Game.  I must have read that book more than nine times.  I just love the characters and the ideas in it.  It's so incredible in my mind and I couldn't get enough of it.

TNG:  Which books or authors inspire you?
JM:  I am inspired by everything I read from the amazing books, to the one's that I feel like throwing across the room.  I take from the movies I watch and the mangas I read.  I take from TV and from jokes and comments made at school.  Really, to me, anything can be used for inspiration.  Honestly, I can even keep myself inspired to keep going.  I'm just as eager to see how the book turns out as everybody else.  Sure I may start with a plan, but that's the beauty of it.  It changes.  I don't know how it ends until it's over.
TNG:  What is your favorite con to attend?  Would you rather attend as exhibitor or attendee?  Any tips for attending cons?
JM:  I have only attended a few Cons.  I have gone to ComicCon, WonderCon, Comic Fest, KingdomCon, Condor and NAMM.  I've exhibited at Comic Fest and Condor.  Being an attendee is a far different vibe than that of an exhibiter.  I love both experiences.  Being an attendee I get to see everything that's going on and meet people and just really get to drink in the feeling of the con.  I get a different perspective as an exhibitor.  I may generally be stuck at my table, but I get to talk to all those attending and get to be the one to bring a smile to their face and become friends with the other exhibitors around me.  I honestly have to say that for now I may be a mainstreamer and like going to Comic-Con.  It's overwhelming, but there's something for everyone. True you're missing out on the small con feel where you can actually talk to people, but at small cons you run the risk of running out of things to see or the lack of things interesting you at all.

I can't say if I would prefer to attend as an attendee or an exhibitor.  I love both.  Also, as an exhibitor, sometimes I abandon my booth and play attendee....What? I like the shinny things around me...

Tips for attending, lets see. Bring water, caffeine, and a toothbrush. I know the toothbrush sounds weird, but I would snack on candy sometimes and my mouth would feel gross for the rest of the day, nasty. Also, bring your own backpack, an excess of money (you will overspend, you've been warned), and sometimes a friend never hurts. While you may have conflicting schedules at times, it's fun to meet up and talk for a while.

TNG:  Lastly, what is the release date for your second book and is there a time line for the 3rd?
JM:  Book two will be coming out hopefully this summer (Summer 2013) with book three, the final installment of the Three Kingdoms Trilogy currently scheduled for Summer of 2014. I promise I will do my best to stick to that schedule, but you know how things work sometimes.

*Thank you James for taking the time to answer our questions!  To learn more about James you can find him on Twitter
and his website.

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