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The James Gang


THE JAMES GANG

May James Gang Interview

Each month, I interview authors or publishing insiders who have some form of “James” in their names or in their books. My May James Gang interviewee is author, Charles James!

1. Let’s get the most important question asked first: Why James?

I used the name "Charles James" because James is actually my middle name. If I used my real last name, most wouldn't know how to pronounce it. I didn't want everyone guessing at how to say the name, so I kept it simple by using a name everyone knows.

2. What fiction genre(s) and/or sub-genre(s) do you write?

My first book titled, The Tarnished Shooter, fits into many genres. The book is based on actual events, but I fictionalized names and embellished the storyline a bit to make it more interesting. I would say it could fit into true crime, adventure or even an inspirational and self-help category.

3. Tell us more about your first book.

The Tarnished Shooter is about a boy by the name of Frank Henry Barker. He is the main character and he is bright, sensitive and way ahead of most when it comes to reasoning and common sense. The things young Frank has to worry about is his abusive father and bullies.

He finally rebels from all the rotten treatment and is determined to be his own person. Trouble seems to follow him everywhere. He has one good friend and together they act like desperadoes, then join the Marines where they get into even more scrapes with the law. After too many stints in jail and correctional facilities, Frank realizes in time his luck is going to run out, so he dumps his buddy and changes his ways. He is a survivor and doesn't give up on his goal to live his picture of the American Dream. It takes years to unravel all the nasty crap he has done as he presses on and tries to fit back into society.

4. Is there a core story and/or a theme(s) in your books?

I like to write about the circumstances encountered in real life, with an emphasis on how society deals with legal and political issues such as crime, homelessness, hunger, unemployment. My books are mainly about overcoming adversity.

5. Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

The heroes in my books are usually the underdogs. Those who, because of circumstances beyond their control, are targeted by law enforcement or society. Sometimes it only takes one mistake and a person's life spirals out of control. My heroes are not all bad, they simply get caught up in the moment and then they have to figure out a way to get back on course.

6. What do you enjoy most about being an author?

I like to express myself through the characters and create a sense of adventure and danger. I like to reveal that our time is limited and it only takes one tragic incident, like a single gunshot or a terrible car accident, to end a life. I grew up hard and fast and had to fend for myself by the age of twelve, so I like to use my street smarts combined with my writing style to create life-like scenarios that keeps the reader turning the page just to see what happens next. My books usually have a fast pace, as I don't feel it necessary to try and explain every last detail. I think limiting the detail gives the reader a chance to inject his or her own imagination into the scene. Those who have read my books tell me they can actually feel the fear, humor or the sadness as they are reading.

7. Do you have any awards, reviews or kudos you’d like to tell us about?

I don't have any awards as of yet, but I picture them in my mind and I see them coming eventually.

8. How do you promote your books and your author brand?

I use all the social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. The Tarnished Shooter is available at Amazon.com and is marketed to other on-line bookstores through Amazon's extended marketing. I advertise here and there on blogs and websites. I have done a few other online interviews to help get the word out. There are so many books being self-published, and the competition for recognition is fierce. I stay positive that I'll find the magic formula for successfully marketing my books.

9. What is your next project?

I am working on a book titled, Johnny Black and the Tibetan Monk. As of now, it is three short stories. The main story is about a Vietnam Veteran who has become homeless with what seems like no way back to the world of hope and happiness, until he meets a visiting Tibetan monk who helps him reorganize his thought patterns toward a new zest for life. The stories were written to get the reader thinking of solutions to end violence, poverty and homelessness.

10. Do you have a bit of wisdom you’d like to impart or a favorite quote?

No dream is too big, nor imagination too farfetched.

 

Thank you, Charles! My June James Gang interviewee will be author, Sherry Hartzler, who has a character perfect for the James Gang!

 

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