James R. Tate is an award winning author of fiction, magazine and short story. His debut adult novel, BLOOD BIAS, will be released in March, 2012. You can find him at jamesrtate.com, or his blog, Tate’s Other Side at http://jamesrtate.blogspot.com/ and also on Facebook and Twitter.
3) I see you are working on a MS. Please tell us a little about it. I am working on a new project but also have a completed murder mystery I wrote while I was teaching carpentry at a local prison. I’ve pitched it to agents, publishers, even had it looked at by a professional editor. An excerpt of the book won first place at the novel competition in Houma, LA in 2008. I received a lot of positive feedback but a lot of rejections. I’ve recently decided to self publish it and see where it goes while I work on my latest book. The book is called BLOOD BIAS and should be available in mid march of this year.
4) Is this a hobby or do you plan to make a career from writing? I would love to have a picture window overlooking the Rockies to spend my day writing my latest novel. It would be paradise.
5) What authors do you admire? My favorite author is by far Stephen King. A lot of people don’t like his material, but he’s a brilliant writer. He could write a story about a potato chip and have me engrossed from page one. I also like Robert Crais. He writes a great crime novel. I try to read a lot of different authors to expand my interests. Any great writing fascinates me.
6) Are you part of a critique group or writer's guild? I’ve been a member of the Bayou Writers Group for several years but have trouble attending the meetings on a regular basis because of the distance. I miss it dearly. One of the greatest places for a writer to hang out is around other writers.
7) Have you ever attended a writer's conference? I’ve been to Houma several times and won several awards, and have been to the BWG conference the past two years—both were very fun and informative—but the best one was a Pitch and Shop Conference I attended in New York City a few years back. It was an absolute blast to meet agents and editors in a small setting, and to be in one of the greatest artistic cities in the world. There’s nothing like sitting in Bryant Park, surrounded by great architecture, working on a book pitch.
8) When working on your current MS did you complete an outline first or did you just start writing? Ask my wife, I don’t plan anything. It drives her nuts. I like to let a general idea circulate in the back corners of the mind for a while and then just start writing. When the idea fades, I take a break to expand the story in my brain, then go at it again. It’s more fun for me to do it this way. No notes, no outline, just pure chaos. Oh! And I edit as I go. I know! Seems like a contradiction to my unbridled wildness, but I can’t help it.
9) Strangest dream involving a book, writer, or literary character? I absolutely fell in love with the movie Midnight in Paris with Owen Wilson. He gets to hang out in Paris with his literary heroes. I guess it must have stuck on the brain, because I had a dream that I was hanging out with Stephen King. And he didn’t do or say anything weird, just seemed like a regular guy. But I sure was trying to impress him. That’s when you know you’re passionate about something; when it consumes your subconscious.