Monday, February 13, 2012

Author Interview: James R. Tate

by Sylvia Ney

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, or his blog, Tate’s Other Side at and also on Facebook and Twitter.

1) How did you develop an interest in writing? My wife grew tired of me telling her I could write a better book than the one I was currently reading. She enrolled me in a continuing education writing course at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. I spent six weeks writing beginner garbage and loving every minute of it.

2) Please tell me a little about your blog. I’ve really wanted to write a blog for a while, if for nothing else but to have an avenue to express random thoughts about my passion for writing. I know it’s ‘recommended’ to have a social presence—if not required—in today’s publishing world. The only problem is there’s still only twenty-four hours in the day. My blog is called Tate’s Other Side. It’s a scary place.

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.

10) Would you care to share your opening paragraph (hook) with us? One of the toughest things I had to do was whittle my book down to a paragraph, but here goes:

"Small town Chief of Police Reese Glockman tries to stay out of the way of the FBI when a serial killer leaves his mark on his sleepy town, but when Glockman’s daughter is kidnapped by the killer, it becomes personal, and nothing will stand in his way, not even the killer’s mysterious accomplices."


  1. Congratulations on the new book. I'm looking forward to reading it. Keep us posted!

  2. Hi, James. This is a really good interview. Good luck with the book.

  3. Excellent interview, James. Love the cover and the pitch! Can't wait to get hold of your book since I've only read the first few chapters. You know I disagree with those rejections you got on Blood Bias.

  4. Thanks for the comments, ladies. This is a very encouraging group. Hope to see you all at the next meeting.