Friday, March 28, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays with Jim Hines

Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Jim Hines.

Jim, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Jim: My publisher just released Goblin War, the third and final (for now) book in my goblin series. So I'm now working on a new series which is basically a mash-up of old fairy tales and Charlie's Angels. Fun stuff! DAW has bought three books in this series. The first one is done, and I'm currently chest-deep in revisions on the second.

Debra: Old fairy tales have always intrigued me, from the time I was small. (And I love this Goblin cover by the way.)

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Jim: Writing every day helps. I think creativity is like so many other things: the more you practice, the better you get.

The other trick is making sure you don't burn yourself out. With the latest book release, I've been spending a lot of time on publicity while also trying to write the next book. Add a pair of sick children, and my brain has gotten pretty fried for the past few weeks. I've needed to prioritize more and turn down a few events in order to have the mental and emotional energy to devote to the stories.

Debra: Yes, it's quite a juggling act, isn't it? I'm learning that publicity part right now as I prepare for the Romantic Times convention. It's a big brain switch from the world of story.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Jim: There's definitely a point where the characters click. Sometimes it takes longer than others. In my second goblin book, I had a warrior who was ... well, she was boring! Perfectly competent and workable, but dull as anything. It wasn't until the rewrite that she transformed from a dangerous warrior woman into a crotchety goblin who liked to whack people with her canes.

Debra: Oh, my! LOL She reminds me of my great grandmother who lived to be 106 and could have whacked you with her cane if she wanted to. Now I'm going to have to get my hands on that second book.

Jim: Jig the goblin, on the other hand, was a delightful little coward from day one. It's unusual for a character to spring fully-formed into my brain, but every once in a while I get lucky.

Debra: It would be lovely if we had a magical formula for making that happen.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Jim: You know, I'd like to think they'd be the same kind of stories I'm writing now. For starters, fantasy isn't exactly the most lucrative genre -- especially humorous fantasy -- but it's what I enjoy. I love my quirky goblins and their adventures. I've just been fortunate that a fair number of readers seem to feel the same way.
If I were writing full-time, I might have to pay more attention to market demands. But I have a day job which pays the bills, and that gives me a little more freedom to write what I want without worrying about whether it has "Potential Bestseller" stamped all over the manuscript.

Debra: That freedom to write is so very important. And I enjoy your quirky characters too.

Jim, thanks for joining us here on this Make-Believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of creation with our readers.

Readers who wish to visit Jim and his quirky characters can find him at:


Debra's news/Debra is watching:

Just last week I received my ISBN number and I was as thrilled about that as the day I received my contract! My editor has been working with me on the cover blurb which was another woo-hoo moment. Everyone talks about getting the call, and that is a very exciting day in the life of an author, but there are also the sequential joys along the road to production, all those little firsts which ought to be celebrated.

This week I am working on getting bookmarks together in time for the Romantic Times convention in Pittsburgh. I'll be there from April 15th to the 21st and I can't wait to meet up with old friends.

Over on Title Wave this week, I'm blogging today, Ruth is blogging Wednesday, and Lois is blogging Friday.

Watch for A DESPERATE JOURNEY to be released July, 2008 as an eBook. Print edition will be out in 2009.

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