Author: JIM MUSGRAVE
Author’s website address: http://www.contempinstruct.com/books/books.htm
Books in Print: The Digital Scribe: A Writer’s Guide to Electronic Media, Iron Maiden, The President’s Parasite and Other Stories, Russian Wolves, Sins of Darkness, and Lucifer’s Wedding.
Books in Process: A crime series with two middle-aged detectives (one Irish and one Jewish) set in San Diego.
1. When and why did you begin writing? Some teacher in K-12 told me I was "very creative." This was to be my pursuing angel/demon for the rest of my life.
2. What inspired you to write your first book? I was tired of reading boring stuff on the Internet, so I researched and invented creative writing exercises for "nerds." This was The Digital Scribe, published by Harcourt-Brace in 1996.
3. How did you approach writing your first book? Since it was non-fiction, I outlined it completely and then I researched to flesh it out.
4. Who or what influenced your writing? Like most writers (I suppose), the other writers who influenced me are far too numerous to list. We writers must learn technique if we’re to be any good, and we can learn this by studying the writers who do it best. If I were to name my top five, I would have to say: Albert Camus, Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka, William Faulkner and Thomas Harris.
5. Why do you continue to write? Because I must. Some people (like, say, Tony Gwynn on my San Diego Padres and Franz Kafka in my literature game) would do their "craft" even if they did not get paid. They do it because they love the "doing."
6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? Get the present administration voted out of office (only sort of kidding). Actually, Jonathan Swift (one of the greatest satirists of all time) said that the very people you make fun of are the ones who never understand your rebukes. If I can just give the reader a "good read," then I am satisfied. Hopefully, the reader will also want to learn something as well (although this is getting much more difficult in these days of instant gratification and "dumbed down culture").
7. What has been your experience as a published writer? I’m along for the ride. It does get better each day, however.
8. How do you promote your book(s)? I ask people to read them. People come in many forms. I hope my readers have open minds and a sense of humor (again, getting more difficult these days to find). I also answer interview requests.
9. What advice would you like to share with other writers? Keep working on technique. The imagination is already there or you wouldn’t continue doing it.
10. Any other comments you would like to add? Thanks for the chance to share.
Thank you, Jim, for sharing your time and thoughts.
Interviewer: Kaye Trout - August 30, 2006