I was lucky enough to "sit down" with Jim and ask him a few bookish questions before his novel releases on June 16th. Let's see what Jim had to say about Zombies, reading, and writing.
1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Jim says: I know zombies about as well as I know Sanskrit, so I did a little research and decided my go to guy would be Max Brallier, who wrote Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse. As they say, he wrote the book on the subject. I’m going to add Barry Eisler to the team. Ex-CIA, he writes about a hired assassin. He’s a kick-ass kind of guy with a good sense of humor – and we’d need that. Lastly, Stephen King – good imagination to help us out, and I have to do something for him, because when the time comes, I’m choosing J. K. Rowling.
Meredith says: Okay, don't tell anyone but I've never heard of Max Brallier! I looked him up, and found out that he also writes for the show Adventure Time, so he's cool in my book because that cartoon is hilarious. I follow Barry Eisler but he scares me. I think King will appreciate you choosing him for something ;)
2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Jim says: Rowling. She’s younger and I already did something nice for Stephen in question 1.
Meredith says: :)
3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Jim says: I’m reading two books. I have fellow Kindle Scout winner Linda Sands’ 3 Woman Walk Into A Bar on my Kindle and am about two-thirds of the way through. In hardcover from the library I am about a third through Michael Connelly’s The Burning Room.
Meredith says: nice
4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Jim says: Nope – I get bored much more easily than that. Just shovel dirt over me if you find me reading the same books time and again.
Meredith says: You're killing me, Jim! (I feel like I've said this before, lol)
5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Jim says: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Besides writing great books, Kent is a really nice guy.
6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Jim says: My favorite is Tina Whittle’s Deeper Than the Grave.
Meredith says: Adding that to my TBR list
7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Jim says: Marvel patented all the cool stuff, and I’m not much into being a mutant. I’d like the power to stop people from making really stupid economic decisions. I write financial crime novels, so I guess there’s a tie-in.
Meredith says: Unique. I like it.
8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Jim says: I write at a desk. Since I live in two places, I have two desks. The one I am currently at is in a loft. Should I need inspiration, I can look out a wall of glass to the woods and a small inland lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Meredith says: The view sounds beautiful.
9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book Ant Farm.
Jim says: I don’t want to give the story away, so I am picking a scene that was a lot of fun to write. In it the protagonist, Seamus McCree, meets Mrs. DeGroot who is a hoot: she asks rapid-fire questions of everyone in the group and leaves a cacophony of answers in her wake.
10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slip into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Jim says: Seamus McCree and I share many characteristics with respect to interests and avocations. Unfortunately for me he is younger, taller, smarter, better looking and richer than I. I must remind him when he starts to lord it over me that with a simple search and replace all that can change for him.
11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Jim says: I prefer to write in silence and so often write first drafts early in the morning before anyone else is up. If the house gets noisy, I’ll put on headphones and listen to background music—nothing with words or I’m singing along and not writing. Playlist: George Winston, the Hilliard Ensemble, maybe a bit of classical like Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello solos, Goreki’s Symphony No. 3 or some Prokofiev.
Meredith says: love this playlist!
12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Jim says: I read Jim Morris’s advice to “quit if you can.” I have an entirely different take. I’d say if you want to be an author, don’t quit until you have to.
Meredith says: A few more words of wisdom, people.
Meredith says: A few more words of wisdom, people.
(I'd have a beer with Jim. He looks like an okay guy.)