Thursday, May 2, 2013

Interview: James Callan

Let's get to know a little more about James Callan and his new book, A Ton of Gold.

1. What was you inspiration for this book? 
Two things came together as this developed. I had long wanted to use a character who was involved in Informational Retrieval, partly because I did research in this field when working on a Ph.D. in mathematics.  Then, one day I read an old folk tale.  I began to wonder how a folk tale could affect lives today.  The two ideas percolated in my head for some months until A Ton of Gold evolved.

2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven of character driven? 
I would have to go with character driven.  While I feel the plot is important, I want a central character that the reader will care about.  If I can’t make the reader feel something about the character I have failed.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
In A Ton of Gold, the main character is Crystal Moore.  Crystal is a young, brilliant computer researcher who two years ago was abused  psychologically.  She does excellent work, but mere mention of the man’s name completely destroys her confidence, her self-esteem.  As she struggles with this, another more devastating problem arises.  

4. Which of your supporting characters was the most challenging to write?
Crystal’s 76 year-old grandmother and Crystal’s street-wise housemate were so much fun that I can’t classify them as a challenge. But Mark O’Malley, a former bull rider, was more difficult.  Mark is Crystal’s boss and owner of the research company. He has his own problems with venture capitalists. At the same time, he would like to help Crystal. But the more time Crystal spends on her problems, the further behind her project falls, just as the venture capitalists come to visit. So Mark is torn between his feelings for Crystal and her problems and his need to keep the company afloat.

5. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
Unknown people attack Crystal’s only living relative, the grandmother who raised her. Crystal has no idea who these people are or why they would be trying to kill a 76 year-old woman who lives in the middle of a forest. And while the grandmother believes someone is trying to kill her, she won’t hide.  

6. Why did you choose this genre? 
I have always loved to read mystery and suspense novels. So it made sense to me that I would write those.  I’ve had several non-fiction books published, but mystery/suspense is where my heart is.

7. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 
I hope they will see that we cannot let someone else determine how we view ourselves.  Our self-worth, self-esteem, must come from within ourselves.

8. Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy David Baldacci for his intriguing plots.  I appreciate Dick Francis for the smoothness of his sentences and paragraphs.  I like Jory Sherman for his ability to paint pictures with words.

9. Do you have any interesting rituals or habits when you write?
Not really.  Perhaps you should ask my wife that question.  I write mostly at night after all of the activities of the day are finished.  I don’t want something to interrupt me once I get going. I write as fast as I can and polish after I’ve finished the book.  Social media, blogs, etc. can be done earlier in the day, where interruptions are not as disruptive.

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 
I have a sequel to A Ton of Gold written. A little more polishing and it will be ready to submit to a publisher.  I have a sequel to Cleansed by Fire nearing the finish line. 

Connect with James online at his websiteblog, a book site

A Ton of Gold is available now from Amazon and Oak Tree Press.

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