Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Mr. Callan.
Question:Is there a story behind Over My Dead Body?
James: To some extent, yes. The use of eminent domain for private companies has long been an irritant for me. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution limited eminent domain to “public use.” President George W. Bush issued an executive order limiting eminent domain to “public use” with “just compensation” and for the “purpose of benefiting the general public.” The order states it should not be used “for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties…”
However, eminent domain is still granted to further the economic interests of private companies.
I decided I could not do justice to such a topic, so I used it to get the story started. But I do not delve into it as deeply as I would have liked, and as it deserves. So, it becomes simply a murder mystery novel.
That is certainly a topic that deserves to be examined more closely.
Question:What’s your favorite genre of writing?
James: That’s an easy one. Mystery and Suspense books. I have always liked to read those two areas. I enjoy weaving clues and red herrings into the story in an effort to keep the “real” answers hidden until the end.
What a coincidence! Mystery and Suspense are my most interesting genre to read.
Question: What’s one genre you’ve never written and probably never will?
James: Another easy one. I won’t write erotica. I just wouldn’t be comfortable writing such.
Um, thats good. I don't read it either!
Question:Who is the most fun character you ever created?
James: That’s a tough one. I have two, very different characters that have been and are fun to work with. Neither is a protagonist and both are in the same series. Brandy is a streetwise young woman who now shares a house with Crystal, a near Ph.D. research computer scientist. Brandy says she barely made it out of high school, but she has the street smarts that frequently let her teach her very smart house mate. Then there’s Eula, Crystal’s seventy-six year old grandmother, who raised Crystal after her parents were killed in a car accident when Crystal was just seven. Eula lives alone in the middle of a forest and sees things very clearly with seldom a doubt. She’s a no-nonsense, straight talking woman who will dress-down a man holding a gun on her as quickly as she will the local sheriff. These both show up in my Crystal Moore suspense series, starting with A Ton of Gold, and following up with The Silver Medallion.
Since you enjoy these characters so much it's great that they show up in your other books. That way you get to visit with them often.
Question: Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?
James: Writer’s block is not usually a problem for me. When I stop a session, I always know what the next paragraph or scene will be. When I come back, I can hit the ground running and move right on to the next scene. On the rare occasion I face writer’s block, my solution is to write. Anything. E-mails, a blog, something not connected with the book. Just write. Usually, before very long, I’m thinking about the book and what I want to write in it. So I just drop the e-mail or blog and get on with the book.
Thank you for the good advice.
Question: What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? What are you most proud of?
James: I’d have to say The Silver Medallion. Not because it is the last book I’ve completed, but because it deals with some people who are in a hopeless situation. And then, a woman who does not know them, who is ill equipped to help them, decides to take on their cause at great personal risk. There are scenes that, after reading them thirty times, are still emotional for me.
I'll have to look for that one.
Question:When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
James: Over My Dead Body released in April this year. Next up is The Silver Medallion. It is complete and going through beta readers before sending it off to the publisher. I expect it out early in 2016.
I'll be waiting for it!
Readers: You can purchase James's latest book, Over My Dead Body in Paperback or the Kindle version on AmazonOr ask your local library to order it in for you!
James R. Callan is giving away a paperback copy of Over My Dear Body. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.