Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Interview with James Garcia

Welcome to Part Three of James Garcia's progressive interview across five blogs. 

James Garcia Jr. was born in the Central California town of Hanford. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. They, along with their teenage sons, still make their home in Kingsburg which is also the setting of James’ debut vampire novel. “Dance on Fire”, was published in 2010 and its sequel is scheduled for an early 2012 release. James is an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California.

Here is the schedule and locations for the other parts of the interview:

Part 1 @ Emily - Friday, August 10th
Part 2 @ Sandra - Monday, August 13th
Part 3 @ Dean - Tuesday, August 14th
Part 4 @ Terri - Wednesday, August 15th
Part 5 @ Teresa - Thursday, August 16th

Today on the Write Time James talks about the creative process.

1) Where do you get your story ideas?

This is a good question that I don’t have an answer for. I don’t write every day, due to my schedule. On the other hand, my mind is always working and gestating ideas. When I begin to start thinking about a new project, my mind goes into overdrive, creating that world, characters and plot. I don’t actually begin writing anything until I have a real clear picture of what it is. When I do sit down to write, the scenes have already formed. I type up everything that I saw from the day before and then I walk away. Between that time and the next session, my mind forms the next scenes. It’s odd how it works, but it does work, and I’m not going to question it. *grins*

2) How do you deal with writer’s block?

Writer’s block is something that all writers have either faced or are scared to death that they will face one day. Perhaps because to this point I have only worked on a few projects is the reason why I haven’t faced it yet. Perhaps it has more to do with not forcing anything until I really begin to see it. I don’t know.

3) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Originally I was a pantser. I had never written a novel before, so I learned as I went. With each subsequent project I find myself plotting a bit more. For this third novel that I have been working on this spring, I spent more time on the outlining. However, I refuse to create binders on all of the little details because I think it takes all of the fun out of the writing. I know the story, so I like it when I discover great things that surprise even me. If the writing isn’t fun for me, then it will suffer and I don’t know how I could possibly get through it all with any energy whatsoever.

4) Do you use critique partners or beta readers?

I had never used betas before; however, as fate would have it, my small publisher just closed, giving me an opportunity to do so. I think it’s a great opportunity to get input from the readers and have the book improved before it gets to market. I just sent my second novel out to betas who enjoyed the first one, and I very much look forward to hearing their thoughts on it.

5) How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?

In terms of research, I have yet to need a lot of it, so far. Much like plotting out the story, the thought of doing a bunch of research first is a buzz kill for me. When I already have the scenes and dialogue in my head, I want to write it down – not wait. What I have done is write the story and then go back and research the details that I realize come off as being weak. Of course, the day may come when I really don’t know a thing about my subject or material and I’ll be forced to do the research first. I hope not, but it probably will. I live in a small town, so I have been afforded the opportunity to meet with the chief of police on a couple of occasions, as well as with the fire chief for my second novel. Other than that, I surf the net and look up things like almanac information or study up on weapons and other equipment. Stuff like that. 

Where you can find James on the web:

Dance on Fire synopsis:

            Each May, the Central California town of Kingsburg celebrates its Swedish heritage with the annual Swedish Festival: a weekend event where the town puts on its traditional dress, culminating with a dance around a Maypole on Friday, and a Swedish pancake breakfast and parade on Saturday. The town with a population of over 11,000 residents draws thousands more to the event. This year, two uninvited guests also converged upon the unsuspecting town.
          Nathaniel is a vampire. He wandered into town, bothering no one; feeding upon stray cats and other vermin, wanting nothing more than to have a place to rest his head. Vincent is a second vampire, and the one responsible for making Nathaniel. He has been searching for his long lost “son” for well over two centuries. Vincent’s goal is to take Nathaniel home or kill him. Nathaniel has often wished for death, wondering why God ever allowed this punishment: to walk the earth undead and unable to be redeemed. Does God remember the little boy from Romania who watched his parents die, was raised by the murdering vampire, only to become one himself? What does God think of Nathaniel and could there yet be redemption for one outside of heaven?
          Ten days before the start of the Swedish Festival the most tumultuous week in the history of Kingsburg has begun with two vampires leaving death and destruction in their wake. Kingsburg Police Detectives Mark Jackson and Michael Lopez, Barbara and the entire Lopez family find themselves drawn into something that threatens to destroy them all or leave them scarred forever.
          In a marriage of the classic horror story and the Christian themes of good conquering evil and redemption, Dance on Fire is the account of characters being drawn into the fire and the supernatural forces around them watching as they burn.


Unknown said...

I want to thank you, Dean, as well as the rest of the Blog Ring of Power for granting me this great opportunity to share a bit or myself. I had a great time answering the questions.
Take care.


Dean C. Rich said...

You are welcome. Enjoyed having you.