Charlton James talks about his new book
Somebody Else's Business
A novel of drama, tragedy and intrigue.
To answer the question why I chose the topic "Somebody Else's Business"
As human beings, we're giving the innate choice of decision making which are outside of the natural instincts of protection, procreation, and providing food as within the animal kingdom.
Animals don't get involved in other animals affairs unless there's an issue with encroachment or the issue of the natural order of things. As Human beings we're giving the choice to rationalize how we engage others. We also take it upon ourselves to judge others as we see fit.
So the topic of being involved in Somebody Else's Business is something that we all are guilty of. I approached the story line from the position as a story teller, what makes it unique is how its presented. The characters are used in developing the story line to transition smoothly and methodically to bring the lesson to light. Case in point, the elements of emotions, tragedy, camaraderie, and relationships, deliver the lesson.
How long to I think about a topic before I write about it?
Topic's come about indirectly, as in this case I went about it and created the title on a whim as a short story to help my wife. I started with the two characters Tiffany and John, and proceeded from there. I didn't use any notes, I created the characters as they came to my imagination and began to expound from one dialogue to the next.
How long does it take to research a a topic before I write?
It took me 3 years to write this book and during that time I put in a lot of hours in research in order to be sure the historical facts and customs of people weren't compromised,
This book has such a broad spectrum of people and cultures. The facts should be presented as natural and authentic in order to keep the material balanced and well transitioned. As far as notes your writings and how you convey them in your rough drafts of the book are the notes themselves, by the way, for this book I believe I may have upward to 20 complete copies of rough drafts and edits before I turned it loose to be printed.
What resources did I use for writing this book:
I used something that we're all born with, imagination! I would watch people while sitting in Starbucks, as people stood in line to purchase coffee I would watch faces and body language to create my next character.
Of course there's life experiences as well, Being that we continually learn from living and interacting with each other there is also the dynamic of watching things as they have played out with yourself or someone you know involved in a similar event. Life tells a story, you just have to deliver life experiences and your interactions with people.
How many times have I been rejected before this novel was accepted?
Again, we come to the words: unique experience! Everyone has one. For me, this is the first book I have written!
It's amazing that was accepted the first time out! I felt like the rookie batter up for the world series and hit a grand slam! No kidding, I am still amazed at how people are accepting my book, its really an overwhelming sense of being. I started with a project and developed it, and developed it. I then went over it again to fine tune it, and what I released as a finished project was viewed as " We understand what you are saying!" That's the beautiful "sense of being" that I mentioned.
I didn't self publish on e-books before a publisher picked me up, in fact I am a self publisher as we speak. I presented the manuscript in book form, from there I presented the e-books, and now I have both the book and e-book formats world wide, its definitely a lot of diligence involved, and it will be the whole way.
Every time you create something, expect the long days and effort to insure things are as you intended them to be. I/E the books overview/ description/pricing and availability, interviews and submissions, there is definitely a lot of due diligence involved.
Would I recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher?
Writing as with most things in life that have lucrative benefits, it depends on where you are at the time and who you know! It's every aspiring writers dream to be picked up by a major publisher, just as it would be every high school ball player to be picked up in the majors or be a first round draft pick, or a student who has just received a masters degree to be picked up by a fortune 500 company.
Who wouldn't want that? The reality is everyone can't be a first round draft pick. After making this adjustment, we have to go for what we know, which means polishing up on our self worth and investing in ourselves to produce the best product before releasing it to the public for acceptance.
In this instance, you create a book that is well thought out and rounded and leave no room for "I should of did this, rather than that'" When you do your due diligence, in your presentation your efforts will eventually been seen by others. It may not be as fast as being picked up by a major publisher, but when you have no choice but to self publish as I did, eventually people will notice your effort (diligence in your book) and the word will spread.
Patience and marketing are the key. It takes money to market your book, so having employment to fund your marketing efforts is the key along with the patience of promoting your book.
Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? and how long did it take before this happened?
As a self publisher, your royalties are accrued and paid quarterly and depending who you are marketing your book with, royalties are paid within 60 days after the end of the preceding quarter.
On the other hand, were you with a major publisher you would receive a advance to live on as your book progresses, which is reversed back to the publisher as your book makes money.
Whether you are self published, or have a publisher, it takes money for you to survive, this is why so many aspiring authors have a steady job to rely on until something happens as life changing.
In my instance, a major motion picture conglomerate wanted to buy the rights to my book prior to being published ( we're talking millions of dollars) I turned it down because I wanted the accolades as the creator of this book. my point here is simple, what do you want? If its the money that you're expecting to make while writing, then be prepared to write several books and keep more coming to have sources of income.
Should you have gainful employment as you write, write leisurely to produce work that's not stress driven. You'll lose your edge in writing under this duress. Writing should be carefree and creative to produce quality work.