Author Interview - J. Craig Rice
Welcome J. Craig Rice – October’s author interview.
The answer to question 1 is inspiring, question 6 made me chuckle as I also have that talent (as I am sure so do many other creatives), and question 15 warmed my heart and put a smile on my face.
Thank you for sharing your fascinating (and sometimes humorous) answers to the interview questions.
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?
I love this question, because it had such an impact on my love of reading. I grew up in a house hold that had little education, my grandparents, who were raising me, were minimally educated and never found joy in reading anything other than the newspaper. I had a friend who was reading the book Gremlins, which had just been released in the theaters and he was talking about it a lot, and I was fascinated that a book had more details than a movie. I went out and bought my own copy and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It took me from Friday evening until Sunday to finish, I barely slept, but I couldn’t get enough. After that, I was reading everything I could get my hands on.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I didn’t realize I had an interest in writing until after years of doing it. I was introduced to the game Dungeons and Dragons when I was in my freshmen year of High School. This was also during the time when playing or being involved in D&D was viewed as a cult and worshiping Satan. I found I loved running the games because I couldn’t stop being creative and I admit my mind wouldn’t shut down and some of my friends thought I was more than a little deranged. After I started reading the Dragonlance series, I realized I wanted to write similar books, but coming from a low education background, all my attempts was viewed as a waste of time and eventually, that passion crumpled under peer pressure from my family.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
This is hard to answer, I love Steven Gould, but I believe that is more for the content of the Jumper series than anything else, after that I try to stick to reading Indie Authors and haven’t locked down one I like the most.
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?
My favorite thing about writing is getting the ideas out of my head into written word, sharing my thoughts and dreams with anyone who will read them. My least favorite thing about writing is my lack of skill at it. I’ve always known I had the talent to write, but as I often got bored in school, I wasn’t the most attentive in my classes and the skills I needed, I didn’t pick up.
5. Where do your ideas come from?
Everything and everywhere. My favorite genre is always going to be science fiction/fantasy, but as I found my niche for writing comes from romantic comedy, I just look around, people I talk to, things I see, movies, television, books, ideas come from everything that crosses my path.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
I’m very talented at procrastination. I honestly haven’t thought about it much.
7. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
All of my characters come from bits and pieces of people I’ve interacted with throughout my life. I try to use the good parts the most, and the villains of the story are modeled after the aspects of what I hate the most in people’s behavior.
8. How do you come up with titles for your books?
This is my biggest weakness. I honestly hate the titles of my books and want to change them, but can’t seem to come up with anything better.
9. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
When I wrote The Wright Life, I actually wanted it to be a one and done, and move on to something else, but as the book was much longer than planned, it turned into needing a sequel. I had planned to finish it within the next year, but life stood in the way of doing that, and nearly two years later, I’m still working on it. What I can tell, is that Jim getting shot, isn’t the worse thing that could happen to him.
10. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
Well, winning the lottery is high on that list. Honestly, I am pretty happy with my life, the ups and downs that come with breathing, gives me opportunity to learn and grow. My life isn’t perfect, but whose is? I have wonderful kids, a wife that hasn’t killed me yet, and a roof over my head. I think the only thing left, is to become a better writer.
11. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
Anything I ever did before having kids is truly embarrassing, anything after that was completely intentional.
12. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?
I consider myself to be an open-minded skeptic. I’ve never seen a ghost or demon, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Until that time, to me there is no such things as ghosts, but if I meet one, I will be interested in having a chat about it.
13. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
I once swallowed a fly, completely unintentional and definitely not planned.
14. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
I love history, and as such Washington DC has always been my go-to destination spot. I’m hoping that someday, I will get to take a vacation and go back and spend more than one day there.
15. What makes you happy?
Definitely my kids. My youngest daughter was born with 2 chromosome abnormalities, so rare, she is the only recorded person on the planet with them. She has similarities to children with Autism, learning disabilities and a whole spectrum of other issues. The fact that she doesn’t grasp the difficulties this causes her and that she is always happy, brings me the greatest joy. When I look at her and see her smile, nothing makes me happier.
16. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Working, I’m always working.
17. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
That is a surprisingly large list. My favorite though was meeting Chris Claremont of X-Men fame. He is responsible for taking the X-Men comic books from a nearly canceled series to what it is today. I’ve also met Michael Dorn, Lt. Worf from Star Trek, I’m a big man, he makes me look tiny, met Drew Brees once, Donna Douglas, Elle May Clampet from The Beverly Hillbillies, and many others. I wouldn’t even suggest these people would ever remember me, but it was still cool. And those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head.