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Now on to the interview:
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
Deep down I've known I was a writer from the time I was eleven. It was the dream in the deepest part of my heart, but I didn't believe it—or I should say start to believe it—till eight years ago.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
If I could explain it I would. I had a friend say, "Your writing is a little bit C.S. Lewis, a splash of Nicholas Sparks, some Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, and some George McDonald." I've never read Sparks but the others are some of my favorite writers so I’m honored to be described that way. My genre? I'm not sure. My books don't fit neatly into a pre-described genre but the three I've written so far are contemporary novels with a heavy dose of supernatural suspense, strong female characters and deep psychological ponderings. Does that help? Smile.
Yep, good answer. How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
Unlike many novelists I don't have any unpublished manuscripts sitting in a drawer so I've "practiced" with ROOMS (2010) BOOK OF DAYS (earlier this year) and THE CHAIR (September 2011).
ROOMS took me six years to write, BOOK OF DAYS took two years and THE CHAIR took five months. I tend to write in bursts. I'll not write at all for two months but when I'm on deadline I'll often take a weekend and write for eight hours a day. Those deadlines are motivating!
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
BOOK OF DAYS is the story of a young man who is losing his memories—especially troubling to him is the memories of his late wife that are slipping away.
His only hope is the find God's Book of Days which has recorded the past, present, and future of every soul who ever lived. He has no idea if the book exists on earth, but he's determined to fine out—even though it seems everything has come against his chances of success.
I've been fortunate to have wide distribution so people can find my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble dot com, Family Christian Stores, LifeWay, Books a Million, CBD … just about everywhere.
What is the spiritual message in your books? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
ROOMS is a story of freedom and healing, and stepping into our destinies.
BOOK OF DAYS is a story of forgiveness, of others and maybe more importantly of ourselves.
THE CHAIR is a story of restoration—specifically of friendship.
My hope is with all my books that readers are entertained and taken away to another world, but also that they see themselves in the stories and come away with greater freedom, a deeper relationship with God, and healing of the wounds that hold so many of us back from living a life of vibrancy and passion.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?
Have you heard the saying, "Make your play your work and you'll never work another day in your life?" I was talking to a close author friend yesterday who said, "Yes, there are hassles being published, more than pre-published writers realize, but how can we grouse? We're living the dream.
I remind myself of that when I want to give up, or am discouraged or I think, "What I am thinking? I can't write!"
All writers feel this. Even authors who have sold millions of books. I talked to a multi-mulit-million bestselling author about this the other day and he said, "I wonder every time I pick up my laptop, 'Can I do it again?'"
I know that feeling well!
But this is my destiny—what God has called me to—so I push on even in the down times. I'm living my dream, how can I complain?
I've always loved that quote because it's so true. Who’s inspired you the most?
My amazing wife, Darci. She has been a fervent support of me and my writing for twenty five years. She's believed in me, encouraged me, challenged me, prayed for me and fought for me like no one else. It's cliché to say but it's true, I wouldn't be published if not for her.
I love it when a spouse is like that! My husband is the same. Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
Yes, essentially I sit out on my back deck all day now and watch the clouds scuttle by. Not exactly. People told me before I was published that the pressures and expectations only increase. What they didn't tell me is they increase exponentially.
My route to publication: I went to my first writer's conference in the spring of '06. In September of that year I signed with an agent and he shopped ROOMS to the major publishers. All basically said, "No thanks, the guy can write but his book is a little out there and with a debut author we can't take a chance on a book like that." So I put ROOMS on the shelf and started on BOOK OF DAYS.
(I have to admit there is a part of me that smiled inside when ROOMS hit the bestseller list as I thought of those houses who passed on acquiring the book. Also, I want to use myself as an example to pre-published writers who are rejected. Not that often, but sometimes editors and agents get it wrong.)
A year later—in fall of '07—I sat down with David Webb who was the executive director of fiction at B&H at the time. He said, "I've read 200 manuscripts since I read yours, and yours is the one I can't get out of my mind. Let's take another run at it." So I wrote a new proposal and he took it to committee on May 4th 2008 and was sent a deal point memo on June 23rd. (Not that I remember the specific details or anything.)
The dream had come true. Happy Jim.
What an encourgement to the prepubbed to hang in there! Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
Hobbies? Yes, I used to have some of those before becoming an author! Seriously, writing has been all-consuming for the past three or four years but I do have a number of things I love to do. In no particular order: Dirt biking, water skiing, back packing, photography, guitar, golf, and reading.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
People can find me on:
- Facebook as James L. Rubart,
- Twitter: @jimrubart,
- Web site: http://www.jimrubart.com/
- and folks can find my blog from there.
Thanks so much for having me, Carole!
Thanks so much for being here, Jim. I've loved having you!
Don't forget to leave your email addys and comments, readers!