I have the honor, of hosting a Q & A with J.A Hamilton’s,
You can find more info and his books here!!
This awesome author, have a lot of unpublished books ready and a few published and you can see his nbook.
Author Link: COMMING! Facebook: Click Here!
Q & A
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on, if any?
Pilgrimage is an interesting word. One with a hundred meanings, but I would have to say my true writing pilgrimage was attending ThrillerFest in New York for the first time. It was the do or die moment when I found myself in a room of my peers, the moment I knew would result in my realizing if this was truly my fate in life. Thankfully, it is.
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, when Ned Stark dies. I was absolutely mortified.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I don’t know enough about the publishing industry to answer that question.
What would you recommend today regarding publishing? The traditional way or go down the self-publishing way?
Traditional is the only way to go. You’re just kidding yourself with self-publishing.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
If it didn’t energize me, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t love it. And I most certainly love it.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Listening to the nay-sayers rather than following your heart.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
A big ego never helps anything in life. It’s all about enjoying that slice of humble pie.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Not having the time to get to my computer. Once there, I’m golden.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? And if so have you? And why?
I didn’t originally, but only because I didn’t understand the concept. I’ve only recently come to understand that a writer who wants to dabble in other genres is prone to the use of pseudonyms. I’m told it’s simply because you owe it to your readers to not stray from what they’ve come to know you for, and if you do, you could lose them. I have a fantasy trilogy that I will release someday, and it will most likely be under a pseudonym.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Originality IS what readers want. There’s no such thing as an original story, just the way with which you present said story. You give them great characters, a cool plot and one hell of a ride, it doesn’t matter if they’ve heard the same ‘type’ of story before, because you’ve delivered something different.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Honestly…no I don’t. And I say that because I’m a very emotional person. I feel deeply and I think it’s vital when creating full bodied, believable, empathic characters who matter.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I met a great deal of cool authors at ThrillerFest. Stacy Allen, Rob Pobi, Eyre Price, KJ Howe, Jon Land, Daniel Palmer and Steve Berry. There are more of course, but these brilliant, gracious authors have helped me at a time when I needed it. It’s something I’m truly thankful for and something I know I can’t repay them enough for.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
The first three are a connected series, as the story was too grand a tale for one novel. After that, they’ll stand alone. The first two chapters of my stand-alone thriller, The Ferry Man, are already written.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Keep your head up and don’t stop doing what you’re doing. There’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
My first novel is just now being published and it changes everything. When this finally happens you realize that everything has a purpose. The rest of the story has a purpose. The stories that come after that have a purpose. It’s a beautiful revelation.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Every penny I spent getting to New York, to ThrillerFest.
What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
None. I haven’t read an author I disliked.
What did you do with your first advance?
Lol. I didn’t get one for the first book, but I’m hoping to have a great answer for that question when it comes time to get back to writing the next one.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I won my first creative writing contest in grade 4, for simply telling as story. That’s when the light came on, but it was the summer of grade 9 that the light fully illuminated the possibilities.
What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
Whatever gets your mind running full speed. That’s something only you can figure out. It can’t be told to anyone.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Dean Koontz’ Intensity. It’s brilliant, but it just feels to me like no one’s heard of it when I talk about it.
How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
This again falls into the category that, if you’re a good writer, you take care of the reader. Giving them your all, never once phoning it in or half-assing your work. Never compromise your integrity. They reader demands your all. Give it to them. Period.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Everything. When they say ‘write what you know’, it also means who you know. Without friends, without a social resume to base these things on, you have nothing. A person can’t write about what they haven’t experienced in life. So these people that influence you? We owe them everything (I love you all).
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
At this moment, seven. I have a lot on the go, and even more in the tank. But ultimately, it came down to getting that first one in the door. Without that, the rest don’t mean much.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success for me, means being able to write full time to pay the bills. That’s the goal. That would mean the world to me.
What’s the best way to market your books?
That question seems to an ever changing beast. That said, I believe the more you have yourself out there, the better. Use all facets open to you. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, a personal website and all the verbal hustling you can muster.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I research everything. Even the things I think I know everything about. Not knowing what you’re talking about when writing a book is unforgivable, especially in this day and age. Don’t be lazy. Do the work, or it’ll show in the final product.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Our definitions of spiritual could differ, but if you’re asking if I feel a zen type escape while writing, the answer is no. I don’t view it as a spiritual connection.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Honestly, I don’t find it difficult at all. Women are capable of anything, and are just as good at pulling it off as men. Go watch the movie Wild Things. It definitely opened my eyes to vital importance of strong female characters and what they’re capable of.
How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
I wrote film reviews, columns and comic strips for eight years over at JoBlo.com, one of the biggest and most popular movie websites on the internet. I wrote for me on the side all the while, so there hasn’t really been a point in my life I haven’t been writing full tilt.
How many hours a day do you write?
Depends on the day really. It could be an hour. It could be six or eight hours.
What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
I would have to say young adult, my first novel, The Night’s Eye, does have teenage protagonists, but it’s by no means a novel for kids. I write thriller/horror/supernatural hybrids that mostly focus on young adults.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Absolutely. Stephen King’s On Writing will change the way any writer views fiction. Aside from that, I’ve read many novels I’ve felt were ‘fluffed to make money’ by authors who were so popular that a book about the contents of their sock drawer would still be labelled a New York Times best seller. It’s daunting, but it simply fuels me to make stories that go above and beyond. The readers of the world deserve the best we can give them.
What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?
I only write fiction. That said, I do so ever love Greek Mythology. Not sure if using characters of that era are considered historical figures (laughs), but that’s the great thing about fiction. You make it yours regardless.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Very meticulously. The naming process is quite sacred to me. As for the how? It varies, but rest assured, there’s always a rhyme to my reason.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I’ve managed restaurants and bartended all my life. It was always the road I wanted to travel on my way to writing full time. I’m not there yet, but I hope to get there.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Again, The Night’s Eye is my debut novel, but many people have read it and both written and told me what they thought about it. I pay attention, sure. And yes, I will read my reviews. I know firsthand (from reviewing films and TV series’) that there will always be people out there who love to hate. I don’t let it bother me…much (laughs).
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Definitely. I’m a huge fan of easter eggs and paying close attention to detail. Everything in my story is there for a reason. Thing is, readers are far more clever than most people think. They’ll find the secrets and (hopefully) revel in the discovery.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There were two exceedingly hard scenes to write in The Night’s Eye, but the hardest would have to be a scene I pulled from my life, from when I was a kid. I needed something hard hitting for the story and I knew instantly what it had to be. I lost a puppy when I was young. I was playing with him, tossing him up and down, and I tripped. When he came back down I missed him and he broke his neck. It was a traumatising experience, and it was insanely difficult to write about, but in the end, my heart felt better for having shared it.
Do you Google yourself?
I did, once I’d been working for the JoBlo boys for a couple years, just to see what came up. My picture and a bunch of articles were there. I thought it was cool, but with my novel, I’m sure it’ll be much different.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Never really thought of a trade off before (laughs), but I’d certainly be willing to give up having to sleep so many hours if it meant burning the midnight oil a little longer. We can survive on three hours of sleep, right?
What are your favorite literary journals, If any?
Not my thing, I’m afraid.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Horton Hears a Who! Loved that book when I was a kid. As a young teen, it was Hercules. Everything about Hercules made my eyes sparkle with wonder.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Keeping all my damn notes separate (laughs). I’m constantly thinking of writing, the story. And I’m infamous for jotting down thoughts on small pieces of paper if I’m not at home and a revelation hits me. I have white board in my writing office filled with notes, but I can’t even begin to explain the amount of hand writing pieces of paper I have strewed all over the house.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Definitely. There’s no way it could work if they didn’t.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
That’s an interesting question, but my answer is simple. Nothing different. I believe the path we chose is the correct one. It’s not because we were meant to choose it, or that it was chosen for us, no. I believe that life presents us with opportunities based upon the things we want. It’s what we do in the face of those choices that determine the path we end up on. Each choice matters, and bottom line, I love who and where I am. I wouldn’t change a thing.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Again, that depends. If I was able to write full time as a career (no side job), I know I could do it much faster than I do now. As it stands though, I’ve been very good with deadlines and such, so I think I’ll be okay when the time is right.
Can you tell us anything about your next book?
My debut novel, The Night’s Eye, came out in April. I’ll give you the back of the cover:
What if you awoke with a clairvoyant connection to all serial killers, coupled with the realization that all are bound by a unique mark? The same mark you now possess…
Matthew Barker is losing time. Blackouts, that have him coming and going all hours of the night. He’s able to shrug it off until found unconscious by the police on his best friend Brandon’s living room floor. Someone tried to kill Brandon’s mother. She says it was Matt. The police arrest Matt, and the detective in charge will stop at nothing to ensure he’s held responsible for the brutal slayings committed by the serial killer known as The Night’s Eye.
Matt wants to be certain of his innocence, but he has a secret. And every secret has a price.