In case you didn't know, Jim was born in the wilds of Oklahoma, raised by a pack of wolves....
... with a station wagon and a membership card to the local public swimming pool.
Hey, that's what he said on his bio... really. His is one of the best biography I've ever read. It's hard to forget and gives you a glimpse of the man's sense of humor, which is present in his writing.
Jim has 15 books available on Amazon. If you want to get a taste of his thrillers, subscribe to his site and get 3 free books! Complete novels. CLICK HERE.
He also shares self publishing wisdom through his podcast and his new website THE JUGGLING AUTHOR. Visit it some time.
Hello Jim, you've been very busy launching several titles this year. Thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts with us.
How's being an author working out for you? What's your regular routine like?
Being an author is fantastic! It’s amazing that I get to create stories and share them with people. As for my routine, I have a small child, so it’s hard to have a consistent day to day schedule. I do everything possible to carve out daily time to accomplish things in small batches, and bargain time with my spouse. It’s a constant balancing act to fit it all in.
Looks like you're enjoying being a daddy. I see your posts on Facebook and Twitter. :)
How did your journey as a writer begin?
When I discovered Stephen King as a teenager. I’d written before that, but his books gave me the passion to pursue it as a career. Of course, I took a long time off to have lots of different jobs, but writing was always in the back of my mind. About five years ago, I returned to writing as a serious endeavor. And I don’t regret that big gap at all; I think it’s important for writers to have a breadth of life experience. It’s hard to write what you know if you don’t know very much.
You now have 15 titles to your name. How do you manage to write so much?
Making schedules and sticking to them, as often as possible. Making sacrifices to place writing at the front of my priority list. I’m actually writing a non-fiction book about how I am able to write so much so fast. In 2016, I wrote and published 300,000 words of fiction, all while working a full-time day job and taking care of a small child. Check out www.thejugglingauthor.com to learn more about how I did it.
In terms of marketing your books, for you, what has been your most effective strategy?
Mailing list. It’s always mailing list. Everything I do is to get people onto my mailing list, because I always value an email subscriber over a sale, any day. I've been lucky to have a couple of bookbub ads, and I've used those to balloon my email list by stressing free books as lead magnets.
Of all your books, which one is your favorite and why?
Even though my Micah Reed series is the most popular, I have a soft spot in my heart for the first novel I published, Reagan's Ashes. It's a personal story, not only because it's largely set in Rocky Mountain National Park (one of my favorite places on earth), but also because it deals with many mental health and family issues. Plus, it's a gritty mystery that keeps you guessing with lots of plot twists. There's a lot going on there.
If you could meet a favorite author, who would it be and what question would you ask him/her?
I'm not sure if he's my favorite author, but I would love to have coffee with Neil Gaiman. I'd like to ask him how to write books that stay with people long after they've read them. His book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, had a lasting impact on me, and I would love to pick his brain about it.
What's the next book in the pipeline?
Depending on when this interview comes out, that answer could be wildly different! In 2017, I'm planning on publishing at least two Micah Reed Novels, a fourth book in the Whistleblower series, and a third book in the Five Suns Saga. Plus, I'll be releasing the Juggling Author, my guide on how to balance family and a job while consistently producing fiction.
You have audio books, do you narrate them yourself?
|Link to AUDIBLE|
While I considered narrating my own books, I ultimately decided it was best to leave that up to the professionals. Plus, narrating those books would have been a huge time commitment, and as a busy author, I constantly have to weigh the return on investment for my time spend.
Tell us more about your podcast, what do you talk about?
Speaking of narrating my own books, I actually did narrate one of them for the Nailgun Messiah Podcast. I took the first Micah Reed book and broke it up into installments, then read it on the show. It was a lot of fun, and hopefully, it helped me reach some new fans through a different medium. Also, I recorded the Indie Author Answers podcast, in which I read and critiqued and early unpublished novel. Both of these podcasts are completed, but they're still available to listen to, in their entirety.
Yeah, I've listened to it. :) Very nice narration. You could earn a living out of this! ACX, maybe?
What wisdom can you share with fellow authors?
Don't give up. Push people toward your mailing list. Make a schedule and stick to it. If you want to be an author, you're going to have to make sacrifices. There will be dark times, but the only way to ensure failure is to quit. And also, go get your free social media guide at The Juggling Author website!
If you like reading suspense thrillers, I highly recommend Jim Heskett's books.
Check out Wounded Animals and The Whistleblower Series
Related Article: Eeva Interviews Ken Fry, Author of Suspense Thrillers