Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I started writing at a young age, probably around 10-11. They were just really short ghost stories like the kind me and my friends would tell at camp outs and such. Of course I read a lot back then, mainly supernatural stories from R.L. Stine and I remember wanting to be a writer just like him. It was something about being scared when your little that was such a rush. I wanted to be that kind of writer growing-up.
As I got older, my taste changed in writers somewhat. I ventured off to Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, John Grisham, you know, writers like that. In reading their work over the years I was able to basically study their craft in how to make a book or story work, how to frame it. I couldn't imagine a better way to study writing.
I went to several different colleges and when I hit my senior year I still didn't have any clue what I wanted out of life. So I quit much to the dismay of my parents. I got a full time job, got married, had kids. But I never stopped writing. I'd send stuff to publishers and agents and get turned down a lot. But I just kept writing, banking projects either on printed copies or in my computer's HD.
I love to write and that's why I kept at for 20 plus years. It obviously doesn't pay the bills, but if your writing to get famous or rich, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons I think. Writing should be an organic process grown out of love for creating.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The name of my latest effort is called, Tales from the Attic: Vol. 1
It's a collection of shorts that I wrote spanning about 12 years I'd say dating back from 1998-2010. I found those stories that I had written on an old Underwood typewriter when I was in my late teens and early 20's. I discovered them in a box, these stories, and re-read them. Some of them were really good and some of them were terrible so I went back and re wrote the bad ones, keeping the integrity that I had at the time when I wrote them. Which was kinda difficult b/c I had forgotten what it was like to be a writer at that particular age.
My editor at the time, James McGill, feel in love with the found collection and by the time he worked his magic the book came out really, really well. I was glad I found those old stories. Plus there's a ton more in there, too, enough for future volumes.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Unusual? I pace around the house a lot with a stack of Post Its to jot down ideas when I'm in the middle of writing sometimes and I find myself stuck.
I also listen to a LOT of music and when I write I try to find that right song to get paired up with a particular scene that I'm writing. A lot of times I'm able to hit that emotional chord when the music and my words match up.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Without a question R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, John Grisham.
What are you working on now?
Right now having my new editor go over a new novel of mine. Should be set to come out this spring. Also getting the new collection of the Tales from the Attic: Vol 2 together. Plus writing some newer shorts along the way. And a novella
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
You know probably twitter and my google plus account. My own blog helps, too. I think you can spread yourself pretty thin if all you do is post or advertise yourself too much. I think if you're good enough, people will eventually find their way to you.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yeah…keep at it and don't let closed doors stop you from your goals. But if you're trying to break into this industry seeking fame and fortune, stop! Writing should be about the medium and the creativity of worlds and people and situations that you write about.
Writing is a hobby for me and one that I love. I love the fact that I have a certain amount of fans that like my work across the globe. It's always neat to be writing for other people than yourself. But I don't pretend to be something that I'm not.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Listen to the critics b/c if they're all saying something ain't right, maybe it's not and you owe it to yourself to fix it. No one likes critics, especially when it comes to our work, but sometimes they're right.
What are you reading now?
Blaze by Stephen King under the Richard Bachman name
What’s next for you as a writer?
Just writing away. More stuff coming out, maybe 2 books a year for a little while. Have a back log of stuff that I'm releasing.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That's a tough one! I'd have to go with The Shining by Stephen King. It really stands up well even in today's day and age.
Author Websites and Profiles
J.M. Woods Website
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