Hello James and firstly congrats again on your successful book launch at the weekend 🙂
Tell us a bit about your book – Custom Chaos will be out on January 21! The World Force needs an artificial intelligence, so they issue a challenge to the planet’s virtual reality gaming community. The best game AI will win the creators an enormous cash prize. An ambitious team of developers accept the challenge, but they soon discover a terrible secret; the World Force is hiding something big from the public at large…and the drive behind the challenge is simple. Fear.
What would say is the genre for your book – Science Fiction
Where did the inspiration come from? – It started with Saturday morning super hero cartoons, and it continued with the comic books that inspired them. The cartoons were fun, but the comics were serious … and amazing.
How did you come up with the title for your book? – It is actually the name of the game the main characters create at the beginning of the story.
How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total? – Oh, wow. I don’t remember for sure, but I believe I started work on this story a couple of years ago, and I gave it to my editor in the summer of 2016. As for how many drafts, I only work with one file, but there were two major changes and / or additions to the book before it went to my editor, so I guess you could say it had three drafts.
Are there any characters in the book based on people you know? – No. A couple of the characters were given first names that have personal meaning to me, but no one was based on anyone in particular.
How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party? – I’m having a Facebook event on the 21st of January. I’m excited. And nervous. But mostly excited.
Would you care to give us an extract? – Being legally blind, I’ve come to rely on sound for so many reasons in my life. Being a writer, I’ve always been interested in the way people talk, so dialogue has always been a big part of my writing, and I’m pretty happy with this exchange…
“I see. That will be all. Please have one of the others come to the outer office as soon as you get back to the conference room.”
Tasha got to her feet. “Why are you doing this?”
Tom looked up, pretending to be surprised. “Excuse me?”
“This. Offering to help Tony, letting him run things, letting him pick us…all of it. Why?”
“Because he plays games, and I don’t.”
Why, you…that’s your brother you just insulted!
“And if he loses this one? If we don’t win the contest?”
“Then at least I’ll have a game to publish so I can make my way into the entertainment industry.”
He’s not lying…not that it matters.
“If you try anything behind his back, and I find out, I will tell him. I don’t care if you’re his brother.”
“Duly noted. Are you done?”
Tasha clenched her fists, and then turned around and left the room.
How do you beat writers block? Any tips? – I wish I had a simple answer to that question. All I can say is that it helps to have multiple projects to work on so that when I get blocked on one project, I can switch to another. I currently have 3 novels in progress, a short story I’m revising / rewriting, and a true ghost story blog and FB page. This means there’s almost always something to work on.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing? – I am a Braille transcriber, and I make menus for restaurants in my area so that people with no or low vision can still order what they want without settling for something and missing out on something else they might like more. I’m also a big believer in the supernatural / paranormal, which is why I started my own blog and FB page on the subject.
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser? – Pantser. I do plot here and there, but it’s more of an exploratory thing than anything else. I like to consider all of the possibilities before I write, but I love it when characters do things on their own that make the story even more interesting than I had expected it to be.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers? – Write when you can. Plot and / or figure out your story when you can’t. Always have a second … or third … or tenth … project to work on when you can’t write or plot. And repeat.
If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters? – I’m sorry, but I have no answer for that. I’m legally blind, so I’ve always had a hard time knowing actors and actresses by their appearance. Especially with everything Hollywood can do to change such things.
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it? – I have a few novels going, but what I’m really excited about is the true ghost story project. It’s been a lot of fun so far recounting some of my experiences, and I’ve even been able to share a couple of stories from others as well.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet? – Visit https://www.facebook.com/jamessalsidowriting/ for info on my novels and short stories, and https://www.facebook.com/jamessalsidotrueghoststories/ for the true ghost stories.
Thankyou so much! Looking forward to grabbing your book 🙂 and loving the ghost stories blog- very interesting 🙂