Author Interview: James West

Welcome back to Writing Wednesday and I have another interview today and this author is a motivational speaker, and a book titled “Ordinary Me.” The link to buy this book will be below after you read this interview. So, please join me in welcoming James West to today’s interview.

  • Please introduce yourself before we begin. ​

I’m James West, of Denver Colorado author of Ordinary ME.

2) Every writer has an origin story to tell, what’s yours? ​Writing, to me is a therapeutic exercise. I was at a point in my life I needed to either express myself or go silent, and I was seeing a therapist to kind of help me sort out some parts of identity, and he suggested I write. That night I grabbed my laptop and wrote maybe 5 thousand words. It was crazy it was really like a reflection highway sped through my fingertips, and the rest is history.

3) What was the first story, poem or novel you ever worked on? ​ My first project was a screenplay, sort of like a romantic comedy. I never finished it, I still read what I wrote from time to time, and even get a couple of good laughs but I can’t see myself finishing it anytime soon.

4) What’s the hardest thing about writing? ​The hardest thing for me is that blank page at the beginning of a chapter. The possibilities are literally endless so putting all the pieces in place is tough. Especially, when you rewrite it 10 times.

5) What Genres do you write in and do you have a favorite? ​Romantic-comedy and Self-improvement are my babies. Romantic comedies are my favorite though, only because of the freedom of my imagination. I can run with an idea and create things to make the storyline as crazy as I want. Life enrichment just isn’t as fun, I have a passion for self-improvement it’s just a limited bag. One of the points that I belabor in speeches and my writing is; “imagination is greater than knowledge,” so, when I’m writing something fictional I imagine things and they come to life but writing in the vein of self-improvement I’m limited to things I already know.

6) ​Why do you write? ​I mostly write so I don’t talk too much. I have a ton of things and an opinion on everything, so, rather than talk my wife’s ear off or call all of my friends every day I write. Whether it’s a journal entry or a daily 500 it allows me context to my thoughts and keeps me quiet.

7) Favorite author and/or book series? ​Outside of myself (everyone likes their own brand), Les Brown is my favorite Author. My favorite series, however, is the lord of the rings. The detail in those words paints a picture far more vivid than the cameras were able to capture.

8) Okay, the tough question here. It’s no secret that Mental health is important for writers. Seeing that I want to be more of an advocate for it, is there any advice you like to give to people to keep fighting, whether you’re dealing with it personally or know someone that is? ​Mental Health to me, is the single most important thing in any line of work; even more so to the mind of a creative. We put together some outrageous thoughts that can lead to some very dark places. If we are mentally unhealthy our created world and the natural world can blend and who knows what can come from that. The best advice I can give comes from a very intimate place: seek help even if you don’t need help. A lot of people especially folks from my demographic wait until it’s an emergency and they have no choice. A therapist or counselor should be more of a sounding board than a crisis manager. By nature, we are guarded, and uncomfortable with telling our business but even if it is just to get it off your chest get a professional to talk to.

9) Before we leave is there anything you’re working on now or anything you have released? ​I’m working on a Romantic-Comedy that’s currently untitled, and I just put the finishing touches on an extended version of my first book Ordinary Me set for launch in early March.

10)Finally, anything you want to say to new writers/artists? ​Write as much as you can every day even if it’s just a sentence. Any word count is progress unless it’s 0.

As we learned from my Mental Monday series mental health can have a heavy toll on just about anyone even writers. So bad, that we put ourselves in danger of blending our fictional world with the real one. As James here pointed out creative people put some outrageous thoughts to a paper and there’s a chance, we might get lost in them. Talking to someone and getting help, even if you don’t think you need it. It is a great way to keep both worlds separate. Trust me I too have been down that road once…maybe twice.

But that’s all I have for you all today. Thank you for coming by and Thank you, James, for taking time out your day to answer these questions. Until Mental Monday have a safe and blessed week and I see you guys next time.

You fail only if you stop writing

-Ray Bradbury


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