Hello, beautiful bookworms!
I hope you’re having a lovely summer. Lots of sun. Lots of fun. Lots of reading on the side.
I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to feature the author, T. James Logan here on The Scarlet Reader today. I’ve actually finished reading his novel recently, Night of the Hidden Fang, and you can find it here.
It was an interesting, action-packed, and very supernatural read. The witty and smart writing was really something for me. Very original.
So, to start things off rather easy and fun, tell us a little about yourself. Any odd quirks?
TJL: I’ve been told I’m quirky, but really, I’m just me in my own skin. Later this year, I’m going to endeavor to become a ninja. I’ve joked about being one for years, as I find it fun to sneak up on people, but there are such things as real ninja schools, and I’m going to go for it and drag my family with it. We’re going to be a whole ninja family.
Q: What inspired you to want to write Night of the Hidden Fang?
TJL: A dream, actually. It started out as a dream about meeting three adolescent boys along a bike trail. The boys were naked and on the run from someone who was abusing them, their soccer coach, they said. That scene features prominently in the story.
Another inspiration is George Romero’s zombie films. I’ve always been a fan of those. They form a larger story of a world sliding inexorably into the zombie apocalypse, which has by now become somewhat of a trope. But then I got to thinking—what if the monsters of an apocalypse were not mindless, flesh-eating hordes of zombies, but cunning, calculating predators capable of hiding in plain sight? What if humans were driven off the apex of the food chain?
Q: Is there a special message that you hope your readers gather from your novel?
A: The central theme is human beings learning how to share this planet with not only each other but every other one of this Earth’s creatures. Some higher primates have been shown to have near human level intelligence. Dolphins give each other unique names, implying that they have some sort of culture. Neanderthals were likely as smart as humans, and they had culture which included art, personal adornment, and burial practices. Burial practices imply belief in an afterlife. We routinely kill each other over religion, resources, politics, and greed, and ignore the damage we do to the environment. There have got to be better ways of doing things.
Q: I know for me, I write throughout the day, whenever I’m not at work. It’s pretty sporadic. How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?
TJL: When I’m in the groove, I try to make sure I get 2-4 hours a day. The last few months, I have not been able to manage that, thanks to starting to replace my bones with a terminator endoskeleton. I’ve got the start of a bionic leg now, and I’ve reached the point where I don’t have to be drugged to the gills with pain meds everyday. My brain has reawakened, and now I just have to get caught up after a few months of down time.
Q: Is there a special place you go to, to write?
TJL: My process seems to like variety. I have a rotating series of coffee shops where I like to sit and peck away. I’m mostly an introvert, but locking myself away in a dungeon for the length of time necessary to write a whole book tends to make me lonely. In a coffee shop, or sometimes a library, I can be alone, but with people around. Plus, I often find inspiration in the people around me. Humans are really wondrous creatures if you look closely enough.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to get published?
TJL: Keep practicing. Accept the fact that mastering your craft is a lifelong pursuit. FINISH your book/story/script, polish it to mirror brightness, and send it to someone who will pay you money. Write the next thing. Lather, rinse, repeat. You probably won’t sell the first few things, but eventually, you will start selling.
And for a couple of fun questions…
Q: What is your favorite book from childhood?
TJL: The book from childhood that I have the fondest memories of is The Hobbit. I loved it so much that I convinced my sixth grade teacher to read it to the whole class for our daily story time. I was so lucky to read it to my stepdaughter when she was eight.
Q: Since you’ve written a paranormal novel with a bit of a sci-fi twist, if you could pick, which supernatural creature would you be?
TJL: That’s the toughest question yet! Almost nobody wants to become a monster. It kind of depends on whose version of the monster we’re talking about, because authors put their own stamp on the old mythologies. Anne Rice’s vampires, yes. 30 Days of Night vampires, ugh, no. Mindless, savage, werewolves like The Wolf Man or American Werewolf in London, no. The werewolves in my novels, maybe. All the different kinds of “monsters,” including other things like ghosts, faeries, come with some sort of dreadful price. Ghosts have to be dead, obviously. Faeries in the ancient stories are not anybody a human would do well to meet.
Any last tid-bits you’d like to share with readers?
TJL: I’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund publication of Book 2, Dawn of the Deadly Fang, in mid-July. The same cover designer and a fabulously skilled editor are going to help me out on the project. Your support would be a tremendous help. You can find me at www.tjameslogan.com. If you’re in a Kickstarting mood, please go to kickstarter.com and look for Dawn of the Deadly Fang.
Thank you to Logan for this fantastic interview and for giving me a chance to read his book. He’s fantastic and quirky and down to earth, which has made it a pleasure to have him here.
Follow (stalk) him here:
Find his book here: