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A young boy stumbles into a portal that transports him back in time more than a hundred years. The longer he stays, the stronger the bonds of friendship grow. Soon, he finds himself faced with a challenge that could change not only his life, but the lives of the ones he loves most forever. Will he be able to meet this challenge?
This story presents a unique view of the life of the Cherokee Indians in the years leading up to the Great Removal and the Trail of Tears. Factual historical information and characters are used to make the story more real and entertaining.
TR: Jim! Good morning…it’s great to have you on!
JW: Hey Thomas, thanks for having me…
TR: So, let’s get this train rolling…how old were you when you wrote your first piece?
JW: Well, to tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure. Early teens, I reckon. I was a weird little kid (probably why I’m a weird old man); I lived an entirely different life in my imagination. Being an avid reader, I decided to start writing down some of that strange, odd, and curious stuff going on in my brain.
TR: Just goes to show, weird can have its uses too, eh? What was it you wrote?
JW: It was a sweet little murder story. Somebody was going round the countryside murdering kids. The hero, coincidentally (?) named Jim solved the thing in quick order though. Turns out the school principal was sacrificing the kids to the god of death and they were being processed to feed him and his minions.
TR: Man, that is a bit dark. Bet you were a fun playmate How in the world did you decide to write that?
JW: It was based on a recurring nightmare, believe it or not. I told you; I was a weird little kid!
TR: I hear ya. I’m almost afraid to ask, but what have you written since then?
JW: My first published piece was something I wrote for my Sunday School class. It was a big essay about the mythology of Hell. My teacher was so impressed with it, she sent it to the denomination’s monthly newsletter and they published it. I was king of the world for awhile after that, I can tell you. I think my Mother still has that issue of the paper.
TR: From the god of death to Sunday School. I think the word for you is eclectic. So, what was the inspiration for “New Yesterdays”?
JW: “New Yesterdays” started out as a NaNoWriMo project in 2010 I think it was. I had only the vaguest idea what I would write about and now I can’t even remember what my original premise was. The thing just morphed day by day until I ended up rewriting American History. Despite dismal sales, I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out and I’ve decided a sequel is coming so I can develop some of the lesser characters folks have been asking about.
TR: We’ll see if we can’t boost those sales a bit. Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.
JW: Well, Jim (there he is again) and his brothers discover a portal that takes them back in time, just over a hundred years where they meet a young Cherokee boy about their age. The brothers are too afraid of the adventure and refuse to stay, but not the intrepid Jim! Soon, he is trapped in the mid-1820s and has to decide whether he should tell his new friends about the Great Removal and the Trail of Tears.
It’s available in eBook format and paperback at:
and in paperback at:
TR: Cool. Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
JW: “New Yesterdays” is set in my own hometown. In fact, the family farm where I grew up is the primary setting. I like to base my stories, at least in part, in the Southern USA because that’s what I know best.
I do most of my writing right here in my little office, but when I’m completely stymied I get outside for a cup of nice strong coffee in one of the many coffee shops here. Not that vile, overpriced crap from Starbucks or Gloria Jeans, but tiny little local coffee shops where I can sit on the pavement with my coffee, arghileh (water pipe) and notebook. I find that suddenly I can fill pages and pages as I watch the parade of humanity passing by.
The other thing that gives me inspiration is to actually go to the places I describe in my books. When I describe a setting to you, it’s mostly real. I’ve been there and written down a detailed description and made dozens of pictures to help me tell the reader about it. I may add an element or two, but basically the setting is true to life.
TR: Ah…now that’s noteworthy. Have to think that would add a lot of color to the story. So, what made you choose either traditional or independent publishing?
JW: I reckon I chose independent publishing because I really didn’t know how to go about getting published traditionally. I guess I still don’t, really. I do know I’d need an agent, with his hands in my empty pockets who may or may not be interested in getting my work out to the world. I guess I’ve just always been a “do it yourselfer” because I know no one else is going to be as vested as me.
TR: Farming for an agent or publisher is a daunting task, that’s certain. Now tell me, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
JW: I’d have to say it would be a tossup between Facebook and a blog. More people have bought my book by learning about it there than any other place. In the beginning I thought Twitter would be a huge help, and maybe it is for some folk, but I can’t say it’s done much for me. I keep pounding away at it, but truthfully I have to say I can’t see much return for my time and effort.
TR: Okay…now here’s a zinger for you. What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
JW: I’m still green enough that I’m not very sure what mistakes I’ve made to date. But, I’d bet you the farm I’ve made a heap of ’em! I bet I’ll make a heap more, too! I’m still unsure just how to go about marketing myself and just between you, me and the fencepost I find it all hugely intimidating. I think if I could get past that, I might sell a book or two.
TR: Marketing is one heckuva lot harder than writing, isn’t it? So, what’s next for you?
My new work is set here in Amman, Jordan where I live now. It’s a pretty exciting fantasy piece, tentatively titled “The Wall Crack’d”, with apologies to my boyhood goddess, Agatha Christie. I hope to have it ready to publish by mid-2013.
And then there’s my opus magnum; “Canaan Dogs”. I’ve been working on it for nearly five years. It’s a political espionage thriller that in addition to the main tale, there are three back stories in Birmingham, Alabama, Amman, Jordan and Koolgardie, Western Australia.
These are my links, if anyone wants to come by and say hello:
TR: Jim, it’s been a true pleasure. Best of luck with “New Yesterdays” and all your other works.
JW: Thanks Thomas, I appreciate you having me.
That’s a wrap, folks. “New Yesterdays” is out there, needing a new home. Why not drop by and adopt one today?
Tuesday, my segment will be with my pal Milly Taiden and “Wynter’s Captive”.