Saturday, April 17, 2010

-- Writer Interview! --

Today we speak with: James C. Wallace II, originally a native of West Virginia, with his wife Amanda, their 5 children and 12 grandchildren, now serve as the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma, Sovereign Ruler of Oz and endeavor to fulfill her royal command to tell the tale of her newest Royal Magician to the children of the Great Outside. Obviously the joy of storytelling is a passion in their life. James is here to give some insight into the world of writing; to find out more about him go to:

Q. Tell us something about yourself.

A. I am, above all else, a parent and grandparent. This defines my world and it is from that definition that I embrace a number of other disciplines. These include being an Educator and Advocate for Youth Literacy. In addition, I am an Astronomer, as well as a Magician. I took up Astronomy and Magic in 1970 and have continued a life-long love of these subjects ever since. Education and Youth Literacy are more recent additions to my resume, having taken up these causes during the mid-80’s.

Q. What is the name of your current book?

A. I am currently promoting the second volume of my three volume, Trilogy series. It is known as Royal Magician of OzShadow Demon of Oz and follows Magician of Oz, which was released last summer. Shadow Demon of Oz will be available by May 1st, 2010 and will be a major part of my appearance at Oz-stravaganza 2010 in Chittenango, NY; the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1899) and 13 other Oz books. Family of Oz, the conclusion of the series, will make its appearance next year.

Q. What are common mistakes authors make?

A. I can only speak from my perspective but… I believe the most common mistake authors make are allowing others to dictate what you write, how you write it and how you promote it to others. So often, we permit someone outside our realm to give superfluous advice that, at the time would seem to make sense, but in reality does nothing but impair our productivity. As an example, I allowed others to convince me that Twitter was the do-all, magic bullet that would propel my work into stardom. In fact, I have found Twitter to be a colossal waste of time, taking away from other, more productive avenues of marketing and promotion. Others will disagree but my perspective is mine alone.

Q. What are your greatest obstacles and motivators when it comes to writing?

A. I have found my greatest obstacle to be the rotational period of the earth. 24 hours in a day is just not enough time to accomplish all the projects I am currently involved in. Time is the enemy and it is Time that dictates all. As for motivations, my children and grandchildren are my greatest motivator. I also find motivation in the faces of inner city children I have worked with who cannot read. When a 6th grader tells you they can’t read the sentence in front of them and you ask why they never learned, they’re answer is often times stunning. One child told me, “Ain’t nothing worth reading!” From that moment on, I have endeavored to provide children “something worth reading!” I hope I have accomplished that goal.

Q. What is your favorite memory in your career as a writer?

A. For me, writing has been a lifelong pursuit, although I have primarily written in the science/tech/education fields. My favorite memory as a writer would date back about 13 years as I recall my completion of the planetarium show script for Garfield: A Cat For All Seasons. It was my first test out of college as Planetarium Educator for SpaceQuest Planetarium at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. I was given the unfinished script for a script with Winnie-the-PoohGarfield hints here and there written by my predecessor, Lisa Harmon. She had recently passed away and I inherited this project, with a major change. Taking that work through writing, studio work and all related production onto the dome; working with some of the most brilliant people I could ever hope to work with; was a most rewarding experience and the beginning of many more such experiences.

Q. What do you think about self-publishing?

A. I am a true believer and prime example of the power of self-publishing. It is said that as a result of this new publishing model, there are now countless bad stories out there and they now can come to light. Among that throng are occasional good stories, of which I believe I have accomplished one. It also permits me the honor and pleasure of contributing to the Wonderful World of Oz, which is both vast and unique. I believe that within 5 years, self-publishing will become the dominant player in publishing, if anything I’ve seen at BEA is an indication.

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