Most self- published authors struggle to gain success and fortune because they lack the competitive edge publishing houses have. However, there are always exceptions to the case and Jim Ody is achieving success as a self published author. We interview him to learn what motivates him and how he has managed to grow this fast.
JL: Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse into your life Ody. To start off. tell us a little about yourself
JIM ODY: I grew up on a farm in Wiltshire, England, but now live in Swindon with my wife and three children. I’ve self-published two novels which have now been picked up for re-release from a publisher. Last year my short story ‘Moth in a Jar’ was chosen by Bloodhound Books to be released in their charity anthology. I have a number of releases in the pipeline…
JL: Congratulations on the re-publishing! Not many self-published authors get that lucky. Which brings me to my next question: when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
JIM ODY: I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. It was never just a case of releasing one book and being satisfied with that, I’ve always envisaged a whole row of my books prolifically released.
JL: You sure are heading there fast. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
JIM ODY: The ideas just appear. They can be a question of: What would happen if? Or they might be a setting and a character where a story will grow from there. I never rush ideas, or sit down to think of something, it never happens like that.
In regards to information, most of what I write is about things that I have knowledge in. I will research the odd thing to make sure I have the details correct, but I don’t want to distract the flow of a book with needless details, of which I cannot verify myself.
JL: What do you think makes a good story, in your case?
JIM ODY: This is subjective, so for me it has to have an element of realism, I think you need to identify with as much of the story as possible in order to make you like the characters.
I enjoy a bit of adventure, mystery and wit. I’ve always been a fan of twists so wherever possible I will add one.
JL: Let’s talk about money a bit. Are you a full-time writer?
JIM ODY: No, I work full time as a Business Analyst (a problem solver).
JL: How does that affect your writing? How do you balance writing and career?
JIM ODY: There is part of me that thinks that the interaction with people, and the challenges that face is good for my writing. However, that said I also have a wife and three children so my writing starts when they have gone to bed.
Time is always against me so often I have to stop writing well past 11pm, as I then read, and am up at 5:45 am.
JL: That’s a rough balance of your time! If you couldn’t be an author, and not enjoying your current career, what would your ideal career be?
JIM ODY: I enjoy my current job as I am given problems, and projects (another way of saying bigger problems!) and I have to come up with how to solve them.
This has always been my strength as I look at things from a different angle to others, and love puzzles.
JL: What do you like to read in your free time and how have they influenced your life?
JIM ODY: I read a lot of thrillers and mysteries.
Everything that I read I am influenced by, be it the style, the story structure, dialogue, setting or even the overall understanding of the current literary market. I’m a sponge so I soak it all up and make it unique.
I prefer books that cross genre and that have unexpected twists.
JL: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
JIM ODY: I play football each week, and I play the drums when I can. I also read and watch movies.
JL: What do your friends and family think of your writing?
JIM ODY: Everybody that I know has been incredibly supportive of me. My friends and family as well as my work colleagues. My books are sold in the shop at work and most of my paperback sales have come from there!
JL: Amazing! Every author faces some criticism at some point-sometimes all the time. How do you handle criticism?
JIM ODY: For me, I am happy with anything that is constructive. I am constantly learning so I take everything on board. That said, writing is subjective, and the nature of my writing is that I want to write in a different style. I’ve had crime fans criticize my work because it doesn’t conform into being a police procedural, or a classic whodunit.
I don’t write police procedurals because I feel that market is saturated with these, and unless I believe that mine will be better than then there is no point. I don’t have a police background so it is unlikely that I can write one that is any better.
JL: Let’s talk about one of your books, Lost Connections, which is being well received by your readers. What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
JIM ODY: I have a number of things that I set out to do with my books. First and foremost I want to entertain the reader, so a quick overriding story-line is important. Then I want to layer it with back stories to add more depth and intrigue.
This often leads to my next goal which is to make the reader think about human nature, and how we are all different. Each person reacts to a situation differently, but within the story I like to explore why.
JL: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
JIM ODY: Gaining the time to write, and also when I’m in the flow, the ability to know that I have to stop and go to bed!
JL: What was the most enjoyable bit of writing this book?
JIM ODY: This might sound a little egotistical, but I really enjoy reading my book back through when I’ve finished. I’m always proud at what I have achieved. I think the number one lesson in writing is to write for yourself. If I find myself skipping bits then I question whether I need to re-write them.
JL: If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? Why?
JIM ODY: Probably Jez. He is such a hapless fool that he would entertain me…
JL: Tell us about the future. What are you currently working on?
JIM ODY: Lots!! Haha! My next book The Place That Never Existed will be released in a few weeks time (2nd December 2017 – Pre-orders available now!). I am finishing off a novella Beneath The Whispers. I have a short story being released in an anthology Madame Scarlet’s Carnival (30th December 2017), and another in February 2018. I will be re-writing a comedy/caper called …Just South Of Heaven, and my next thriller called A Stolen Truth…
JL: When should we expect a release of these books?
JIM ODY: The Place That Never Existed – 2nd December 2017
Beneath The Whispers will hopefully be a spring/summer 2018 release
A Stolen Truth – late summer release
…Just South Of Heaven – hopefully released just at the end of next year!
Amazon: Jim Ody Author Profile
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