James Meadows

A former army linguist, James currently work as a professor at Rice University and is taking doctorate classes at Colorado Tech University. He has appeared on the Houston news as a Cyber Security Expert and has spoken at various middle schools throughout Houston on writing and self-publishing.


Question 1:
Where do you get your best writing done? Do you work better, say, in nature or in organized areas?
I come up with most of my best ideas, inspirations and stories while walking around my neighborhood. Often, when I go for walks or runs in my subdivision, I start pretending I am my characters. As the characters, I'll talk to myself, expressing opinions on certain characters, on certain events, or even getting into arguments with other characters. I do this outloud. I'm sure everyone around my walking-trail probably thinks I'm nuts, but many of the best conversations, dialogues and even villainous schemes come from these walks where I just let my imagination flow. 
Question 2:
Do you work better alone or when you can interact with others, like your writing friends?
For the most part, I work better alone. I don't have many friends who write and the silence and freedom of just being alone with myself and letting my thoughts run free is liberating. That said, I do seek a lot of feedback from my wife. Usually, after I write a chapter, I read the chapter to her and try to get all her thoughts, feelings and opinions of everything that has happened and is happening in the story. This helps me know if I am drawing the reader in the correct direction, if I am projecting my images properly into their minds, and makes sure everything is flowing smoothly. Without this kind of assistance, I'd find it really hard to move forward.  
Question 3:
Do you have a favorite character you’ve created? How are you most like that character?
Choosing a favorite character is hard because in many ways, every character is a representation of a different aspect of myself. This probably isn't surprising. I think it is difficult for an author to create any kind of well-developed character if they can't relate to that character's thoughts and emotions in some manner. The closest thing to a favorite character I created is the character Lillian, from my first novel, Tyrants, Tormentors and the Tiara. Everyone looks down upon her because, in a society built around combat and power, she pursues magical disciplines focused on subtlety and quiet manipulation. Despite their derision, however, she doesn't change who she is or try to justify her choices. She is content to be herself and exudes a strong sense of confidence, despite the criticisms of her enemies. In many ways, I wish that I had that same confidence to be myself without letting the opinions of others affect me. 
Question 4:
When you create stories, do you prefer paper or digital? Or a combination of both?
When I create stories, I generally use a combination of both paper and digital. I carry a notepad around in my pocket and will take notes of ideas, story developments, characters, and dialogue quotes. The little green book with all of my story quotes and ideas is one of my most treasured objects. I enjoy flipping back through the booklet and reading the one-liners, mini-dialogues and story ideas I've written inside its pages. When writing stories, I write them on the computer. I have a walking desk and usually type my stories while I walk on the treadmill. 
Question 5:
What is most important to you? Writing or book promotion?
My passion lies in writing. I do enjoy book promotion because it lets me get my books out to new readers. I particularly enjoy my books' Facebook pages because I use them to share a mixture of thought-provoking and inspirational quotes. Still, my heart lies in the creation of new stories, new ideas and new adventures. My parents tell stories of how, from the moment I could write, I would fill up pages of paper with stories and follow them around the house reading the stories. In many ways, little has changed. My imagination is always burning with something new. Writing down stories so I can share them is what is most important to me. 
Question 6:
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Like many fathers, I enjoy spending time with my family. We especially enjoy playing board games and card games together. Typically, we like cooperative strategy games, like deck-building coops or Forbidden Island. My wife and I both share a fondness for classic game shows. We usually wind down at night by watching a few game shows, such as America Says, Idiot Test, or Let's Make a Deal. I am also passionate about teaching. I teach classes part-time at Rice University and like getting to help pass my knowledge and experience on to the students. 
Question 7:
Do you have any upcoming book projects you’d like to share here?
I have an upcoming project entitled "Harbingers of the New Age". The story centers around the adventures of a group of high school children who use their hacking skills to defend fellow students from a vindictive cyber bully. The story is my first attempt to step out of my comfort zone of fantasy and write straight fiction. My goal was to use my professional background as a Cyber Security professional to write a story tackling the modern issues plaguing students and teenagers. I'm excited to see what my readers will think. 



James Meadows


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