Friday, October 17, 2014

Straight from the Mouth of 'Jesus Jackson' James Ryan Daley

James Ryan Daley is a writer, editor, and digital designer. After earning an MFA in fiction at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004, James has spent most of the years since then teaching writing to college students, creating websites, and editing anthologies of fiction and political rhetoric. He lives in Newport, RI with his wife and two daughters.

Purchase his book, Jesus Jackson, on Amazon


Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Honestly, I’m still not sure that I even want to be an author. It sounds like a lot of work. Also, I hear that the pay is terrible. I do have this thing where I really like to write books, though. Maybe I’ll just be a guy who writes books.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Perks of being an author:
   1.        You get to write books.
   2.        People will read your books.

Demands of being an author:
   1.        You have to write books.
   2.        You have to make sure that people will actually want to read your books. 

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went with the traditional route, and I have to say, it’s been pretty damned awesome. Jesus Jackson is the third title out from The Poisoned Pencil, the new Young Adult imprint of Poisoned Pen Press, and I feel like I won the publisher lottery. Throughout the entire process, I’ve felt like I was part of a passionate, intelligent, motivated team of publishing super-ninjas who just wanted to make my book as great as it could be, and then get into the hands of as many people as possible. 

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Well, they are all incredibly supportive, and quite proud, but I’m sure they wish that I would emerge from my office more during the weeks leading up to a deadline…

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I put my phone in my underwear drawer so I can’t even hear it vibrate. Seriously.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

The first review Jesus Jackson received was a starred review from Kirkus. That was pretty insane.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think they all help to some degree, but I’m a big fan of Twitter and Goodreads. Facebook is great for sharing news about the book with people I actually know, but I haven’t really used it for any public outreach. I pretty much only use Instagram to make sure my 14 year-old daughter is staying out of trouble, but for that purpose, it’s invaluable.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Well the book has only been out for a few days, so it’s a bit hard to say. My publisher has been awesome about really putting everything they can behind the book, though, so I’m feeling optimistic.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

(here’s a link:

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Okay, here’s what I love: when people who I’ve never met get really excited about the book. Hearing about someone who just picked it up at a bookstore, read it in one feverish sitting, and then can’t wait to talk about it--that’s an awesome feeling. 

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