HERE THE INTERVIEW
When did you begin to write?
I first began writing when I was in primary school. I enjoyed writing stories as part of my schoolwork and as I got older I began to dabble in writing short fictional stories.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Hard to say really. People had been telling me my whole life that I was very good and that I should be a writer. I wanted to be a professional musician most of the time so I didn't really take it seriously. But as I got older and I had more compliments on my writing I began to dream up the idea of writing a book. Then I met a friend who told me he could help me get it published and it's all gone forwards from there.
How much did you write before you were published?
I wrote a few short stories in my teenage years and I did a lot of journaling during hard times in my life which I believe really helped me refine my craft in a lot of ways.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Hearing feedback from people telling me that my writing has touched their lives and spoken to them in some way. That's what makes it all worthwhile.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is titled No Way Out But Through and it's all about my journey of faith through the hardship of mental illness. It was written during a very dark period in my life and I believe that darkness is reflected in the writing. But there are some powerful truths in there that I believe have the ability to change people's lives and change the way the mental health community operates.
Wow! This book sounds really good. Are you planning on writing more in the years to come?
Yes. I've been writing inspirational Christian-related blog posts over the past 2 years. I plan to group the best of those together and turn them into a second book.
So far what is your worst criticism/attacks, and how have you overcome it?
I haven't really had much at all so far.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Seeing the book signed to Creation House in Florida, USA and distributed worldwide. They are a very big publishing house and it was an honor to have my manuscript chosen by them for publishing.
What does your writing process look like?
I start with an outline and just flesh it out from there. I spend a lot of time cutting and pasting, moving things around I think will fit in other places, doing print copies and going through with a red pen. I also carry a mobile phone with me that has a notepad function so I can take down notes anywhere I feel inspired.
How did you get published?
I uploaded my book as an ebook onto Amazon. I then gave it away as part of a free promotional deal which got me several excellent reviews and helped me get to #4 on Amazon. Once this happened I contacted the publishing house in Florida and showed them the reviews I had received as well as the ranking I achieved on Amazon. They decided to sign me and it's all gone forwards from there.
How do you come up with title of your books?
The title No Way Out But Through just came to me as it was symbolic of my journey which involved walking through the dark patches in my life rather than just trying to skip around them or pretending they aren't there.
Can you enlighten us a little more about your books?
Most Christian books (from what I've seen) are quite light and positive, overly happy and often not that honest. No Way Out But Through isn't like that. It's very dark and brooding but it speaks of finding real treasure that you can only find in dark places. So it's quite different in that respect. It goes deeper than many other Christian books I've read and shines a light on issues people would rather ignore.
Tell us your guiding principle that governs your life?
Search your own heart before speaking to others. The world would be a better place if we sought to change our own lives before trying to get others to change theirs. Be the change you want to see.
How have you cultivated these values?
I try and walk as upright as I can and try to search my own heart before placing the blame on others. I don't always get it right and I make mistakes myself but those are the principles I do my best to live by.
Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
The first thing is make sure you have something worth publishing. Work hard at your writing and make sure you do the best you possibly can with it. Hire a professional editor - their insight is invaluable when it comes to producing a book. If you go the route I went and self publish before looking for agents/publishers, get some good reviews under your belt before approaching publishing houses.
Where can we find your books?
No Way Out But Through is available at these links and can be ordered from nearly any bookstores worldwide -
Where can we find you on the internet?
These are the links to my Facebook, Twitter, Blog and Goodreads pages -
Skype me at james.oh18