I am absolutely thrilled to have James Garcia, Jr. on my blog. James (Jimmy as he is known to his friends and fans) has recently released the second book in his Dance on Fire series – Flash Point. I just finished reading the first book, Dance on Fire, and Jimmy was kind enough to agree to let me pick his brain. As usual, check out the links after the interview to see how you can keep in touch with Jimmy and where you can buy his books.
Q. Classic vampire stories are filled with religion and good versus evil – fighting off creatures of the night with crosses and holy water. Many current vampire stories have gotten away from that somewhat, focusing on action and romance. What inspired you to make religion such an intricate part or your story?
A. Originally, I “thought” I was writing a crime thriller. It was a shock to me when a vampire stepped out of the shadows in a scene very early on. Even back in the late 80’s and early 90’s when I first began writing Dance on Fire, I felt that the vampire market was saturated (little did we know). *laughs* With that in mind, I felt I needed to have an angle that would make my take on vampires stand out. I chose to use Christianity as that difference. I never was a big fan on the subject. I’ve always been more of a serial killer/ghost story/haunted house kind of horror fan.
Q. I thought you did a great job integrating in into your story. You said you started writing back in the late 80’s. Did it take that long to write it or did you take breaks?
A. I started writing while in junior high school. I wrote my first novellas and short stories while in high school. It was in junior college, however, when I first began writing Dance on Fire. I continued to write the book after marriage, career and children, but it became increasingly difficult. Eventually, I wasn’t really writing at all. I attempted to kick-start my writing at several points during my late 20’s and early 30’s, but it wasn’t until turning 38 years old that I really began to understand the level of regret that I was facing. I suppose one could say that it was all God’s perfect timing. In any event, I dusted off the manuscript and saw it to completion.
Q. Well, I’m glad you did. I really enjoyed Dance on Fire. The relationship between your vampires, Nathaniel and Vincent, is very complicated. It is more than just control. What drives Vincent to pursue Nathaniel the way he does?
A. That’s a good question. Perhaps we’ll never know why Vincent went to so much trouble to keep young Nathaniel and then to attempt to win him over. It certainly wasn’t a good idea. He tried many different tactics. Even in the end he was still trying.
Q. They are great characters. I’m looking forward to the second book. What has been your biggest challenge as a self published author?
A. Probably the down times. Writing the book and going through the editing process is a lot of work. Preparing it for publication is not fun, but there are many avenues for getting assistance, including so many wonderful people in the writing community who offer to help or promote. What is hard are the moments where the obstacles feel simply too big to overcome. Thankfully, the writer’s community is helpful and supportive with that too. It’s not an easy life to choose – being a writer.
Q. I agree. Finding time to write, edit, blog, manage social media and promoting can be overwhelming. What has been you favorite part of self publishing?
A. I think my favorite part about self-publishing is the sense of satisfaction one gets from accomplishing goals ourselves. Now, having said that, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the help I have received along the way. From the beta reader who went well out of her way to assist me in editing my latest book; to the other authors who provided tips to formatting; to the wonderful people – many of whom volunteered – to help me promote my work. Now, my favorite part about writing has been all of the wonderful people in our community who I love and adore for being so supportive and wonderful. If this ride ever comes to an end, I would be more worried about the friendships than I would about my writing.
Q. I feel the same way. I love the supportive community of indie authors and the relationships I have made. Including meeting you! So what’s next for you? Are you working on another writing project(s)?
A. With my limited time, I’m currently focusing on promotion for my vampire series. During the holidays, however, I will begin working on the second draft of a novel I wrote this past spring. It’s a ghost story which is the closest thing to a paranormal romance I have ever attempted. I am very excited to get back into it, but I need to do some very dark research before getting restarted that I am in no way excited to begin. There’s an occult element which needs to be fleshed out as of yet. I also want to produce paperbacks for my two ebooks. I need to get into that first so I can have something to see locally.
Q. I remember reading about that ghost story on your blog, and it sounded really good. Let’s switch gears to some fun questions. Do you have a particular writing ritual (specific place, music, drink, etc.) that helps you get in the writing zone?
A. It depends on the day of the week. The fourth bedroom is now the teenagers’ X-box game room. If it’s a weekend, nothing beats Saturday morning at 8:00am when the house is quiet. You’ll find me in the dining room with coffee at my side. If the house is active, then I might still be seated there, but with classical music on the headphones. During the week, you’ll find me standing before my trusty laptop at my bedroom dresser. I like an adult beverage in the evening, but not if I’m writing. I save that for networking. *evil grins*
Q. If Dance on Fire were turned into a movie, what would the theme song be for the soundtrack, and who would you cast as your main characters?
A. You mean after I penned my two-week notice? *laughs* I’m really terrible at these kinds of questions, I’m afraid. I think the big problem is I have lived with the characters for over twenty years, so I only see their faces. I’ve really never seen any actor in my mind’s eye.
*Laughs* I will give you a pass on that question. I feel the same way about my characters. Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview!!
You can connect with James Garcia, Jr. on
Check out his books on Amazon