Interview with Jess Cox
I was born and raised on Creek Indian land in Oklahoma. I grew up hearing the legends of not only my tribe (I am a citizen of the Creek Nation) but also of the Cherokee, Choctaw and other tribes. Though only a quarter-blood, my heart is red, as are my stories.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first piece while in the third grade, It was about a boy mowing the lawn, only told in a 1930’s gangster voice (I’d seen way too many Cagney movies)
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I do not plan a book. I put my characters in scenarios and let them tell the story.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
My characters beat on the inside of my head trying to get onto paper. LOL
Where did you get ideas for your books?
From the stories of my childhood and the experiences of my life.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
At present, six books in the Ray Corngrower Series. A collection of short stories and five novels. I think Cheechako (Inuit for Newcomer) is my favorite.
What do you think makes a good story?
Drama laced with humor. Much the same as life.
What projects do you have up and coming?
I‘m a third way finished with my seventh book, the sixth novel, “Where the Wind Whispers My Name.”
Who are some of your favorite Authors?
Nelson DeMille. James Lee Burke, Tony Hillerman, Clive Cussler
Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
My small following. My constant readers and my publicist Aurora Martinez
If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be?
Graham Greene. I love that man. He’s a real modern day Indian in my opinion. His roles in both, “Dances with Wolves” and “Thunderheart,” were great. Like Wes Studi too, but couldn’t remember his name. Greene would make a great Ray and Studi, though a small man, would be a great John.
If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author, what would it be?
Read, but not only read, but study the way others write. Be serious about your craft and write only what you know.
What would you like to say to friends and family of writers (not just your own)?
Understand that a writer gets on a roll and will stay up all night or until that exciting idea is on paper. I’ve paced the floor, left the table in the middle of a meal and jumped out of bed in the dead of night to rush to my computer to put in a scene in my story, before it got away.
A writer is a unique mixture of creativity, ego and insecurity. Their stories are their children, good, bad or indifferent. The writer seeks approval by presenting their written word in hopes it will be liked. Hard hearted rejection notices devastate them. They cry a while, then go back to writing, knowing that someone, someday will think they are great.
“Time to hide,” he thought. In the dim illumination given off by the spotlight he had seen an open doorway on the inside kitchen wall. Walking slowly, his hands searching in the darkness, found a door frame. Stepping inside, he lit his lighter again.
“Must be the pantry”, he told himself, though his feeble light did not reach the end of what was more like a long hallway. Finding a straight back chair, he sat in the total darkness. Hearing a low mutter of voices and footsteps from above, he sat waiting to be found.
Seeing nothing in the meadow nor any movement in the house, Ray drove back toward the road and found the other patrol car waiting for him. With a wave of thanks he continued his patrol. The other car turned toward the jail and the reports that would take the rest of their shift.
In the house Luke listened as the unintelligible muttering and footsteps grew louder. Knowing that he would be found if he stayed where he was, he decided that if the cops were busy searching the house he might have a better chance of escape outside. As he arose the chair fell back against the wall with a loud thump. The muttering and footsteps stopped. Silently cursing himself for a clumsy fool, Luke peeked into the kitchen and saw that moonlight streamed through the windows, lighting the way for his escape. Crossing the kitchen as quietly as he could, he was just about to step out when it attacked. The first slash felt like someone was ripping the flesh of his upper back with multiple hay hooks. Luke’s scream that filled the meadow went silent when the second slash was delivered. Half falling, half jumping out the window, his boot caught on the window sill, sending him head first into the rocks beneath the bushes below.