Interview: James van Loon


James van Loon, besides being a novelist, is a university

psychology instructor, chartered psychologist, and

international consultant. His artistic and scientific journey is

one of many divergent paths, spanning a brief career as a

radio disc jockey in his native USA, an introspective

experience as a monk in the Marist order, and academic

studies of literature and psychology in several European

and North American universities. His peregrinations have

taken him to the cobbled streets of old European towns

speckled with cafés and compelling characters, where he

nurtured his passion for research and writing. He has

lectured at universities in Italy, Spain, Germany, England,

Sweden, and the U.S.A. where he has also taught creative

writing at the Writers Garret.


Social Media Links

Stilnovo Publishing





Ad Libris


Barnes and Noble



Links To Purchase his books:

Click above on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

Ad Libris, and Goodreads.


When did you first realize you

wanted to be an Author?

As a young man and monk in a monastery I realized

that I wanted to be an author.  What would you say is your

interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?

My characters develop personalities and seem almost like

real individuals that I can interact with, however, not in a

schizophrenic way.


What was one of the most

surprising things you learned in

writing your books?

My characters get so involved with each other. My writing is

character based and I do not have a plot or outline, but my

characters develop the narrative. When I started writing my

latest novel, Blue Magic Woman, I had no idea the novel

would be a murder mystery until one of my characters killed

another character.


Where did you get ideas for your


I find traveling very stimulating and different places and

cultures around the world have given me many of my ideas.

New people and new experiences have been very enriching.


Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and


My latest novel, Blue Magic Woman, is my favorite because it

is my best-written novel. I find the more I write the better

author I become. T his is my third novel and I felt it took time

to get distance from myself, as in my first novel the

protagonist was too much like me and that makes a boring

novel I found.


Who is your target audience?

My latest novel has a narrative for all readers except

children of course. It has several different levels and can

appeal to many different kinds of readers.


What do you think makes a good


Strong characters that are authentic and realistic.

Suspense. In my latest novel, I put my protagonist in a

mental asylum and I wanted to see if he could get himself

out. I want to be surprised as much as a reader wants to be



Who are some of your favorite


William Gass, Styron, Barthelme, Updike, Nabakov, Hesse,

Dermot Bolger, Tom McCarthy, Umberto Eco, John Irving,

Salenger, Paulo Coelho, Gabriel García Márquez, Khaled

Hosseini, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, John

Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Bill Bryson.


If you could pick one actor to

play a character in your book in

the movie version, who would it


Christa Theret



Who are some of the people that

influenced your love of writing?

My mother, the writers Paola Bortolotti, Tensi Euren, and

Magnus Sjostedt, my brother Dan, and the students in my

creative writing classes.


What kind of TV shows do you

like and do you find that as a

Suspense/Mystery Writer that

you gravitate toward the shows

such as Law and Order or Perry


Yes, Law and Order and Perry Mason, but especially

Inspector Morse the British detective drama television

series based on a series of novels by Colin Dexter.


If you had one piece of advice for

an aspiring Author what would it


Read many novels especially the classics and make writing

an important part of each day. To carry always a notebook

and pen and write down all your interesting thoughts and

even fragments of dreams as you awake.


What would you like to say to

friends and family of Authors (not

just your own)?

Encourage their dreams to be a writer, but also encourage

them to have a parallel career, as it is difficult to be a

successful writer. It is also a good idea to have a career

that relates in some way to one’s writing and not choose a

career that takes all one’s energy away from writing. I

personally chose psychology, as it gives me material for my

writing as well as is a career as a university lecturer and

clinical psychologist that gives me time for my writing.


Is there anything else you want

to share with your readers?

I feel it is a wonderful experience for both writers and

readers to belong to a book club where one can discuss

narratives and develop one’s interpreting skills, which are

so important for all of us.


An Excerpt from:



Spotted in the headlights is a young man sitting in the snow

between the track rails. With the squeal of steel, he braces

himself for the impact of the train blasting towards him. Two

muscular policemen yank him quickly off the tracks, then

stumble in the whirling vortex of blinding snow as the bullet

train speeds by them. After a fierce struggle, the young man

is overpowered and placed in a patrol car.

T he patrol car comes to an abrupt stop, like the young

man’s heart, at the asylum’s foreboding front doors. He

stares at the ferns of ice etched onto the police car window

and feels caught in a spider-web, but as the sleet gnaws

into the frost, the grey buildings of the arctic asylum are

suddenly revealed. He jerks back, pulls up his long legs and

heavy boots onto the back seat, and shrinks into himself like

a disturbed spider.



About Elizabeth Delana Rosa

Elizabeth Delana Rosa has always been a writer and reader. When she first learned letter and words in Kindergarten, she wrote about pigs who “groo” wings and became “butterfys.” Elizabeth knew way back then that she would have a love affair with books. They have overtaken her life and have been a constant companions. Now over 20 years later, that love flows over into writing blogs, reviews, poetry and fantasy novels. Her blog recently broke the 3000 followers mark.

Posted on July 8, 2013, in Interview. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: