Interview and Goodreads Giveaway With James Loftus
The author has been interested in medieval history since seeing a book with a cover detailing the battle of Agincourt. The book engaged his imagination, and drew him to the period. Unable to read until in grade five some remedial tuition enabled him to commence on the journey from avid book reader to writer. He has one novel to date and a co-credit as a feature film writer, Underdog’s Tale.
He was in the Queensland Police Service for ten years reaching the rank of senior constable. A former Karate instructor he is a past Queensland champion.
He lives in Brisbane with his wife and two children.
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1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
1976. Writing grew on me like some big cloak I had found that was way too big for me but I liked it and wanted to wear it anyway. At first I looked silly and people said, “Why are you trying to wear that cloak you look ridiculous?” Eventually it grew to fit me, having adopted this mantle the coat started to almost recognise me and fit to every inch of me. People said, it suited me. “Hey you used to look ridiculous, now you just look warm.”
2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Descriptions. I love them and I hate them. I hate them because they can be so hard to do, and I love them, because they are so hard to do.
3. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How, at times, the writing seems to be so automatic, so effortless, and it turns out so well. You sit back and look at it and think, “WOW!!! I wrote that …”
4. Where did you get ideas for your books?
I am a child of the sixties, born, 1964, so when I was a boy (everyone thinks this) there were the best shows on TV. I loved a show called, ‘Lost In Space’. The show is about a family Lost In Space. One episode featured a Scottish ghost who lived in a castle, mist, rain, ivy hanging from castle battlements, the pipes. I just loved it.
At ten, I watched Roman Polanski’s MacBeth. I was mesmerised. It was the most wonderful nightmare that I never wanted to wake from.
I read the brilliant Scottish author, Nigel Tranter’s books, drawn to them initially because of my belief in my Scottish ancestry. Turns out, I have none, if any Scots, I am as Irish as Paddy’s pig. My grandmother who I thought was half Scottish turned out not to be. It is a long story, that involves many skeletons in the closet, a closet not worth rattling for the sake of other family members who just want the door kept shut.
5. Out of all the books you have written which is your favourite and why?
My lone work is Celtic Blood.
6. What age group do you think best describes your reader? Why?
I think Celtic Blood would best appeal to teenage boys. Because, it is action packed, and fundamentally, the heroes’ journey, a young boy reinvents himself to become a great warrior, every young teenage boy’s fantasy.
7. What do you think makes a good story?
I believe it involves listening to our inner voice. We all know what to do … it is inside us. Like fossicking for gold, begin by pouring immense grains of worthless sand until one grain shines and putting it with other gleaming worthies that present over time. The hard work is the sacrifice gaining the attention of the gods who are watching. The muse looks down at you putting your body and soul, heart, sweat, anger, and love into the story, unburdening yourself and pouring it into the page, all what you know everything you are. If you are lucky at the end of it, it means something. If you are unlucky, and it doesn’t mean anything, you start over again until it does mean something, or you take up gardening. I hope that means something.
8. Who are some of your favourite Authors?
Nigel Tranter, Colleen McCullough, Nora Lofts, Georgette Heyer, Barbara Jefferis,
Frank Herbert, James John Loftus.
9. What song best describes your book and Why?
‘Scotland The Brave’. Because it embodies the nobility of spirit of the Scottish people, hopefully, my book does too.
10. Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
My wife, and my parents, who believed in me when any thought of success seemed very remote and slightly foolish.
11. If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author, what would it be?
Practise every day. Read great writing by great writers, and see how they do wonderful things with words, make their ideas live and hit all the right receptors in the reader’s brain to charm and engage them, enrage and stimulate them. And, last but not least, back yourself and have a go.
12. What would you like to say to friends and family of writers (not just your own)?
Know when to lie and say it is okay when it isn’t and when to say, wait a minute, this sucks (well say it sucks, but diplomatically, and with love, like trying to hit someone with a mallet, lovingly).
13. What projects do you have up and coming?
I am writing a sequel to my debut novel Celtic Blood, called the Sword And The Thistle.
14. Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Can I say my phone bill.
She did not avert her gaze. Instead she burrowed her very presence into his head. He wondered how he must look with his anguished ashen face. Her eyes and lips crackled with amusement at the sight of him, a wolf-grin.
He got out, “Help me.” But the voice which said it wasn’t his. It was her voice.
“You approve me not.” She stared at him amused at his discomfort. “I read minds, too. And I can speak through your mouth, if I chose.” He wasn’t sure at first if she truly spoke or he heard a semblance of her. No words could be given to anything as horrible as this.
Her withered lips moved, her rasping, ready voice filling his ears. “It is a human they eat.”
He couldn’t abide her eyes. If only she’d look away. Deep inside his mind, he screamed to himself, squinting his eyes straining with effort, compelling himself … “Look away look away!”
“I’ll look as deep into your eyes, as I like.”
So, she could read his mind. Then, there was nowhere to hide.
“That poor weak fool mocked and resisted me, and now here he is. Food. As you will be if you doubt me. You will be my humble servant and with time become one of us, for I claim you Seward. You are like us, your soul is ripe for the taking. Consider it taken.”