I’m so excited to bring to you all a personal sit down with author, Jack Spearman following his debut novel, Sandy’s Place, a western-inspired erotic romance.
Jack, I can’t tell you how much I’ve looked forward to this interview. Thank you so much for being here.
First, I have to ask if you’re working on anything else? I know your fans would love to see more from you.
My "real" job is running a hang gliding school, and we’re super busy in the summer, so I’m not writing much at the moment. I have started on a sequel to Sandy's Place, introducing a new character as a love interest for a familiar character. This one will be a romantic thriller, and I plan to get back on it hard in the fall.
I’m so glad to hear it, and I won’t give anything away too soon, but I sure hope that familiar character is who I think it is!
Now, a common misconception entwined with writers is that they’re socially inept. How true is that for you?
In my opinion, everyone is socially inept in one way or another! In a room full of writers, a writer is probably perfectly normal, and I’d imagine writers spend a lot more time "daydreaming" than non-writers do. If that’s considered "inept" count me in!
Ditto for me, boy!
Along that same line, writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
Depends. Writers spend time in their heads with the characters they create. Does that count as people time?
Do you think writers have a normal life like others?
Some probably do have a normal life. How sad. I avoid "normal" every chance I get. The road less taken thing, ya know?
Another misconception is that all writers have to be grammar Nazis. What say you?
I'm not. I wouldn't know a dangling participle if it swam up and bit me in the ass. I think I’m one of those writers who has a decent eye and ear for what sounds right. I write fiction, so I don't think dialogue has to be so grammatically correct. Not my characters, anyway. A bunch of language butchering rebels in my books! I understand the need for the rules of grammar, though, and that's why God made editors, I guess.
Now there’s a sentiment I can agree with!
I’d like to give your readers a hint of who the author behind Sandy’s Place really is, so I’m going to throw out a series of quick questions.
Do you read much, and if so, who are your favorite authors?
I read in spurts. Ed Abbey, Charles Bukowski, Jimmy Buffett, Wayne Dyer, ans Larry McMurtry to name a few.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Christo. Revenge, romance, suspense, redemption. Just one of the coolest books ever and its stood the test of time. And Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire. I love the American Southwest. He was there before the tourism got all crazy. Or Charles Bukowski’s Women. He was a foul-mouthed, drunk, brawling, gambling, womanizing... Who doesn't want to be Bukowski from time to time?
What would you say is your most unusual tradition, superstition, or writer quirk?
I like to mispronounce words on purpose. Instead of saying "author" I like to say "Arthur." I know its stupid, but it gives me a kick.
What works best for you: typewriters, fountain pen, dictation, computer, or longhand?
Computer. I have no idea how writers did it before writing software. It must have been maddening.
And what inspires you to write?
About four years ago, I decided to see if I could write a novel. I wrote it. It was fun. And people are buying it, too, so I guess I'll do another.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
I don’t have a set time, but during the time of year when the hang gliding is slow, I try to write like a madman every day.
How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
Not that hard. I had an idea about what I wanted, and I didn't have an outline or anything. I just started writing and quit when I was done.
When you write, do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
No. I write everything I can think of that day. Some days it’s half a page, some days it's ten pages.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
I just write what the muse tells me.
Have you ever left any of your stories stew for months on end or even a year?
I'm pretty sure it was the other way around. My book left me to stew for months on end!
Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
I do to some degree, but just totally lack the knowledge and skill to do a decent job of it. Editing and book cover art are the best money an author can spend. I cannot stress this enough. Do yourself a huge favor and use an editor.
What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
Half the battle when it comes to selling a book. I used 99 designs for my cover. Highly recommend them. You have a bunch of artists competing for the gig.
How important is research to you when writing a book?
Very. But I was lucky enough to have lived most of the stuff in my books. I worked on ranches when I was young, so I got the cowboy thing down. When I was doing stand-up comedy, I was touring as the opening act for Ron White, so I've flown on private jets, lived the high life. Google is an amazing resource. Certainly a game changer for a writer.
And last, what made you choose to write in the genre you did?
Romance is the inspiration for most of the world's greatest art and literature. Romeo and Juliet. Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Lady and the Tramp. Without romance, life is a bland pitiful grind to the grave. It's what we crave, what we are wired to do. To seek out and attract a mate. It's what makes us human.
Thank you, Jack. This has been wonderful. I hope we can do it again, and I’ll be watching for the release of your next book. It’s Hector, right? Tell me you’re writing Hector’s story.