This week I’m really pleased to introduce James Struck to my lovely blogging audience. James is the author of this beautifully written little book which is perfect for this time of year.
The Curious Snowflake is a beautiful parable for our times. It perfectly parallels the journey individuals can go through finding their way ‘home’ again, wherever home happens to be for them. It reminds us that we are all born of ‘one’ and will return to that state again, before making our next journey into this thing we call life, the learn yet more lessons.
I am sure that everyone can take something away from this little book, whether they are 9 or 90 – it will speak to both the child and the wise person within each of us.
The James Struck Interview
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
I’ve always felt that my perception of the world is completely different from everyone else’s. The ideas that I express in TCS, the constant life questions and dissatisfaction with the answers, have deep parallels with my own life. Most people are satisfied with the answers others give them, but I cannot be. In many ways, TCS is autobiographical, or perhaps I would like it to be. 🙂
Are the names of your characters important to you?
I have a horrendous time coming up with decent names for my characters. They always feel either generic or contrived. Who knows, maybe part of the reason I found TCS so easy to write was because none of the characters had names!
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?
My first passion is actually music, not writing. I have a B.A. in Music Composition and I’ve been performing in front of people since I was about 9 years old. Sadly, a career in music has never panned out for me, but I would love to go back to it. I couldn’t give up writing now, it’s too much a part of my DNA, but is there such a thing as too much creativity?
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?
Not elitism, precisely, but there is certainly an overwhelming push in all the arts to categorize and pigeonhole. I remember going into a book store a few years back, right when the whole Twilight explosion happened, and noticing an all new section in the store: Supernatural Teen Romantic Thriller Series. You can’t make this stuff up. Why can’t a great story be a great story? Why can’t a great song be a great song? Of course, this is coming from the author of a story that could best be described as New Age Philosophy Picture Book, but there it is.
What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
I suffer from the same pernicious doubts that all creatives do, but that was never the case with TCS. The hardest part of writing this one was just keeping up with the speed of the ideas. Never before and never since has an idea consumed me so completely. I knocked out the entire manuscript in about 9 days, and my wife tells me I was impossible to live with during it because I was utterly somewhere else. For a week and a half I was either writing TCS, thinking about TCS, or (no joke) dreaming about it. I felt like a gazelle being dragged off by a lion.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Two words: don’t stop. Every day, put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Even if it’s just one page, even if it’s just a paragraph, write. Even if you don’t want to, hell, ESPECIALLY when you don’t want to, write. Even when you’re sick, even when you’re depressed, even when you hate every word you put down, WRITE. Because one day you will go back to those words you hated and realize that they were far better than you thought.
How do you remain sane while working?
My family. I am blessed with a loving, supportive wife and 3 amazing kids, and they always keep things in perspective for me. Yeah, it’s hard to find time to write with a family and a full-time job, but they inspire me, ground me, and lift me up. I couldn’t be the man or the writer I am without them.
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
The birth of my children, for so many reasons.
Are you jealous of other writers?
Envious, yes, but not jealous. Envy, despite what they say about deadly sins and all, is a healthy emotion. It is nothing more than the observation of something desirable which another has or can do and the feeling of the desire for the same. Jealousy, on the other hand, is the desire for something at the expense of another who has it. For example, envy is a 5 year old watching her 7 year old brother riding his bike and wishing she could do that. Jealousy is her wishing he would fall off his bike. So yes, I am envious of certain writers, envious of their success at touching the lives of others and (I will be honest) of their financial independence. But I am not jealous, because how could I wish ill upon people that made me feel so good?
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere and in everything. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t stand in awe of this amazing world we live in. In fact, I make it a point to consciously do so daily. This world, our lives, everything around us is an utter and complete miracle, and if you don’t stop and realize that once in a while you are missing out on one of the best parts of being human.
Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?
Oh, coffee coffee coffee! I have few vices, but coffee is definitely one of them, anywhere from 2-6 cups a day, depending.
Are there any habits you wish you didn’t have?
I am a horrendous procrastinator, always have been. It’s for all the typical reasons you would expect: fear of failure, fear of success, out and out laziness, etc. Been fighting it all my life, as my lovely wife will gladly attest.
Where can I find out more about James and his book?
You can find The Curious Snowflake in Kindle format here:
Why ‘The Thursday Throng’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/.