My Interview with My Number One Fan

Mary’s Interview with Jayson James

My number one fan, Mary came up with some interview questions for me to answer. Below are the questions and my responses to them.

1) When you sit down to write, do you make an outline for your book or do you just go with what comes to you?

I do it in a variety of ways.  It all depends on the book.  Most of the time I have a general idea for what I want for a storyline and I will sit down and write it out along with notes (especially if I’m afraid I will forget what it was.) Sometimes I have a complete idea in my head and then I outline most of the book because as I get into writing there are other ideas that pop into my head.  These parts (I call them inspirational parts) are often people’s favorite parts of the book.  They are scenes that pop into my head and I will incorporate them immediately in the book. 

I have a board by my desk, on which at some point during the project, I will jot down notes directly onto it or using Post-It notes.  My board has always been too small for me, yet I have never gotten a bigger one!  It is typically when it gets overflowing with idea that I buckle down and get these ideas written.

In short, yes, I do outline.

2) If Cooper could tell us a few secrets about you what would they be?

Oh my goodness!  That’s a scary thought!  Cooper is with me most of the time when I am not at work.  She is always the one insisting I take a break.  I think she would say that I am always on the run, and that I am busy and always have something going on.  Though I know she is spoiled, she is not bratty, so I don’t think she realizes it.  I think she would say that I am busy and always have something going on.  She would tell you that our walks are twice as far and long when I am talking on the phone.  I cannot think of anything else she might share. Wink Wink!

3) You always post about movies and television shows that you are watching while writing or drawing, BESIDES One Direction (HEEHEE), is there another go to show that you put on?

Ha!  Most of the time I listen to either a movie or music, depending on my mood I suppose.  The movie has to be one that’s both a favorite of mine and one that will not distract me, but has parts that I can watch as I work out ideas in my head.  Some of my favorites, those I will watch over and over while writing are:  Easy A, Go, Pitch Perfect and Shelter. These are just a few of that come to mind immediately.  One Direction This Is Us has been great to have playing though – I will let it play all the way through several times during my writing time.

As far as television shows go, I cannot think of any that do not distract me from my writing, drawing.   There are a few that I like to put on for background noise and then I get sucked into them.  The O.C. is one that I have tried several times and get into a full on marathon of taking a break and watching the whole series.  Each time I put it on I think I am not going to get sucked into it, yet I do! 

Music can be good, as long as the tunes I listen to match my creative mindset.  There have been times when I’ve been all set to write, turn on one of the music channels to a song that inspires me and two songs later they are playing something that doesn’t sync with my writing mood.

4) Has there ever been a time that you would jump into one of your books to interact with your characters? Which book and which characters would it be?

Derrick Wilson and Justin Parker from the Finding Our Way Series for sure, seeing as they are so much a part of me.  A few of my friends suggested that I do something with them, although I was not ready to write another book with them, I did miss writing them.  I came up with these posts where they high -jacked my blog as well as those of a few others.  I have always enjoyed writing them as I have an idea for them.  They are always well received too!

5) Do you plan to draw all of the covers for your books?

If it were up to me, there are times I would like to say no.  When I went to publish Finding Our Way, my friends were all over me to put one of my drawings on the cover.  I thought I would later go back and change the cover to real models, if I could ever find one that looked just right (and not on other covers).  I was more afraid of my drawings being bashed more than my book.  My drawing was something I had always kept private, beyond my various cartooning and I was embarrassed about using it.  I laugh at that now.  I get more fan mail and various compliments about my drawing than I do any of my books.

6) If you were having lunch with someone that is not in your everyday life, who would it be and why?

Finally an easy question to answer!  You Mary and Claudine Clarke most definitely would be the pair I would like to lunch with.  From the moment I met each of you, as we have discussed, we just seemed to click.  I have always been able to just be myself with each of you and feel as if I could tell you anything.  Although we have yet to meet in person, we “get” and know each other well.  It is rare that you find someone who gets who you really are and still appreciates you.  That is what I have with you two.  I could see us talking and laughing together long after we’d worn out our welcome at wherever we had lunch.

7) Can you tell us about a WIP that you have going now?

I have a book getting ready to published titled Pieces of Us. And I need to get my act together and work on the cover art!  I’m just waiting on my inspiration for that to kick back in.  The idea is in my head and I am working out the details.  Pieces of Us is about two best friends since elementary school, Jesse and Dylan, who are in the end of their freshman year of high school, looking forward to summer.  The story is set in 1988, when time and views were considerable different than they are now.  It takes place around the growing these two friends do together and apart as the summer moves forward. 

POU is about Jesse and Dylan, two best friends since middle school, looking forward to summer.  …..It involves the growing and self- realizations that these two friends do together and apart as the summer progresses.

Riding on the momentum of finishing one book, I have begun working on another.  This one is currently called How It Was Supposed To Be, but I am not sure if I am going to keep this title. We’ll see as work progresses on it.  This book is about Reese Chandler, a high school junior whose dad has lost his job and how quickly he goes from having the ideal life to being homeless.  Though the story might sound a bit depressing, I have, worked out in my head since I was kid, during various trips in the car with my family.  The story itself has evolved over the years and wasn’t until recently that that I felt I had enough of the story to write out. It’s funny because I already have 19,000 words on paper as well as the cover image drawn for it, yet I am not sure if it will be my next book.

I also have TNT a book that centers on Tyler and Tyson Hensley, the twins from the Finding Our Way Series.  This book takes place when the twins are in middle school and will give an insight into each of them as individuals as well as a pair.

8) When it comes to fans, what are your views on them?

Who doesn’t enjoy being appreciated?  Fans are great!  I am delighted to have gained a few loyal readers who enjoy and appreciate my work.  For them I am grateful to have in my life.  As crazy as it might sound, I have always thought that when I strike it big, I would love to have a big party for those who have and continue to support, promote and believe in me. 

9) Although you’ve done well as an Indy author, do you think you will ever go through a publisher?

Although a publisher expressed interest in publishing my first book, we were well on our way to self-publishing.  My friends have always been interested in reading through and editing my writing and it has been a real bonding experience for me with them.  When someone has decided they do not want to or can’t help out, I’ve gained a few others. Recently I had the chance to go with a publisher, interested in all of my current published work as well as the remaining books in the series.  As it stands right now, I am proud of what I have accomplished with the help of my friends and I want to keep things as they are.  Each time I release a book, I gain more readers and friends.  I like how things are.  As my friends know, if the chance arises for me to quit my day job and be able to survive on my creativity, I will.  We’ll cross that bridge when it comes to it. 

10) Who would you cast in a movie about Justin and Derrick? Feel free to add the rest of the cast if you'd like!

When I wrote all three books, I had Keir Gilchrist in mind for Derrick Wilson, however he never seemed right to me.  One day I saw Logan Lerman in an interview and I thought immediately he would be a much better Derrick.  As far as Justin Parker, I have always envisioned Josh Hutcherson when I was writing him and I still think he would be the best choice to play him.  Hayden I have always seen played by Johnny Simmons while Ryan I am always toying with different Mexican actors, currently I am undecided.  Tyson and Tyler Hensley I think would be played well (however, without the British accent) by Jack and Finn Harries, seeing that the two of them together capture both the look and attitude I imagined them having.  Stacy is another one I have not found the right person, the actress would need to be tough, but sweet. (I have yet to find the right actress to portray Stacy, but she would have to be tough but sweet)

11) Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Or what do you see yourself doing in 10 years

That’s a tough one.  I’ll be realistic with my answer.  If I have my way, I will be teaching and still publishing books that people like to read, as well as drawing; making money doing two of the things I love to do.

12) If you could go anywhere in the world you wanted tomorrow, where would it be and why?

Good question!  There are several places I would love to go visit: Hawaii
Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, England, to name a few. There are so many! 

Mary for such great questions and giving me a chance to share with my readers. 

CC for editing and helping to pull this together.


  1. Brilliant! I still wonder what Cooper would REALLY say, LOL!


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