Thursday, August 29, 2013

How Authors Write- James Crofoot

Today I'm pleased to host James Crofoot, fellow MuseItUp author who's debut novel The Journeys of a Different Necromancer releases in October. Welcome, James!

What do you write? 
I write fantasy, mostly. My current book is Young Adult fantasy. Some sci-fi and human-interest stories, too.

What do you use? 1st person, 3rd person or multiple POV'S?
I like 3rd person but do often use multiple POVs. I try to keep things as the main character sees them. However, with my current work, I'm switching the pov around to all the main characters.

How do you get started with a book – idea, character, vary from story to story?
I get a lot of my ideas from walking in the morning. Like one, I kept walking past this yard with a lot of stone fairies in it. Another one I got from a house with a tower attached. Always asking that age old question – What if? I love my morning walks, they clear my head and all these what ifs just fill it up.

Do you draft quickly?
When I hand write I do about 1000 words a day, I'm kind of an old school person. I have been getting into typing now though and with the computer; it's about 500-600. Try to type an hour or hour and a half a day.

Do you research before your first draft?
Yes, I do sometimes. If I'm not writing pure fantasy or sci-fi. I grew up playing rpgs and I paid close attention to the aspects such as setting, dress and weapons. How to build castles. So you know, write what you know. [Oh! Another gamer. Love it! I always think of my characters in terms of the characteristics from D&D. Lawful good, neutral good, lawful evil, chaotic evil, that type of thing!]

Do you outline? How?
I find jotting down things for a chapter at a time helps me remember what to put in. I spend time scribbling really, not paying attention to any grammar or punctuation. Indeed little attention to where I put it on the paper. To anyone else it really looks like chickens scratch as they say.

Do you name everything upfront when your drafting or leave comments for yourself to fill in later so you don't lose the flow?
Once I get going there's no interruptions. I'm in a world of my creation. Sometimes I even name the characters differently. I just have to get it down, you know just write. I worry about that stuff in the second draft.

Do you work with cps (critique partners) or betas?
I used to use betas, but I really don't know anybody that reads the kind of stuff I write. No one I hang around with now days anyway. When I was, it usually didn't get seen until the second draft. And if they didn't sit down and read it from cover to cover I knew I had more work to do.
Plus, the more I researched the field, the more I read not to go with just the biased praises of friends and family. I'm really not in this for sycophantic opinions from people I know. I want people to tell me what's wrong with the piece, what I need to correct. Constructively, of course. [Ah, yes. I think we all want to know what's wrong so we can fix it, but told in as nice a way as possible.]

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
 I've read way too many books to name, but I do have to say the books which gave me the most inspiration would have to be The Hobbit and The Harry Potter series. More so in studying the authors though.

Websites - so far, certainly Fanstory, an online writer's workshop. [I don't think I've heard of this before. Sounds interesting.] The feedback there showed me I needed to learn more. I needed to learn how to make people see what was in my head. So next, Gotham Writing Workshop, where I took the first of many planned courses.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Nothing. The learning experience has always been a great joy and labor of love to me. There's a lot of work that goes into even just the schooling and studying of being a writer. I wouldn't change a moment of that learning.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?
The Journeys of a Different Necromancer is due for release in October of 2013. For your enjoyment, here's a blurb from the piece.

Thomas wanted to learn to read and write, things only Xavier the Necromancer could teach. But Thomas learned much more. He learned to raise the dead. Then, with his knowledge, he set out for the distant sea. Along the way, he made an army, encountered a dragon, and fought thieves by the score. But, could he continue to use the knowledge Xavier gave? Could he hold to his teacher's views that all people were self-centered, greedy, and jealous of him for being so much better? Could he return to the obsidian tower to live a life where the world was locked out, where his teacher had kept all life away to simply be left alone? Where no one ridiculed and beat him for being different? Could he return to a life where only the undead, his risen, kept him company?
You will find this on MuseItUp publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble in October.
For more of my stories you can visit my website


  1. Great interview! Nice to get to know you a bit, James, and hear some more about Journeys!

  2. Nice to meet you, James. Congrats on the upcoming release and best of luck with it. May it find its way into many, many readers hands.

  3. The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and D&D... I like you, James!

    1. I have to confess, I started The Hobbit as a kid and never finished it, and I've never read HP. (I know- my son keeps telling me I have to, and I will. Someday!)

      As for the role playing- LOVE it!!

      Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

  4. Wow, James, I love the blurb for The Journeys of a Different Necromancer! It sounds like a great read. By the way, the books that inspired you inspired me, too! Mary, how could you never have read them?!

  5. Nice to meet you, James!!

    I always tell my beta readers, "I would rather have someone who cares about me tell me the truth than submit the piece and have a stranger rip me to shreds." ;)

  6. How awesome. Now I have a couple new sites to check out. Thanks! Great interview.


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