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Friday, March 11, 2011
Off the Path Interview: Jim Bernheimer!
WBIT:You've written and published in a variety of different genres. From horror to YA fantasy- what is your writing process like?
Jim: I focus on writing a good story. I’m not so concerned with the genre it’s going to fall into. I’m mostly trying to get it out of my head and onto the screen. One of my published short stories is written in second person present tense. Why you might ask? Because I could. That’s probably my darkest horror piece to date.
WBIT:Is there such a thing as a typical writing day for you, and if so, what does it look like?
Jim: My children are both daughters, ages eight (soon to be nine) and two. I don’t have a regular schedule as a result. I write when I’m inspired. Sometimes, if I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea that won’t go away, I’ll get up and write for a couple hours.
WBIT: I've been referring to you and the other Off the Path authors as indie authors. What is your definition of indie?
Jim: If you don’t have an agent or a big six publishing contract, you’re an Indie. My novels have been coming out through David Wood’s Gryphonwood Press. He’s been great to me. It’s fun to get on the ground floor. I’m not counting on my writing for actual money. My day job is safe for the foreseeable future (unfortunately).
WBIT: What are your favorite books, whether they be favorite books ever, or favorite books read recently? What titles do you recommend to people most often?
Jim: I’m a huge Robert Heinlein fan. Much of my writing is done in first person and he was a master of that particular perspective. There’s also a little known action adventure trilogy that ranks as my all time favorite. The author was C. T. Westcott and the trilogy was called Eagleheart. (The first book’s title is Silver Wings and Leather Jackets.) It was also in first person and the “hero,” if you call him that was a complete and utter rogue. Nowadays, I stay away from the mainstream titles and do my best to support other Indie authors by reading and reviewing their works. I spend time on Kindleboards networking with other authors and seeing what works for them. I try to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest every year. (Sadly, I’m already out this year.)
WBIT: Tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects. What's next on the horizon?
Jim: This year, I’ll be making a big push to reach the next level. I could possibly release as many as five books this year. First up is my ABNA entry from this year. It will get another coat of editorial polish and I’ll release it under my own EJB imprint. It’s called Confessions of a D-List Supervillain and was originally a five chapter novella in my short story collection Horror, Humor, and Heroes. Since it received the lion’s share of praise in reviews, I figured it was worth doing.
The sequel to Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman is down to the last four chapters to be written and will be released by Gryphonwood Press. I’ve done ConCarolinas for the last two years and I’m hoping to debut that novel there in early June. The title for this installment is Dead Eye 2: The Skinwalker Conspiracies. Fans of the first one should really enjoy what I have in store for Mike Ross as he makes his way south and west across the US in search of answers to the questions raised at the end of the first book. (How’s that for being cryptic?)
I already mentioned my short story collection. In December of 2010, I edited and published an anthology called Horror, Humor and Heroes 2 - New Faces of Fantasy. For a small press anthology, it’s sold extremely well and I’ll continue the series this summer with Horror, Humor, and Heroes 3 - New Faces of Science Fiction.
Fortunately, the one short story I’ll contribute to HHH3 is already written, so most of my time there will be working with the contributing authors and formatting. I’ll need that time if I hope to get the sequel to Spirals of Destiny Book One: Rider completed this year. Book Two will be Sorceress and picks up right where the first book picks up. I’ll continue alternating the viewpoints between the unicorn, Majherri and the rider, Kayleigh.
If all the cards fall right (and I don’t hit writer’s block along the way), I’ll take one of my short stories and use it as an outline to write a full version of it. The story is called Prime Suspects and it’s about a clone of a homicide detective that has to solve the murder of his Prime (the original). Compounding the problem is the evidence points at his other clones as the suspects. In short, he has to solve his own murder where he’s the only suspect and all the other versions of him know all his tricks.
So that makes for a busy year. I’m also hoping to launch what I’d like to call a “Kindle Magazine.” It will be called 99 Cent Ebook Theater as a monthly and if the idea catches on maybe a biweekly. (I briefly considered 99 Cent Kindle Theater, but I’m not a fan of cease and desist letters which would inevitably arrive.) The concept is this. I’ll pair two short stories in the same genre (horror, science fiction, fantasy, or whatever) together. Next, I’ll add a book review of a novel in that same genre and hopefully finish it off with an author interview. Ideally, it’ll be something a person can download and digest over their lunch hour for less than a bottle of soda from the vending machine. Look for that coming soon.
Thank you so much to Jim for being a part of the Off the Path festivities! I'll be featuring two of his titles in my next two reviews- Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman and Horror, Humor and Heroes 2. Stay tuned!