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James R. Winter

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Bryon Quertermous
btinsley785: Bob Tinsley
dpwhite237: Dave White
g_so: Gerald So
jamesrwinter: Jim Winter
mysdawg2003: Aldo Calcagno
webmavenmaggie: Maggie Griffin
yemighty: John Rickards

g_so: If you have a question for Jim type "?" and I'll add you to the queue.

dpwhite237: Okay, so Jim, are we doing the question/answer/thenmakefunof thing today?

mysdawg2003: ?

jamesrwinter: Sure. You ask questions. I answer questions. Then we make fun of Dave.

dpwhite237: I can take it... tourist.

jamesrwinter: I actually said that sarcastically in Manhattan. Someone from Tennessee insisted I lived there and could read the subway signs for her. (Yeesh!)

webmavenmaggie: You can't go wrong in the subway as long as you don't act like a rube.

jamesrwinter: Hell, I was flattered at how many people thought I was from there. I think I picked up Stella's accent for a few days, though.

yemighty: Hehehe. You came back home saying "yous" a lot? :)

webmavenmaggie: No one says that in Manhattan.

jamesrwinter: More like "'Ow yoo dooin'?"

g_so: Go, Aldo.

mysdawg2003: What kind of response did you get from going store to store in New York hasking your book?

jamesrwinter: Well, I learned some hard lessons about distribution and what the indies are up against. That said, a couple of stores were positive. The rest, it was good to meet and greet for when things are easier to work together. And Maggie's been cool with giving pointers off line.

webmavenmaggie: It's a good lesson to learn, Jim. Now you know why Jane wants to stop all that.

g_so: Next Q?

dpwhite237: ?

g_so: Go, Dave.

dpwhite237: How has Kepler grown for you Jim from short story to novel?

jamesrwinter: Nick's gotten bitter, and by the last book (so far) in the series, he's not handling his appetites too well. I wouldn't call him hardboiled so much as getting hardboiled. Depending on how much further I can go with this, I'd say he's a doomed character.

g_so: hmm.

yemighty: ?

g_so: Go ahead, John.

dpwhite237: ?

yemighty: Speaking of hardboiled, Kepler and the book have a very strong hardboiled voice (the kind where you can imagine Bogart doing the book-on-tape version). Is this a style you prefer yourself or something to matcher Kepler the character?

jamesrwinter: Basically, I write what the story calls for. Nick's gets into some pretty nasty situations.

g_so: ?

yemighty: I was thinking of the general style, lines like (IIRC) "She crossed her legs. They were nice legs."

jamesrwinter: It's what I'm comfortable with.

yemighty: Cool. It certainly works.

mysdawg2003: ?

dpwhite237: Okay, quick followup... How did the writing of him change? Was it tough to keep a consistent voice throughout, that sort of thing.

jamesrwinter: Dave, no, not at all, but it's first person. So I sit down, and I'm in the guy's head for 45-90 minutes a stretch. Multiple characters might give me whiplash, but that's the challenge of this thing, isn't it?

g_so: My question: Do you have a firm picture of Kepler in your head? Who does he look like, sound like, if anyone?

jamesrwinter: Dark wavy hair, long nose, dark eyes, though I don't know what color.

mysdawg2003: Al Guthrie has a thread going on RARA-AVIS about gratuitous violence. What are your thoughts as Kepler gets into some of these types of situations. When is it good to write out that violence or just to allude to it

jamesrwinter: Do what the story calls for, like anything else. There's a point where you have to cut off a scene and just give the aftermath. I think violence is trickier than sex to write, actually.

dpwhite237: what about violent sex? Okay, just a joke.

yemighty: Or sexy violence? Actually, that's interesting. I've always found it much the other way round.

yemighty: ?

g_so: Go, John.

webmavenmaggie: I walk away for a cup of coffee and look what happens to the conversation.

dpwhite237: Where's Quertermous? He usually has a ton of questions to fill up dead air. And so easy to mock while he's typing.

yemighty: The setting Kepler inhabits is very nicly detailed. Do you think you'd ever write him away from home in later stories (or have you done it before - I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know about the short)?

dpwhite237: seems like it.

yemighty: It's what I'm doing with the other hand you've got to worry about.

g_so: I actually found the sex in Jim's book a nice change. A lot of people just allude to it.

dpwhite237: Jim started out writing under a pseudonym, Danielle Steele.

yemighty: Actually, it's just my girlfriend's laptop's keyboard. Everything's in the wrong place from what I'm used to, so I keep missing keys.

webmavenmaggie: We'd be beneath him if he were Danielle

yemighty: ... Now there's an image...

webmavenmaggie: She laughs at poor peons.

jamesrwinter: Well, I'd like to write him from someone else's POV away from home, but it'd be part of an arc I'm not sure I'll get a chance to finish out.

webmavenmaggie: No, kidding - she's actually a nice woman.

g_so: Oh. :)

btinsley785: ?

g_so: Go ahead, Bob.

btinsley785: Are you ready for Kepler to bite the big one? Us series authors want to know?

yemighty: Ooh, good question.

btinsley785: Horrible grammar, but good question.

dpwhite237: Kepler's... gonna... die? Or he's going to order a big steak?

g_so: :)

yemighty: He's going to choke to death on a big steak.

dpwhite237: clever.

yemighty: It's the last twist anyone would ever expect

dpwhite237: Yeah, I think though, I saw that already on an episode of the Simpsons. And in The Great Outdoors.

jamesrwinter: Ah! The big question. Well, with publishing constraints and whatnot (ie - If I had an agent just two weeks earlier...), I could tell you that for certain. However, I do have his final scene mapped out, and it's one where you don't know if he lives or dies, but he's in pretty bad shape when we fade to black. And all because of something that happened in the first short story.

btinsley785: I like the way that would tie together.

webmavenmaggie: Ken Bruen's going to buy him one too many drinks.

jamesrwinter: Oh, Maggie! You gave it away!

yemighty: Hehehe

dpwhite237: He's going to slip in a puddle, walking in the rain.

g_so: Dave with the call-back.

dpwhite237: ?

dpwhite237: If you could go back and re-write NCS, is there anything you would change?

jamesrwinter: The title. I'd probably also let Nick play a gig in his rock band. I miss that from the early stories.

g_so: what would the title be?

jamesrwinter: Originally, I was going to ask Quiet Storm to change it to THREE-WAY SPLIT, then Trevor Maviano says his book is titled that. And Guthrie has TWO-WAY SPLIT, so not good.

dpwhite237: QUERTERMOUS!

jamesrwinter: There he is. Bryon!

yemighty: ?

g_so: Go, John.

yemighty: What's up next, Jim? Another in the series, or standalones, etc.?

jamesrwinter: The second Kepler is with Quiet Storm now, The last one is on top of my shelf awaiting revision.

dpwhite237: ?

g_so: Go ahead, Dave.

dpwhite237: Tell us a bit about your writing day, what goes into it, what do you do?

jamesrwinter: I usually write evenings, for about a couple of hours. Sometimes, I'll skip a day or two, but I'm always working on something anymore. When I do a novel, I have a strict 1000 word quota to meet unless my evening's spoken for.

g_so: Hmm.

bquertermous: ?

dpwhite237: oh no

g_so: Go, Bryon.

bquertermous: Do you have particular themes and ideas you like to write regularly about? How did these develop?

g_so: 15 mins. official chat left.

jamesrwinter: Yeah. There's this PI I want to write. He's got this office in New Brunswick, and these two writers keep bugging him about his office. :-) Seriously. I like to mix in things that bother me - How companies abuse their employees, real estate developers steam rollering neighborhoods, things like that, with things I like: Music.

yemighty: Hahaha!

mysdawg2003: ?

g_so: go, aldo.

webmavenmaggie: Gentlemen? (Don't argue with me here.) Thanks for the chat - I warned Gerald that I might have to boogie out mid-way. Nice hanging with you for a while! Bye!

yemighty: Seeya Maggie!

mysdawg2003: Jim, Kepler has kept me entertained now for almost 2 years. Are you thinking about writing something else besides a crime novel? Sci Fi?

jamesrwinter: No, I've got a lot of material to mine with crime fic. I've toyed with a couple of ideas for science fiction, but it's got to be really twisted and unconventional or I won't want to write it.

btinsley785: Bye, Maggie, nice meeting you.

bquertermous: bye Maggie

g_so: Same here. Bye, Maggie.

webmavenmaggie: see ya!

jamesrwinter: Goodbye, Maggie.

bquertermous: ?

dpwhite237: Bye, Maggie.

g_so: go ahead, Bryon.

bquertermous: What's the status of the Deep Purple project?

dpwhite237: ooh, I forgot about that project.

yemighty: The what with the what now?

jamesrwinter: Let's see. We're up to PERFECT STRANGERS with the "Wasted Sunsets" novella. I'll probably finish that up soon.

bquertermous: will Balki be featured in this installment?

dpwhite237: doing the dance of joy, I hope.

bquertermous: lol

jamesrwinter: John: The Deep Purple Project was a way for me to keep a bunch of stories in the pipeline. I took the title of a song from every Deep Purple studio album and built a Kepler story around it.

g_so: Ah.

mysdawg2003: ?

yemighty: Oh, right. Cool! I had images of a series of stories with Ian Gillan as a crimefighter, and they were disturbing me greatly.

g_so: go, aldo.

jamesrwinter: John, that's just truly frightening, particularly since Gillan's a nudist.

bquertermous: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

dpwhite237: Ian Gillan, the nudist detective. Private dick, as one might say

yemighty: He is?! Actually, nice twist on the character. But still...

g_so: (averts eyes.)

dpwhite237: nude dick. oh nevermind.

bquertermous: not so private dick

yemighty: "Mr Gillan! Is that a gun in your pocket or... well, let's face it. You have an erection."

g_so: :) at John.

jamesrwinter: Or David Coverdale, the coked-up detective. From Whitesnake Investigations.

mysdawg2003: Question for the group. Dave and Gerald have put up stories in mp3 format. How about the the rest of youse? Has anyone else considered audio blogging?y

yemighty: No, not really. I did, but I don't have the webspace and I can't use audioblogger 'cos it's a US number for the phone.

dpwhite237: I'll bet Bob has considered it.

btinsley785: Hey! What am I, chopped liver?

mysdawg2003: Bob, my apologies, I just thought that EVERYONE knew that you are the king

bquertermous: I'm still trying to figure out how to get people to post my text stories let alone audio

jamesrwinter: I'll probably try it soon, maybe with "Demon's Eye" or "Roofies." My wife says she'll do the intro and outtro music.

g_so: Dave's friend did an MP3 of a Jackson Donne story.

dpwhite237: Bob, I'm still stunned that I made you cry.

btinsley785: That was an outstanding story, Dave.

dpwhite237: Thanks, Bob.

yemighty: ?

bquertermous: I've got another hypermedia story in the works that will have audio sounds...does that count?

g_so: Audioblogger would annoy me. Calling every time I want to blog...

yemighty: You've been recording your own farts again, haven't you Bryon...

dpwhite237: Damn. John beat me to it.

g_so: Go ahead, John.

yemighty: Nice easy, soft question before Dave nicks it. Favourite authors, influences?

jamesrwinter: Influences? Parker before he got lazy, Chandler and MacDonald, of course. Stephen King, Philip Roth, Dennis Lehane. To read: Ken Bruen (and not because he plies me with beer), Pelecanos, Lee Child, Laura Lippman.

g_so: ?

dpwhite237: Actually Jim, that's a great list.

g_so: Jim, which book did you get fed up with Parker? I find this varies depending who you talk to.

jamesrwinter: DOUBLE DEUCE really pissed me off, esp. since it was such a great story. I was kind of hoping Hawk would use Spenser as a human shield by the end of it. I also think that's where Susan Silverman went from Spenser's conscience to his personal pinup girl.

bquertermous: I read most of the crappy 80s Parker books first and then started from the beginning. The first new one I read was Walking Shadow and its all been downhill since

jamesrwinter: I keep wondering if that's the story that aggravated Lehane into writing A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR.

g_so: Hmm, that's interesting. I also wonder when exactly Susan became physically gorgeous. She didn't start out that way, you're right

jamesrwinter: PASTIME was waaaaay too padded.

jamesrwinter: Oh, that was MORTAL STAKES, but it was part of the bonus package back then.

dpwhite237: I didn't like HUGGER MUGGER... but there's always a moment where I go... Oh, that's why I still read Parker.

jamesrwinter: I heard BACK STORY was actually decent.

bquertermous: the first one I stopped reading though was Widows Walk...I just couldnt finish it

yemighty: I've not read it, but HUGGER MUGGER is an awful title for a book.

g_so: also an awful book.

dpwhite237: indeed, that and Thin Air are the two worst.

mysdawg2003: you know I have only read one Parker

yemighty: Well, at least it's truth in advertising then. :D

g_so: :)

dpwhite237: ah, the Parker bashing.

g_so: You're the last fan standing, Dave.

dpwhite237: I think so.

mysdawg2003: I can't get Avery Brooks out of my head as Hawk

jamesrwinter: Start at the beginning, Aldo, and make sure you stop before A CATSKILL EAGLE, which is about Ah-Nold Spensernegger.

yemighty: Hehehe

bquertermous: I wish he would go back to using Shakespeare quotes for titles. Hey the new one is really good.

g_so: Hugger Mugger is Shakespearean, though.

jamesrwinter: Avery Brooks? He was perfect for that part.

bquertermous: and I still read him, I think they got better for a bit after Potshot because he was working on other stuff he liked as well.

dpwhite237: The new one is pretty good.

jamesrwinter: COLD SERVICE?

dpwhite237: yeah.

g_so: I think Urich would have been better for Milan Jacovich.

jamesrwinter: I was thinking Ed Harris, but I always picture Milan as a bit older. Yeah, I can see Urich playing that part.

bquertermous: I loved Robert Urich as Spenser.

g_so: Urich was ethnically right for Milan, also an ex-football player.

dpwhite237: ?

g_so: go ahead, Dave.

dpwhite237: Okay, Jim--as an author where do you see yourself, writing wise in five years?

jamesrwinter: Using a PowerBook.

g_so: :)

yemighty: Hehehe :))

mysdawg2003: ?

g_so: Go ahead, Aldo.

mysdawg2003: Jim, in your mind what is the future of crime fic?

jamesrwinter: I am. Kneel before me, knaves.

jamesrwinter: :-D

g_so: :)

jamesrwinter: I'd better bail. My office is a disaster area, and I have a book to work on.

g_so: Okay, later, Jim. Thanks again.


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