1. Did you pick your genre or did it pick you?
I write Science Fiction and Fantasy because these are the things I read growing up. I loved Robin Hood, King Arthur, Greek and Norse mythology, especially The Iliad and The Odyssey. The a friend lent me Triplanetary, the first book in the Lensmen Series by E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith. Some say I’ve been spaced out ever since.
2. Do you write in multiple genres or just one?
I’ve written Science Fiction with a little political intrigue, a little morality play, a little romance. The same themes are in my Fantasy novel. Right now I’m working on a SciFi/Fantasy book with a tongue-in-cheek detective setting. Think Sam Spade meets The Thing-the original black & white movie version. Only different. Ha-ha..
3. How much time do you devote to writing per day?
It varies a lot. There are times when the story just has to get out, so I’ll write as much as I can. Other times, the story’s asleep, so I catch up on life.
4. What have you published so far?
My first book, THE BEST LAID PLANS, is actually Book II of the Starclan Series. Don’t ask why I wrote Book II first, I don’t know. The second book is a collection of short stories, THE UNIVERSE, FIVE MINUTES AT A TIME, I wrote mostly as exercises, trying to get the stories told in one or two pages. Then I published THE PAGE, The Year of The Dragons, a tale of knights, dragons, wizards, and legends, with some historical figures thrown in. On March 4th 2014 I published THE TURRET, Book I of the Starclan Series. That has been very popular, selling over 1,700 books in the first six weeks.
5. Has your method of writing changed over the course of publishing your books?
I don’t know if you’d call it my method, but I think I’ve gotten better. I can proof a little better, and I’m more conscious about using words and phrases that don’t add to the story. I have beta-readers who are wonderful. They’ve made me a better storyteller.
6. Where do you see yourself a year from now?
My goal is to have the third Starclan book published by the end of 2014, along with the detective book. In 2015 my wife and I plan to visit Scotland. I’ll be able to see the settings for THE PAGE, even if it is 1,500 years after the story! I may do a fourth Starclan book, maybe not. I’ve got about five more stories in my head, each totally different. We’ll see which ones want ‘out’ the most.
7. Did you self-publish, go the traditional way, or do both?
I publish on CreateSpace and Amazon through my company, Fortiter Publishing LLC right now. In May I’ll expand to other venders.
8. Which method did you prefer?
Whichever brings in more money. By that I do not mean I’m writing for money, but if I can get enough flowing in, then I’ll have more time to write. The way the story gets to the reader is strictly a business decision. The reason I write is something else.
9. Of the books that you have written, do you have a favorite? Why?
I think THE TURRET is the best, but THE BEST LAID PLANS will always be special to me. I still miss those characters.
10. Why did you become a writer?
I had been waiting for a long time for certain stories to be published. After 40 years, when no one stepped up and wrote them, I decided to write them myself. I travel a lot for my ‘real’ job, and had taken to reading kindle ebooks on planes, in airports and hotel rooms. I have several SciFi series I love and still follow, but it was the writing of Michael R. Hicks that got me thinking about writing myself.
11. Who is your target audience?
Anyone interested in my stories, really. They say SciFi/Fantasy is a small market, but I think The Hobbit, Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Marvel movies have proven that idea outdated.
12. What are you working on now?
Book III of the Starclan Series. I have the basic story outlined in my head, but it’s fighting me on fleshing it out. Then there is the detective story. That will be a lot of fun, and my be done first.
13. What makes you different from other writers in your genre?
I’m much better looking. Just kidding. I don’t know how you would define ‘different’ in that context. I try to leave clues to what will happen next to keep the tension high, yet keep some surprises in the story too. I try to develop characters readers can care about. I’ve also drooped some ‘Easter Eggs’ in both of the Starclan books. I don’t know if any other authors do that. No one has spotted them yet, so I’m keeping them secret.
James McAllister is the groups Science fiction Artist. James anchors the Science fiction blog and welcomes readers and other authors to participate through posting stories or author pages whichever is applicable.
James Warren McAllister is a Registered Respiratory Therapist living in Central New York State. James’ first novel, THE BEST LAID PLANS, was selected on February 1, 2014 as a Runner-Up in the MARSocial Author of the Year Competition, the largest competition of it’s type ever held on the internet.
James’ work takes him all over; he has been to 43 States, along with Bermuda, Canada, and Puerto Rico. James’ other interests include sports, history, computers, photography, Jordan The Wonder Cat, gardening, fishing, and scale model building.
James has been interested in science fiction since a friend in Junior High School lent him the Lensmen Series of books by E. E. “Doc” Smith. This interest was further spiked by Star Trek, and then Star Wars.
Some of James McAllister’s published works:
Chosen as a MARSocial Author of the Year Competition RUNNER-UP
For the three centuries Man has explored the stars no other
life has been encountered. Where there should be luscious planets in promising
star systems only rubble was found.
A few really, really short stories by MARSocial Author of the Year Finalist J. W. McAllister
If you liked the Twilight Zone’s cute ironies, perhaps you’ll find some amusement here. Also included are short introductions to events and characters in four books I have written or are working on.
A disillusioned, war-weary hero becomes a reluctant king. His rule is such that he becomes known as the Good King.
While defending his people from one of the incessant attacks from the North, the Good King takes an orphaned child as his page, and raises the boy by the ideals of a more promising time.
Grown into a young knight, the Page sets out to find his overdue king. Along his way he finds a village controlled by a tyrannical sheriff. The secret behind the sheriff’s power is unleashed when Page tries to free the village.
As the knight fights off the dragons, one captures a maiden as revenge. Page pursues, and thus begins or tale.
Heroes grown old try to pass on the Way of a more civilized time. Have they taught the young ones enough?