Monday 12 September 2011

Jim Winter interview: Road Rules

Road Rules by Jim Winter

Jim Winter works in the medical industry as a jack of all cybertrades. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Nita, and stepson, AJ. His book, Road Rules, is out now on Amazon, BN, and Smashwords.

Can you sum up your book in no more than 25 words?

The road trip to Hell starts with a stolen car. And ends in the garden of good and evil.

What was your motivation for writing it?

It started on a dare, actually.

What's your favourite part of the writing process?

I love it when I finally get moving on a story and sometimes you have to tear yourself away from the keyboard. When you leave the computer grinning, you know the story’s coming along.

As a reader, how would you describe your taste in crime fiction?

I prefer two kinds: The bleak kind, like Ken Bruen writes, and the sheer smart-ass crime fiction, like Stuart MacBride. Ken has a way of making you want to slit your wrists when you’re done with him, and then you can’t wait to take the ride again. Not to mention you can’t really tear yourself away from the poetry of his writing.

MacBride is just completely subversive, kind of like Ed McBain locked in a room with Monty Python. And the brilliance of it is MacBride has all these horrific crimes as his backdrop.

What was the last good eBook you read?

The Caretaker of Lorne Field, which is a horror novel by Dave Zeltserman. I love the way he ends it. You still don’t know if the whole thing is real or just a delusion.

If you had to re-read a crime novel right now, what would you choose?

Mystic River. It’s just this big sprawling thing that squeezes everything out of its characters and setting.

What did you do before you became a writer?

I was an IT drone for an insurance company.

How old were you when you completed your first novel?

I finished the first draft of Northcoast Shakedown when I was 36. I got to call my mother about that a couple of months before she died, so that was a happy night.

What are your views on eBook pricing?

From an author standpoint, I’ve shifted into the 99 cent camp. A few writers I know have said they sold more and made more at that price than the equally popular $2.99 price. (Mind you, that might vary between countries.) As a reader, if it’s low enough, I’m likely to take advantage of Amazon’s one-click and make an impulse buy.

What are the biggest problems facing writers these days?

It wasn’t that long ago you knew what the rules were. You wrote a book, got an agent, and if you kept at it long enough, you got a contract. Now the rules seem to change almost weekly, and the big publishers haven’t got a clue. At least it’s not the recording industry. 12 years after Napster, and record companies still think everyone owes them a living. Publishing is at least trying. They’re falling down, but they’re trying.

What are the greatest opportunities facing writers these days?

For once, I think writers truly do own their own destinies. You don’t have this expensive middle man making your work too pricey to go independent. It’s no guarantee of success, but at least writers now have control.

Which author should be much better known?

Michael Lister

Do you read outside of the crime genre?

I read science fiction, history, some nonfiction. I avoid political screeds whenever possible.

Road Rules by Jim Winter

1 comment:

  1. I love his 25 words description. Most effective one given so far.