Interview with Reed James
- Why did you decide to write:
I have always wanted to be a writer. Ever since Junior High, I was writing in notebooks all the time.
It was a mix of turning my favorite JRPG video games (Mainly Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and later Xenogears) into novels, blatantly ripping off their stories will writing my own descriptions, or my own sexual fantasies.
The first one I can imagine writing was a harem story (I know, shocking) involving the other girls at my Junior High. Through High School, my writing grew better and my erotica stories branched out with more fantasy elements like vampires, werewolves, dragons, shifters, or sci-fi stories with psychic powers.
But as I entered my twenties, I drifted away from writing. It was always there in the back of my mind, but I was distracted by the day-to-day grind.
Then I hit my thirties and realized that I should pursue my career. I had ideas for Fantasy novels, my true passion, so I decided to get serious about it. Only I felt my writing wasn’t good enough for the stories I wanted to tell.
I decided to write erotica as a way to both get back to writing those naughty stories in high school (but with far better quality) and to improve my craft. I wrote the Devil’s Pact (now being published on Smashword) and posted it in a few free XXX story sites.
People encouraged me while at the same time helping out with my grammar and style. I improved greatly thanks to that decision while simultaneously proving to myself that I now had the discipline to stick to one story and finish it (I started a hundred stories and never would get past the first chapter during High School before a new idea distracted me).
- Do you consider it a hobby or something you intended to do for money, fame and recognition in the craft:
Writing erotica started out as hobby, but I have found success that it now supports me as I pursue my dream to be a Fantasy author. Which is great, because I have a blast writing erotica.
I’m just glad people out there are enjoying my naughty fantasies.
- What is your genre and why do you have a passion for it:
Erotica and Fantasy.
I have a passion for both, which is why you see so many urban fantasy elements in my erotica. I am a kinky guy.
I’ve been reading erotica since Junior High and Fantasy since Elementary School. I love both, and mixing them is a lot of fun. I love the creativity of Fantasy and the raunchy fun of erotica.
- What personal experience lead you in this direction (was it a high school or college professor who believed in you):
I’ve always had an attraction to storytelling. I never shared my writing with anyone really until I started publishing.
My family knew I wrote (though I doubt they realized that half of it was erotica) when I was growing up, but I have no idea what they thought about it.
It was really people on the internet, people I had never met, who gave me the encouragement to publish my writing and the confidence to share my work.
And let me tell you, that is the most frightening part of writing. You bleed across your keyboard, even writing erotica, exposing some fundamental parts of yourself for scrutiny.
You have to bare yourself and then share it with the world.
My first ever comment I received was terrible (it involved me shoving a cactus up my ass). I survived it and then positive comments came in and I realized I could do this. I could share something so intimate as my personal fantasy, beliefs, and ideas to the world and survive.
- Who or what is your inspiration: is there a special author you admire and wish to emulate?
There are plenty of authors who have influenced me.
My writing style is probably most influenced off of Robert Jordan. Tolkien is another big influence, the fact that there are lasting consequences to choices.
My choice of erotica styles (especially futas) comes from Honey Moon, an erotica author who published in the nineties and introduced me to the concept before I discovered Anime in late high school (along with tentacle monsters).
Hentai would later have a great deal of shaping on my erotica plot lines, especially futa hentai (you might have guessed I love them).
- Are you planning to publish your indie projects on different platforms or just Amazon…and why:
I publish most of my stuff as exclusive to Amazon and their KU program.
I started out wide, but when Amazon rolled out KU 1.0 suddenly there was good money to make.
Sadly, that ended with KU 2.0 (our current system). But I survived the transition.
I still publish off Amazon through Smashwords. It’s mostly erotica that I can’t publish on Amazon’s tighter censorship strictures.
But I plan on pulling out some of the older stuff I have published on Amazon and putting it up on wide. Not everything, but a few series with other series being written with that idea in mind.
- Tell us about what inspires you to write (is it an early routine like Hemingway, a “as the mood strikes” like Faulkner:
Writing is escapism for me more so than reading ever was. I enjoy it greatly.
I spend almost every morning writing. I wake up and get to work.
I get all my writing for the day done over the course of about six hours and spend the afternoon doing my editing to get things ready for publishing.
It’s a great way to start the day, to write when my mind’s fresh. (I don’t write so good when I’m tired or at the end of a day).
- Do you work on multiple projects at one time or are you task oriented and go from project to project:
I work on multiple projects at a time, using a schedule and spreadsheets to make sure I know what step on the process I am with each project.
I have some stuff I only work on for an hour each day, moving the goal post farther.
It helps me from being stuck on anyone thing for too long, forcing me to shift gears and keep new ideas percolating.
- A year from now, where do you want to be in your writing career, 5 years from now or even 10 years from now:
I would love for my Fantasy career to take off in five years. It’s my true passion.
But I just hope that I still will be fortunate enough to write stories that people want to read.
- What separates you from the pack?
I think my mix of supernatural and erotic elements to tell the kinkiest stories possible, to mix erotica and action and magic and mystery, to weave stories using sex to show character motivations, to solve problems, or to cause conflicts in my story.
- What inspires you to push ahead:
The joy of inspiration. Of thinking up new ideas and then penning them down, unveiling new worlds to my readers and entertaining them.
I’m not here to change the world, but just give someone a brief moment of escapism. I think that’s a very important job.
- How do you handle writers block?
I have never really been beset by writers block. I do take walks, or long showers to think of ideas.
To let my mind wander and go down new avenues. Maybe it’s because I hop between projects that always keeps me moving in different directions and not thinking about the same problem over and over.
I find that when I do need solutions to problems, they often come when I am thinking about other things.
- What software do you use?
I write in OpenOffice, a free program that has almost all the features as word. I can format eBooks and print books with it that look just fine.
For covers, I use GIMP a free photo manipulation software.
- Do you make your own covers or do you outsource them?
I make my own covers for the vast majority of them.
For my novellas, I outsource to a graphic artist to give them an extra pizazz.
I think the most important part of your covers is branding, to have people see the cover and go, that’s this author’s book, that’s from this series.
The cover is the first thing people notice. So if you make your own, please watch some tutorials on YouTube, learn a few tricks to make them better, to make them stand out.
Reed James’ bio:
Reed James is a thirty year-old guy living in Tacoma, WA. “I love to write, I find it freeing to immerse myself in a world and tell its stories and then share them with others.”
He’s been writing naughty stories since high school, furiously polishing his craft, and finally feels ready to share his fantasies with the world.
“I love writing about women who want to be a little (or a lot) naughty, people expressing their love for each other as physically and kinkily as possible, and women loving other women. Whether it’s a virgin experiencing her/his first time or a long-term couple exploring the bounds of their relationships, it will be a hot, erotic story!”
You can check out James Reed at the following sites:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reed.james.9231
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1vDgktT
Newsletter (which comes with a bonus two free stories): http://eepurl.com/X7_xr
Writers in any genre would be wise to check out Reed’s 12 part series on publishing erotica. There’s a ton of good information on his blog for newbies and seasoned pros.
Part 12, covers the all too often misunderstood Amazon keywords. Literally, books have been written about keywords and blurbs as it relates to Amazon publishing. Reed does an excellent job of walking you through the process of choosing your keywords carefully.
Maybe that’s why he’s consistently ranked in the top 100 of Amazon erotic authors. As of this posting he’s ranked #24 in Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Erotica.
Are you an author? If you’d like an author interview fill out the information on the contact form and we’ll get the ball rolling. My plan is to publish an interview every week.