Author James Knipp is a member of the South Jersey Writers Group and also one of the authors for the Tall Tales and Short Stories Anthology. So please join me in my interview of the talented and creative James Knipp.
Story: No Fun Joe
Tell us a little about yourself?
“I’m just this guy, y’know?” Not a whole lot. Forty three years old…Married almost 20 years and somehow we still like each other. Three wonderful daughters. I started writing in earnest again after turning forty, and am still in full mid-life crisis mode, complete with long bouts of self-reflection about where I am and where I was supposed to be. I like to joke that it’s kind of a pathetic midlife crisis, because I’m too fat to get the 20 year old girlfriend and too brook to get the Porsche (or perhaps it’s the other way around)…my wife doesn’t really like that joke though.
What got you interested in writing and when did you start?
I wrote my first story that received praise when I was in 5th grade (the epic classic “James Knipp’s Pencil”) and I was hooked. I don’t know if I even like writing considering all the things I do to keep myself from getting started, but I love being in the zone, that feeling when you’re transported into this new world you’ve created and that feeling that you’ve created something unique and special when you’re done. And frankly, I like the reactions when people read my work…I’m a bit of an attention whore, really the same kid who used to sit in Mrs. Greenberg’s lap and read to the other kindergartners, and I love that feeling that I opened the doorway to this other world, and now can share it with someone else.
What type of stories do you enjoy writing?
This is the part where I say I prefer to write Horror, but the truth is, I love writing almost anything, as long as the idea grips me and transports me. I’ve probably written as many ‘real life’ stories like (“No Fun Joe”) as Horror type stories. Really anything with at least one strong interesting character in an interesting place or situation. My brain tends to dwell in dark places, so those situations often seen to involve demons or zombies or old secrets.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
Really, everything around me, I have this “What if” machine that runs constantly in my head. I’ll see something that strikes me (an interesting guy on the bus, angry people in a diner) and an idea pops full blown out of this machine and runs around my head and drives me crazy until it dies or I write it out…that and this monocle wearing purple emu that occasionally shows up in my dreams to tell me to get off my butt and get writing.
Why did you pick this particular story for our anthology?
Just seemed like a good fit…It was based in South Jersey. I wanted to submit something short and frankly had just finished it when Am and Marie came looking. I thought it was serendipity calling, so I went with it.
What advice can you give to our readers who are interested in writing and getting their book published?
Learn how to take rejection. Writing ain’t for sissies. I know that’ easier said than done, but with few exceptions, every established writer has been rejected multiple times.
Is it important for new writers to join a writer’s group and why?
At a minimum, writers groups provide a level of therapy. It’s always good to know that you’re not alone with those feelings of inadequacy. A good writers group will also provide a sounding board for your work, and hopefully will add a level of polish before you move to get it published.It has been a pleasure having you join us today and dear readers, you can find James on the sites below.
You can find James Knipp on: