In Detail with Jim Musgrave

Tell us the book title and your author name.

The President’s Parasite and Other Stories, by Jim Musgrave

What inspired the book?

My imagination.

What makes this book special to you?

It’s my inner reaction to the eight years of the Bush administration.

What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?

It’s a book filled with stories that are authentically original, and they will make readers think deeply about certain issues.

What people NEED to read this book and WHY?

I suppose people who have restricted their reading to non-fiction or to only novels should read this collection. I believe my stories will shake something loose inside the reader so that he or she will react to something other than coffee in the morning. In addition, my readers should be adults with open minds. To coin an expression from my generation, they should get ready to have their minds “blown away”.

What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?

Besides coffee? Ah yes, I know what you mean. I believe we are all creative in our own ways, but the writer in me suggests to other writers that they attempt to tap into what Carl Jung called the “Collective Unconscious.” Thus, the writer is able to literally become any character and any scene that has ever existed, now exists or will ever exist in the future. That’s about the full gamut of fiction, isn’t it? Historical, contemporary and science fiction and/or fantasy, and all the genres in-between, are all available to the creative writer. This is what I believe truly enlightened folks like Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammad, Sister Theresa and Gautama Buddha called “compassion.” It is the creative ability to “feel” the complete passion or sensory experience of others.

What has been the biggest stumbling block in your writing? Can you share some tips to help others get past similar problems?

My ego. In other words, when I can’t “kill my darlings” I kill the story. “Killing your darlings” is what many writers call deleting paragraphs, scenes, and even chapters that they’ve spent hours creating–all for nothing, they often believe. But a writer who can’t stomach killing any of his or her darlings is not focusing on the big picture: his or her story as a whole. You may hate cutting scenes that are hilarious or poignant or suspenseful, but to be a good writer, you must do exactly that. If anything that you’ve written, no matter how beautifully, doesn’t move your story along, it will bog your story down. By saving your “darlings,” you might be killing your story.

What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?

Besides coffee and insanity? I really can’t speak for others, but I wrote to keep from going nuts. Writing has, in many ways, saved me from depression, taught me what is really important in life, and given me the will to go in, not necessarily in that order. I often tell people to read the poet Ranier Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” in order to truly understand what should motivate a writer. After reading these letters, I often believe it is good that I’m finally old enough and wise enough to start writing.

Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?

I have been interviewed on radio in many states, and it was a great experience fielding questions from people (many of whom had not read my book). It taught me humility and understanding of the other person’s perspective.

Why are you the BEST person to write this book? What in your background or in your research makes you qualified to do justice to this topic?

If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn’t interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I’m thinking something better than “Its the greatest book ever.” Give me something more specific 🙂

Why does the topic of your book interest you? Why would it interest potential readers? Give us a hook to reel in new readers.

Is there a way to tie your book topic to current events? If so, tell us about how you could do that. I have a blog to feature information and examples about tying books into current events that might be a good place for you to promote your book.

Thank you for visiting with me and in closing, give us your website address and a link to order your book.

My blog: http://efraimzgraves.wordpress.com/

Order the book: http://www.contempinstruct.com/books/product_page/full_page/ec1.htm

SPECIAL NOTE —

Now you can download a sample of the stories from my new collection to see if you want to buy. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. Click the link below to get your copy of this sampler and get excerpts from each story in The President’s Parasite –

http://efraimzgraves.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/new-download-sampler-from-the-presidents-parasite-and-other-stories/

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