Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Jim Heskett, and I’m the author of the Micah Reed series and the Layne Parrish series, both thrillers. I live in Colorado with my family, and spend most of my time hunched over my laptop, dreaming up new ways to kill off beloved characters.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
The tagline I use on my website is “thrillers with smarts.” I hope to create exciting stories with characters you can relate to, not just wooden heros and ridiculous plots. Stories that have depth and weight, but also make you want to turn the pages as fast as possible.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
My greatest inspiration is probably my mortgage and my car payment.
How do you deal with creative block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. As the saying goes, plumbers don’t experience plumbers’ block. It’s a job, so I treat it like one.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Being boring. Readers want to care about a character with a goal, and to experience worry the character won’t acheive that goal.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I used to think covers and titles were artistic decisions, but now I see them as marketing decisions. The cover and the title should clearly tell the reader what the genre of the book is, so there’s no confusion for the person clicking that buy button about what they’re going to get.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Bad reviews certainly don’t feel good, but every reader is entitled to his or her opinion. I’ve learned from constructive negative reviews, and the non-constructive ones, I’ve had to ignore and move on with my life. Never, ever respond to a negative review.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve definitely gotten faster, and (I hope) better. It takes a writer a long time to develop “voice.” I would hope that when someone picks up one of my books, they know what they’re going to get.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I try to accomplish both. I can’t write something unless I have an emotional investment in it, but I have interacted with my readers enough now to know what they like, and I endeavor to deliver it with each book.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
I write short in my first draft, then expand on those ideas in the second draft. It enables me to get my books done a lot faster than when I wrote fully fleshed-out first drafts.
What are your plans for future books?
I’d like to tell more stories people enjoy. Oh, also, fame and fortune. Yes, that’s my future plan.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
Being a writer is one of the few jobs you can successfully do in your pajamas. I don’t take that for granted.
My two websites are: