Monday, 6 February 2017

Chatting with Jim Yackel

Welcome to the blogsite, Jim and thank you for joining us.
Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A. I’m a Christ follower, author, singer/songwriter, and a keen watcher of world events; especially as they may play into Biblical prophecy. I’m also becoming an independent journalist and working on content in regards to that vocation on my YouTube channel. Q. Where do you live and do you have a day job?
A. I live in upstate New York and yes, I have a day job that is nothing to brag about!
Q. When you’re not writing, what leisure time activities or hobbies do you enjoy?
A. I enjoy fishing, working out, and taking walks down long paths - where I’ll often find myself stepping off the beaten path; so as to explore what may or may not be there. Sometimes, that results in getting covered in burdock and getting attacked bitten by all manner of insects.
Q. Do you have any pets that are part of your household? 
A. I have no pets, but I’d enjoy having a tank of some of the species of freshwater fish found finning in my locality.
Q. Do you like to read or do you prefer to listen to audio books?
A. I prefer reading to audio books. I like to have the written word come to life in my imagination without the enhancement - or should I say distraction of sound.
Q. Do you have a kindle, nook, or reading device yourself, or do you prefer to read from printed versions of a book?
      A. I’m old school in that regard. I like to read from a physical book.
Q. Who are your favourite authors?
A. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, LaHaye and Jenkins, and of course the authors of the Biblical word.
Q. Which ‘genres’ do you prefer to read – and write? Is there a difference?
A. I like Christian fiction pertaining to the End Times, some horror, and Sci-Fi - hence King and Koontz. I prefer stories that make a reader think and not just provide entertainment. A story with a message relevant to the events and culture in which we live is always best.
Q. What drove you to begin a writing career?
A. Strangely enough, it was at the suggestion of a friend that I should write fiction (and non-fiction which I’ve not yet dabbled with) because of my creativity, insight, and imagination. Once I began, I knew it was something I was meant to do; that it was a parallel to music in some ways. The effort now is to combine the two together with pop/rock soundtracks for my books. Everything I do seems to tie into everything else I do. For me, there can’t be one thing without the others as part of a complete creative offering. Unfortunately, getting my new music recorded and getting back out on the live scene is posing difficulties due to financial and time constraints, as well as finding a good line-up of musicians to work with. This is a pain in my soul that needs to be salved,and I need to get this moving again!
Q. What do you feel are the greatest challenges facing any writer at the present time?
A. It’s not so much the writing for authors as it is the promotion. There are so many indie authors with product on the market; just like recording artists. The challenge is being able to promote enough to get market share and be competitive. It takes money, time, and of course talent doesn’t hurt! The reader has so much to choose from, and in cyberspace just like on Terra Firma, the consumer’s attention span usually under ten seconds before they’re drawn to something else. The greatest challenge is to grab the consumer’s attention in that miniscule amount of time and hold it so they will be compelled to purchase or at least download through Kindle Unlimited, so there’s the royalty for the author for page reads.
Q. Do you have an office or ‘space’ where you write from and is it at home, or elsewhere?
A. I write at home on my PC. It’s comfortable and quiet enough.
Q. Do you write to a target – word count – every day, or do you have another writing discipline that you could share with us?
A. I write until the creative well runs dry, or until I run out of time during a particular session.
Q. What inspires you – or has inspired you – to write a particular book?
A. God, and the events taking place around us in the U.S. and around the world. Needless to say, there is plenty of inspiration right now!
Q. Do you write from imagination, personal experience, or a mixture?
A. It’s both, for certain. Most (but not all) of my characters are at least loosely based on people I’ve known or encountered. My life experiences certainly are contributors to the process.
Q. Which of the books that you have written so far is your favourite and what can you tell us about it without giving the game away?
A. That’s a difficult question, but I would have to say its Remembering Will. That story is the only one without an End Times theme. Let’s just say that Will is a man in a natural and supernatural crisis, and he has suffered greatly. It’s emotional and heart wrenching to say the least. Does Will survive? Well, I guess you’d have to read the book.
 Q. Do you have a current ‘work in progress’? Can you tell us anything about it?
A. As of this interview, I have some firm ideas for the next book, but nothing yet underway. I am stretched thin at this moment; trying to get a music project started as well as growing the independent news reporting. But, as I alluded to before, I need to do all of these things, so if America doesn’t implode and we lose our ability to produce and
release product, there will be a new book in the not too distant future, unless the Lord has different plans.
Q. When you have finished writing the book – what do you do next? By that I mean, do you edit the book yourself? Do you design your own book cover? Do you prepare a project plan to market your book?
A. I proofread and edit myself, and it is quite a repetitive process. I don’t design my book covers or do my own formatting, but those are both things I would like to do on my own and should invest the time in gaining those skills. I’m always thinking of new ways to market, but that is an effort.
Q. What methods have you used to engage with your readership? Social media, press announcements, or book signings? What works for you that you might recommend for others?
A. I love Twitter and use that. I personally don’t use Facebook, and I know that puts me in the minority, but I guess when it comes to Social Media I’m not very social! It’s all business in that respect, but I am always seeking engagement with my readers. Because I am a watcher of the world and know how the internet is used for data mining and tracking, I’m somewhat “aloof” on Social Media, even though I’m a heavy Twitter user. I also use YouTube, where I’ve done videos of readings of blogs written by characters from The Wayfarers. I would suggest that authors invest what money they can in Amazon ads, and also work to get verified reader reviews. Pursue author radio shows as well, and try to do interviews like this one on blog sites. Just keep pushing, and hope that a buzz begins that will draw interested readers.
Q. Where does your target ‘device audience’ lie? Is it in people who use kindle, kobo, nook, or some other electronic device? Or purely in print? 
A. For me, it’s Kindle. That is where the most action is, hands-down.
Q. Which gender and age group are your books targeted at?
A. While I would hope that anyone from the age of 16 on up would read my book, my work is targeted toward adults. I don’t have a specific age demographic that I target, but it certainly better understood by adults, and as far as gender is concerned, I would say both male and female equally.
Q. Where do you see your primary market? The USA, UK, Europe, or elsewhere?
A. I’ve sold books to readers in many nations, but my primary market is the U.S.A.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone starting out on a writing career?
A. Be yourself. Endeavor to be an original, even though your influences will creep in, and in that, comparisons to other authors will arise. It’s the same in the music business. Keep your expectations low, but your aspirations high. Writing is a muscle so to speak, so you need to keep exercising it so it’ll grow.
Q. If you won a million pounds / dollars tomorrow, what would you do with the proceeds?
A. I would use a good portion to feed and clothe the homeless and hungry. I have particular needs, and certainly I’d have to tend to those as well. I wouldn’t invest any of it in the stock market. Whatever I had left, I would stuff under the mattress.
Q. If you were gifted an air ticket to ‘anywhere’, which destination would you choose above all others and why?
A. I’d go to Israel, the apple of God’s eye. I’d love to walk where Jesus walked when he was here on earth the first time.
Q. What is the funniest thing that happened to you in 2016?
A. While fishing, I cast a spinner and the line landed on an overhanging tree branch. As I started to reel up in an effort to get the line free, a Northern Pike jumped out of the water and tried to grab my dangling spinner. It came out like a missile a second time as I slowly reeled up, and missed the spinner again. After carefully reeling, the spinner passed over the branch without snagging and fell into the water. I as I started to retrieve, the pike went for it a third time and I hooked and landed him. I found the fish’s dogged persistence extremely funny! Not a spoiler alert, but my character Will Gailey from Remembering Will loves to fish for pike. I like to fish for them, so therefore one of my characters does as well. Another case of my personal experience or interests being that of a character.
Q. Do you have website or social media page you would like to invite us to visit?
Q. Do you have links on twitter or any other social media sites?
A.     Twitter: @jim_yackel

B.      YouTube:  

To hear Jim's music.... Click HERE

Readers, if you'd like to check Jim's books out please click into his amazon page at the following link.

Here' a selection of Jim's books. They are available in both paperback and kindle.