Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

By James Batchelor on November 29th, 2021

When people learn that I am a writer a number of questions usually follow. “What kind of books do you write?” is usually the first. But when they grow more comfortable, questions about my books specifically usually turn to questions about writing or publishing in general, as most people seem to have contemplated writing a book at one time or another. Below I’ve endeavored to answer a few of the most common questions.

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Red Flags for Big Publishing Houses

By James Batchelor on November 28th, 2014

The world of Publishing has changed dramatically over the last decade. There is no doubt about it. We live in a time when anyone, regardless of subject matter or talent, can publish their work to the world with the investment of nothing more than time. And though there are often many reasons–and even benefits–to going the self-published route, let’s face it, the big publishing houses still lend credibility to any novel. Especially a new novel from a relatively unknown author. Though the big houses may not be as important as they once were, a reader knows that any book that comes from a publishing house has been professionally edited, proofread, and reviewed by any number of industry professionals. And while it may be argued that this can have a watering-down effect as publishers try to force novels into rigidly formulaic parameters, the level of investment and professionalism that comes from the big boys is something that a self-published author very often do not have the resources or understanding to give to his or her own work.

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Recapturing the Magic

By James Batchelor on August 3rd, 2014

As I announced some months ago via twitter and facebook, I have finished the rough draft of Hall of Mages. Now some of you are starting to notice that you have not heard any updates since then. That is mostly because there are no updates. But let me explain why.

When Hall of Mages fell into my lap (if you are unfamiliar with how that came to be you can read about it here), it was not complete and needed a lot of work. Despite that, my brother’s gift for capturing the magic of his world, which is what makes fantasy so much fun to read, came through very strong.

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By James Batchelor on June 22nd, 2014

I am posting today as a participant in an author’s blog-hop, wherein a bunch of different authors answer four of the most commonly asked questions that we authors hear. My thanks to Dave Butler for involving me in this. Dave writes speculative fiction. I just read one of Dave’s books, Crecheling, this last weekend and had a hard time putting it down. Find out more about Dave on his blog here, or on twitter @davidjohnbutler. Now onto the bloghop’s standard introductory paragraph:

We writers share these things informally during workshops and at conferences, but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions:

Q: What am I working on?

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It Was Never About Talent!

By James Batchelor on June 13th, 2013

Do you ever worry that you are not talented enough to make a go of it in a creative field? Do you watch these hacks on the televised talent shows who are reduced to tears when they are rejected and fear that maybe that is you? Perhaps you too are just a deluded simpleton with no real talent and you will never be able to run with the big boys?

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Just Do The Work!

By James Batchelor on March 26th, 2013

Just do the work! There is no other way to say it. Forget all the opposition. Forget all the millions of reasons not to. Forget your exhaustion, your discouragement, the dread of another day spent doing something you hate. Turn off the TV, disconnect from the internet, silence your phone and get to it. And do it now!

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You Are No Shakespeare!

By James Batchelor on December 5th, 2012

“You are no Shakespeare!” That is what the little voice inside my head used to constantly remind me as I reviewed my own work (still does on occasion). It never failed: I would write something that I felt good about, go back to review it, and the little voice would appear, usually chortling derisively, “you thought that was good?” It would sputter around scarcely suppressed laughter and turn to the other little voices in my head, “Guys, come and check this out. James was happy about this piece of crap that a third grader would be embarrassed to have written.” They would all take a turn ridiculing me and finally adopt a consoling air, “Well,” they would say, “at least you never showed it to anyone.”

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The Gate

By James Batchelor on November 20th, 2012

All my life I wanted to write novels. I can still remember my earliest experiences of sitting down with my brother, Jared, when I was about eight and excitedly dashing off page after page of anything that came into our heads, which masterpieces we would then inflict upon my poor sister. She would patiently read them and tell us how great they were. And what could we do since she enjoyed them so much, but write a bunch more?

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