Friday, March 30, 2012

Interview with author James Hockings

1.) For those who don't know you, James, can you tell us about your books and yourself as a writer? 

I could fill 100 pages in answer, but this is Ty’s blog and not mine. Blah, blah, blah … yep I rite reel good books, eh? (Canadian)

But the one fact that might interest folks is that I became a writer by accident. We all have “party pieces” — yarns from our past that are more or less true. We drag them out and bore the assembled multitudes after a few drinks. Well, one day I decided to write down my favorite yarn.

And a little later, I wrote another and then another, until I had 3 decent short stories. Then I did a few more and I thought, “Heck, I have a book of short stories.” Then that evolved into a book of linked short stories, then into an episodic first-person novel, then into a chronological third-person coming-of-age novel that became SURFING VIETNAM three years later.

2.) One of your books is titled How to Kill Your Wife. Are you married? And if so, how does she feel about this book?

My ex-wives drag this book out at their weekly support group meetings and try to figure out how to sue me. They meet every second Thursday in the basement of the Moose Lodge Hall and new members are always welcome. Free parking out back …

3.) Your doctor informs you that you have only months to live. How do you react? 

What, again? I’m on my second cancer diagnosis now and could do a third one standing on my head. If you start living your life differently in the face of a terminal diagnosis, it just means you were living it wrong in the first place.

4.) Five minutes later the same doctor returns to you and says, "Oops! Sorry, I was looking at the wrong chart. You're fine." What is your response to this? 

Sue the bastard. It’s the American way.

5.) Another doctor informs you your eyesight is failing and if you continue to read, your sight will be completely gone after you finish one more book. Do you read that book or not? And what would it be? And, would you then turn to audio books or some similar technology?

Reading is no longer the fetish it used to be with me. I read 3 books a week for decades and am not thrilled with reading anything lately. I would just turn on my audio book.

My favorite art form is a TV series viewed in sequence on DVD — THE WIRE being the best example of the excellence that is possible in long form video story telling. Series like THE WIRE are the War and Peace of our age.

6.) You are eating in a restaurant when Chuck Norris kicks in the front door, stomps his way over to your table, points at you and says, "You and me. Outside. Now!" Then he turns to storm away. What do you do?

I would pick up my purse and sashay after that big brute and give him a piece of my mind.


K. L. Pinney B.S.(MT) M.S. said...

Jim's sarcasm, apparent in this interview, is what makes his books so intriguing. "Surfing Vietnam" and "How to Kill Your wife" have serious implications, but the subtle humor tags each character as lovable and realistic.

Ty Johnston said...

I have to agree. That humor shines through, and could really add to a novel.

Thanks for dropping by!

Jim Hockings/ The Hawk said...

I have not laughed out loud, while reading an interview in a whle. This interview has certainly made me laugh out loud. I picture a man sashaying out after Chuck Norris.

Anonymous said...

That comment was made from Jims Macbook. I'm spending time getting to know my step father. He passed away last Tuesday. That second cancer diagnosis shall be his last. This interview did make me laugh out loud and I really needed that.

Ty Johnston said...

Sorry to hear about your stepfather. My wife currently has Stage IV breast cancer, and it's not easy. I can only imagine your own pain being so much more.