The Write Stuff: Jim Morris

20141129_164710.jpgHi, I’m Jim Morris, author of the New Adult/alternate history novel MELOPHOBIA. Most people want to know where the idea came from. Basically, it stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend who believed that the United States was on the verge of armed revolution during the Vietnam era, no doubt influenced by the music that was widening the gulf between parents and kids. (As well as the war, assassinations, riots, the sexual revolution, etc.) Now, I have no idea if my friend was right or not, but I thought it was an interesting seed of an idea: what if the US did have a revolution, and the government won? I then anchored the story with a woman who had grown up with all the restrictions in place, and to her, the world is normal.

As for writing, I spend a lot of time outlining, making sure the story works. After that, the writing itself happens quickly. And then there are the revisions, beta-reads, and more revisions. All in all, it took me about a year to complete. Unlike my other projects, this one required a variety of permissions to use song lyrics. That was its own hill to climb, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using song lyrics unless absolutely necessary!

I have a “day job,” so I find my writing time can be limited – sometimes on weekends, other times my lunch break. I was always inspired by JK Rowling’s story of writing on the “tube” to and from work. I find I can write nearly anywhere, with a computer or longhand on a yellow legal pad. I purposely try not to be too precious about my circumstances; I find that once you need something (whether a quiet room, or only a certain laptop) those are red flags that you are creating roadblocks for yourself.

My wife, of course, is my best reader, and gives me some of the best notes. She’s also a writer, so making her laugh, or cringe or tear up with something I write takes effort! But when it happens, I know I’m on the right track.

As for a writer’s life, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It can be lonely; some people love your work while others may hate it. And unless you’re one of maybe 20 writers we all know by name, you can’t say you’re in it for the money. Depending on my mood, I consider writing to be a blessing or a curse.

Otherwise, I’m just a guy who grew up in the Midwest and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career, which gave me some great opportunities in the world of TV and film. I like to think I’ve taken those lessons and applied them to the never-ending learning curve of writing novels. Thanks for having me, and I hope you enjoy the book!

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