James Quinn: I've always wanted to write from when I won a book token in a primary school writing competition. Unfortunately real life got in the way until I hit 40! Then I realised that I wanted to live the dream.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
J.Q.: A Game For Assassins has been in my head for about five years. The actual writing took roughly about two of those years. It was good to finally get it all down on paper after having it stored up inside me for so long.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
J.Q.: The scenario always starts it off. The "What if" question. What if killers target a network of spies. What if the intelligence services discover the plot? What would happen? After that I put the main characters in that scenario and see where they lead me.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
J.Q.: On this book it was scattergun-like. Writing bit here and there, juggling work and day to day life certainly gave the story flavour and added some interesting ideas.
Hopefully in the future my writing time will be more structured - hopefully!
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
J.Q.: If I'm honest - and I know I'm probably meant to come up with a deeply philosophical answer - it's because I want to see where my characters are going. I mean even I don't know, so it's nice to share their adventures with an audience.
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
J.Q.: A lot of the situations and experiences that are in A Game For Assassins come from my own personal experiences. I spent 15 years working on various types of intelligence/information gathering and security operations, so the day to day "meat and potatoes" of how things work comes from that.
Character traits - well I'm certainly grumpy at times like my main character "Gorilla."
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
J.Q.: I walk and walk and walk, I run, I shoot, I train in various unarmed combat systems, so it bleeds it out of me and works off the frustration and aggression.
I also have a stable of old books that inspire me to "get back out there" and start writing again.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
J.Q.: Its part of the gig for any creative person. There will always be people that love what you do and those that don't. It's a big, big world and everyone has their own specifics.
Like a boxer you just have to roll with the punches and get back up to do better when you get knocked down.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
J.Q.: My office desk is "relatively" tidy and I try to keep it that way. I'm probably borderline OCD!
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
J.Q.: So many......Stephen King has been with me since boyhood, John Le Carre most definitely and Elmore Leonard. If I can write dialogue half as good as him by the end of my career I'll be a very happy man.
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
J.Q.: I got a fish that keeps attacking his underwater castle - I call him Nemo. Does that count?
LBBB: Haha that sure does! Thanks for joining us this week, James!
He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows. He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.
He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.