Interview with James M Roberts, author of “Enjoy My Misery”

How important is research to you when writing a book?

To me research wasn’t a big part in my book. I spend more time just writing exactly how I am feeling.

What inspires you to write?

Events that have taken place in my life. I feel that if we can’t express our past then it can be hard to move on. The only way I could get past my past was to write it, so that inspired me.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I would say it is a mix of both. The best writing for me is when I feel my mind racing with ideas.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies;is there any truth to that?

Yes. I think writers are a different breed today. I enjoy time on my own more than with others. I am still trying to figure out why.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

Both. I try and at least have an idea of how I am going to structure the book. However so many things changes during it. Example a certain memory can trigger which makes me go a completely different route than planned for.

What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

My first book was based on my hardest time in my life. The writing part wasn’t hard, it was reliving the events again through paper.

Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

Focus on one day at a time. Once you find yourself struggling to write just stop and save it for another day when you’re feeling inspired.

Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?

My first book Enjoy My Misery. I wrote it while putting myself through college. I must have written 200,000 words that I left untouched for years before going back and writing it all over from scratch.

What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

It depends on the book of course. However for me it is important to make the reader feel exactly how the character does.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

Yes. My current book cover was my idea.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Yes. The phrase don’t judge a book by its cover is a lie. Everyone does.

Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?

Yes. That is the only way I am going to get better at my writing.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t worry about if your book sells or not. It’s more than just reaching people but accomplishing a personal goal.

Did you ever think you would be unable to finish your first novel?

No. At times I wanted to quit. But I had so much drive and ambition that I alsways knew I would finish.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

My whole heart is poured into my first book. It is a version of me unknown to anyone.

How realistic are your books?

100 percent realistic and true.

Who are your books mostly dedicated to?

Anyone who has ever struggled with depression, anxiety, and a broken heart

It is often believed that almost all writers have had their hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as well?

Yes my heart is broken, but I’m trying to overcome it through my writing.

Poets and writers in general, have a reputation of committing suicide; in your opinion, why is that the case?

I think it’s because we feel that we need to get all of our words out to people. In the end though it doesn’t fill that gap of emptiness inside.

Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?

Yes. I am trying to be successful at my current job. Then again I’m trying to become a bestselling author. It’s two careers really.

From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?

I would say that’s not entirely true. However I did and still do struggle with drinking excessively to fill that emptiness.

Is it true that anyone can be a writer?

I believe so yes. Everyone has a story to tell.

People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

My friends and family always tell me it’s a huge accomplishment. I still feel empty though, but it helps me write more.

How does it feel when you don’t get the recognition you deserve?

No one likes that. Not Good. Especially when you pour your heart into a book.

Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?

Yes. That is what I am currently doing.

Now when you look back at your past, do you feel accomplished?

Somewhat. I still haven’t hit my pinnacle yet.

Given the chance to live your life again, what would you change about yourself?

Have more confidence and not be as hard on myself.

How do you feel when people recognize you in public and appreciate your work?

It’s the best high I’ve ever had. Better than anything.

Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

I need to be alone with no distractions. Usually in the library or my house.

Did you specifically plan your studies around your interest of writing?

No. I went to school for business management.

If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?

Costa Rica. I could listen to the ocean and write on the beach.

Do you prefer being intoxicated to write? Or would you rather write sober?

I could never write intoxicated. Sober

What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?

Become a bestselling author. Having the world understand my pain…