Today I welcome James Husum to my Author’s Spotlight debuting his first novel in his medieval gumshoe series. I met James while learning to improve my writing craft at hollyswritingclasses.com.
James is an engaging and humorous guy and so is his writing. He had me smiling from the first page. A delightful fun adventure read. I’m ready for the next installment. If you and your kids love fantasy adventure you are in for a treat. Don’t believe me, check out this entertaining interview I manage to get from James and his quirky gumshoe detective Author.
Interview with James Husum Fantasy Adventure Author
What was your inspiration for your book, Author Mace, Medieval Gumshoe, Book I?
Arthur: Obviously I’m the inspiration. Although, frankly, I don’t think I’m all that interesting. I certainly didn’t ask this guy to write about me.
James: Oddly enough, you weren’t the start of the story.
Arthur: I wasn’t?
James: No, King Hubert and Queen Lydia showed up first. I saw this scene in my head of them interacting with each other. Things just sort of built up from there. You came up because the King mentioned you helping him out with a problem when he was still Prince Hubert.
Arthur: Oh, yeah. I remember that. Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime.
James: I look forward to it. On a deeper level I wanted to write a fantasy story, something along the lines of Robert Asprin’s Myth Adventures or the show Leverage. Something fun and adventurous. Once the King and Queen showed up, the Kingdom started forming, and things grew from there.
Tell us about your main character in Arthur Mace, Medieval Gumshoe, Arthur Mace.
Arthur: Hey, shouldn’t I get to answer this one?
James: Fair enough. You go first.
Arthur: Well, I’m just this guy, you know? I help people handle problems they might not be able to take care of on their own.
James: Are you done?
Arthur: Yeah, What else do you need to know?
James: Let’s see. You’ve got a rough exterior, you try to shut people out but you genuinely care about people you try to help. You’ve got guilt over something in your past …
Arthur: Watch it!
James: Sorry. I’ll wait until you tell me about that. You’re good at what you do. Your quick on your feet. You’ve got an internal moral compass with a strong sense of right and wrong. You tend to be set in your ways, especially when it comes to food. You don’t like your routines interrupted, which happens every time you take on a clinet. Yet, you know that helping people is more important than your own discomfort. Does that about sum it up?
Arthur: Good enough. You left out devastatingly handsome.
James: And so modest besides.
Who was your favorite character?
James: That’s a tough question, kind of like asking a parent who their favorite child is.
James: Um, Arthur. He’s my favorite. Yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
What was your favorite part about writing this story? Include any ritual or a special place you write when you begin your day in the answer.
James: Watching the story unfold. I ‘pantsed’ this story. That’s a writer’s term for writing by the seat of your pants. I didn’t know what was going to happen before anyone else. I didn’t know how the story was going to end. I just went along with Arthur as he worked it out.
Arthur: What? You’re writing this thing and you don’t know what is going to happen to me? Why am I hanging out with you again?
James: For my other works I have moved a bit more towards being a ‘plotter’, someone who plots out the story before hand. I plot out enough of the tale to know basically where the story is going, but leave enough room for things to come in and surprise me.
Arthur: Gee, and I though you just sat around staring at the box with the funny letters layed out on it all day.
Jame: Shhh! that’s a trade secret. But I have a writing computer where I write my stories and do other things to produce my books. When I write I try to set a timer for twenty-five minutes, then see how many words I can get done in that time. Then I take a five minute break. Wash, rinse, repeat.
How much research did you do and what type? Include the most interesting or most unusual.
James: Being a fantasy world, I didn’t have to do a lot of research. On the other hand, I had to do a lot of figuring out what the world was like, who the people were that populated it, and all the details. A lot of it came out as I wrote and Arthur moved around working on his case.
Arthur: Glad I could be of help.
If you were pitching this, what would be your pitch? (Include logline)
James: So far when people ask me about it I tell them the book is a comic fantasy / mystery that starts out with my hero being taken to see a dragon who wants to get a stolen ring back. Hilarity ensues.
Arthur: You call getting manhandled by ogres ‘hilarity’? You got a twisted sense of humor.
James: It’s funny from the outside.
What is the next book in the series? When should we look for it?
James: I’m still working on it so it will be a while yet. I’ve got several other things that I’ve written in the meantime that I’ll be getting out to market soon.
Do you have a favorite scene?
James: That’s kind of like asking which character is your favorite. I think my favorite scene is when Desdemona shows up.
Arthur: What, the lust demon showing up is your favorite? What are you, a dirty old man?
James: Hey, can I help it if I like mischievous characters? I think the two of you have good chemistry. I forsee a lot of funny scenes between the two of you.
What do you do when you are not writing?
James: There’s other things than writing?
Arthur: Yeah, what do you do in all that time when you aren’t making my life miserable?
James: I like to read. I like role-playing games, but it is difficult to get together with my friends for that. We’ve got to coordinate too many schedules and all find a time when we can get totgether. I play Scrabble with some other friends. And I work a day job, looking forward to the time I can make a living from just my writing.
Any last words for our readers?
James: Pick up a copy of Arthur Mace, Medieval Gumshoe.
Arthur: Don’t do that! That’ll just encourage him to keep messing up my life.
James: Just stick with me, kid. I won’t let you go far wrong.
James Husum writes in multiple genres, but mainly in the science fiction, fantasy and mystery genres (sometimes in various combinations of the three.) He writes for all ages, from adult to YA to kids books. He strives to make his works entertaining for his readers, offering them a distraction from the real world.
James spent several decades working in the software industry, creating online publishing platforms, corporate training platforms, and writing software for NASA. In addition to writing software he has written technical manuals in how to operate various programs.
When he isn’t writing, he spends his time reading anything he can get his hands on, doodling, and working at his local makerspace teaching members about 3D printers, laser cutters and CNC routers. He’s also been known to teach Python programming classes from time to time.
James has had several short stories published and won several writing competitions. He is working on his first novel.
If you’d like to know when James is putting out a new work, sign up on his mailing list. This list is only used to send out notifications of new publications and is low traffic. Your e-mail will not be sold, traded, bartered or otherwise given to other people and is protected by rabid dingoes.