An Interview with Author James Trait

James Trait lives in upstate New York. He grew up loving science fiction and the adventures the characters had together. He enjoys writing stories that reflect family values and the struggles of real life. His science fiction reflects both the adventure and the family elements that readers will value and enjoy.

Describe yourself in five words

Goofy, Outgoing, Overthinking, Facetious, Industrious.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

I’m not the life of any dance party. I have nothing against it but I work way better in the background at a dance party helping the shy and introverted then I do in the center partying on.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

I talk out problems. Analyze them. And have found prayer helpful as well.

Why do you write? 

Since I was a teenager, I’ve had to deal with severe anxiety and bouts of depression. I found that when I couldn’t sleep writing was a great outlet for the stress. I couldn’t always control life but I could control my characters and stories. They were going to find a way through the struggle; so I could too.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

I did not like reading growing up, but my family did. My teacher insisted I break down the classic Jane Austin novel Pride and Prejudice. Why did Austin’s conversations flow so we’ll? What made her characters stand out? I didn’t know that that training would fuel my writing style. Focusing on characters, conversation, and relatability.

What motivates you to write? 

Anxiety, a dream to make money off a hobby, and to be proud of my work.

What books did you love growing up? 

Comic books. Not the superhero kind, but the funny. Calvin and Hobbes, and Foxtrot we’re my favorites growing up.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

He told a good one.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? 

I grew up in a cattle town in Northern California. That small town feel is something I appreciated having now that I am older. Now I live in upstate New York. Still living in a small town, but again a small town with good people J.

How did you develop your writing?

I talked it out with others. I let it sit while I tried other projects. And then come back and give it a go again.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

Published easily. Marketing has cheap options these days. And writing has never been my struggle. Finding a publisher who’s willing to look at your work is a true struggle for most authors

What marketing works for you? 

I’m testing out some things between book blogs like this one, working through individuals on Fiverr, and some websites.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

Personally no. There can be a bit of nerves, but the reality is if someone likes it that’s awesome! If they don’t, I still had an adventure writing the story myself. Even if a writer is never published by a large company, they should be proud of accomplishing what most never will.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

My mother critiqued my first novel for me line by line. My friends are also open and honest about my work. A good friend of mine who was like an uncle growing up, helped me to understand my strengths.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I enjoy doing volunteer work. And a good time with a small group of friends is a good time for me.

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

I’ve been a landscaper, assistant to alarm technician, full-time volunteer, and done work in shipping receiving.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 

I actually love upstate New York. But for a long-term visit, I’d say Australia and New Zealand would make an awesome adventure.

Tell us about your family? 

I have an awesome mom and three supportive siblings. We were a real team growing up and learned how to work hard at young ages. We’ve got at least 4 writers in the family.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? 

I write on my phone and edit from a computer.

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 

9 hours is amazing. 7-8 is necessary. Any less and I’m emotional and grouchy.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? 

My family and friends, who always encouraged my work.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? 

Being able to make some cash, and enjoy the rewards of hard work is always nice. But true success as a writer, is just enjoying the journey, and finding a friend or too who enjoys your works too.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?  

Shadow Link has been a book I’ve had in mind for a decade. The pandemic gave me the time I needed to finally complete it.

I wanted a book that would help answer the question of why there are so many struggling with mental disorders right now. My book tells the answer to the readers in a science fiction way, and also how one can work through their struggles regardless of their mind, genetics, or backgrounds.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? 

Movies, Board games, and baking. I love creating foods and I love good conversations around the dinner table.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?  

I hope people can see that they can overcome their struggles. Life truly is worth living and as we get by struggles we learn more about ourselves and others.

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