An Interview with Author J Michael Jarvis

J Michael Jarvis writes from his experiences as a professional jet pilot, yacht captain, and global adventurer with thousands of true, remarkable, and often hilarious stories of how he mucked things up. From roller-skating across France as a teen to escaping pirates as a yacht captain in the Caribbean Sea, Jarvis has lived a life even the most imaginative writers can only begin to fictionalize.

Jarvis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics. He is a captain of both air and sea. He holds an Air Transport Pilot license and a Coast Guard Master License, allowing command of yachts and airplanes through experiences from North and South America to most Caribbean island nations..

A survivor as a passenger of an airplane crash, Jarvis has lived by a twist in the old pilot’s adage: “Any landing you can crawl away from with broken arms and legs—on fire—is a good one.” Jarvis continues to fly and write about his adventures on the sea and in the sky. His humor is both inspirational and thought-provoking, with rare insight into the generosity we are given with each extended day of our fragile lives.

An active member of Southern California Writers Association, Jarvis lives just a few miles from where he was born in Newport Beach, California. Jarvis is happily married with four adult children. French Roll is his first book.

What fact about yourself would really surprise people? 

In 1981, I roller-skated across 800 miles of France by myself with a backpack and ski poles.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 

Be repeating the mantra “what would I do if I knew I could not fail.”

What scares you the most? 

Not getting all the books in my head on paper before I die.

What makes you happiest? 

Messing about in boats

Why do you write? 

I don’t write stories about myself. I write stories about the human condition.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

Yes, since 3rd grade I’ve had a passion for writing.

What motivates you to write? 

The stories are unique based on a true adventurous life. The more I write, the more I find people want more to read.

What writing are you most proud of?

The love letters I wrote to the girl who became my wife.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? 

I am a professional jet pilot and a licensed yacht captain. Softly setting a 30,000 pound airplane on the runway at 125 miles per hour, or backing a large yacht into a slip, make me proud to have these skillsets.

What books did you love growing up? 

Illusions – Richard Bach.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? 

Prolific author of bestselling memoirs and action-adventure fiction.

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

Same place; born, raised and currently living in Newport Beach, California. I have lived in Avalon, California and in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

How did you develop your writing?

After receiving honest feedback that my writing stunk, I took college and online classes.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? 

Although I run a digital marketing company (, I find marketing my own books challenging.

What marketing works for you? 

Recently Reddit engagements have brought new life to French Roll. Reader email groups and Facebook were my launch.

Do you find it hard to share your work? 

No. I sell it!

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 

My friends are massively supportive and encourage a full-time career as an author.

What else do you do, other than write? 

I am a corporate jet pilot, Captain of an 8 passenger Bombardier Challenger 300. I run a digital marketing firm, I am a part time yacht captain, taking 60 foot yachts throughout the caribbean. 

What other jobs have you had in your life? 

Everything from paperboy to jet pilot. See

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? 


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

My home here in Newport Beach, California.

Tell us about your family? 

I am happily married with 4 adult children

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

I dock my laptop at a desk with large Apple monitor. When I’m on the road, I’ll find an interesting place in nature and sit with my laptop.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

7 hours

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

Carla Befera and Joel Cook – two friends with character roles in French Roll. Their writing was inspirational.  

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

My dream writing is to sit on board a yacht in Avalon for several early morning hours and then play in the harbor or drive a speedboat to a publishing meeting an hour across the sea.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? 

With French Roll, I’m learning solo adventurers and roller skaters are enthralled with the high-concept, true life story. They want to experience the journey, and then find the humorous and heartbreaking story as part of that journey.

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

The Last Glass Bottom Boat Diver shows the human condition of a young man with a glamorous job in a vacation town, struggling with life, death and dysfunction in that not-quite-adult phase of life.

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

Boating and sportfishing

What do you hope people will take away from your writing?

I want readers to laugh, learn, and enjoy a fun ride at the expense of my stupid life mistakes.


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