Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Interview with James M M Baldwin

James M M Baldwin
Omaha, Nebraska

Good morning, James, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors. Tell us a little about what you've written.
Spencer Murdoch and the Portals of Erzandor is an apocalyptic fantasy novel concerning a family man and his struggle to deal with the events surrounding a global storm and his connection to an ancient prophecy.
Orion’s Arm is a collection of mostly science fiction short stories and Beyond the Visual Cortex is a horror compilation.
I am currently working on the final edits for the second Spencer Murdoch novel titled Spencer Murdoch and the Island of Magic.

What is your favorite genre to write?
I write speculative fiction encompassing fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

Favorite food.
I love pretty much anything that is considered “bad” for you. My favorite ingredients are fat, sugar, and salt.

Someone needs to write a cookbook with just fats, sugar, and salt food recipes. And maybe white flour. Add radishes. It could be a winner. Okay, back to you. Tea or coffee?
I’m a Saturday morning coffee drinker.

Pizza or ice cream?
Love both, but have not yet tried pizza a la mode.

Where would you like to visit?
Anyplace with a bike trail that includes any of the following; tall buildings, a jungle or forest, a mountain, or a beach.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?  What?
I love new rock. My favorite current artist is the Finnish symphonic metal band “Nightwish.” Some of my all-time favorites include Iron Maiden, Queen, and Triumph. When I write I listen to instrumental rock.

What makes you laugh?
Pretty much anything, even things that aren’t funny.

Favorite work of art or sculpture. 
As student of art and art history, and an artist myself, painting under the pseudonym Sergio de Companion, I find interest in almost any piece of art. Peter Max and Salvador Dali are a few of my favorites. I could gaze upon any Michelangelo work for hours. I love going to the museum with a pencil and tablet and drawing tidbits of interesting things I find.

How old were you when you started writing?
As the lead singer, bass player and songwriter for a metal band in the eighties, most of my work centered on song writing. It wasn’t until I reached my forties that I decided to tackle my first novel.

Describe your perfect evening. 
Other than spending an evening alone in a dark room with music and Diet Pepsi creating new worlds at my writing desk, I enjoy live music and long bicycle rides.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I have several hundred ideas rattling around in my head. All I have to do is reach inside and pull out the loudest voice or strongest image.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I have never had writers block, and with all the ideas of things I’d like to write, I don’t ever anticipate having it.

I have never had it either, but I fear it. Like anthrax. Who is your favorite author?
I enjoy Ted Dekker, C. S. Lewis, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, and Madeleine L'Engle, but Ray Bradbury would probably top my list.

Best book you ever read.
The books top my favorites list. Ted Dekker’s“Black,” 
Madeleine L'Engle’s “A wrinkle in Time,” and Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Last book you read.
I just finished Aaron Loyd’s “Internship with a Vampire,” a wonderfully humorous novel. Next up, “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka.

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a writer?
Either a rock star or a homeless person.

Hmmm...You are an interesting man, James M M Baldwin. Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? Pope John Paul II has taught me to love humanity. Family is an important part of society. Everyone is part of the worldwide family and selfishness should be avoided.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Among the dozens of people that could top my list, the obvious number one would be Jesus. If there is anyone who could help me achieve peace of mind/philosophical peace it would be him. He’s my hero. Second and third would be Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?

Learn as much about the craft as possible. Seek help from the smartest, most energetic people you can find. And write about what excites you.

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