Name : Jack Strandburg

Age: 63

Where are you from:

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, currently living in Houston, Texas area

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Jack: After years of working more on my writing process  than actually writing, I’ve reached a level where I feel comfortable I know enough to start dedicating more time to my projects.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Jack: I started writing on a typewriter (dating myself) during my teen years, not stories, but recaps of . . . are you ready? . . . electric football games I played with my brother and friends. At that age, don’t know why, I suppose to foster a burning desire brewing inside.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Jack: When I self-published my first book.

 

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Jack: A memorable and life-changing event.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Jack: My characters are typically humorous and sarcastic, a reflection of the author. J.

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Jack: A combination of the theme and “accidental collaboration” from a friend.

 

 

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Jack: No specific message, just strive to entertain.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Jack: The book is based on a movie, as the title suggests.

 

 


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

Jack: Anything by Norman Vincent Peale.

 

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who  is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Jack: I enjoy anything by Harlan Coben and Joseph Finder. Coben is very entertaining, and Finder is meticulous when it comes to effective plotting.

 

 

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Jack: God blessed me with a gift and a desire, as he does with everyone.

 

 


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Jack: I consider it a career, but only as it relates to my daily routine. Whether I make much (or any) money remains to be seen, but I’m hopeful. I will continue writing regardless of financial results.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Jack: I occasionally read passages from my earlier work and find many opportunities to improve, but since I constantly strive to become a better writer, I expect that will always be the case.

 

 
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Jack: I don’t recall specific events – just a gift and a desire and a dream.

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Jack: I have several and feel most comfortable working on multiple projects. I am currently working with an editor on a novella (paranormal mystery), revising my first mystery novel originally written in the mid 1990’s (for hopefully the last round), and outlining a short story. I also have an inspirational book and a second mystery novel in progress after these other projects are finished.

 

 


Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Jack: Describing characters and settings more vividly (show v. tell), although I recently read two writing books which greatly improved my ability.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Jack: So far, no, which is good because I can’t afford the expenses.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Jack: Select-o-Grafix, LLC.

 

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Jack: Since the setting was the Old West, late 1800’s to early 1900’s, it required months of research in etymology, how people talked, acted, and dressed, followed by a lot of revision into how to present realistically. It was a productive exercise since it provided additional characters and scenes which I believed improved the story.

 

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Jack: See previous question – it is important to be aware of changes in all phases of life to present a realistic story. (e.g. no cell phones if referencing 1980.)

 

 

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead

Jack: Adam Sandler.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Jack: Stick with it, keep learning, keep experimenting, don’t acknowledge writer’s block, and don’t get hung up on the financial results. If writing is in your blood, it won’t matter.

 

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Jack: Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz (fiction) and Create a Character Clinic by Holly Lisle, an excellent source for understanding characterization in a story. I read fiction more to learn what works and what doesn’t work, so take a lot of notes. I try to read a non-fiction writing help book with a fiction book at the same time. I’ve read more than 20 books on writing, but BY FAR the book I learned the most was Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver. If I had read this book in the beginning, I might not have needed many of the other titles. Sadly, Mr. Cleaver passed away in 2014.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Jack: Probably not, but recall during my teenage years, reading The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Jack: Laugh – comedy movies like Airplane, and most Mel Brooks productions, stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. Cry – other than personal loss (doesn’t everybody?), movies like Rudy, Remember the Titans, Brian’s Song (and others)

 

 

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

Jack: Pope Francis – it would be inspiring to say the least.

 

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

Jack: One of my upcoming projects is an inspirational book based on my life since 2001, so something along the lines of “An author who made a difference in many people’s lives.”

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

Jack: Golf, staying healthy through exercise, walking. I used to play video games, but the volume of my writing projects prohibits that.

 

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Jack: Wild Wild West (from the 1960’s), Criminal Minds, 24, The Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow, Fawlty Towers (John Cleese). Believe it or not, I get a lot of decent ideas from watching Lifetime Movie Channels.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Jack: Food: Chinese, pizza, burgers, steak. Colors:  red and blue. Music –  varies on my mood at the time – everything from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Enya, Gordon Lightfoot, to Alice Cooper. I sometimes listen to Nature Music while writing.

 

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Jack: Worked my 30 – 35 years, retired and played golf as much as possible until I ran out of money, then freelance work in IT.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

https://jstrandburg.wordpress.com/ (Author website)

https://jackstr952.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

 

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CM9P9L2

Links to buy: Hustle Henry and the Cue-Ball Kid:

http://solsticepublishing.com/hustle-henry-and-the-cue-ball-kid/

http://www.amazon.com/Hustle-Henry-Cue-Ball-Jack-Strandburg-ebook/dp/B00BJ83O5K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461339661&sr=8-1&keywords=hustle+henry+and+the+cue-ball+kid

Link to buy: An Appointment With God:

http://www.amazon.com/Appointment-Ordinary-Journey-Through-Prayer/dp/1553950321/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1461339723&sr=8-7&keywords=an+appointment+with+god

 

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