Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Jack Huber, 62 years old, though I still feel 45…
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from Southern California, I’ve lived in several places around the country, including Washington State, Buffalo NY, Las Vegas NV, Wichita KS and Denver CO.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I entered the business world out of high school and very soon after married and had kids. I remarried in 2001to someone who has been extremely supportive of my writing career, our kids are all grown, we have 5 grandkids and are expecting our 2nd great-grandchild. I am retiring from business life at the end of April and I will be writing full-time from our RV.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Besides retirement, I have quite a bit happening. I recently hired Universal by Design to help my marketing efforts. They have helped me redevelop my web presence, including revamping my website, and have been handling much of my social media efforts. I released the 5th book in my Pat Ruger Mystery Series, “Seattle Reign,” last month and have been busy with promotions and gathering reviews. I also publish a newsletter and several blogs..
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing creatively since I was 10 years old, so it’s hard to say when and why. I have always loved to read science fiction and crime stories, and I found that I really enjoy telling a story.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Early on. My 5th grade teacher submitted two of my poems to a literary magazine and they were published. I wrote poetry on and off throughout my life but began in earnest in 2007, when I self-published my first book of poetry.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had tried to write a novel without success twice (they were bad) and had all but given up my dream of being a novelist. My wife kept suggesting I try again and I decided to give it another try. While deciding on a genre and plot, I attended a workshop sponsored by the Denver Post in which three local best-selling authors were the speakers. After the program, I spoke to one of the authors and he suggested I try a different tactic. Instead of storyboarding or summarizing the chapters, he said I should try letting my characters move the story and not dwell so much on the structure of the plotline. I tried it and worked extremely well. When I was about half-way done, I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Gold Conference and had a one-on-one meeting with a successful agent. When I described my story, she was very excited for me and I became confident that I could be a published novelist after all. It took a little over a year, but I finished the book, “Pat Ruger: For Hire,” and began soon after on its sequel.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Unlike subsequent books, I didn’t really choose a title until the book was nearly finished. I knew by then that it would be a series, so I chose “Pat Ruger:” as the repeating segment of the title. “For Hire” came from the fact the main character became a private investigator and was hired by many entities in the book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
All my Pat Ruger books are written from the first-person POV. The main character takes the reader through the mystery. This allows my conversational style of writing to be utilized throughout the series. The challenging part is that there is no narrator or all-knowing storyteller letting the reader know what is happening outside of the main character’s knowledge or view. This hindrance is also helpful in developing the mystery of the story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I research the topic to try to make the plot believable and realistic, but not much of what Pat experiences has happened in my life or in those close to me.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
My wife and I did go on a cruise before writing “Caribbean Shuffle,” much of which happens on a vacation cruise, but my past travels helped a great deal in the settings of the other books and I haven’t needed to travel to set them accurately.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Elizabeth Mackey, who designs all of Nick Russel’s book covers, agreed to be my designer. She’s terrific!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope that they get that Pat is a really normal guy that was a very good detective, and that anyone can have life-changing events happen to them or those around them.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I haven’t been reading much these days, with nearly all my spare time devoted to writing and marketing. Writing while working full-time has been challenging and I’m looking forward to getting to read more once my retirement is finally underway. I have liked another Colorado author’s work, Jeff Carson, but he’s not really a new writer, with 9 or 10 books on the market. In the past, my favorite authors were Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert and Joseph Wambaugh.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I would say that my attendance of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers event was instrumental in supporting me at the right moment of my writing career.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! I am finally going to be a full-time writer in May.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, but it may be too soon to say, having just finished and published it. Reviews have been very satisfying to read thus far.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Of importance was that not every writing project is going to go as quickly as the last. I had thought that since it only took about 5 months to complete book 4, the next one would be similar in time frame, if not faster, especially as the series continues. But it took nearly a year, to some extent because it was part of a series and I found myself going to great lengths to avoid repetition of scenes, descriptions and plotlines.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Mark Harmon or Alec Baldwin
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Try to understand personal and professional relationships, both of which can add tension or humor to a situation.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Book 6 of my Pat Ruger Mystery Series is underway and I have plans to continue the series after that, though I may take a break to write a sci-fi novel before coming back to it.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
None, currently. No time.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading was Tom Sawyer, which I read to my mother when I was about 7 or 8 years old. There was a lot of it I didn’t understand. When I was a little older, not counting school assignments, I read Isaac Asimov’s The Rest of the Robots and the Foundation Series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Father/son interactions (think Field of Dreams), though more and more gets to me as I get older
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Frank Herbert — I would want to know how he worked, how he constructed whole universes and political landscapes as backdrops to his incredible stories.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I have several – photography, pool, karaoke, songwriting, wine/beer and fishing, to name a few
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
NCIS (all), quirky cop shows, Bosch, travel shows, and Star Trek and Mission Impossible movies. My all-time favorite movie is Contact.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Mexican food (not spicy), steak and fried shrimp, pizza and wings
My favoritecolor is green, but I like blue and purple as well
I have a wide spectrum of music I listen to, coming from three decades (60’s, 70’s & 80’s), but I love rock and pop ballads from Steely Dan, Moody Blues, Alan Parsons Project, CSN, ELO and Styx.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Travel, no doubt about it.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Thanks for stopping by
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
All my blogs can be reached at www.jackhuber.com/blogs–reviews.html
You can also subscribe to my newsletter at www.jackhuber.com/subscribe.html
The Pat Ruger Mystery Series: amazon.com/gp/product/B079DWL5JY
My latest book is “Pat Ruger: Seattle Reign”: amazon.com/dp/B079CM9H2D
My Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/jackhuber