Monday, February 17, 2014

Jim Moore - An Author Interview in the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Jim Moore. He is the author of Mystery and Political dramas. The Six Trillion Dollar Man is his first novel

Author Genre: Mystery and Political drama

Website: Jim Moore Books
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Author Description:
After more than 15 years writing and rewriting this novel, Jim Moore released The Six Trillion Dollar Man, the first of The Stuart-Bruce Book series in 2013. He is currently working on his next novel, The Camel Conspiracy, an intriguing story about a secret plan conceived in the Arabian desert to create a cruel, crippling crises in the US many decades later. A native of northwest Missouri and having lived in Arizona, California, Texas, and New York, Moore now calls Idaho home with his wife Kathi and their dog Lucy. Visit him at

I hope Mr. Moore sounds like a fun and interesting author and one who fits your vision and upcoming schedule. Thank you sincerely for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: The Six Trillion Dollar Man. What do you have on the drawing board next? Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called The Camel Conspiracy. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Thank you for inviting me to HBS’s Author Spotlight and recognizing The Six Trillion Dollar Man. You are right I do have another book in the works -- The Camel Conspiracy and I am looking at a release date mid-year, July or August 2014. I gave the first 11 chapters to my editor Mary McColl ( last week.

The Camel Conspiracy is a story about an US president who resigns after 5 ½ years in the White House citing “I lied to the American people I am not qualified to be president.” After his resignation, the former president dismisses his secret service detail and disappears. The Camel Conspiracy presents why he resigned and the impact of the “why” has. This new books tackles “what if” scenarios from a previously unexplored angle. I am enjoying writing The Camel Conspiracy and building its characters and their contributions to the story and its dynamite final chapter.

The next one is The First Presidential Church of Pennsylvania Avenue, a story about a two term president who wants to redo his presidency to become “one of the greats”. He becomes a TV evangelist to raise money to repeal the 22nd amendment and run for president again and “do it right the next time.” Great tale with a fascinating cast of characters that will keep you turning pages.

Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I do. I finished an interview and photo shoot last week with a local Boise magazine, The Greenbelt that John Williams at Inkwater Press arranged. I was surprised when the article’s writer Jamie Dillon told me after 30 minutes she already had 2000 words for a 500 word article. The back story for The Six Trillion Dollar Man is interesting and Jamie is a great interviewer. She asked all the right questions and made it easy for me to answer them.

I am setting up book signings/readings in bookstores in Idaho and John Williams at Inkwater Press is working on great locations around the Pacific Northwest first then to other areas. Dates, times and locations will be posted on my website so check the “News” tab for details.

You have a great book trailer. (See link below.) It looks very professional. Do you know how much impact it has had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailer?

Thanks, the book trailer gets readers’ attention and was produced by the creative team at Inkwater Press with John Williams’ direction. We have not received any hard numbers about the book trailer’s impact but the comments I have received are very positive. Creating and posting a book trailer online is a tool I would not have considered possible until John and his team showed me what can be done technically and artistically and how the book trailer visuals “brings The Six Trillion Man alive”.

The book’s byline, “Can one person pay off the US national debt?” is the foundation of the trailer and challenges the reader to find out if it is possible with a who-what-where-when-how curiosity. The trailer reinforces a “I want to know” mind set and leads readers to learn more. I wish I had a bigger budget for more and longer book trailers.

What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I am a member of the Idaho Writer’s Guild and receive incredible support from them. Through monthly member meetings, workshops, writer assistance resources and educational materials, my writing skills have improved to a much better level. In fact it was at the Idaho Writer’s Guild annual Rendezvous last May that I first met my editor Mary McColl. Mary helped me transform my first book from a wannabee title to a well written, well edited and publishable novel. I never knew how important a professional, talented editor is to my writing process until I saw what Mary asked me to add and revise in The Six Trillion Dollar Man.

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, getting the book to your readers and the relationship with your readers and fans?

Ebooks gives writing, publishing and promoting new and exciting options never available before. Just as there are readers who will only read from a printed page, there are those who will only read from a screen. Being able to acquire a book with literally a keystroke or two and a few clicks it a very powerful “purchasing” tool for readers. They can access my book literally without leaving their homes and offices. An instant book allows more readers to have my book quicker than I ever realized and will be a bigger part of the publishing process for my future books.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

Giving away any product including books for free is risky unless the person getting the “freebie” is committed to use (or in this case read) the product. I asked John Williams to enroll The Six Trillion Dollar Man in a few free book promotions most notable is Goodreads. The Goodreads response is terrific and gives my book significant visibility with what I will call “professional readers”, those who read frequently and expect a lot from the books they read.

The only obstacle to free book promotions is having a budget for them and capturing market response data.

How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful?

Since The Six Trillion Dollar Man is my first book, I worked closely with my editor Mary McColl to develop a “must have” list for a publisher and we decided the best publisher needs to be seasoned, full serviced, affordable, professional and committed. I looked at about 15-20 publishers, interviewed two and selected Inkwater Press. The team at Inkwater has helped me understand and select the best publishing options and promotions programs for my book with the budget I had. Probably the best advice I got was to make sure you use an editor who will challenge your writing and assure that the story and characters are “pulled together”. During the editing process, we discovered the need for an independent “arms length” look and we brought in Kathy McIntosh ( ( to do the final review and proofing. I consider Kathy’s last look to be one of the best decisions we made before sending the final manuscript to Inkwater Press.

My new mantra is edit, edit then edit again. Each edit improves my work. I am grateful as a writer and I am sure readers appreciate that the characters, dialogue and story are stronger, more interesting and more readable.

How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?

I wrote The Six Trillion Dollar Man over 15 years and had many inputs to the story, characters, timelines, places, etc. and have 3 or 4 boxes of drafts that I wrote, trashed, rewrote, thrashed again and so forth. So this first book was not as organized as I would like. My second book The Camel Conspiracy has a story outline, character outline and timeline outline all of which Mary McColl recommended. Using outlines has focused my writing, speeding the process and making characters, times and places easier to keep together.

Although The Six Trillion Dollar Man starts in the year 1305 in its prologue, the chaptered storyline starts in 1946 and ends in 1998 with 4 generations of the Stuart-Bruce family. During the editing process, assuring character relationships, particularly family genealogy, became critical and I went back several times making sure that relationships were consistent.

What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?

The Inkwater Press team recommended Kirkus Review and it was published in early February. I consider a professional, recognized international review very high on the required list for a first time author and probably for the first 3-4 books to establish an author’s bona fides. I am pleased with the Kirkus review and it gives The Six Trillion Dollar Man the credentials it needs particularly with other reviewers, bookstore staffs and librarians.

I have asked local reviewers here in Idaho for reviews and Inkwater is working with various media reviewers and we expect those to be release in the next few months.

Like me, you have lived across the country. Does your upbringing in northwest Missouri help you tackle the complex genre of Political drama?

I tell everyone who asks, I am the luckiest man alive because I have always had a great support family – from my wife, my parents, my sister, my brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles to high school and college best friends to professional colleague-friends.

The first person I acknowledge as a contributor to The Six Trillion Dollar Man is Dr. Norma Nielson. Norma I met when we were both undergraduates at Northwest Missouri State University. Norma went on to get a Ph.D. from the Wharton School then teach at the university level at Iowa State, University of Southern California, Oregon State and University of Calgary. Norma has impeccable academic credentials but she adds tenacity, common sense and stability that are prevalent to those of us from the middle of the country. Norma also serves as inspiration for character Teresa Underwood in The Six Trillion Dollar Man, I am sure you will enjoy what the Teresa Underwood character brings to the story.

My Missouri roots gives me a solid foundation and contributes to my sense of fair play, strong patriotism and family centric leanings that I have and I put in my writing. I can fill pages with stories about family and friends and their adventures, heartaches and triumphs. You will find many other characters based on real life people in my life.

My particular interest in complex political drama comes from a belief that our country and world can and should be a better place and disappointment that comes from watching our elected officials fumble, stumble and many times fall as they work to solve problems and overcome challenges.

The Six Trillion Dollar Man; The Camel Conspiracy, the next Jim Moore book; and The First Presidential Church of Pennsylvania Avenue, the third book, revolve around complex political dramas. I am drawn to this genre because there are so many unsolved problems and so many elected and appointed officials who promise, pledge and promote “their solution” for each of those problems but can’t seem to make their solutions happen as promised, pledged and promoted.

Sort of like the weather, we all grumble and gripe about it but there is so little we can do to change it other than grumble and gripe. The “can’t change the weather” frustration surfaces when I cannot control political dramas except to grumble and gripe, which leads me to create my own solutions and put those solutions in a story.

The Six Trillion Dollar Man adds an iota of sense to an incredibly complex issue – the US national debt. I have trouble understanding why the US government has to “borrow”, creating the national debt, when the US has a huge physical asset inventory along with the largest revenue base in the world. That is why I wrote The Six Trillion Dollar Man and explore the byline – “Can one person pay off the US national debt?”

When I started writing The Six Trillion Dollar Man in 1998, I never dreamed that the US national debt would still make headlines as it does almost daily. I think that we have the best and brightest folks running the government for us and they can bring together the resources to overcome the ever increasing US national debt challenge. I am wrong, the US national debt is even bigger today at something like $17.5 trillion and it grows substantially every year.

The yet unnamed sequel to The Six Trillion Dollar Man will deal with some what-if issues as character Duncan Stuart-Bruce proceeds with his plan to pay off the US national debt.

Stay tuned for the unnamed sequel (or maybe even more than one sequel).

Next Stuart-Bruce book targeted for mid-2015.

Author's Book List
The Six Trillion Dollar Man
That is what Duncan Stuart-Bruce wants to know. In The Six Trillion Dollar Man a secret royal legacy gives one man the means to make history like no one has before. Will Duncan overcome the unexpected tragedies that would stop a lesser man? Who are the latest victims of the “Bruce curse” that has plagued the family for centuries? Even with monumental life events repeatedly knocking him off his feet, Duncan retains the drive, passion, and vision to tackle an unattainable and elusive goal. Join author Jim Moore in the wide-ranging journey chronicled in The Six Trillion Dollar Man as its words feed your imagination, stiffen your resolve, tug at your heart, and revive your hope for the future.

Book Trailer: The Six Trillion Dollar Man

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Inkwater Press
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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