Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Today we conclude our Q&A with author James Scott Bell. His thrillers include Deadlock, Breach of Promise, Sins of the Fathers, Final Witness, Blind Justice and The Nephilim Seed. He is also the author of over 300 articles on trial law and a regular contributer to Writers Digest magazine.

In this final installment, Mr. Bell shares advice for aspiring writers, what he wishes non-writers would understand, and the best way to promote your book ...

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Q: What one piece of advice do you have for aspiring writers?

JSB: Be a lifelong learner. I still read books on the craft of writing, and re-read my favorites, going over the highlighted portions. When I read a good novel I sit back and analyze why it worked. There are always going to be areas in your writing that you can improve. Find them, work on them, and you'll get better and better.

Q: What is the one aspect of God you most hope your readers will take away after reading one of your books?

JSB: His mercy. His net of grace is so wide and loving. I want readers to know that imperfect people, like the characters in my books and the author himself, cannot outrun God's love.

Q: What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers would understand?

JSB: That when we don't talk to them, when we stare out into space thinking of a new character or plot point, it's not because we don't like them!

Q: What one thing about writing do you wish other writers would understand?

JSB: The professionals know that writing is hard work, and that it gets tougher the more success we have. Why? Because our standards are constantly being raised in our own eyes. And we don't want to wake up one day believing it's all been a fluke, that we were lucky up till now, and we really don't know anything.

For the young writers out there, the ones who are really serious about making it, I'd say don't ever fall into the trap of thinking that you have "made it." Once you do, you start to slip backward.

Q: For the writer promoting his or her book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she could do to promote it?

JSB: I firmly believe that the best promotion is word of mouth, and that means making each book the best it can be. If it came down to a choice, I'd rather concentrate on my writing than on promotion. But, of course, I won't turn down an opportunity to talk about the work if something comes up. Like this interview, which I've enjoyed. Thanks very much!

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Thanks to James Scott Bell! Find him at his official website (where he offers tips for writers). He also blogs regularly at his blog, Suspend Your Disbelief, as well as the tag-team author blog Charis Connection.

James Scott Bell, Pt. 1
James Scott Bell, Pt. 2

More Christian Suspense Novelists:
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)

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