Please join me in welcoming first-time author W. Edward Woodward III to the TPTW lounge. His debut novel is entitled Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg and is available today in both Kindle and Nook formats.
So, Edward…tell us more about you. Where are you from?
I was born and raised on a farm in Havana Florida. I currently live with my wife and family in Tallahassee Florida.
When did you first get that desire—the calling—to write?
I’ve always had a creative bent. I used to think that I wanted to be a visual artist. I drew and painted (oils and some water color) extensively when I was a kid and wanted for the longest time to be a comic book artist or an animator. But, in spite of what I was told, I knew that I just did not have it in me. Oh, I could put some lines on paper and have them roughly equate to something you’d recognized, I did some decent portraits, some passable landscapes, and got a knack for figure work, but the fire was just not there. The desire to create however, was insistent. I tired some voice work for a couple of podcasts and did pretty well with that, I have a decent ear for accents and silly voices, but, again, it just wasn’t quite it for me. Intensely fun, but just not right. So, one day, I had this crazy idea…
Very…resourceful…of you to use scrap paper and even grocery bags to write Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg.
This was as much an act of self-preservation as anything else. There’s only so much mall time a man can stand. This particular trip I had forgotten my pad and I was desperate.
Where did you get the idea for the story?
I always have ideas. All the time. This particular idea came from one of the many comic book ideas that I had as a kid, an idea that stemmed from a childhood wish to find a baby dragon somewhere on the farm. I would raise her and she would protect me. My idea for the comic was… well, pretty much just that, but it’s one of a few ideas that really stuck with me through the years. When I first took it up again a couple of years ago it was for a writing challenge at the Digital Webbing forums. From that short story I was going to script a comic book (I say this is the first writing I’ve ever done but that’s not entirely true, some years before this I had scripted a super hero property with the intention of selling it to Mailbu Comics). In the process of working up a bible for the comic a story was born.
Do you still have the original papers, perhaps in frames somewhere? ( :: snickers :: )
LOL! No. I have them but they are in a hundred different places around the house. I am the most disorganized person you’ve ever met and it is a true miracle that this thing ever got done.
(Cringe! I have a mild form of OCD, so please excuse me.lol)
I see that Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg is available in e-format [Kindle and Nook]. Do you have plans to make it available in paperback?
Simple answer: Yes. By or before the end of March.
When you’re not writing such fabulous young adult fiction, how do you typically spend your days?
Working. I am a grunt and I work all week and most weekends. Even at that I don’t work nearly as much as I used to. That’s part of what lead to the novel. I finally found a job where I could support myself and not have to work 85 hours a week. 85 down to 45 to 50 hours a week opened up a ton of free time, energy and brain cells.
(I cap my work week at 40 hours, but yes…working writers…unite! :))
What is your favorite genre to read? Would you consider writing in that genre one day, if it’s different than the genre you currently write?
I’ll read anything as long as it catches my attention. I guess if I have a favorite genre it’s pulp action/adventure as my biggest influence is Doc Savage. Doc Savage, for those that don’t know, was a series of pulp novels published in the ’30s and ’40s. Doc was created by Henry Ralston and John Nanovic but the true brilliance of this super-scientist/ millionaire-adventurer came from “Kenneth Robeson”. Robeson was a pen name under which some of the greatest writers in science fiction wrote for Doc Savage. Lester Dent and Philip Jose Farmer to name two. These were simple, amazing science fiction adventure stories that affect me to this day. I’m a huge fan of modern mythology, UFO’s, Ancient Aliens, Bigfoot and the like. I love history. I read some Gaiman and was heavily affected by Neverwhere, but I will always return to Doc Savage. As far as writing genre… I’m not sure that I’m cut out to write anything other than pulp adventure, but I certainly intend to try.
If you weren’t a writer, what could you picture yourself doing instead?
I will always be a husband and a dad first but in answer to the question I would say searching for something else to do.
Do you have any current projects that you want to share with readers?
Jesse James and the Ghost in the Bell Jar. Of course I have a hundred ideas, and every one of them wants out… and I am tossing around the idea giving life to a science fiction idea I’ve become infatuated with but Ghost in the Bell Jar is the only sure thing right now.
For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?
Always happy to get emails: w.edwardwoodwardiii (at) gmail (dot) com. Twitter is also good. Look for @writefast
Do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about W. Edward Woodward III, the author?
For readers, if you think this book was fun, just wait, things are going to get crazy. And then they’re going to get worse. For people in general: Do. Go forward. It’s my advice. Put your head down, to blazes with what other people say, and do what you will do. Oh, also, I intend to take over the world.
A grand “Thank You” to Edward for granting me this interview. You are such a sport with a welcoming sense of humor and an honest love for words. On behalf of my readers, I congratulate you on the release of Jesse James and the Dragon’s Egg, and much luck to you on Jesse James and the Ghost in the Bell Jar as well. I KNOW that they are both going to be huge successes.