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about jim weikart about jim weikart
about jim weikart
An interview with Jim Weikart about his books, writing and mysteries in general. For more on Jim, see his biography.
about jim weikart
about jim weikart
about jim weikart

How do you go about writing?
In the last few years combined concept of coaching seminar with writing seminars. Coaches tell you how to get where you want to go. Writers teach you how to do the craft. The combination feels more productive. The coaching concept gets the words onto the page no matter how he feel. The craft lets him look at the result with a critical eye on the craft.

What's your day-to-day process?
Transitioning from full time tax accounting back to writing I had big plans but little time emerged to do it. I decided I needed to write daily before I started other activities like email or financial research or reading The New York Times. To help get into the discipline, I hired a coach to motivate me and fulfill this goal. With that, I found I was able to write each morning starting with a couple hours without retreating to obsession details that blocked the process before.

So how does that work on a day-to-day basis?
I set up a goal for what I'll accomplish that day. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. But it gives me a sense of progress on a day-to-day basis.

Do you like to write, or so you find you must?
Once I represented a tax client who was being audited. The auditor asked if he enjoyed what he did to determine if it was a habit or a hobby. My client wasn't there, but his wife asked, Do you mean does he have fun? No, she said. He doesn't enjoy it. Many writers feel compelled and drive to write. They wouldn't describe what they do as fun, but they are compelled to write. And that's true for me as well.

Why mysteries? Why not some other genre?
Mysteries are fascinating because you can do anything in a mystery. You have to have a compelling story that carries the reader. It has an extra element that is beyond just character and literary process. I am fascinated by the story one must weave for a mystery.

How much of your life finds its way into your books?
A writer can only write mostly from experience in terms of the base characters. In mysteries, the plot can be from fantasy, but the actual characters must be reality based or they don't work.

What books do you like to read?
Primarily mysteries. I like James Lee Burke, because his New Orleans series have a great sense of place and a character who is vibrant and multi-faceted. His stories are always well crafted. Specifically his plots, which have surprising twists.

Are your plots inspired by current events?
Yes. When I write I love to use a past real event and create future consequences for my characters. For instance, the book I am working on now involves three gay characters and a black cop at the Stonewall Riots in 1969. In Casualty Loss, I had characters that had been in a '60s commune, which led to current consequences in their lives.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?
To transition from my accounting profession into a writing career in which I am able to continue to write and produce stories people want to read.


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