Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Today I am delighted to welcome Charles James to my blog for an interview. Charles is the author of a captivating book “The Tarnished Shooter” The book was published November 2013

How did you start your writing career?

I started my writing career while traveling, working and living in my 40 foot motor home. I needed something creative to do and I always wanted to write a book about the many adventures I’d had.

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

I got a bit of help with some of the grammatical issues. But otherwise nobody helped, influenced or mentored me in any way.

Who is your favorite author?

I’d have to say, Ann Rule, she tells a story the way I like to read them. She moves along and doesn’t bog the reader down with useless descriptions or details.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Reliving the experiences. The book was very emotionally intense for me because writing the story brought out and revealed many of the old memories that were hard to face about myself.

Tell us a little about your book

It is about a character named Frank Henry Barker. I wanted to develop a story about a complex person and the many troubles associated with being the oldest son in a dysfunctional family. Frank wants to fit in with others, but he has such a keen sense of intuition and deep thinking he finds he’d rather keep his own company. He grows angry because of the abuse he suffers at his father’s hand.  Frank wants to grow up and be someone special only to be kept in his place by relatives and peers. His life is anything but ordinary as he navigates a world he feels wants to persecute him for even the smallest infraction of the rules.
In the end Frank pulled himself up by the bootstraps and made something out of his troubled life.

What is one of the most inspiring things that you learned while writing your book?

I actually thought about writing a book when I was eleven or twelve, but dismissed it because I did so terribly in school. I re-evaluated my thinking when I got older and decided to accomplish something that most would never attempt. Writing my 300 page novel took three years of hard work with no pay. I figured early on that a life wasn’t worth living if one couldn’t write a book about it.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story takes the reader places he or she wouldn’t ordinarily go— it also gives something in return for the efforts of staying with the story. That something may be in the beginning the middle or the end, but the reader will keep turning pages until the answer is found. A good writer can keep the reader looking for those answers and interested until the end. And that to me is what makes a good story. I think many look for themselves in some of the books they read. I have always been interested in psychology, so a good story to me would be a well written psychological thriller.

What was the scariest moment in your life?

I have had many scary, life threatening incidents. I was in numerous car accidents and had many violent threats made on my life. But the scariest one was when a man came into my room in the middle of the night with a club and tried to kill me for revenge.

What book are you reading now?

The Art of Seduction, by: Robert Greene.

As a child what did want to be when you grew up?

Like many kids, I wanted to be a whole lot of things. I wanted to be a movie star and I wanted to be an architect or a structural engineer. Most of all, I wanted to be rich. We were very poor and I had to start working at the age of twelve. I always had my mind’s eye on acquiring wealth that went along with the good life. I hoped luck would find a path to my door so all my dreams would come true.

What are you passionate about these days?

Writing and art. I did a few acrylic and watercolor paintings and found the freedom of a brush and paint to be enjoyable. I could also say I have a passion to build things. I am an award winning woodworker and love to craft fine furniture incorporating stained and leaded glass into the piece. 

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be? And why?

I would have to say my siblings. I should have been a better example and a stronger leader.

What makes you happy?

Dinner, drinks and conversation with good friends.

Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?

Most think I am a bit of both because I can be quiet; or I can be the life of the party.

Do you have an author Facebook? Are you on twitter? If so provide the links for the readers to be able to find your book.

I am on Facebook 
and Twitter  https://twitter.com/TarnishShooter

Charles James weaves a story that will leave you shocked to the core with “The Tarnished Shooter.” The story begins in 1971. Frank Henry Barker is a troubled young man left in emotional turmoil after years of his father’s abuse. He joins the marines after getting into more trouble than he can handle—just to escape a probation officer desperate to send him to a reformatory. 
This harrowing true-to-life story will have you reeling with the punches as we follow Frank as he battles the demons that haunt him. His anger and rage only compound the problems he has with relationships and society. This book will reveal the thoughts and actions of a person who has been brought up with violence and trained to solve disputes with his fists. 
“The Tarnished Shooter” is a compelling five star story of adversity, adventure and the consequences of choices one makes, is based on actual events. This is a story you won’t forget for a long, long time… 


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