The Force Is With Him: An interview with science fiction writer James Kahn
R: I would like to welcome James Kahn , author of many science fiction books, including the Star Wars novelizations. Thanks for taking time out to interview with me. Let me start out with this question: how did you become an author and what made you want to write.
J: I’ve been writing since I was 9 years old – I wrote new endings to comic books I read. Always had a rich fantasy life, and always wanted to get it out on paper. Kept writing for 10 years just for myself, until someone else finally got interested in publishing a short story – Playboy Magazine in 1971. That gave me the confidence to go on and write a novel.
R: That’s awesome. And it must be nice to have had to eventually pay off after all those years. Who would you say are your favorite authors or influences.
L: Favorite authors include Nabokov, Larry McMurtry, Michael Connolly, Harper Lee. All heartfelt, humanly involving fictions.
R: That’s a great group of authors! Any words of wisdom for the up and coming writers reading this?
L: If you want to become an author, just keep writing. It’s just a muscle, it gets better the more you use it. All writing is rewriting, I never stop rewriting. I’ve rewritten some of my screenplays 20 times. Don’t stop after one or two rewrites and think you’re done. Get feedback from friends, and don’t be defensive about it. Take the notes.
R: Great advice James, thanks! Do you have any specific experiences, good or bad, that made you the author you are today?
L: Lots of rejections along the way, that helped me get a thick skin and not take criticism personally, but listen to notes professionally, and incorporate them if they make sense. But when something finally gets bought or published – what a wonderful feeling!
R: That is very important to remember and so very true. Lately, what are some of your favorite genres?
L: I used to love reading science fiction, and I still do, but not as much. My current favorite genre to read is detective fiction – Michael Connolly, Michael Crais, Lee Child. I love to write crime fiction, science fiction, dramedy and comedy.
R: I am a science fiction lover myself, and horror too. Great list though. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me and I am so thrilled to get your input and experiences on the matters of being an author.
Stay tuned for more!!
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