L. MARSHALL JAMES
Hi LMJ, how are you today?
I’m great! Still recovering from the Speculative Fiction: South East. It was a great time!
Tell us a little about yourself, How old are you?
I just hit 30! Not sure how I feel about it yet…
What is your favourite movie?
Ouu, this is a hard one. The first movies that come to mind are the first two Aliens movies, Interstellar, and Ex Machina. Ex Machina is scary in a subtle way.
What is your favourite colour?
Forest green. One of the most beautiful things in the world to me is the view from the middle of an old-growth Pennsylvanian forest.
What star sign are you?
I’m a Libra!
Are you an action, horror or Romance movie type of man?
Horror is definitely my favorite. I dabble a little in action, but it’s more of a means to an end, with horror as the ultimate goal. Romance hasn’t yet struck my fancy, but you never know…
What is your ring tone on your phone?
I’m pretty suave and sophisticated, so the ring tone on my phone is called “Ring Tone 1.” My phone alarm is even better: “Melodic Bell!”
What do your family think about you writing and have they read any of your work?
My family has been completely supportive of my dream to be a writer. So far, they seem to like what I write, though some of my stories make them shudder from time to time. ☺
Are you any good in the kitchen and what is your specialty ?
I wouldn’t say I’m good in the kitchen quite yet, but I do want to become better. As of now, I have two specialties… smoothies and sandwiches.
What is your favourite food?
All depends on the mood. Right this second, I’m craving fish tacos!
Do you have any tattoos or body piercings and what are they?
I don’t have any tattoos or piercings, but I’ve toyed many times with getting a tattoo of a quote by Stephen King: “You must not come lightly to the blank page.”
What do you think of tattoos on women?
I often alternate between thinking they look badass and wondering how long it will take before they regret getting that tattoo.
Are the stories old ones you have saved or new?
A bit of both, actually. I wrote The Haunt and Darker roughly a year and a half prior, and came up with the first half of House of Allure about a year before. Most of the others I wrote in the few months before publication, after I came up with the idea for the general format of 11:34.
What is your favourite genre to write?
Definitely horror. I seem to lean toward post-apocalyptic and speculative fiction in particular.
Which one of your books was your favorite to write?
That’s a tough one! I guess I would have to say 11:34, since I got to write so many different stories. It was a blast coming up with all the different concepts and bringing them to fruition!
When and why did you begin writing?
I only vaguely remember my first foray into writing. I must have been 10 or 11. I’d drawn a few creatures on notebook paper and cut them out, and I started writing biographies for them. I have no idea what compelled me to do that, though.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
To be honest, I’m still skeptical that I’m a real writer. I’m still waiting for the moment it feels like I’ve “made it!” I guess in the end, it’s up to me to call myself a writer, eh?
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m not entirely sure! In Hell wasn’t my first effort to write a book, but it was the first effort that succeeded. I had attempted several other stories with no significant progress before then, but when I finally set my sights on In Hell, it came pretty naturally to me.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Not that I’m aware of! I’m still pretty green, and I’ve enjoyed trying out different styles of writing so far, so I feel like it will be a while before my style solidifies, so to speak.
If you could pick one of your books to be made into a movie which one would you choose and why?
I would love to see House of Allure brought to life on the big screen! I had a lot of fun forming the world of HoA, and I think its technological leaning would be gorgeous, as well as interesting.
What was your favorite book as a child?
It’s hard to pick one… I had so many! I was a sucker for Dr. Suess when I was young… I eventually fell in love with Animorphs and Goosebumps. Later, Ender’s Game hit me like a truck.
How did you come up with the title?
I knew I wanted to write an anthology, but I had no idea what format or what sort of stories to include, aside from horror. In the end, it just sort of fell into place. 11:34 as a time of day has something of a personal meaning to me, so it felt right to use it as the title and use it to guide the general format of the book.
How much of the book is realistic?
I try to make most of my stories realistic, at least to a workable degree, but I think the most realist might be The Haunt.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Definitely! People I know and experiences I’ve had tend to bleed into my stories, usually without my trying but sometimes intentionally, at least to an extent.
Have you ever binned a book when half way through thinking it wasn't good enough?
Sadly, yes. I started a story about a serial killer a while back, but had to abandon it partway through. I still plan to resurrect that book, though. Never give up!
What are your current projects?
Right now, I’m in the beginning stages of three short stories. One is post-apocalyptic, one is set in medieval times, and one… uh, one is about a carpet. That last one is a writing prompt gone either very wrong or very right.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I typically try to do new things, partly because I find it more interesting and fun, and partly to enhance my abilities. For instance, I’ve never written a story in a historical context, so one of the stories I’m working on now (set in medieval times) is really testing my persistence!
Who designed the covers?
The art of the In Hell cover was designed by Victor Lammert of Germany. My girlfriend and I worked with his amazing art to create the finished cover. I made the cover of 11:34 from scratch.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting restarted after a long hiatus from writing.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up the dream!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my stories! Come visit me at LMarshallJames.com, and if you have any comments or questions, feel free to message me!
What do you like to do to keep fit?
I’m trying to get back into running. It’s been a struggle, partly because I’m not yet acclimated to the weather in Florida and partly because I tend to be lazy. I like to do a sprint at the end of my runs. I just got a new pair of running shoes, so I think I’ll be doing a lot more of that!
Are you a car or motorbike kind of guy?
I love the idea of racing around on a motorbike, but in practice I’m too paranoid about being crushed to death by a hapless SUV driver. So… car!