Another Friday is upon us. I just wanted to mention that I've been doing author interviews for quite some time. This week's interview will be the last one for awhile since I would like to concentrate on promoting my upcoming book, Beta. I hope you will join me on my blog tour and continue to visit me here as I'll be telling you all about the book, my thoughts about it, and giving you tidbits of relative information including an interview with a private investigator.

However, first this week's featured author. When I asked where he'd like to go for the interview he said this: If I had access to a time machine you might find me in darkest Africa with Sir Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor), in the Yucatan with Cortez, or dropping in on the Koryo dynasty in Korea, where I spent some time in the 20th century. Equipped with a good supply of antibiotics and assurance of returning to the present, those are all places and times I would have liked to look in on. Since we don’t have the time machine, you’ll just have to join me on the porch of my home in this village in Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region. We can have coffee, tea or a beer. Your choice, my friend.

I'll take tea. Thanks.

1. Who is J. R. Lindermuth and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

I’m a father, grandfather, retired newspaper editor/reporter, pen & ink artist, genealogist and author of nine published novels and numerous articles and short stories.

2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

If I tell you my secret I’ll have to…well, you know how that goes. Truthfully, did he have the courage, this mild-mannered older gentleman would have loved to have been an explorer/archaeologist. Despite my skin and bone build, my adventuring is primarily restricted to food. I won’t say I’m in a league with Andrew Zimmern, but my palate has experienced some odd victuals.

3.What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as becoming a NASCAR driver?

How else can you have so much fun without heavy lifting? Imagination can take you any place in the world (or other worlds) and any time period with no danger (except, possibly, to your sanity). A limited number of us even become rich and famous.

4.Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

Many writers who are a pleasure to read might not prove as congenial in person. If it were possible to meet one from the past my choice would probably be Miguel de Cervantes, whose writing I treasure for both his sense of humor and his wisdom. In these current times I wouldn’t mind sitting down to a meal and/or a Dr. Pepper with James Lee Burke.

5.If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?

Since I write both mysteries and historical fiction, readers have some choice of venue in my books. Reviewers seem to like the sense of place I provide and the depth of characterization.

6.Share the Lindermuth process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.

I’m more of a pantser than an outliner. I generally have an idea how a story will end, but getting there may be more of a roundabout process than I expect in the beginning. I may pen a few notes now and then to keep me on track. A story/book generally begins with an image in my mind of a character/situation which may be inspired by a conversation overheard, something I’ve read or just conjured out of the blue. I tend to write in scenes as they come to me and there may be some juggling of these as I get closer to the end. I try to get the whole thing down before doing revising, since stopping in the middle tends to throw things out of kilter. And I love research—whether that means actually going to a place, reading about it, or searching it out on Google.

7.“I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

I doubt if my process would work for someone else. I don’t think there is ONE method. We each have to find our own way. One suggestion I would make is if you have an idea don’t dally over it waiting for inspiration. Just sit down (or stand, if you prefer) and start writing. The wonderful thing about writing on a computer is if it doesn’t work the first time, it isn’t as difficult to start over as it was in the days of typewriters and quill pens.

8.I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

I’ll quote my friend Cervantes here: “Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our own deeds.” We’re all responsible for our own actions. So it behooves us to make the best choices we can and hope they’re the right ones.

9.Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

I like to keep the pot a-stirring. And have more ideas than I can hope to get to in one lifetime. I just want to keep on writing, my friend; hopefully with the product always improving and people interested in reading it.

10.Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

My website:
My blog:
And of course there’s Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and all those other places we lurk these days.

Thanks for the opportunity, Stephen. I’ve enjoyed this time with you.

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