James Matlack Raney grew up all over the world, including Europe, Latin America and Africa, before winding up in the mysterious land of horses and bluegrass (otherwise known as Kentucky). These days, he calls Southern California home, and spends his time writing adventures…and occasionally living a few of his own.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I’ll have to go with Cookies ‘n Crème.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
I love biscuits and gravy! I know it’s bad for me, but it’s also pretty delicious.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Definitely the future – I’ve always wanted a hoverboard and those sweet self-lacing Nikes.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
There are so many I could choose from, but when I was in high school I was crazy for all things Dune. That book really swept me up and took me off to another world. I didn’t even understand all of the themes at that point; I just thought it was really cool.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
Well, the book has been out for a long time, but I LOVE Ender’s Game,and the trailer for the movie looked really sharp. So here’s hoping it lives up to the novel, because it’s a classic.
Which authors have influenced you most? How?
I’m a huge Ray Bradbury fan, and I think it would be better to say he’s inspired me more than influenced me, because I don’t think I would ever be bold enough to compare my work to his! But regardless, his mastery of English was incredible and I’ve always loved his almost lyrical prose, his words just pull you along in the story. But more than that, this was a guys that had real literary skills, but yet still wrote books that were full of wonder and entertainment. Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of my all-time favorites.
What was your favorite children’s book?
The Hobbit, no question. I know some people would not consider it a children’s book, but that’s when I first read it and fell in love with it.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
I usually like music either as I mentally prepare to write and sometimes during. But it has to be instrumental, I can’t write if there are words – for some reason it really throws me off.
Where do you write?
I like to write in coffee shops, mostly because I enjoy having the energy of other people around me, and honestly, because writing can be a bit lonely if you let it, so going to the coffee shop at least keeps me a little social!
What’s your biggest challenge as a writer? How did you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?
The greatest challenge for me is time and energy. There aren’t too many writers out there, even those with agents and deals and all that sort of thing, who can afford to live solely off their creative work, at least not early on. So of course, I have a career outside of writing and balancing the two is so hard. But I keep putting one foot in front of the other and hoping to reach the day when I can work solely as an author.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
My favorite chapter in the first book would have to be Christmas in London. It’s the moment when Jim finally turns a corner internally and basically becomes a new person. It was fun to write and hopefully fun for people to read.
What one item would you eat for the rest of your life?
Pizza of course!
This or That?
TV or Movies? Movies, with the exception of Game of Thrones
Hot or Cold? Hot
Night owl, or early bird? Early Bird
Print or Ebook? E-Book
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Regular or Diet? Regular – although Diet Dr. Pepper is pretty close
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Horror or Romance? Horror
Action or Drama? Action
Pizza or Pasta? Pizza
Skittles or M&Ms? Tough one! Skittles
Sweet or Salty? Salty
Summer or Winter? Summer!
City or Country? That’s tough too – City by the beach is just right for me!
Harry Potter or Twilight? Harry Potter
Gum or Breath Mints? Mints
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? I love to shoot from the hip!
Beach or Pool? Beach
Shoes or Sandals? Sandals
Cats or Dog? Dog all the way!
Apples or Oranges? Apples
Cause or Effect? Lol – Cause!
Truth or Dare? Dare!
Text or Talk? Text
- Lord of the Rings
- Enders Game
- Dark Tower
- Harry Potter
Books they should make into movies.
*Some of these may already have a film, but they could make a better one
- Dark Tower series
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- The Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky (Don’t laugh at this one! I’d love to see a really cool, Baz Luhrman type adaption!)
Stand alone books
*A really random list of classics and some newer novels I just like to read for fun in no particular order!
- The Once and Future King by T.H. White
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Anthem by Ayn Rand
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
- The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
Young Jim Morgan loves everything about his life: ignoring his old tutor’s lessons, flaunting his new clothes, terrorizing his servants, and perfecting the fine art of snobbery. But the night his father returns from a mysterious sea voyage with the secret to a vast pirate treasure, Jim’s world is thrown upside down.
Now Jim must escape the clutches of his father’s wicked enemies, decipher the magic of a gypsy witch, hide from a shadowy pirate and his talking raven, and outwit the King of Thieves and his army of pickpockets.
If he is to survive, Jim must learn to trust new allies and discover the power and magic of true friendship. And through it all he may, just possibly, uncover a hero hidden within him, and live an adventure beyond his wildest dreams…
2 copies of Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves
Paperback to US only, Ebook Internatinally