Start the week with JIM WOODS

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today, we’re here with published author, Jim Woods.
Linda Kage: Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

JMW:I’ve written a lot of different things from missile maintenance--I can remove an atomic warhead from its host rocket without blowing me and others up-- to (fictional) political assassination. I’ve written some 400 articles for most of the guns and hunting magazines, and the first couple was bylined formally as James M. Woods. But the shooting magazine fraternity is a good old boy network, so I became Jim Woods in my byline, and have continued to use it for all my work, fiction and nonfiction. I write novels set in South Africa, making use of my first-hand knowledge of the country, and I write short fiction. A preponderance of my fiction plays on gunplay, so I eliminate people from time to time.

Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

JMW:It was a writing tutorial, Two Dozen Lessons From an Editor, from the family-owned McKenna Publishing Group. When the Pater-publisher retired, his son retired several titles in their catalog, mine among them. My book was directed to paper print and I’m revising it currently to acknowledge e-books, and it will be released by a new publisher.

Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?

JMW:Coming soon, in the spring of 2011, is my next release from Champagne Books, a collection of short fiction, Cabbages and Kings. It’s getting some special marketing treatment in that two of the novella-length stories that will remain within the collection are being broken out as independent e-books. The full collection will be released in e-book and print according to the standard Champagne Books plan. My recent books from Champagne are Gunshot Echoes, Assassination Safari and Parting Shot. My in-work novel, set in South Africa, is Gemstone.

Kage:So, what story are we going to talk about today?

Gunshot Echoes
Jim Woods
Murder for hire, drug smuggling, serial murders, and revenge killings are just some of the themes in this six story anthology of conspiracy and murder.

"The Outlander" is an American businessman in South Africa, who becomes involved in a murder-for-hire that leads him into the shadowy worlds of conspiracy, betrayal, and cover up killings.

A "Mexican Holiday" unravels into international kidnapping and drug smuggling terror.

In "Hambone Calls the Tune," the new detective on the force is faced with investigation of small-town serial murders.

"The Clay Pigeon" relates the investigation of the shooting death of an international sportsman.

"Hobby House" is a publishing company in trouble that has nothing to do with the price of paper or print.

"A Murder for the Book" is a design for the perfect murder, devised by the greatest murder mystery writer of all time. Just ask him.

JMW:Until my new collection is available from Champagne, I’ll direct current promo efforts to Gunshot Echoes (2008). The main story, “The Outlander,” is a short novel of murder for hire set in South Africa. The complementary stories all work in the theme of characters being killed by firearms. Did I mention that I eliminate people?

Kage: Couple times. Which makes me wonder, what would the story be rated if it were a movie?

JMW:It’s adult-themed with judiciously placed adult words, but not “dirty;” Just not a kid’s book. It would make PG-13..

Kage:If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it go

JMW:The Outlander is hardly cliché, but since a woman is involved and offering herself as inducement for robbery and murder, and her accomplice is a man who winds up among the crocodiles, I’d say, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit this story under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?

JMW: There are no heroes as such. My primary character makes a deal with the she-devil to kill off her imagined rival. Along the way he kills twice more to cover up the first, and in the end, after he gets away with it all and forces her to take the fall, her friends take revenge on him. Sunday school stuff.

Kage:What was the easiest part to write?

JMW:I suppose it was the plot details; I know the milieu, and I had real people in mind for my character traits. The dialogue was interesting because of the various languages and dialects in use in South Africa.

Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?

JMW: My two primary characters, he and she, tried to outdo one another in their manipulations. And I learned, the best things in life are free, and also come at a price.

Kage:Jim, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?

JMW:My novel, Assassination Safari from Champagne Books, makes use of my South Africa knowledge and experiences, as a traveler, student of history and as a hunter. My main character in that novel is a Texan, and he is an equal opportunity killer. His “marks” are an Englishman, an African and father-and-son Afrikaners, but he stops short of murdering his friend, a Spaniard who succumbs with out my “hero’s” help.

Now that Jim has totally made us want to buy his book, he was kind enough to provide us with a a buy link to Gunshot Echoes (2008): Print Version, eBook

If you're still curious about Jim, here are other places to find him on the web: His Website , Champagne Books

Thank you so much for visiting, Jim. It's been a pleasure to meet you!


  1. James,
    Your writing span ability is amazing! Good luck with Cabbage and Kings.

  2. Jim,

    Love your wry humor and your straight shooting. Good luck with your short story collection.


  3. Hi Jim,
    Thanks so much for visiting. But really, are you going to tell us the story behind that first picture? That's one huge animal. My hubby always has an exciting story to go with his hunting adventures.

    Good luck on your next book. And congrats on Gunshot Echoes.

  4. Oooh, so interesting about his knowledge of guns and Africa how he incorporates it into his writing.

  5. Thanks, everyone. And Linda, that photo is from my first African safari, one of forty or so such trophies that adorn the walls of my home since then. Actually, the first memory of that first safari trip didn't get commemorated with a hunt trophy; when I was gun-point prisoner of Cuban mercenaries in Angola, enroute to Zimbabwe for that first safari. But that's another story.

  6. Dang Jim, you've led quite an exciting life.

    What a pleasure it is to meet you and what an excellent interview, Linda. I love that he said the plot details were the easiest for him to write. Me too.

    I can't wait to read this book. :)

  7. Cool interview, and yes, you've certainly got me wanting to read more. What intriguing titles and blurbs...

  8. What an interesting life, and interview!

  9. Informative and entertaining. Thanks Jim , a pleasure to see you as always.

  10. Wow, sounds like your real life stories could be made into great novels as well. Excellent interview.

  11. Fascinating. And what a resource when gun info is needed. Personally, I'd like to know more about the being taken as a captive part.