SC: When did you decide you wanted to write?
RMJ: I decided I wanted to write when I was
twenty-one years old. I had always been an artist, but my work was visual, sketching and painting. It wasn’t until I
realized how influential the written word could be, that I decided to pursue writing.
SC: How many novels in all have you written?
RMJ: I have written seven novels. The Harris Men, Father Found, The Harris Family, Love
Frustration, Dating Games, the present novel---The Million Dollar Divorce, and a young adult novel that has yet to be published
entitled, High school Heartbreak.
Do you have a favorite?
RMJ: Father Found is, I believe, my favorite
of the novels. It was my second, a time when I had to prove to myself that my first novel was not just luck. It is a very
literary novel, with a strong social message.
SC: How long did it take you to write your first novel?
RMJ: My first novel took five months to write.
I worked from an outline, though. Many people don’t know that “The Harris Men” was a stage play first. No
one seemed to want to produce it when I took it around Chicago, so I adapted it into a novel.
SC: Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
RMJ: The first, “The Harris Men”
was semi-autobiographical. A lot of it I’ve experienced in my own life in one way or another. All the other stories
are simply made up. I pull them right from my head.
SC: Are the characters based on real people?
RMJ: The majority my characters are fictitious, only born to carry their need in aiding
to tell the story.
SC: After writing your first novel, did you self-publish? If so, how was that experience?
RMJ: No. My first novel was picked up by Simon
SC: Do you plan to write sequels to any of your novels?
RMJ: I wrote the one sequel, “The Harris
Family”. That was to “The Harris Men”. I don’t plan on writing any more, although, if the demand is
strong enough, I have thought of what would happen in second part of “The Million Dollar Divorce.”
SC: What feedback have you received from fans?
RMJ: I have a small, but very loyal and excited
following. They love my work. I receive much praise from them, for which I am terribly grateful
SC: What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?
RMJ: My two favorite authors are Richard Wright
and Stephen King. Of Wright’s work “The Outsider” is my favorite. Of Kings, “The Stand.”
SC: Is writing your only passion?
RMJ: Not really. But at this time, it is what
I’m most passionate about.
SC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
RMJ: Still writing, of course, with five more
novels under my belt. I also figure I’ll be teaching writing at somebody’s university by then. That is one of
my other passions I did not admit to in the last question.
SC: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
RMJ: Just keep on. Stay persistent. Constantly
work on your craft. Write every day. Print it out, and a couple of days later, read it. Work on making it stronger. Also read.
Read the writers you want to write like. Many people think writing is just taking pen to paper. They are more wrong than I
have time to explain in this interview. Even if those writers do get published, their careers will be short lived. True writers
do all they can, all the time to become the best at their craft.
SC: What would you like readers to learn from your stories?
RMJ: That I’m a great writer. I mean,
sure, there are lessons in there. There are morals in my stories. But that’s not why I write them, or why I would tell
someone to pick up one of my books. They are simply quite entertaining. They’re enjoyable.
SC: Are you working on another novel? What is it about?
RMJ: Right now I’m working on my first
non-fiction book that’s due out in April 2005. The subject is male/female relationships. It’s about just what
men think regarding how scandalous you ladies are.
SC: Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?
RMJ: My books can be bought everywhere books
are sold. Everywhere. And yes, I do have a website. RMNovels.com. Visit it and you can read the first few chapters
of many of my books. This way you can decide if I’m the author for you, before you spend that hard-earned money.