James Ryan Daley is a writer, editor, and digital designer. After earning an MFA in fiction at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2004, James has spent most of the years since then teaching writing to college students, creating websites, and editing anthologies of fiction and political rhetoric. He lives in Newport, RI with his wife and two daughters.
Purchase his book, JESUS JACKSON, on Amazon.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: The main reason I became an author is because I'm far too distractable to sit in an office all day. As far as my reasons for writing Jesus Jackson are concerned, I think it really came out of my love of mysteries, and my long-time interest in the ways that people make sense of their lives.
Is this your first book?
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: My books is being published by The Poisoned Pencil, the new Young Adult imprint of Poisoned Pen Press. PPP is a small press, but they have a long-standing reputation for publishing high-quality, intelligent mysteries. I couldn’t be happier.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Author: For me, one of the biggest and most important parts of the publishing process was coming to an understanding of the Young Adult genre. I didn't really think of Jesus Jackson as a YA title until after I started looking for an agent, and was encouraged to pitch it that way. I quickly came to see what a good fit Jesus Jackson could be for YA, but it took a little revision (and a lot of reading) to make it happen.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: You have to have patience--a lot of patience. Nothing moves particularly fast in book publishing, but it when it goes slow, it goes really really slow.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: My advice is to focus all of your energy on writing a book that you would want to buy, read, and recommend to your friends. Don’t worry so much about how you’ll get it published. By far, the single most effective thing you can do to improve your chances at getting a book deal is to write a better book.