Title of your first novel:
My wife, an accomplished editor, reviews each chapter as soon as it is completed. In addition, at least two other individuals read each new chapter for content and consistency. Once the First Draft is finished, all noted corrections are made and the review process is repeated for the entire book. Revision 1 is submitted to a number of proof readers (usually from three to five individuals), who are asked to note any errors, omissions or suggestions and return them to the author. The proof readers’ comments are consolidated and applied to the manuscript, which now becomes Revision 2. Both my wife and I re-read Revision 2, usually in one or two sessions, for final changes and the updated manuscript becomes our Release Version, which is provided to interested agents and editors.
How long does it take for you to do a book?
My first two books took approximately one year each.
For this series, at least, my major influence was a TV documentary about Graham Hancock and his theory that a “lost civilization” existed on Earth about 10,500 years ago. Additional reading lead me to a whole series of mysterious – and relatively recent – archeological discoveries that seem to confirm Hancock’s ideas.
There are so many, but the two that convinced me to start The Seeds of Civilization series are The Last Mayan (Avon Books) by Malcolm Shuman and Inca Gold (Pocket Books) by Clive Cussler. Like most Cussler books, the protagonist in Inca Gold is a larger-than-life James Bond type. My goal in the Seeds series was to create a cast of characters that we mere mortals could identify with.
Book 3 of my Seed Of Civilization series is currently in process. After that, I’d like to take on another 3-book series with different characters and a different focus.
Advise to new writers:
With apologies to Nike, I’d say, “Just do it!” The chances of authoring the next best-seller are reduced substantially if you never write it.
Editor’s Note: RJ was one of several author interviews early on. It has been awhile since we’ve had contact with RJ. We hope to do another interview at some point in the near future. For those who might want to know more about what he’s been doing of late, please check out the author’s website, Seeds of Civilization.