J.C. Henderson has been writing stories his entire life. As a child growing up in Rio Vista, CA he would staple papers together to create his own “book”. He writes mostly Literary Fiction but dabbles in other genres and ideas. He writes about the underdogs, weirdoes, losers and rebels we all know or wish we could be. He likes breaking the fourth wall, parenthetical phrases, and building soundtracks to listen to while he writes. He is a humanist who loves to eat bagels. He currently lives in Sacramento, CA. and self-published his first two books, “Halfway To Nowhere” in 2011, and “Say It Ain’t So”, in 2013.
What inspires you to write?
Life, to put it simply. The compelling nature of the world, of people, and life. Its an itch that I will forever have to scratch. Most of what i write deals with things like meaning, purpose, personal pain and booze. I am a classic storyteller, nothing more.
Tell us about your writing process.
There isn’t much of one. Before the actual writing begins I write in a notebook, jotting down all the ideas I possibly can. Usually its those cheap dollar to five dollar school notebooks you see in stores. Sometimes it’s a Moleskine, the fancy ones. I write on a typewriter (a 1949 Smith Corona Silent) connected to my computer, via a USB cable. It’s pretty neat and allows me to work a little slower than normal. I want my sentences to have weight to them and also be lean, with no trans fats on them. Especially since I am an indie author, that already has a lot of stigma attached to it so I have to work even hard to pull as much weight myself as I can. So that leaves little room for error. Or errors.
I outline from time to time, but only if i feel like I need to. Out of the six novels i’ve written I’ve outlined about four of them, though to varying degrees. On a few i was very specific about what i wanted, on others there was a lot more leniency. For me, it’s all about the individual story. People think that every process should be the same, but really it’s not. On one book I had to figure out every detail before I started, on another, the writing was completely choked out because of that, it was just dry and terrible and suffocated. I relearn with every story how to do things.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, that’s crazy talk.
No because they’re not real, only representations of people that are real. I hear their voices in my head sure, but I hear the narrator’s voice in my head as well, and we all know that’s not always a character character.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give up, never surrender. And READ. read read read, read read read. Don’t just read Twilight and think you know everything about what a book is. Read things outside your genre, outside your country, everything you can get your hands on. Assimilate all that you can, learn all you can, and watch your writing improve because of it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
It was actually totally on accident. I didn’t think my writing was for everyone, my first self published book had a man sleeping with a prostitute, a masturbation scene, and an attempted suicide. But people have read it and it spoke to them, somehow, so thus far I have to say it’s been a pretty swell experience.
But really I’ve always wanted to be a novelist. Growing up I never went through phases of what I wanted to be, it was just “author”, and that was it. So I did this thing called Nanowrimo, which y’all might have heard of, and won. Because i won i got a free proof copy of my novel for free, and when I got it I liked what i saw, and when I told them this, BOOM, i was an independent author. It’s been a bumpy, crazy ride ever since.
i would advise new authors to explore whatever venues they can. Look into your options, and learn all you can about the game before you start playing. And for the love of all that smells like cheese, get an editor for your book, and go through at least three drafts to ensure good quality. If you put it out there, i guarantee you, it will stink to high heaven and never go anywhere.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
it’s changing, sure, but books will always be around. People still buy vinyl records and typewriters and whatnot, and people of all ages cherish real books so much, I don’t see that changing.
So beyond that I really don’t care. companies come and go and stories will always be here.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Literary fiction, science fiction, humor, general fiction.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print