James Ostby grew up on the barren High Plains of northeastern Montana, on the farm homesteaded by his grandparents in 1912. He holds a bachelor of science degree in general studies, a bachelor of science in film and television production, and a minor in history. He was a personnel psychology specialist in the Army in the mid ’60s, has worked in public and commercial television, and was the owner and manager of a small-town radio station in Wyoming. He and his wife, Donna, and their two young daughters, returned to the farm in 1977, where the long, cold winters and the isolation provided the perfect writing environment.
James and Donna are retired, and after spending their winters aboard their bluewater sailboat based in Georgia for fifteen years, they are living full-time at their farm/ranch in northeastern Montana.
What inspires you to write?
Not the money. I write because it is my passion in life, and because I strive to maintain the art of literary writing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I conjure up my book for up to a year. By then it is completely outlined in my mind. — I believe excellent writers are born, not made.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Do I listen or talk to my characters. No, when I am writing I "am" my characters.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Joseph Conrad, …. If one can write that well he or she may produce good current work.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I'm not crazy about most commercially-published books.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I'm convinced that there are still many intelligent and astute readers.
What genres do you write?
literary fiction and creative nonfiction
What formats are your books in?
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