Author: James

May 24, 2024 James

I’ve never watched a full episode of the Yellowstone series. It’s supposedly set in Montana but is filmed in Utah. I guess it doesn’t much matter unless one grew up in Montana. And yet it does, because the place we call home is important. I grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle, the protruding part of…

March 14, 2024 James

There is a painting hanging in my house. It’s an inexpensive print I inherited from my parents, one that hung in our home when I was growing up, a typical picture of houses and landscapes. I’m sure it’s worthless. But when I was four or five years old, just old enough to begin asking questions…

February 14, 2020 James

Occasionally, I receive emails from fans interpreting the “meaning” of various characters or situations in my books. Or someone will ask me: “What did you mean when you wrote . . .” I always find this perplexing, because I don’t always know what I mean when I write something. A writer’s mind, at least in…

December 13, 2019 James

Since 2001, I’ve kept a list of books I read each year. I usually get through about fifty, a relatively small number compared to those I’ve met who devour 300+ novels every year. As this December rolled around, I realized I had read only forty-five, and I decided to try to reach fifty, which gave…

June 7, 2019 James

A few months ago, my wife and I took a weekend vacation to Ruidoso, New Mexico. At the outskirts of the small town of Roswell, we drove past a plain sign declaring Happy Jack’s, Beads—Books in front of a solitary building a hundred yards from the highway. My pulse quickened, my hands grew sweaty.  I…

June 7, 2019 James

I suppose I’ve read the Lord of the Rings six or seven times over the years–I’ve honestly lost count. The two times before this one, I listened to the audio. This time I decided to read the print edition. One of the things that amazed me this time around was the detail of Tolkien’s geographic…