Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
In my mind, success is rising to the level you can control. I make analogy to a music band. A serious group of musicians who work very hard in a consistent manner over time will ultimately reach a level locally or regionally where they have some recognition. They are selling some albums, they are booking some venues, they are making some money (perhaps turning a profit, perhaps not). That is a level I know I can achieve and I am in the process of achieving. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?
I have a number of followers on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. I communicate with them regularly and with my author friends. I do some light advertising and I do local presentations and book signings.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
Ghandi, Julius and Augustus Caesar, Louis XIV, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Suleiman the Great, Constantine XI, George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln . . . yeah history people.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I love to read, go out on my boat, walk, go to the theater, dining, travel, watching shoddy tv.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I typically write three or four days a week. I write after work for an hour or so and then usually for longer periods on the weekend. When I’m writing a novel, I try to write 7,000 words a week, I hit that mark 80% of the time.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About James D. Shipman
- The day job. James D. Shipman is a full time family law attorney in Everett, Washington. He started his practice in 1998. He also serves as a mediator assisting other attorneys and their clients in resolving their family law cases through settlement rather than trial.
- Fantasy novel. Although James Shipman writes historical novels, he did write a fantasy comedy novel in 1998 titled “Willie-Washer’s Local No. 38.” WWL follows the adventures of Solomon Khash as he parties with gelatinous cubes, chases the beautiful Princess Jenny, and saves the Irth from the evil Ug Slugs.
- Kids. James Shipman has three kids aged 15, 13, and 10. They attend school north of Seattle and are involved in soccer, baseball, and generally getting in mild trouble.
- Red Cross. James has been involved for many years volunteering for Red Cross. In 2006 he was the Chair of the National Committee on Resolutions, one of two national committees for the American Red Cross.
- Fish. James has a saltwater reef tank in his office. He speaks German randomly to his fish, although they don’t typically respond.
- Comicon. James has appeared at the Rose City Comicon and Emerald City Comicon at an author table for the past two years.
- Next book. James’s next title is “Going Home,” a civil war historical novel based on a true story. “Going Home” will be released in July, 2014.
- Istanbul. James was able to visit Istanbul this past year as part of the final research for Constantinopolis. Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world to view from the water, and has a rich Greek and Turkish history.
- History. James has a history degree from the University of Washington.
- Gonzaga. James completed his law degree in 1998 from Gonzaga University.
In 1453 Constantinople is the impregnable jewel of the East. It has stood as the greatest Christian city for a millennium as hordes have crashed fruitlessly against its walls.
But Mehmet II, the youthful Sultan of the Ottoman Turks, has besieged the city. His opponent is Constantine XI, the wise and capable ruler of the crumbling Eastern Roman Empire. Mehmet, distrusted by his people and hated by his Grand Vizer, must accomplish what all those before him have failed to do: capture Constantinople. To prove that he deserves the throne that his father once took from him, Mehmet, against all advice, storms the city. If he fails, he will not only have failed himself and his people, but he will surely lose his life.
On the other side of the city walls, the emperor Constantine must find a way to stop the greatest army in the medieval world. To finance his defenses, he becomes a beggar to the Pope, the Italian city-states, and the Hungarians. But the price for aid is high: The Pope demands the Greeks reunite the Eastern and Western churches and accept the Latin faith. If Constantine wants aid for his people he must choose between their lives and their souls.
Two leaders, two peoples, two faiths battle for their future before the mighty walls of Constantinople.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG