Crime fiction novelist James Hayman is a former creative director for a New York advertising agency who now lives and writes on Peak’s Island, Maine. Jim was kind enough to answer a few questions about his debut crime novel, The Cutting (St. Martin’s Minotaur Books).
Thank you for this interview, James. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Cutting is all about?
First and foremost The Cutting is about a character named McCabe. He’s an ex-NYPD homicide cop, a single father, who hoped moving to a place like Portland Maine would allow him to build a new and safer life, both for himself and his teenage daughter. Little did he know what terrible violence awaited them on the cobblestoned streets of this small and charming city.
Yes. It’s my first novel. I’m 90% finished with McCabe#2 now and that’s been a totally different experience.
How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
In some ways it was hard. I don’t work from an outline and that makes the process more difficult bit, I think it lso frees yo to be more creative, to take unexpected turns.
As for writer’s block, I just let my characters lead me through it. If characters are full, well-rounded and truly human, they’ll always let you know where the story should go next. Just listen and they’ll pull you through. any writer’s block you might experience.
How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
The people who read it love it! I never expected the book to be so well-liked but reader after reader has said that it’s a great story they couldn’t put down. They love the characters, and they just can’t wait for McCabe #2 to appear on the shelves.
The Cutting also received a bunch of fabulous write-ups from professional reviewers both in traditional newspapers and online.
What is your daily writing routine?
I usually get up about six or six-thirty, make a cup of coffee and start writing. About ten or so I’ll put it aside and take a four or five mile walk. Then I’ll eat lunch. After lunch I try to write for anoth hour or two. Sometimes it comes. Sometimes it doesn’t.
When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
Have a couple of glasses of wine. Read. First, I read the news. Then maybe a novel. Only good ones. I no longer have the patience to finish books I have no respect for. And I no longer watch much television. Books are better.
What book changed your life?
No one book has changed my life. Many have influenced it. Most recently, Ian McKeown’s Atonement. I thought it was a great book that I think will last and still be read many years from now.
If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
I’m a really good writer. A really, really good writer.
Thank you for this interview, James I wish you much success on your latest release, The Cutting!
You can visit James on the web at www.jameshaymanthrillers.com.