Terrie Leigh Relf: What types and forms of writing do you do?
James Gorman: Fiction. Screenplays and Novels.
Relf: What is your area of subject matter expertise? How did you discover this niche? What intrigues you about it?
Gorman: Screenplays: In Hollywood in 90s, I was the “ACTION GUY” called in for all action pitches. Had an overall Production/Writing deal with Disney’s Hollywood Pictures. Loved action films, my focus and passion always there . . .in those days.
Relf: How do you balance your creative and work time?
Gorman: When I was in Hollywood, it was my job, so I lived/slept/ate screenplays and Producing. Now, however, it’s a bit more challenging as life gets in the way. I write when I can, always biting at the bit, getting up in the middle of the night doing notes. . .It’s all the same, really, except everything takes so much longer now to complete as I really only have 10-15 hours a week. That said, because my ideas have a longer germinating period before they get on paper, I feel everything is a lot tighter at the end of my first draft than in days past. So there is an upside to my present situation.
Relf: What tips do you have for other writers?
Gorman: Pretty much the same we’ve all heard a million times: write what you love, know, have endless passion for, and tell a story worth telling. Be different, have a unique voice, and don’t be afraid to break new barriers!
Relf: What are your thoughts on the creative process in general and your creative process in particular? Where do your ideas come from? What inspires and intrigues you?
Gorman: When I come up with a new idea, I put it in a folder, and when I have enough of them (all of which could be stand- alone novel ideas on their own), I pick the ones that work perfectly together and start my tapestry. I have known so many writers that are saving their single “great” ideas for one book. . .My feeling is don’t be afraid to use them all in one.
Relf: Where have you been published? Upcoming publications? Awards and other accolades?
Gorman: First novel: Bunny Man.
Fifteen hours after Culp Rivers finished the first chapter of his brilliant new thriller, Bunny Man, an atrocious crime was committed. One that mirrored exactly that of which Culp had just conceived on paper; and along with the seriousness of the act itself, this is deeply disturbing for Culp because he thought he’d finally come up with the perfect new ‘untold’ story that’d get him back in the game of best-sellers . . .Bunny Man is a high-octane, extremely unique thriller, and in hand with its accompanying breakneck pace of humor, suspense, and horror, what the reader will actually be thrilled by ‘on the surface’ is only a small fraction of the ‘ride’ one has the potential of taking if they peer a little deeper; and what truly makes this tome ‘stand well out from the crowd’ is that it’s a book within a book of which at a certain point, the two become one so that our characters, along with our readers, will both be in the ‘same place’ having to discern what is ‘reality’ and what isn’t.
Relf: What are you working on now?
Gorman: Another Horror novel about my life growing up on The Grounds of a Psychiatric Center and all the scary stuff kids see in the movies being a large part of my everyday world. The Ward for Criminally Insane Children being literally in my backyard. That said, it’s going to be a lot of fun in the vein of Bunny Man.
Relf: What challenges have you faced as a writer and/or with a particular project? How did you meet them? What did you learn from these challenges and how did they make you a better writer and/or editor?
Gorman: Any script or novel is like climbing Everest for me. It’s a full on, non-stop head-throb! Writing notes all through the night, writing the story, making it work all day long (when possible) . . .Seeing the layers and puzzle fall into place, loving every step of the way. Writing is re-writing – so endless refining!
Relf: What are your thoughts on mentoring?
Gorman: Spread the passion and knowledge– great!
Relf: Thank you for creating the time to participate in this interview series, James. Be sure to read his bio below – and yes, watch his films and BUY HIS BOOKS!
James Gorman has shared MFA(s): one in Creative Writing and the other from the USC School of Cinematic Arts (The Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program). James has Produced 5 films and has had many screenwriting deals; two of which still retain a record status for price paid. You can find an abridged glimpse here, Regarding this, please refer to years ’90 and ’91 to see the small footprint James has made. Gorman can also be found at IMDB and ew.com. for Cutthroat Island and Texas Lead and Gold.