Meet Guest Author James Strait

AuthorPhoto10-19-2012Being born half way through the 20th century, even though a poor Missouri farm boy, I enjoyed the benefit of America’s hay days. I grew up believing that I was the luckiest kid on earth and that all of the world was as level headed and fair minded as my familiar circumstance. Boy, did I get a rude awakening upon joining the Army at age seventeen!

My professional career began as a Special Forces soldier where my only claim to military fame was that of being the youngest recruit to successfully complete Special Forces Training Group. (Not quite certain what that says about me, or the military!)

After the military I enjoyed a thirty-year career as a professional pilot flying over one hundred different types, categories, makes, and models of airplanes. In parallel, I operated a small business providing a variety of services to civilian companies and the military. I also made 3,000 skydives, and ran the equivalent distance of two and one half times around our planet. I also met, courted, and married my wife of thirty-five years duration (still going strong), raised three children…and now watch them move through live as productive adults. One of them has even given me five amazing grandchildren!

WeirdMissouriCover

After retirement from professional aviation, and after suffering a stroke, by necessity, I transitioned into broadcast radio…an unlikely second life career, where I hosted “Strait Talks” radio from 2006-2012 in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania market. My professional writing career began in 2008, and came to be as a function of my having interviewed fortuitous “on air” guests, ultimately leading to their hiring me to write “Weird Missouri”.  After Weird Missouri, and after a couple of false starts, I released a second book, a novel, “Déjà vu All Over Again”, an action adventure novel taking place in the final 57 hours prior to the calendar turning 12-21-2012. My third and latest book is titled “WORLD WAR III, Not How You Imagined”…released in April of 2014.

DejaVu-Cover-72-dpi          WWIII

I’m presently working on the first draft of “Vector”, a novel taking place in the near future…a story with dire consequences for America.

My writing career has been a pleasant addition to a life filled with events that as a kid I could never have imagined becoming part of my adult life. However, my life has been action packed, and I believe there’s truth in the notion that all novels are biographical because I draw almost exclusively from my history to paint stories that I hope engross and entertain the readers. The hope is that my story moves the reader away from where ever they started from when beginning my book. Love my stories, hate my stories, just don’t be unmoved. And since writing is coming easily to me, and I have much more to communicate, I look forward to the direction and pace of my new career. I’ll call it a career now that I’m past the first book…and a second…and now a third, with a fourth in progress. In my mind, consistency defines intent to continue…thus, a new career.

As long as the body and mind are willing, I can’t see myself not writing. And like many people of my age group, there have been setbacks. Stroke, cancer, stents, highly destructive cycling crashes (I ride my bicycle too fast and too much say many)…but I keep coming back physically, mentally, and I hope professionally. Anyway, that’s my plan, and I’m stickin’ to it!

DV

If you’re a writer, especially a new one, you’re facing the same issues that I and all other authors contend with in the beginning. However, I had a leg up on most, in that, my first book, “Weird Missouri”, was part of an established series of books about the weirdness present in all of the United States. It’s basically a travel guide to local legends and long lost secrets found in the Show-Me state. Being hired up front to write the book as a neophyte author was akin to providential. I spent eight weeks, drove 8,500 miles, visited over 300 venues, interviewed hundreds of Missourians, and took 2,700 pictures in preparation to return home to spend three months writing the book. It was like hitting the ground running with it being traditionally published with the benefits of a monetary advance, professional editing, marketing and, promotions. I did over fifty radio interviews, two television shows, and Barnes & Noble book signings with Weird Missouri. I’ve since modeled what promotions I do for my independent books after the Weird Missouri experience. That initial experience was a boost to my belief that I could produce saleable stories.

However, even though I had a foot in the door of Weird Missouri‘s publisher, they do not publish fiction. Having little other practical recourse (I’m too old to submit to agents and wait for months for a reply, or not!) I too took the independent path with my first novel and published with a local company that had a large inventory of titles, thus, I thought they’d have market place stability. “Deja vu All Over Again” sold the expected number of books as an independent…meaning, I’d starve to death on the royalties. But my latest book, “WORLD WAR III, Not How You Imagined”, also published independently, has done very well with indications that the sales are accelerating. We shall see…

The following links are to my various social media sites.

This link is to my Radio Show Website (the radio show is on hiatus)

Wierd Missouri WebsiteDeja Vu All Over Again Website

LinkedInFacebook Author PageWierd Missouri FB Page

Barnes & Noble

Amazon:

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“It would be bitter irony to own a transparent vote, to then choose from only the moneyed elite”…

“Modern political minds are enslaved by choice; to those forces which finance their existence”…

“Surveillance for the purpose of security, is like rape for the purpose of sex”…

“Science fiction reminds us that there are no absolutes”

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4 thoughts on “Meet Guest Author James Strait

  1. A stellar career, James, and a life of adventure! That you didn’t allow a stroke to stymie you is commendable. Shared this on FB, LI, Twitter. I wish you all the best in your writing 🙂

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