Jim Wilcox – Body in the Grave

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent book to be published is Body in the Grave. The most recent to be completed is Body in the Snow–not yet published. I have also completed a non-fiction book entitled How to Do Church. My first book, Body in the Baptistery and Body in the Grave features Gideon Grant, a divorced, dried out alcoholic, ex-cop, new Christian PI. Dead bodies keep turning up in graves meant for someone else. It began in Saigon, Vietnam with the murder of young mothers and the kidnapping of their babies for the black market. Thirty years later justice or vengeance begins to be reaped.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am a former U. S. Marine and a retired Baptist pastor. I have lived in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon and Kansas. I have traveled to Mexico, Canada and Brazil. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Del. We have three grown children and seven grandchildren. Our first great granddaughter is due in December. I have degrees from two universities and attended a seminary. I’ve been writing since 2002, two years after I retired.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to write my books by my wife and by the fact that we both love to read mysteries. We own hundreds of them and read them constantly.

How did you choose the title?

The titles grow out of the content of the books.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Obstacles in getting any book published by an unknown author are formidable. It is almost impossible to get a traditional publisher to even accept a query letter. Subsidy publishing or self publishing are expensive but usually the only option. I went with subsidy with a very good company.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I came to the realization that I could write and therefore wanted to write about half way through my first book. I started more or less as a hobby because I’d become bored with retirement.

Do you have any writing rituals?

As far as I can tell I have no writing rituals.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

Character names are fun. Some of them I make up, others I find in the phone book or on the spines of books in my library. Often I use the initials of actual people in my town.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I learned that it is much easier to write a book than to get one published, and even harder to sell them. I also learned that the only way to complete a book is to be persistent in writing every day possible. I learned that re-writes are numerous and necessary.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would start earlier in life and I would get serious about writing sooner.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

I read mostly mysteries and/or thrillers. My favorite authors are David Baldacci, J. A. Jance, C. J. Box, Lee Childs, Vince Flynn, Mary Higgins Clark, and Cathrine Coulter. The write stories that grab and hold my attention.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I’m currently working on the fourth in my Gideon Grant Mysteries series. Some of Gideon Grant’s former opponents plot from prison to have him killed. One of the main characters is killed. Grant is challenged to stop the sale of a powerful weapon to a Mexican cartel which they intend to use in firing across the border.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

My advice is to keep your bottom on the chair and your hands on the keyboard in order to turn out a book. Submit your best query letter to as many publishers and/or agents as possible. You never know when you’ll find a match.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

My readers are mostly women between 30 and 60 years of age, although men read them and quite a few teenagers enjoy them.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can learn about my books at my web site, jimwilcox.tatepublishing.net.