Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meet OTP Author James R. Callan!

Today, The Back Deck Blog is featuring Oak Tree Press author, James R. Callan, who wrote the mysteries "A Ton of Gold" and "Cleansed by Fire" as well as some wonderful non-fiction books on the craft of writing. Let's get to know Jim a little bit better!

I intended to write when I got out of college, but soon found I could not support a family on writing. So, I took a forty-year detour through mathematics. Then one day I said, “The kids are all out of school and self-supporting. I can go back to my first love, writing. Now, I write mystery and suspense novels, plus a few non-fiction books. 

My latest suspense is A Ton of Gold. It looks at how an old Texas folk tale affected the lives of people today. For young, brilliant Crystal Moore, the folk tale causes murder, kidnapping and arson. And in the midst of this, the man who almost destroyed Crystal psychologically is coming back. This time, he can ruin her career. She will need all the help she can get from a former bull rider, her street-wise friend, and her feisty grandmother.

I have also written two books on the writing craft for Oak Tree Press. Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel (2013) and How to Write Great Dialog (2014).


The best advice for writers is to read and write. Read good authors, in your genre and outside your genre. Write. Every day, if at all possible. Read aloud what you have written. Better yet, let someone else read it aloud while you listen.

If you are a beginner, read a few books on the craft of writing. Do not try to read everything on writing or you will never get around to actually writing. But select a few good books on the craft and read those. Find a good writers’ conference, one which has workshops on specific aspects of writing, and attend.

And lastly, if you are writing, have the courage to call yourself a writer. You may not be published. You may be a pre-published writer. But, if you are writing, think of yourself as a writer. Don’t be afraid to tell people you are a writer.

Thanks for joining us on The Back Deck today, Jim. I hope my readers will check out your books, especially those aspiring to be writers as well!


  1. I've read 'A Ton of Gold' it's a page turner. A novel well worth your time. That's good advise, James. Walt Luce

  2. I've read both "A Ton of Gold" and "Cleansed by Fire" and loved them both! I just wish I'd read James' books on writing years ago when I first decided to become a writer!

  3. Mathematics to writing, what a versatile mind! You've added more to my to-read list.