Author Page: James Yarbrough

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James Yarbrough’s Biography

James Yarbrough is a climatologist by training who lives and works in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His fiction tends to explore the nexus of spiritual inspiration (or lack thereof), decision-making, and consequences. An overall goal is to create entertaining and thought-provoking stories with engaging characters that bring unique strengths, foibles, and quirks to bear. Among his current writings is a series of science fiction short stories set in the 24th century that demonstrate no matter how sophisticated and technically adept a civilization may be, its people remain weak without a strong faith.

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Author Interview

Q1: Why do you write?

I write in hopes I can share in an entertaining way what I think are important messages derived from various life events, mostly ordinary but sometimes unusual. And selfishly, I write because I enjoy it!

Q2: How would you describe your writing ‘method’?

I would characterize my writing method as hopeful chaos. I write from the inside-out, backward to forward. I vary from character-emphasis to plot-driven. When I do a story I'm constantly experimenting; maybe that's why I  take so long to finish one. I typically use a kernel of an idea and accrete characters, plots and subplots onto it.  I don't think I've ever had a "blueprint" of a story before starting to write it. A typical story is organic, growing
and developing before my eyes in ways I would not have imagined when I began it.

Q3: How would you respond to the classic question, “Is there Christian art, or
artists who are Christians?”

Overall, I think "Christian" is a noun, not an adjective. When Christians are rightly related to God, their actions are pleasing to Him and constitute God's will. This certainly applies to those Christians who are artists and create products illuminating truths that ultimately bring people closer to God.

Q4: Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

As a fellow aspiring author, I'd recommend carving out some time each day to write, even if for a short period. Daily practice will mean an increasing emphasis on quality and development of your own personal style. Even when not formally "writing," observe your surroundings and jot down creative thoughts, turns of phrases, impressions. Wrestle with these jottings, refine them, and store them away for use in your fiction. Also, read  widely and study the works of the successful authors of your genre. Ask yourself what makes their stories so effective. Expand your active vocabulary, and have fun with words!

Q5: Which of your creations has brought you the most joy?

I have probably been most pleased by a silly short story I wrote many years ago and never tried to publish. It marked  a transition for me from wanting to write to actually working at the craft. Plus I still think it's a funny story.

Q6: Which has brought you the most heartache?

I finished a story recently, thinking it was hard-hitting, tight, meaningful, suspenseful. Looking at it again three months later, I realize it's none of the above. Back to the drawing board.

Q7: Is there anything you’d like to say?

When people read my stories, it's a great personal compliment. I think when writers know they have a regular readership, it inspires them to work harder and did deeper in themselves. So, thank you to all you readers!