No, that “D-List” in the title isn’t a dig at Jim, it’s a reference to his hugely popular 2011 self-published novel Confessions of a D-List Supervillain, which chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Calvin Stringel, who goes from climbing the tech corporate ladder to outcast to… I don’t want to give too much away. My story is that Jim’s D-List was the first “indie author” novel I ever read and after asking Jim some questions by e-mail, I was encouraged enough to start my own self-publishing journey. Jim however hasn’t stopped after D-List. He has a whole catalog of interesting novels. Jim’s newest novel is the prequel to D-List, titled appropriately enough Origins of a D-List Supervillain. Jim was one of my first author interviews in 2013 and was kind enough to come back.
TPF: Jim, thanks for agreeing to a return visit on The Phil Factor. Jim, now that I’ve done more writing, I find that I put a little bit of me into the protagonist of each of my books. Is that the case with you, and if so, which of your characters has the most similarities to you?
Jim: Most of my main characters are rather cynical. I’m probably closer to Mike Ross of the Dead Eye series than Cal Stringel from the D-List Supervillain in my level of cynicism.
TPF: Jim, I know that your wife grew up in western New York. How did she feel about the cheap shot you took at the Buffalo Bills in Origins? Aside from this question, have you gotten flack from others about that?
Jim: Nah. I’m a Bills fan too. We all suffer together. Sometimes at conventions, I’ll wear a Buffalo Bills polo shirt I have and occasionally people will actually stop because of it and talk football. I’ll joke that it is part of my cosplay as a disgruntled Bills fan. Even though we’re 7-6 right now, that remaining schedule doesn’t look promising to get into the postseason.
TPF: Rather than make the main character in your D-List books either a hero or a villain you give him a bit of both. Was that the plan when you started or did it evolve as you created the story?
Jim: I always wanted to write a well done anti-hero. Cal Stringel is that guy. Back in the 80’s (now I feel old), I used to love watching Starblazers. My favorite character – Desslok because he was my first real introduction to an anti-hero. A quality anti-hero will live by his own code and stay true to himself while still being able to evolve as a character.
TPF: Will there be another chapter in the D-List series? Because it’s been so successful for you do you feel obligated to keep it alive?
Jim: Well, I’ve just sent Secrets of a D-List Supervillain off to the editor, if that answers the question. It replaced the Dead Eye novel I had planned to write in this slot. To be perfectly honest, if it sells as well as Origins has, Trials of a D-List Supervillain will probably be written next. The series has all the momentum going for it right now. Audible.com bought the rights to the Confessions audio book for the next 5 years, so it’s in their interest to “move” it. At the end of November of this year (2014), they made it the Daily Deal and sure enough I was the number one bestselling audio book on all of audible.com for that day. It’s the third day of December as I’m responding to this and I’m still in the top 5 of all science fiction. That kind of exposure is the kind of thing that has to be taken advantage of.
TPF: I’m sure Audible.com is nice, but c’mon, is it Phil Factor type exposure? On your website, jimberheimer.com, you mention that the next chapter in the Dead Eye series may be out this Fall/Winter. Could you tell my readers a little about that storyline and when we, and when I say we I mean me, can look forward to the third book?
Jim: Dead Eye 3 is probably more of a summer 2015 release now, especially if D-List 4 bumps it. My plan for Dead Eye 3 is to heavily involve Mike in the supernatural “turf war” taking place from New York City down through New Jersey that was briefly mentioned in the first Dead Eye novel. Mike thinks he’s in a good spot now, but the story mirrors the real world and the Recession of 2008 is about to hammer the spirit who’d planned to employ him. Even ghosts have real world problems in that series.
TPF: To be honest Jim, I’ve only read five of your ten books. Could you tell me and The Phil Factor readers a little bit about both your Prime Suspects and Sorceress novels?
Jim: Prime Suspects: A Clone Detective Mystery is the story of a clone of a homicide detective created to solve the murder of his prime (original). Complicating matters is the fact that most of the suspects are also clones of the same homicide detective and they know all his tricks! He’s the murder victim, several of the murder suspects and the guy trying to solve the murder all at the same time. It is my attempt to write a noir sci-fi in the vein of Blade Runner (or the source material for that – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep). A friend of mine is helping me adapt the novel into a screenplay and I’m eager to see what might come of that!
The Spirals of Destiny Series (Book One – Rider and Book Two – Sorceress) are my epic fantasy novels about a young woman (Kayleigh) who bonds with a unicorn (Majherri). It is anything but your normal unicorn and maiden story. When a woman bonds with a unicorn, she’s drafted into the High-King’s Battle Maidens, who are his peacekeepers, his ambassadors, and his enforcers if need be. The odd numbered chapters are written from the unicorn’s point of view and the even numbered ones are from Kayleigh’s. The unicorns are fully functioning characters in the story. They have their own culture, motivations, and emotions. Majherri is the only unicorn to have survived the death of a rider. Normally when a bond is made, the unicorn is the source of the magic and the rider is the control mechanism. If a rider dies, the unicorns magic eventually becomes toxic to the unicorn and they die of a disease called the wasting.
Because of Majherri’s survival, he’s a pariah and an outcast, a true broken hero searching for answers and redemption. Kayleigh is his second rider off to The Academy to learn how to become a Battle Maiden. She’s your fish-out-of-water / coming of age story. Their unlikely partnership will have to survive the stirring evil that is stalking the Blessed Continent.
I hope to also release Spirals of Destiny Book Three – Champion in 2015. Sounds like a busy year for me, so I’d better get writing. J
Jim, thank you again for taking the time to visit and tell my readers about your phenomenal books. I’m looking forward to reading more from you in the very near future and to having you back on #ThePhilFactor as well. If you’re interested in Jim’s books you can find out more on Amazon and his website. Thanks for stopping by everybody. Have a great Sunday and go root for those Buffalo Bills! ~Phil