Saturday, July 18, 2009

Whine Time with January Jones - Voice America

Voice America Variety
July 16th Thurs 9 am PT
listen to
James Ross, Aauthor
Hope you all can listen in.
The Laws of Golf

Listen to the interview at

1: No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime.LAW

2: Your best round of golf will be followed almost immediately by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.LAW

3: Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water.

Monday, July 13, 2009

James Ross Explains Why he Became an Author

One day you wake up and announce to the world that you would like to write a novel. Pardon the pun, but that is a novel idea. At some point in time that is what everyone dreams about. Let’s face it; we all have a story to tell, don’t we?

In reality though, how does it all really come about?

For me, the writing itself is relatively easy. The sentence structure; the punctuation; the correct spelling are all general tools that don’t cause much of a problem for me. And I assume that is true for a lot of other writers.

In my opinion the challenging part of writing is dreaming up the topic. It takes much thought to come up with a story line and develop a plot. Creating scenes is a taxing exercise of the mind. Putting the actions in a readable sequence is also tricky. The story must flow and force the reader to stay interested enough to turn the pages.

In my personal experience it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to figure out how I’m going to make a story work. Once I identify the subject matter that I want to write about a subconscious energy sort of kicks in. Even though I continue to live daily life, the inner thought process is constantly at work trying to figure out the details of the story.

One trick that I found was that exercise helps me to reach a state of relaxation that allows for my mind to reach an open phase. While jogging I have found that the demands on the respiratory system and muscle groups have allowed for me to reach a freedom from within.

Another valuable time of discovery is in the middle of the night or shortly after awakening in the morning. For some reason the mind is not clogged and burdened with the goings-on of everyday life. Still another mind-enlightening time is while I am driving down the interstate in my car. During those moments I have found that it is always a good idea to have a pen and pad of paper easily accessible to jot down ideas.

At any rate, as I mentioned earlier, the time that it takes to sort events out in my mind varies. One of the things that I love to do is create characters. I can actually see them and hear them. Once the scenes are figured out and put into the proper sequence, then I have the freedom to place my characters into the action and have them deliver the message of the story.

It is fun to create twists and turns as the story is delivered. It is enjoyable to place hard-to-attain hurdles in the path of a main character as he or she travels on their journey. It is pleasurable to exploit their weakness and make them vulnerable to the actions of the other characters. Most of the characters have some sort of a purpose. Even if it is merely wallpaper in the action of the story, they seem to fill out the scene is some way, shape, or form.

So, in a nutshell, even if you decide to sit down and write a novel, just remember that it takes a great deal of planning to actually decide how the story is to be told. It is so very important to have an orderly procession of events and actions that follow in a logical manner. Characters have the freedom to deliver the message. The trick is putting them in situations that allow for the message to be delivered in an entertaining and meaningful way.

Good luck! Writing is a fun exercise of the mind. You’ll find that it becomes a little easier if you do some sort of pre-planning before you start. After all, when you take a drive in your car it is always better to have a destination in mind. Otherwise you merely wander aimlessly.

Check out his Recent List of Books:Especially if you love the game of Golf with extra adventure added.

I hope you enjoy them and please send me feedback or feel free to ask me any questions you might have about me or any of my books.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Serial Killer in Novels That Revolve Around Golf?

I have met many literary enthusiasts, both online and at in-person events, since publishing my three completed novels—Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course. It’s wonderful to find so many people who simply love to read and who are always looking for new authors and styles of writing to add to their collections. I have been asked the following question on many occasions, “Will I still enjoy your books if I know nothing about the game of golf?” Let me assure you that my three books, as well as the next one which is scheduled to be released later this year, offer much more than repetitive descriptions of golf swings and putting conditions. While Prairie Winds Golf Course is the primary backdrop for all of my novels and I certainly include my passion for golf into my work, the characters and their stories have many levels of complexity.

One subplot that runs throughout all of my books is the elusive serial killer who remains on the loose, much the frustration of law enforcement. This at-large predator creates a renewed sense of fear among area residents every time another crime update is broadcast over local radio. I feature quick segments about the killer in each of my novels, usually included to interrupt an otherwise mundane moment at the golf course. I want these updates to jolt the readers out of their sense of comfort and keep them wondering about when and if the lives of the serial killer and the regulars at Prairie Winds Golf Course might just intersect.

The introduction of a violent criminal is just one way in which I work to create a multifaceted plotline in my books. If you love the game of golf, you undoubtedly will find plenty to enjoy in all three novels. If you have never set foot on a golf course and could not tell the difference between a five iron and a putter, there are still plenty of moments in Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course that will draw you in as well.

Golf Promo for Author James Ross

Lifetime Losers review and giveaway -

Lifetime Losers review and giveaway
12:13 AM Posted by fivemonkiesreview
Contest be held by Fivemonkies review

J.W. Schroeder, J Dub for short, seems to be an unlucky guy. He grew up learning how to play the gentlemen’s game of golf from his father, and tried to use his skill to get on a pro tour. A last minute bad choice caused him to lose out on his shot of greatness. With his wife more than a little pregnant, J Dub realizes he needs to get a job, and fast. He gets a job at a golf range and they move into a small trailer. Realizing how unhappy they are, J Dub hopes for a miracle. Little does he know he’s in for a big surprise.

Lewferd E. Zerrmann is a con man. He is a big shot who is not satisfied unless he is screwing other people over and making lots of money for as cheaply as possible. He gets wind of a very talented young man, J Dub, needing work and formulates a plan. He and his partners have already stolen land from a rich old lady by forging her signature and now want to turn that land into a golf course. He wants to keep it running a few years, use J Dub and his skills to turn it into something great, and then take the money and run. J Dub is none the wiser.

After the introductions are in place, and J Dub convinces his skeptical wife, they move out of state and pour their sweat and blood into turning this into a popular golf course. As the years go by, J Dub realizes that his partner, Lew, is not a people person. He is rude to the customers and is coming up with crazy ways to justify writing himself checks with the company’s earnings. J Dub hopes to someday buy the business from Lew. Fifteen years into their partnership, he gets his chance. This is when the story gets really good. J Dub slowly starts to find out that Lew has been skimming cash from the business all along, and according to the books, they have not been making any money because of this. Now it’s just a matter of proving this in a court of law.

The story whirlwinds into court battles, fighting, threatening, lying, and cheating. This is a great story with lots of excitement. There is a whole lot of accounting/business/legal jargon in this book but James Ross does a great job at explaining it to the reader as you go along without causing us to get confused or bored. The ending is fantastic and the characters are amazing and full of life. I would recommend this story to anyone who is looking for a great read. J Dub just wants what is best for his family and finds a lot of hardships along the way. I think most people can identify with him, which makes this all the better to read.

Enter this link to be brought to the contest

Giveaway runs from July 8th thru 15th! Open to US only

"Lifetime Loser" - About

About the Book:

For fifteen years on the outskirts of St. Louis, J. W. Schroeder (J Dub) ran a worn out golf course that sat high atop the Illinois bluffs of the Mississippi River. Then he learns that his partner had been skimming profits the entire time. But even worse, J Dub discovers that he was an unknowing participant in the swindle of an estate and that he was a victim of fraud.

J Dub is thrown into a civil justice system that is lengthy as well as costly to protect his family and correct an evil and sinister secret that had been withheld from him for years. The controlling partner, Lewferd E. Zerrmann, aligns himself with a dishonest attorney, a deceitful accountant, and a corrupt politician to derail a government investigation and an IRS audit. He survives title improprieties and outlasts an overzealous U. S. Attorney.

No one seems to be able to penetrate the isolated walls of Lew’s fortress until J Dub steps up and risks it all to fight for what is his. WHO SAID REAL LIFE WAS ANYTHING LIKE “THE GENTLEMAN’S GAME?”

Author James Ross Appeared on yet Another Radio Spot

Friday, July 3 at 6:30 eastern

Link to Site

Another Great Book Review of "Lifetime Loser" by Author James Ross

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: Lifetime LoserAuthor: James Ross
ISBN Number: 978-1-4257-8208-5
Publisher: Xlibris
Genre and Target Market: fiction; male relationships; legal drama
Publication Date: 2007Book Length in Pages: 327
To Purchase the Book:

J.W. Schroeder (known as J Dub) is one shot away from getting the score he needs to become a member of the PGA Tour. He has played well throughout this qualifying tournament, and his confidence is peaking. His wife, Marcia, is standing nearby, pregnant with their first child. She questions the unstudied approach that J Dub is taking to such a crucial swing, while his suddenly swelling ego allows him to believe nothing can go wrong. Marcia’s doubts prove warranted when J Dub fails to earn a spot to play his beloved golf game professionally. With all of the family’s hopes and dreams riding on that ill-fated shot, what will be next for the Schroeders?

So begins the first foray into the literary world for author James Ross. Over the next 300 pages of Lifetime Loser, Mr. Ross takes us through twenty-three years of J Dub’s life and introduces us to a cast of unforgettable characters. J Dub and his wife are lured to Illinois by the villain of the novel, Lewferd “Lew” Zerrmann. Lew asks J Dub to manage a golf course he just acquired, with promises of eventual ownership and a life-changing fortune. However, as the novel unfolds, we realize that failing to keep his word is the least of Mr. Zerrmann’s unappealing qualities. Lew and his business associates introduce the well-intentioned J Dub to a world of murder, perversion, tax evasion and a demented fascination with a genocidal dictator. What could go wrong?

One of the strongest parts of Lifetime Loser is the detailed attention to character development that Mr. Ross pays to each player in his story. We learn the background story for each person, from high school experiences to luck with women to professional successes and failures. The readers also receive vibrant physical descriptions … for better or for worse! I found myself rooting for J Dub and his family, while becoming more sickened by each new detail that was shared about Lew Zerrmann. The emotional investment that I staked in these characters was directly due to Mr. Ross’ determination to make these people three-dimensional and complete in their personalities.

I also was drawn to the layout that Mr. Ross uses to develop his storytelling. While the entire novel is written in the third person, the person, issue … and even year … of focus changes from chapter to chapter. We are let into the homes of the characters and even unexpectedly taken back in time to provide context for the plot. There are also lapses allowed in the chronology so that the reader is given the opportunity to fill in the details based on what we have learned about the people and their situations. Ross manages to elegantly fold these different snapshots together to create a novel rich in detail.

Readers should not expect a quick and casual read that can be completed in one afternoon. The text of Lifetime Loser is dense and needs to be read carefully. I found several instances in which I flipped back to chapters I had already read just to see how a particular aspect of the plot line had shown hints of itself before fully unfolding. The need to go back and forth in my reading was not due to any shortcomings on the part of James Ross's writing, but was instead based on my interest in how Ross managed to get the intricate story to its current point.

This initial offering, Lifetime Loser, by James Ross is a great novel for anyone who appreciates the art of creating strong characters on the written page. It is not often that I find myself audibly gasping in reaction to a development in a novel, but the actions of the main players in Lifetime Loser made me do just that. This book is certainly a page-turner, but with a plot that deserves your time to give it a slow and deliberate read. I have no doubt that you will be amazed by some of the situations that our protagonist faces as he simply tries to support his family by helping others play the game that he loves. Ross has a creative mind that translates well to each page of his first book. I look forward to meeting the other people who I hope James Ross chooses to create in the future.

One of James Ross's Favorite Links

Lynni's Behind the Green Scenes...
A walk in my stilettos as you peek at every single step of creating a Virtual Golf Room in the very first Carbon-Neutral Decorator Showhouse in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

About the Author
Lynni Megginson
Gaithersburg, MD, United States
Winner of the 2008 AND 2009 Washington Spaces Magazine "Best of Interior Design" competition. Nominated by the Accessories Resource Team (ART) as the 2008 Home Accents Retailer of the Year, East Coast. Member of CharityWorks, sponsor of the CW Green House

Monday, July 6, 2009

Controversial Issues Will Continue to Be a Focus When I Take on Teen Pregnancy

As I have shared many times on this blog, I do not shy away from tackling controversial topics in my three published books—Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course. Some of the subplots that take place on and around the Prairie Winds Golf Course have included alcoholism, racism, crooked politicians, illegal sports gambling, womanizing, and many other areas that provide great content for any writer. With my new book Opur’s Blade, which is scheduled to be released later this year, I will continue to address issues and develop characters that will make my readers think and maybe even shout back at the pages once in a while. One of the topics you can expect me to explore is the difficulty that comes with teenage pregnancy.

What are some of the problems associated with babies who enter the world when their mothers are still in high school? Young pregnant women are not as likely to get the proper prenatal care and are more likely to smoke than their older counterparts. The result of this behavior can manifest in low birth weight, which is often a contributing factor in blindness, deafness, and cerebral palsy. Teenage moms are also more likely to struggle financially, leave their own education unfinished, and create poorer “life outcomes” for the children they raise. You will have to read Opur’s Blade when it becomes available to learn the specific story and struggles of my character, but you can be sure the road is not easy.

What are your thoughts on teen pregnancy and how to decrease its occurrence? Should there be more sex education in schools? Are parents not being proactive enough in knowing what their children are doing? Is the media responsible for the beliefs that teenagers hold about sexual behavior? I know it’s not really related to golf, but I would love to read your thoughts on this hot-button topic. And, I look forward to your reviews on how I handled the issue when Opur’s Blade is released.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ever Imagine Yourself Sliding on the Green Jacket?

Every sport has its coveted symbol that the victor can hoist above his head at that shining moment of glory when no one can claim to be the champion. Just recently, the members of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team were able to place their hands on the Stanley Cup following their stunning defeat of the Detroit Red Wings. Being a particularly good sports year for the Steel City, the Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in possession of the National Football League’s Lombardi Trophy. This weekend, one of the Williams’ sisters will supply the obligatory kiss to the dish that displays the female winner of Wimbledon. Every kid who has thrown a ball in the backyard or sprinted down the street just a little bit faster than the day before has dreamed of the day when one of those trophies would belong to them.

Golf has its own series of prized objects that it bestows upon tournament winners, the most famous being the green jacket that is proudly placed on the winner of the Masters every spring. For most professional golfers on the circuit, earning the opportunity to wear the jacket that is steeped in history is the ultimate dream. Even those of us who must live in that world vicariously through our television screens wait for that special moment almost as much as we anticipate a playoff on the last hole.

I have incorporated the excitement that surrounds the Masters’ green jacket into my upcoming book Opur’s Blade. The winner of my fictional tournament known as the Classic receives the coveted fedora. While the fedora may never have been worn by Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, it means just as much to the golfers that my readers will come to know better in this new book.
I look forward to sharing Opur’s Blade with you later this week. In the meantime, I hope you will read my three published books if you have yet to do so—Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey’s Course. I believe that Opur’s Blade will prove to be a great continuation of the stories taking place on Prairie Winds Golf Course.

Author James Ross is one of the July Sponsors of Five Monkies Review

Author James Ross is one of the July Sponsors on Five Monkies Review.

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