Welcome, Jay A. Blum!
- Welcome, For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Jay) I have always been an avid reader, devouring anything I can get my hands on. In 2009 my step-father used his 401K to play golf on Scotland’s link courses. When he came home, he began telling us all these great stories and I told him he should write a book. Well he did and gave it to me for review. It was less than perfect and I asked him if I could rewrite it for him. I did and “Over The Ocean and to the Links: A Golfer’s Journey” was born. Now I have an additional three books in various stages of completion. It is taking me a little longer to write these book as I recently lost 90% of my vision in June of 2017.
(Kam) I’m sorry for all that you’ve endured but I’m thrilled to see it hasn’t deterred you from reaching and taking hold of your dreams!
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Jay) I don’t know any author that never had writer’s block. The way that I write is free-flowing. I used to sit at the computer and stare at the keyboard and whatever came to mind I would write, then proof, edit and rewrite the next day if needed. Now that I do less typing and more talking to the computer to do my writing, sometimes the speech-to-text software has a hard time keeping up and I often lose that train of thought. When it happens, I walk away from the computer, hang out with my son and forget about the book. Within a day or two, mostly less, my brain refocuses in the background and I race to the computer to start again.
- Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
(Jay) When I am not writing, I spend as much time with my Wife and Son as possible. At 47 years old, I have a limited time on this earth as I lost both of my kidneys and my sight to cancer. When not writing and spending my time with family, I am in a dialysis chair trying to stay alive to continue to be with my family and to continue to write. I have a lot of stories in my head, and a lot to say. So when not writing I do everything I can to say alive, enjoy life, live, love and write my behind off.
(Kam) I am in awe of your strength and positive attitude towards life. So many people would’ve rolled over and let life pass them by. I am happy to see you are not wasting a moment. Others will be inspired by your bravery and it’ll give them incentive to NEVER LOSE HOPE. KEEP FIGHTING! I wish you many more years with your family.
- I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Jay) Everyone that is dear to me knows that I am a writer. Once I lost my sight, they became even more encouraging while some were shocked that I could still do it since they didn’t know about speech-to-text software or any of the other augmentative equipment I have had to acquire, at great expense, to continue writing. My friends and family are very pleased that I have found my post cancer passion and they have embraced my efforts as much as I have embraced my passion for story telling.
- Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Jay) You are right, it is hard to limit it to just ten as there are so many great wordsmiths out there. If I have to pick a favorite it would be Brad Thor. Followed by Clive Cussler, Jay Allen, Daniel Arenson, Larry Bond, Me, Dale Brown, Elle Casey, Arthur C. Clark and a ton of Indie authors that I wish I could name them here.
(Kam) I’ll have to check them out. Thank you!
- If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?
(Jay) I just finished an awesome book by Indie author Arthur David titled “Agents of the Third Party: The Beginning”. I think it would be cool to see Maggie Q as Blackmail and Piper Perabo as Jade.
The Third Party is a secret organization dedicated to moving humanity towards a future of peace and prosperity. A future where hunger, poverty, and war no longer exist. An organization so dedicated to its ideals that it is made up of spies, saboteurs and assassins for whom the ends justify the means, no matter how atrocious. BlackMail has spent her entire adult life dedicated to the cause of The Party. She has lived her life knowing that she is working for the greater good of humanity and the world, and it doesn’t matter how they achieve that. Her dedication has made her one of The Party’s top agents, and The Party has tasked her with training a young woman, Jade, who they believe will become The Party’s next top agent. When The Party sends them on a mission that goes horribly wrong it will forever change BlackMail, Jade, and The Third Party.
- Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Jay) As I said previously, I have three books currently in some form in production. One is about my will to live and my fight against kidney cancer, doctors, hospitals and my own mind titled “I Want To Live”. The other, also stemming from disappointment is titled “When Religion Failed Us”. This is a compilation of stories from people all over the globe, interwoven within my own issues and really takes a hard look at organized religion. The third book goes back to my roots and is, as of yet, untitled and hopefully begins a series of fresh and relevant espionage / counterespionage thrillers.
- Where can we find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?
(Jay) Thankfully, my books can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, Kobo and a slew of independent sites out there. I even found one of my signed copies of “Over The Ocean and to the Links: A Golfer’s Journey” on E-Bay that was sold at auction for $67.09. Pretty cool.
- Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Jay) This a great question as I truly love talking with readers. Some of these conversions translate into story ideas or I name characters after them. I can be reached in many ways. They include my BLOG: www.jayablum.com, Facebook: @AuthorJayABlum, Twitter: @AuthorJayABlum, LinkedIn: JayABlum, Instagram: Author_Jay_A_Blum, and Pinterest: JayABlumAuthor
- Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Jay) I would like to thank my gracious host for allowing me to talk about myself, my inner thoughts and demons, oh and my books too. I would really like to thank all of the readers that downloaded “Over The Ocean and to the Links: A Golfer’s Journey” which brought it to #5 in its category in May of 2017. Thank you for all the Twitter messages, Facebook posts, emails and really great book reviews. I may be blind but I read them all and answer as many as I can and still be able to write and attend dialysis. On a really personal note I want you to know that no matter what obstacle is thrown in your way, mine being cancer, dialysis and blindness, ever push you off the path to fulfilling your dreams. Sure you can be depressed and curl up in a ball why cursing the world around you. I certainly did. But, one morning I woke up and told myself that I was done wasting energy on something that I cannot change. This is who I am now and there isn’t a doctor in the world that can tell me how much time I have left. I pulled my head out of my behind and told myself that I was going to move forward with my dreams and concentrate on today. As suck I now live every moment as if it will be my last, I sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching and love life, my family, and friends until my heart explodes. Keep that mindset and there isn’t anything you cant accomplish; no matter what is thrown in your path. Thank you for your time and follow your dreams.
A hilarious story of a simple man that blows his minuscule IRA to play some of the world’s famous golf courses in the home of Golf, Scotland. Stubborn as Jeff is, he knew he could do better than the “golf tours” offered by many companies. As a result, the book is a tee by tee description of Jeff’s trip from deciding which courses to play, how much he wanted to spend, the trials of driving on the wrong side of the road, and the simple beauty of Scotland. Here is my story. – Jeff Foulk
Jay, I have read dozens upon dozens of interviews and your personal story has left an imprint on me and I think it will leave a lasting mark on others as well. You are an inspiration to others battling illnesses, who’ve suffered the loss of a sense, an internal or external part of their body, and so forth. You keep fighting every day. You haven’t given up and that determination will pave the road for others to keep moving forward, through the hard days.
I’m thankful to have “met” you and I wish you a long life full of happy, peaceful days.