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Meet Randall Jarmon Author of The Dalhart Pursuit
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

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By Norm Goldman
Published on March 11, 2014
 



Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interview Randall Jarmon Author of The Dalhart  Pursuit


                                                                                                                                            


Author: Randall Jarmon

Publisher: Mikvelk Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 9780983154976


Today, Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Randall Jarmon author of The Dalhart Pursuit.

Norm:

Good day Randall and thanks for participating in our interview.

Please tell us something about your background and writing experience.

Randall:

Thanks for letting me be here. I appreciate the opportunity.

Turning to your question, I took what might be the road less travelled by: no MFA, no copywriting for ad agencies, and no journalism whatsoever. Mainly I learned to write for academic journals, labor arbitrators, and executive readers --- which meant fewer words, no fluff, greater precision. Along the way I acquired some technical insights, too. Mine is so unusual a background that, I suspect, not a lot of other writers will ever sound like me.

Norm:

What purpose do you believe your story serves and what matters to you about the story?

Randall:

For me, a story is foremost about escape from one’s present situation. It’s a portal to a fascinating world. I want my novel to help somebody on a three-plane travel trip forget all about sitting in a middle seat with too little knee room.

This story seeks to make time pass pleasantly while one’s flight sits far too long on airport tarmac. However, the story also addresses governmental surveillance. I suppose lots gets written about that topic these days. I doubt anyone else will see it as The Dalhart Pursuit does, however.

Norm:

Are you a plot or character writer?

Randall:

One needs to respect both, but I go for plot first. I think men and women readers appreciate good plot. Women readers also might like character development a little more than men readers do. Take that last piece as mere speculation on my part --- a generalization from not very many data points.

Norm:

What helps you focus when you write?

Randall:

Psychologists sometimes refer to “flow” and might have different names for it. Flow occurs when everything seems to be working perfectly. One gets intense focus then, loses track of time, and likely turns out one’s best work. I write when I can feel the flow. I stop when it stops. Usually flow comes soon after I have worked out the next few chapters in my mind. Those great chapters begin demanding their release from my ordinary head.

Norm:

Did you know the end of your book at the beginning? As a follow up, did you work from an outline?

Randall:

I always try to know the end when I start. Sometimes, however, the beginning seems so good that I start and trust the end will become apparent.

Outlines are not for me. As I get to know my characters, they begin to interact in unexpected ways. Outlines cannot foresee those surprises.

Norm:

Where did you get your information or ideas for The Dalhart Pursuit?

Randall:

I do not fully know. I wanted to write a chase story. That meant answering an obvious question: Why was the character being chased? I think the story emerged as I answered that question. It might have emerged midway into walking across a West Texas ranch with my dog. There’s not much to do in the middle of a big field. You just think a lot and, of course, watch for snakes.

Norm:

How did you go about creating the character of Greg Dalhart in your novel?

Randall:

To some large degree, Dalhart created himself. It is as though my background provided a long menu of potential characteristics – most of which I likely got from watching thousands of persons over dozens of years. Greg Dalhart essentially read down that menu and picked what he wanted. I would guess this might sound strange, but I think other authors will understand.

Norm:

What's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer?

Randall:

I think the business side is tedious. I say that as someone with a PhD in Management --- someone who, by training and experience, should feel differently!

Norm:

What do you think makes a good story?

Randall:

To me, a good story need only delight the reader. It transports him or her to another world. It refreshes the reader in the process. If the book does that, it does enough for me. One can probe age-old philosophical questions, examine the nature of man, or whatever – and none of those things is wrong. However, I think none of those things is likely to help readers through baggage claim delay.

Norm:

It is said that writers should write what they know. You clearly know about computer software. Were there any elements of the book that forced you to step out of your comfort zone, and if so, how did you approach this part of the writing?

Randall:

I dealt with natural law at one point in the story. I do not know a great deal about that, and I actually do not want to know about it. To get around learning more, I used a character who thinks natural law is confusing. He only explains a little because he only understands a little, and might even get a piece of that wrong --- but his fumbling efforts are enough. The test therefore seems to be not what I know, but what works in the story. It is a lower bar to vault.

Norm:

How can readers find out more about you and The Dalhart Pursuit?

Randall:

A Web site is being built as I write. It’s randalljarmon.com. There will be a little kick-off marketing in about two months, but not much. The idea is to let the book sell itself by word of mouth. Meanwhile, I hope to add other books, which each will get a page at the Web site. One of these, Flat Light, is ready to go. Another book is starting its line edit. Roughly ten more are in the pipeline.

Norm:

What is next for Randall Jarmon?

Randall:

It’s no secret that technology is turning the publishing industry on its head. Today tiny publishing companies like mine can take on long-established media empires. That will be great fun! The pendulum is swinging, I think, from who has the most capital to who has the best stories. I want to help show little firms like mine can hold their own in this new sort of competition.

Norm:

As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.

Randall:

I would have liked to discuss Flat Light a little, but I can understand how doing so does not really fit. I’ll pass. Thanks for the opportunity, though. This must be a high-risk question for you.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

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