Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just another naked blogger

Hello. My name is Jim. Not Grippando but Born. James O. Born to my publisher. I am very happy I was invited to join the Naked Authors blog. I visited Mr. Grippando when he stopped by Murder On the Beach book store last Thrusday. I picked up a copy of When Darkness Falls and was not dissappointed.
The two James. Born and Grippando

I’ve had a blog on Amazon for a few months and have enjoyed hearing comments from people I had no idea read my blog or cared about my novels. I recently may have offended a few people with my concern that girls are not taught how to knife fight in the U.S. I hate sexism. Then Paul Levine wrote me and asked if I’d like to join the fun and here I am.

Paul introduced me on Tuesday in a most flattering way. Then Jacqueline, Patty and Cornelia all made me feel very welcomed. Like walking into a group of friends who ask you to join them at the bar.

I like to blog about writing and my experiences in publishing. However I realize that I have little experience in the industry and wonder about the value of any of my thoughts on the subject. But as I have learned, there are only too many people happy to point out errors in logic, experience or even spelling.

I have been writing since June of 1989. I can be so specific because I started my first novel the week my son was born. I continued diligently on my quest to write a novel worth publishing for the next fourteen years. In the summer of 2003 Putnam purchased my third novel, Walking Money. That’s right I had two novels no one wanted. I now see their wisdom. Those novels had little value in terms of style, substance or entertainment.

I never told anyone I was writing. Like being a fan of Jackass, I felt it was important to keep it my secret. I maintained a day job during that whole time. First, as a Special Agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration then as a Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A position which I still hold today.

So here I am, a closet writer with my fourth novel coming out in two weeks. A working cop who has two kids, a wife, a dozen hobbies and now a blog to maintain with the great writers on Naked Authors, oh yeah, and Paul Levine.

I take writing very seriously even if my writing is not always serious. I read quite a bit because I don’t believe you can be a good writer and not be a reader. I like to laugh and find humor, from juvenile pranks to urbane satire, to be my favorite pastime.

I’ll try to mix up the topics here and hope there aren’t too many people who read this blog that are sensitive, caring, easily offended, or Canadian. Just kidding, that’s a Florida joke.

One thing I’ve noticed on the blog is that the authors occasionally blog about several subjects in one post. I don’t intend to hit on too many news topics. That’s what Chris Matthews is for. But things happen to me occasionally that I like to talk about. One simple, possibly profound event occurred yesterday afternoon.

I was working out in my neighbor’s garage. My friend Anthony has the most elaborate and complete home gym in the western hemisphere. I prefer it to the commercial gym where I’m a member because he’s got a TV with cable that I can put on any channel. Anyway, after a few minutes my son walked over. My teenaged, independent son and he wanted to workout. With me. For those of you who are not the parents of someone who is seventeen this is as close to a miracle as Al Sharpton making sense or Bill O’Reilly being pleasant. After working out for a while we just hung out for a while. Then, our favorite little kid, Robert, the son of our host, came out and we all played Jedi Knight with his light sabers. We tore it up for a good, long light saber duel where he was Anakin. I lost a hand and my right leg twice. My son joined right in and I had as good a day as any father can expect to have.

John Born (left) blocking a shot

It takes an afternoon like this to put all the publishing news and book tours into perspective. And give me something I really like to blog about.

Feel free to give me guidance in the future. If you have a question or something you’d like to see discussed, drop me a line or leave a comment. I love to hear from people.

See you next week.



  1. I wanted to make sure I could post successfully and sent it at 12:15 am on Feb 1st. I have no idea how the date stamp works for blogger.

    Regardless. Glad to be on board.

    Jim B.

  2. Hey there,

    Great debut, and thanks again for joining in!

  3. Thanks for clearing things up....Having seen the newest "photo lineup," I thought that James, "the other James," had gone under the knife and had some major plastic surgery done......looking forward to reading your contributions....

  4. Who on Earth would go under the knife to LOOK like me? Or gain wieght? No just a seperate guy.

    JIm Born

  5. Welcome. I see I'm going to have to push aside at least one of the 30+ books on my To Be Read list and get a Jim Born in there. (Sorry, Mr. Morrell, step aside; Mr. Abbott, you're going to have to wait; Ms. Gerritsen, sorry, sorry, Mr. & Mrs. Kellerman, bummer...)

    Looking forward to it.

    Mark Terry

  6. Those of us in South Carolina are really looking forward to seeing you, Cornelia, and Bob Morris at the SC Book Festival in February.

  7. What? Nothing about Shelby? Well, I guess on your first day, you want to make a nice impression, wear a suit and tie and speak kindly of people.

    Nice to see you over here with this fine group!

  8. I tried to fit Grippando's picture into the header but it made my picture so much smaller. I mean, I love the guy but seriously...

    Okay, I'll figure out something.

  9. Jim,
    You're the real deal. A cop who chases bad guys with real guns, a witty, savvy writer, and a soccer Mom.

    More about guns. To my fellow Nudie Authors, feel free to contact Jim with your weaponry questions.

    If you do, it might save you the embarrassment of an unnamed, hypothetical writer who wrote a scene in a book set in the Florida Keys where a cop pulls his Glock 9mm, and CLICKS OFF THE SAFETY.

    And then this unnamed writer -- who personally owns a Beretta 9mm and is a crack shot, meaning he can hit the broad side of a barn from ten feet or so -- gets 37 e-mails from foaming-at-the-mouth gun owners who SCREAM that the writer is an IDIOT, a MORON, and probably a Democrat.

    All because the Glock doesn't have a safety lever (which the Beretta has), but rather some trigger thigamagig, which we needn't go into here.

    And finally, believe it or not, the same unnamed writer has made previous errors concerning guns, including one in his very first novel, which, in the days before e-mail, prompted a polite and thoughtful letter from Maynard MacDonald in New Zealand, who happens to be the son of John D. MacDonald, who the unnamed writer idolized then and now.


  10. Now if only Jim can save us from characters who flash their tin and snick safeties off their revolvers :-) As Paul Levine might say, we're all mighty glad to see you Naked!


  11. You know, I admit I rolled on the floor laughing when I read in one fave author's 12 or so novel that one mean sailor stalked out of a bar, and snagged a marlinspike out of a pile of walking sticks and dotted another nasty over the head with it. I mean, come on! A marlinspike is six inches long and used for untying sailors' knots. :-D I know, wrong century... Sigh.

    Welcome so much, Jim! Great to have you on board. Looking forward to reading your posts

    Hey Patty, we need one of those revolving portrait boards - and probably a wannabe Vanna WHite to turn it at behest. :-D

    Running for cover now...

  12. Well, hey there Jim-James (At first I took you for a James, until I saw you sign yourself Jim, so I thought I would just bring the two together and welcome you to the family, like the Waltons, only with more opinions). It's good to have you on board, Jim-James. I'm late today because I killed someone this morning. Am I supposed to admit that while corresponding with a law enforcement officer? Yeah, as you know, it was only in print, and only part of a story.

    Thank you for sharing with us (I live in California, we "share" here), the story about working out with your son. I like you so much already, someone with a grip on what's really important, those gems of days when things just fall into place, even if you do lose limbs to a light sabre. Cool.

  13. I have to wonder how many other authors started writing around the birth of their first child. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but sort of forgot about it (maybe the stresses of the job?) until I was about 8 months pregnant with my first kid. And that's when I recalled my big goal in life. To be published before I had that first kid. Didn't make it. She was born in '91. Refused to wait for that book to be finished. She's still stubborn that way.

    And like you, Jim, I didn't tell any of the guys I worked with that I was writing, either. Closet writer, too. I wonder if it stems from the old Barney Miller episodes where the one cop was always going to get published, writing his book called: Blood on the Badge. They never took him seriously.

    Anyway, you're a nice addition to an already stellar cast of bloggers.

  14. Thanks for all the welcome aboard comments.

    Robin brought up a character that I never realized I had paid attention to. The writer on Barney Miller. For some reason I remember he wanted to call the book Precinct Diary but the publisher changed it to Blood on the Badge. Ron Glass played detective Ron Harris.

    It never occured to me that he might have influenced me. Typical Robin, showing off that she's the smartest one in class. She tells me that all the time. She's smarter than me. Now I believe her.


  15. "Hey Patty, we need one of those revolving portrait boards - and probably a wannabe Vanna WHite to turn it at behest. :-D"

    Hey, Marianne. You available?

  16. Dang, I'm not a blonde and I'm still 40 pounds overweight. Sigh. Must be all those fruitcakes.

    Now, painting the portrait...that'd be different. :-D


  17. Marianne, I'm just glad to find another marlinspike aficionado, and I might never have found that out about you without Mr. Born signing on.

  18. Did I miss your appearance at Aberdeen or is it yet to come?

  19. Cornelia, I had to do a lot of vinatge seamanship and sailing ship research for my Victorian Koala fantasy novel. It's set around 1871 and the main protagonist is a young koala artist named Billy. He hitches a ride with a koala sea captain on a Barque sailing ship and sails off to Egypt and England to find his missing brother and solve a bit of a mystery. The scenes are mostly in my head and I've written nine chapters - but have yet to finish the piratey bits and the gaslit London bits and get them home. Sigh. Life's too short some days. :-)

    Anyway, all of the research is there - I've even learned to tie the odd knot. :-)


  20. Jim, you couldn't have landed in a better place! Glad to see you here. You naked folks are fun.

  21. Whoever asked about the Aberdeen appearance, I will be there next Monday, 2/12


  22. Hey, Jim, just found out you're blogging now. Welcome to the monkey house.