Author Interview: James Doughty

James DoughtyToday James Doughty is visiting A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye. He has also offered to give away a copy of his book to a commenter so be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

As mentioned in my last post, I worked with James on his nonfiction book, Some Monument to Last: Memoir of TV Journalist James Muñoz with Family Poems and Letters, which was published in December.

Lillie: Welcome to A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye, James. My readers are eager to hear about your book and your self-publishing experience. First, though, tell us a little about yourself. People see you on TV reporting the news but probably don’t realize the challenges you’ve faced in your life.

James: Thank you. I have overcome many challenges, but I was always determined to reach for the American Dream. Somehow my subconscious went to work to get it done. I always wanted more despite having a lot stacked against me.

Lillie: What has motivated you and kept you going during tough times?

James: My faith in God keeps me grounded. I’m either doing things His way or my way. I’ve discovered His way is much better; in fact, it’s perfect. I also believe if I can motivate just one person to reach for their dreams, I’m doing my job.

Lillie: I know you have been working on this book for a long time. When did you first get the idea for the book? How did you get started?

James: Shortly after my interview with Walter Cronkite in 2001, which led to my meeting with my great-uncle Preston Doughty, I knew I had a story to share with the world. Several years ago, I submitted one of my grandmother’s poems to the local newspaper. I spoke with the individual running that section of the paper and told her I wanted to publish my grandmother’s poems someday. She referred me to you. I recall our first phone conversation, you were so patient and kind. I was completely at ease, and it was the first time I realized my book idea was really possible.

Lillie: Please share a little about your experience self-publishing Some Monument to Last, beginning with why you decided to self-publish.

James: I sent my story to a very popular author and offered him all rights to the story. He wrote me back and encouraged me to publish the story myself. I learned a long time ago not to depend on someone else to promote me or get my ideas done. I knew my chances of being picked up by a publisher were slim. Now that the product is out, I can only hope I’m one step closer to being noticed.

Lillie: What was the best part of writing and publishing Some Monument to Last? Is there anything you would do differently?

James: I feel like I’ve really accomplished something, like I’ve truly left Some Monument to Last. As far as doing anything differently, I would have added the newspaper article describing my father’s death and made more room to accommodate larger-sized photos with names, birth dates ,and death dates. I would have deleted a few photos that didn’t show up quite as clear as I wanted them. There’s one quote I wrote that I no longer believe, but at the time that’s where I was.

Lillie: What advice would you give writers who are considering self-publishing?

James: If you have a story worth telling and you really want a book, go for it. Some people find it quite daring that I would write such a book, but if I’ve touched one person, it was all worth it. Finally, never sell books before they’re printed. You never know what can happen, leaving you unable to deliver.

Lillie: Where can readers learn more about you? Where can they find your book?

James: They can do both at my Web site: Doughty Enterprises. Right now, that is the only place my book is available, but I’m trying to get it into Barnes & Noble and

Lillie: Please share anything else you’d like people to know about you and your book.

James: I like how Some Monument to Last is sectioned out. I managed to sneak some poetry in, which is hard to sell. People have told me they love the pictures and history. It’s no mistake the book has 149 pages. In my opinion shorter is better; 150 pages might have been too long. In 2009, many people want a short quick story packed with real life drama, hope, and courage. Besides, as a TV Reporter I am best at literature in a hurry.

Some Monument to LastThank you, James, for sharing your experiences. I’m sure your story will inspire other writers and other people who are striving to reach goals or overcome obstacles.

Readers, what questions do you have? James will be checking back throughout the day to answer questions and respond to comments. He will also give away a copy of Some Monument to Lastto a lucky commenter. The winner will be drawn from all the commenters.

Winner (added 2/1/09): We have a winner of James’ book: Steve. I have e-mailed him and asked him to contact James with his mailing address.

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