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Interview with Jim Beck, Author of Virgil: A Superhero Tale

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Jim Beck currently resides in Burbank and is a freelance writer and produced screenwriter. He lives with his loving wife, son, and dog named Monster. Some of his writing credits include Pink Panther and Pals on the Cartoon Network, producer of a short zombie film and an independent feature film that was selected at Sundance.

Jim has two self-published novels, Patient Zero and Virgil: A Superhero Tale. He is currently working on his third and fourth.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

This book was relatively easy to write, because it had started out as a screenplay, which had received positive feedback a few years ago. The most difficult part, I would say, was my decision to make Virgil a part of a much larger world, which I wanted to represent to a point, without overdoing it. Each chapter starts with a quote or excerpt from a book, poem, etc. that exists in the larger world in which Virgil lives, and making sure that each one provided a bit more insight into his surroundings was sometimes tricky..

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing when I was around 12. My first story was a Transformers episode. Then came a sequel to Gremlins.  Even so, I spent years writing screenplays, and my first book, a zombie story called Patient Zero, was released last October.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?

I decided to self-publish. ‘Nuff said.

Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published?  If so, can you share a little about it with us?

As long as I keep self-publishing, I’ll never have that problem. I love the freedom that self-publishing provides. For good or bad, the writing you see is all me.  And I don’t have to please anyone except myself.  When you try to please an agent or a manager or an editor, you can run into creative problems.

How did you come up with the title?

It sounds a little silly now, but the name Virgil popped into my head when I considered writing a vigilante story. Virgil … vigilante … get it?  I always envisioned that he would read a headline in the local newspaper with something like “Vigilante in Our Midst” and he would see it as “Virgil in our Midst.”  Or something like that.  See why I dropped it?

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Only that if anyone wants to ask me any questions or chat about geeky stuff, feel free to contact me through my website.  I promise to respond.  Oh… and by the time you read this, my blog should be linked to my website.

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