During my time at Jera, I was given the wonderful opportunity to interview the incredibly brilliant and generous author Lee Gimenez. Mr. Gimenez is a self-published and traditionally published author of eleven books. Some of his best sellers include Killing West, The Washington Ultimatum, and BlackSnow Zero. Words cannot describe the overwhelming sensation that came over me as I found out I had been given such an amazing opportunity by Jera Publishing and Mr. Gimenez himself.
Despite my nerves, the moment I walked into the meeting room and saw Mr. Gimenez, his patient and collected personality immediately set me at ease. I shook his hand and sat opposite him. With his arms settled on his crossed legs, he asked me what he could do for me. Excited, I looked down at my list of thirty-eight questions and got down to business.
Mr. Gimenez has always had a soft spot for books. His initial love of sci-fi led him to start off his writing career in that genre. He published his first book, Azul-7, when he was fifty years old. When I asked what made him sit down and decide to write something, Mr. Gimenez said that at that point in his life, he needed an outlet for his creativity. A former veteran and, later, a businessman for more than twenty years, he decided that it was time for him to delve into something he truly loved to do.
Mr. Gimenez is now retired from the corporate world and is a full-time writer. He says that he tries to write every day and gains his inspiration for his stories though traveling. He loves to travel with his wife and says that exposure to new settings and cultures greatly inspires his plots and storylines. I completely agree with this since our experiences lead us to learn and act in different situations, allowing writers to come up with the “what if?” question during or after that scene.
Mr. Gimenez said that the hardest part about writing is coming up with the concept, that initial base, for his stories, while incorporating dialogue into his text is the easiest part for him since it “moves the scenes forward.” From the initial process to the end, it takes Mr. Gimenez about a full year to write a book—eight to nine months of editing and only about three months maximum to jot down his story.
I was also intrigued to learn that Mr. Gimenez rarely ever has writer’s block. However, his recommendation for any writer who comes to that point is to step away from their work and go out to do something. Whether it be watching a movie, exercising, or cooking, “go out and do something other than thinking about the work at hand.”
Further along in the interview, I was able to ask him more personal questions unrelated to his writing style. For his own reading, I asked if he preferred ebooks or traditional paperbacks. Mr. Gimenez said that he likes both since traditional paperbacks hold that original magical feeling of a text, while ebooks are easier to travel with. He prefers to write his stories in longhand rather than on a computer or typewriter. His favorite motivational phrase is “Face your fear and do it anyway,” and to keep himself sane, he tries to go to the gym every day and do some form of cardio for at least an hour.
I could not finish this interview without asking him (in my opinion) the most important question for an author: Why do you write? Mr. Gimenez took a second before replying that he loves the fact he can create these worlds and live in them as he writes and that writing simply makes him happy. To see someone who is incredibly satisfied with his career at this point and holds no negative thoughts daily was astounding. In the future, I only hope that I can be as satisfied and happy with my career and life as Mr. Gimenez is.
I would like to personally thank Mr. Gimenez for sharing his time and knowledge. He has truly enlightened me with what it takes to be a writer and how the publishing industry is perceived by a writer himself.
Want to learn more about Lee Gimenez? Check out his website: http://www.leegimenez.com/