Gilbert Speaks on Grandfatherly Advice with Author James Knipp

4 May

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I am blessed to belong to one of the best writers’ groups on the East coast. This is where I had originally met James Knipp. James is a talented writer and blogger, and if you want to keep up with the series finale of Game of Thrones, then jump over to Biff Bam Pop for his weekly review. I enjoyed reading Stuff Every Grandfather Should Know. It’s a great book filled with humorous advice, now join me for my interview with the author.

Gilbert:Tell us a little bit about yourself and what hooked you into being a writer?  

James Knipp: I’m not sure what hooked me.  I’ve always liked to tell stories and to create new people and worlds and to spend lots of hours imagining “what if.”  After I graduated college (way back in the 90s), though, I turned my attention to the “serious stuff:” figuring out a career, raising a family, setting up a home…the writer stuff got put on the back burner, never going away entirely, just something to think about later.  When I turned 40 back in 2008, I entered mid-life crisis mode and started thinking about this writing thing.  I started writing again, started my blog, KnippKnopp, met wonderful folks like you and the rest of the South Jersey Writers’ Group…I’d say as mid-life crises go, this one was pretty productive.

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Gilbert: Where else are you published?  

James Knipp: Mostly short stories and flash fiction.  My short story “No Fun Joe” is in the SJWG anthology “Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey.”  My flash fiction Mr. Belial was published in Philly Flash Infernos Five Dollar Dreadful, and another flash piece “Test Run” appears in e-spec books “In a Flash” anthology.  I have another short story, “Sisters” coming out soon in Jersey Pines Ink’s “Crypt-Gnats” anthology coming out later this year.

Gilbert: What inspired you to write your humorous grandfatherly advice for others?

James Knipp: It’s really a lesson in the importance of networking and having a social media presence.  I’m on the board of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, and in 2018 one of our instructors, Blair Thornburgh- who was an editor at Quirk Books at the time approached me with an offer.  Quirk has a series of “Stuff every <fill in the blank here> Should Know” books they’ve put out over the last few years, and they wanted to put out a version covering Grandfatherhood.  Blair happened to read my blog, which included a number of posts about my granddaughter, liked my voice, and asked if I’d like to write for Quirk.  It took me approximately 1.2 nanoseconds to say yes.  It was a bit of an adventure, simply because I tend towards darker fiction or silly humor, neither of which fit the need for this book.  Lucky for me the folks are Quirk are wonderfully patient and helped guide me through the process.

Gilbert: Can we expect more grandfatherly advice in the future?

James Knipp:I hope so.  I added a section to my blog called “PopPop KnippKnopp” and I’d love to post more humor stories, and have been thinking about putting together a book geared less to advice and more towards comedy.  Of course, like all of us who have day jobs and other responsibilities, it’s sometimes hard to find time.

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Gilbert: What stories are you working on now?  

James Knipp: How to answer this honestly?  Truth be told, I’m not actively working on anything except the day job and the Philly Writers’ Conference.  Bad, I know.  I tend to be an “inspiration and momentum” guy…in that if I don’t get hit with the inspiration stick, I can let things sit for a looooooong time.  When I get hit with that stick, I hope it steers me back towards the story that started it all…When I started writing again, I started with a story called “Jonesing”. (Just your classic Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Someone gets possessed by an insatiable demon story).

Gilbert: Thank you James, and for my followers, get the book. It’s funny, and holds a wealth of child rearing information even if you are not a grandparent.

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