Interview With Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Fantasy Author Jim C. Hines

The next victim… I mean friend… in my speculative fiction writer series is Jim C. Hines. Jim’s written some amazingly funny fantasy tales told from the other side — the main character is a goblin, usually considered a bad guy in that type of story. His first two goblin books made me laugh out loud, and the third one (just recently released) is sure to follow suit. I can’t wait to read it!

In the meantime, Jim was kind enough to chat about writing, animals, and family.

Aimee: What kind of things do you write about? (Genre, subject matter, themes, what have you.)

Jim: I generally write fantasy. My books are on the humorous side, about a goblin underdog named Jig who has to survive the so-called heroes who keep tromping through his home on their precious quests. I’ve also done some serious stories over the years. In terms of theme, family issues have come up a lot since I became a father. My current book is dedicated to my son, and the next one will be for my daughter.

Aimee: What’s a day of writing like? Do you have a set schedule? Do you have a day job as well?

Jim: I do have a day job, as well as two young children, which can make it difficult to find writing time. Fortunately, my boss at work is a fan of my books, and is okay with me writing during my lunch break. One hour a day, five days a week isn’t a lot, but it’s enough for me to finish a new book each year, along with a few short stories.

Aimee: Do animals appear in your work?

Jim: They do indeed, both magical and mundane. The book I just turned in to my editor includes a magical falcon, winged horses, rats, doves, and a homeless dog named Hunter. As for Jig the goblin, he doesn’t go anywhere without his pet spider Smudge.

Aimee: What kind of pets do you have? (Past and present if you like.)

Jim: At the moment, we have two dogs, three cats, and four fish. My daughter raised two tadpoles last year, only one of which ever grew into a frog. (I think we had a lazy tadpole.) Growing up, my family also had rabbits, parrots, gerbils, and one brain-damaged squirrel.

Aimee: Do your pets appear in your work?

Jim: Not often, though I’m thinking about writing my three-legged cat Pod into the next book. I need a ship’s cat, and Pod has a wonderfully punkish attitude which should be fun to write about.

Aimee: How do your pets help you work? (And I use the term “help” very loosely… mine mostly work as a distraction more than anything.)

Jim: They don’t help directly. I suspect my boss would object if I brought the animals to work with me. Mostly they handle some of the day-to-day details. Flit the cat makes sure the bed is good and warm at nighttime. Flop the cat is more of a babysitter — he’s been known to come yowl at us if he thinks something is wrong with one of the kids. And the dogs do an excellent job of keeping the cats in line.

Aimee: Last but not least, the books. Where can we get them?

Jim: I have three books in print: Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War. All of the books should be available in any bookstore, as well as the online sites (Amazon, B&, etc.) You can preview all three online.