BY STEPHANIE BUTTS | TELEGRAM STAFFSunday, Nov 13, 2011 6:00 AM
Hatch said that as he watched the smoke billowing from the windows, he felt compelled to write — to express his rage and explore the possible thoughts behind terrorism.
“When that happened it was devastating, it just tears at your spirit. The only way I could get that anger out was to write,” he said.
Almost 10 years later “Kill Zone” was published. But not before “The Judge,” “The Substitute,” “Infinity Quest” and a few other novels were published.
Hatch is a Temple resident who moved from Denver, after retiring from several different professions, including a 20-year stint in the U.S. Air Force. After venting his frustration through “Kill Zone,” Hatch decided to pen a few other stories and began dabbling in science fiction, paranormal humor and contemporary fiction. He sent his manuscripts to publishers, but received countless rejection letters until a Canadian publisher, xoxopublishing.com contracted one of his manuscripts. It grew from there.
He now has eight book covers hanging on his wall, which includes the cover for his short story, “The Final Experiment,” and he is working on an eighth full-length manuscript. Three publishers have contracted his work and he won second in the Barclay Literary Competition for fiction in 2009, a competition sponsored by the City Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Hatch said the most difficult part about penning a novel isn’t the writing; it’s finding the time to write.
“Even though I’m retired there’s a lot of competition. There are grandkids here and it’s impossible to write. Retired people, you think they have a lot of time, but they really don’t. They’re really busy with a lot of things,” he said.
Finishing the novels is only the beginning. Hatch is responsible for all of his own marketing and with his eighth novel, “Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana,” to be released within the month, he’s looking for venues to display his work and get acquainted with the masses.
All of his books have been published as eBooks and can be found on Amazon.com by searching James L. Hatch. Several of his books are in paperback, but none of the electronic versions cost more than $10.
Hatch has spoken several times at the Lena Armstrong Public Library in Belton and at the Temple Public Library about how to get published and about techniques such as writing out actions instead of explaining feelings of a character. In the future, Hatch wants to speak at local high schools and possibly do some book signings at coffee shops and bookstores in the area.
But Hatch insists it isn’t about the money or recognition. It’s about the writing.
Hatch said that when he began writing, he couldn’t stop.
“It’s so compelling. It’s almost like an addiction. When you start getting into character, the imagination is suspended. If I had to say one thing, your imagination is just going full speed. And it just — it kind of takes you over and once you’re in character, you’re really involved.”