Dr. James Connor—author and professor
By Melissa Jewels
Dr. James Connor is a successful author and professor English at Kean University. He has had five of his nine books publishes and now, in between authoring books and his professorship at Kean, he is embarking on a new endeavor as a publisher.
Connor, who teaches World Literature and Creative Writing, writes both fiction and non-fiction. His published books, which are available on Amazon, include: “God’s Breath,” a collection of short fiction stories; “Silent Fire: Bringing the Spirituality of Silence to Everyday Life,” a non-fiction memoir; “Kepler’s Witch: An Astronomer’s Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother,” non-fiction; “Pascal’s Wager,” a story of a man who invented probability; and “The Last Judgment: Michelangelo and the Death of the Renaissance.”
Connor said Annie Dillard, Mark Twain, and Flannery O’ Connor are all writers that have inspired him. He describes these authors as “magnificent” and “descriptive.” Not only have their works inspired Connor tremendously, but they have also inspired his father who wrote science books, and his wife, Elizabeth Craven-Connor.
Currently, Connor is editing two new books. His publishers include HarperCollins Publishers Inc., Crown Publishers andPalgrave MacMillan.
In addition to his busy schedule as a teacher and author, Dr. Connor is working on launching his own publishing company, entitled “Dead City Press.”
Connor describes his publishing company as “an old style press for a modern world.”
The company, according to Connor, will focus on electronic publishing of books and short stories including thrillers, mysteries, fantasies, history, urban fantasy, science fiction and romance. Authors will receive 50 percent of the book profits. In addition to publishing, services such as book design and self-publishing are available.
When it comes to giving advice to any aspiring writer, Connor had much to say about the importance of words.
“Fall in love with words,” said Connor. “Find double meanings in everything and language will become richer. Everything else will fall into place.”
Connor said writers need outside opinions on their work.
“Don’t trust your own feelings,” he said. “Have someone else read it.”
Connor also stressed the importance of taking yourself out of your work and focusing on your audience.
“Write for someone else, not for yourself,” Conner said. “Put your ego on the shelf and realize it’s not about you, it’s about your readers.”
In order to become successful at writing in general, Connor said: “read constantly and never stop learning.”
Once Dead City Press Publishing is up and running, Connor will eventually be looking for editors. Any questions or comments for Connor can be reached at . Connor also has a website that describes his writings and himself at www.authorjamesconnor.com.