Meet James L. Weaver, whose new novel Ares Road (published by Lakewater Press), follows the adventures of former mob enforcer Jake Caldwell.
Jake made his debut in Poor Boy Road, one of the best crime thrillers of 2016, which was named as a finalist in the IAN thriller of the Year competition.
Find out fun facts about Kansas City, why James believes in equal opportunities for potatoes and why he fears revealing his guilty secret will lead to a retraction of his Man Card.
My name: James L. Weaver. I was named after my dad’s best friend from his hometown who was killed in Vietnam.
This spring I took a business trip to DC and found him on the Vietnam Memorial wall.
My family: My immediately family consists of my wife of almost 20 years and my two
teenage kids, one of whom is scoping out colleges and making me feel really old.
Oh, and I can’t forget Dixon, our 8-month old festively plump beagle.
Most of my extended family lives within a two-hour drive of Kansas City so it’s really nice. My fantastic in-laws (and I’m not being snarky) live in Nebraska.
I was born in…Merriam, Kansas, at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.
Fun fact: The city on the mailing address for that area of town is Shawnee Mission, but there is only a Shawnee and a Mission, not an actual city called Shawnee Mission.
Okay, that wasn’t really much of a fun fact. My apologies.
But now live in…Olathe, Kansas which is a suburb of Kansas City. I’ve spent the majority of my life living in a twenty-square mile area of the city.
But, Kansas City is such an awesome town I’ve never seen the need to live anywhere else.
Favourite film? Ooh, tough one because I’m an absolute movie buff.
I’d have to go with The Shawshank Redemption. Such an awesome film.
Morgan Freeman could do the voice over of the History of Naval Lint and make it riveting.
Favourite writer? A three-way tie between Stephen King, John Sandford and Lee Child.
King is such a master of the craft and I’m so excited they are bringing the Dark Tower series to the big screen.
I just hope they don’t screw it up.
Sandford and Child have created characters in Lucas Davenport and Jack Reacher that I’m not ashamed to say I have a man-crush on.
Favourite book to read with my children? They’re teenagers now so I don’t read to them anymore, mostly because they just look up from their iPhones with creased brows and ask me what I’m doing.
But, when they were little it was And the Bear Snores On.
As my daughter got a little older, I read her the first three Harry Potter books and Where the Red Fern Grows.
SPOILER ALERT – It was so sweet when she cried because Big Dan and Little Anne died.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars, no question.
I like the original Star Trek series – my dad and I used to watch it together when I was little, but I don’t care for the jillion iterations that came after it. That said, JJ Abrams did an incredible job rebooting the franchise.
But, it’s always been Star Wars – I was a total nut when I was a kid.
I was nine when the original came out and saw it well over a hundred times and can still recite most of it. I had Star Wars sheets, lunch box and even Star Wars wallpaper, as well as the typical action figures and comic books.
Friends or Big Bang Theory? Big Bang Theory, no question.
Rachel or Penny?
The first few seasons of Friends were fantastic until they turned Ross into a whiny wuss and then jumped the shark with Chandler/Monica and Joey/Rachel.
The better question would be Rachel Green or Penny? That would be a tough one.
Favourite meal? Chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes covered in so much pan gravy that you can’t even tell what’s underneath. I’d also accept fried potatoes instead of mashed. I’m an equal opportunity potato consumer.
Greatest extravagance? I have a 108-inch projection screen down in my basement with surround sound.
It’s awesome for watching sporting events or movies.
Watching the Walking Dead can be a little unnerving as sometimes the surround sound puts the walkers right behind you.
My son and I are down there every Sunday night during the seasons with all the lights out and the sound up.
What you don’t know about me? I’ve run six marathons including one in under four hours.
I’ve also applied to be on the TV show Survivor ten times with no bites. I’ve seen every season and my son and I like to watch it together.
I’m in pretty good shape and would love the chance to be on there.
You hear that Jeff Probst??? I’ll get on there and show those young whippersnappers how it’s done.
My guilty secret? Well, if I tell you then it’s not much of a secret, is it?
Fine, I have some guy friends who will demand the retraction of my Man Card, but…I love Broadway musicals.
Just off the top of my head, I’ve seen Les Miserables about eight times, Phantom five or six, Lion King, Miss Saigon, Book of Mormon, Chicago, Rent, Mama Mia and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark – my son really wanted to go when we went to New York.
Next, I really want to see Waitress because I love the music of Sara Bareilles. She is incredible.
I’m a quarter way through Poor Boy Road and loving it! So many things to break your heart, so many things to love. Brilliantly written James, it’s no wonder it was a finalist in the IAN Thriller Awards. How did you feel when you were told it was a finalist?