Getting a Starred Review in PW & Other Questions: James L. Rubart Interview

by Susan May Warren w/ James L. Rubart

Recently I had the chance to sit down and chat with my good friend, James L. Rubart about his new novel, The Long Journey to Jake Palmer. I think this one is going to have a major impact on people, and not just because I’m a character in the book. (More on that in a minute.)

Susie: You’re having quite the year. Your novel The Five Times I Met Myself wins the Christy Awards Book of the Year, you’re up for a Carol Award for the same novel, you’re a finalist for Mentor of the Year at ACFW, and now you get a rare starred review from Publishers Weekly for just released novel, The Long Journey to Jake Palmer. Plus RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars and made it a Top Pick for August. 

James: It’s been fun. 

Susie: Fun? Fun? It has to be a lot more than fun.

James: Really, really fun? Seriously, it has been wonderful and fun and stunning and everything in-between. Getting that starred review and Top Pick meant a lot and I’m so grateful for the people around me that have helped me write far better novels than I ever could have on my own. 

Susie: So you’re getting all this really nice buzz for Jake. When you were writing it did you have the feeling it would be received so well? 

James: No idea. It was probably the most difficult novel to write that I’ve done yet. I tried a lot of ideas that didn’t work, and on top of that I needed to write it really fast.

Susie: How fast?

James: Eight weeks. That’s fast even by your standards, yes?

Susie: True!

James: But I had brilliant input from my wife, and my editors, Amanda Bostic and Erin Healy. Wouldn’t be the same novel without those three.

Susie: And what’s this about this putting me in The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

James: Couldn’t help it. You’re the life of the party, but are also about going after the deep things of the heart. And I needed Jake to have a friend like that. So yes, if people want to see what I think about Susie Warren, it’s all in there. 

Susie: Any other real life people end up in this one?

James: Yes, one other. But since the character isn’t portrayed as the most pleasant person on the planet, I’m going to keep the secret of who it is to myself. 

Susie: Give us the elevator pitch for the novel.

James: It’s the story of a man searching for a lost corridor at the end of a lake. If he finds it, he’ll reach a place where he’ll get what he wants most in the world.

Susie: Love it. What do you want people to take away from this book?

James: I think many of us wonder if we’re enough. Enough for our spouses, our friends, our parents, our children. That’s Jake’s struggle too. I want people to walk away knowing they are enough and that there is a beauty inside them so powerful it would stun them if they saw it. I want people to walk away seeing that beauty and power inside themselves.

Susie: And there’s an audio version too, right? And you voiced it.

James: Yeah. That was so fun.

Susie: How do people buy the book and where is the best place to be in touch with you?

James: They can pick up the novel just about anywhere books are sold. The best place for people to stay in touch is by signing up for my newsletter on my website.

Susie: Thanks for talking!

James: Loved it.

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older
man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and
dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys
they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s the
best-selling, Christy, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of
eight novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his
branding and marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers
make much more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a
small lake in eastern Washington. More at