Meet the Author Interview: Jim Cobb
- Meet the Author
In our latest installment of our Meet the Author series, we talked to Jim Cobb, author of over ten books–most recently, Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide, Second Edition! This fully updated new edition of a bestselling book includes new techniques and advanced tactics to prepare for long-term survival challenges.
We spoke to Jim about the new book, what he hopes to achieve with the new edition, and what he does when he’s not writing!
Let’s see, I’ve written close to a dozen books so far and authored several hundred magazine articles in the last decade or so. I’ve been involved with disaster planning, in one form or another, for about forty years now. My goal has always been to educate and inform without scare tactics, political rhetoric, or other such nonsense. Just down to earth, common sense planning for life’s little, and not so little, curve balls.
Why did you want to write this book? What is the most important message you hope people take from your book?
The first edition of this book has been wildly popular since it was first published about ten years ago. In the time since, recommendations for products as well as strategies have changed in some respects, so I wanted to bring everything up to date and current.
What was your biggest challenge with writing the book?
The biggest challenge was going through each and every page of the original book and bringing all of the information current, making sure that we didn’t overlook anything along the way.
Describe your book in one sentence.
No scare tactics, no wild predictions, no bullshit, just practical, down to earth strategies to be better prepared.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
My wife and I have been going on hikes every week for the last several years. I collect movies and TV shows, which I often have playing in the background while I’m working at my desk. I’ve also collected knives for many years. On top of all that, I’m an avid reader and love to lose myself in a new story.
What’s your favorite movie or TV show? What are you currently watching?
Oof, that’s a hard one. For TV shows, I tend to favor revisiting ones I watched growing up. Cheesy stuff like Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and the Bionic Woman. For more modern fare, I like Lucifer, Supernatural, and Leverage. My list of favorite movies could run for several pages, LOL, but off the top of my head, I’d mention Band of the Hand, Harley Davidson & the Marlboro Man, The Breakfast Club, and Avengers: Endgame.
What is your writing process like?
My writing process is fairly simple, I suppose, as far as things go. I start each chapter with a list of topics, concepts, and such that I want to make sure I cover. Not so much an outline as just a list of bullet points. I flesh everything out as I go along.
For me, the most difficult part is avoiding distractions. I work from home and with two dogs, five cats, my wife, and two sons, it is easy to get pulled away from the keyboard. But, that’s also my favorite part, that I can take a break to play with the pups or hang with my family any time I want.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
Yep, it happens. What has sometimes worked for me is to start writing something, anything at all, just to get the muscles moving, so to speak. Eventually, I’ll make my way around to the topic I’m supposed to be writing about. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then I’ll walk away from the keyboard for a bit and let my subconscious work through the problem.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
The best advice I can give to an aspiring writer is the same advice that was given to me by novelist and good friend Brian Keene – ass in chair, fingers on keyboard. That’s how books are written. Thinking about writing, talking about writing, planning to write, all of that is well and good. But if you don’t put your butt in the chair and actually write, you’re not going to finish the book, story, article, or whatever.
Who is your favorite author?
No way I can narrow it down to just one. But on the list would definitely be Christopher Golden, Brian Keene, and Stephen King. I’ve also very much enjoyed Alice Henderson’s Alex Carter series of novels.
What is a book that has had a profound impact on you?
There are three books that I often point to as being extremely influential for me. Stephen King’s On Writing came to me at just the right time and pushed me to give writing an honest shot. The Survivalist by Jerry and Sharon Ahern and Empty World by John Christopher both led me to the prepper/survival niche I’m in today.
What’s something you’d like your audience to know about you?
Like most of my readers, despite the label of prepper or survivalist, I’m not some lone wolf lunatic focused on the end of the world. While looking at long-term scenarios is a big part of it, an even more important focus is on simpler things like job loss or natural disasters that can throw a wrench into the works.
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Thanks for answering our questions, Jim! For more from Jim, check out some of his books below!