Practicing law for over 40 years has provided J.B. Millhollin the necessary background for most of his novels. His experience in the Courtroom provides specifics for the J.B. Millhollin novels.
Below find a Q and A session concerning the man and his novels.
Why I Write
I love writing. While I was involved in the active practice of law, it was necessary for me to prepare briefs and pleadings concerning civil and criminal cases on a frequent basis. Many times during my career, which spanned over 40 years, almost 30 years as a prosecutor, I would try to find the time to start writing a novel, based upon an idea I had developed during the prior week. But I just never had the time to finish anything—the workload I maintained kept me from finishing any novel I started. After I retired from the active practice, I had the time to write a couple of novels. Once I realized I had the ability to start and finish a full novel, I came up with a number of ideas concerning new novels I wanted to pursue. Now I find myself wanting to do nothing, but write. I have currently published 6 novels and have many more in mind. I love the challenge of putting the story together, making certain it’s believable, and most importantly, making it enjoyable for the public to read.
Most of your novels don’t seem to have a storybook ending—any particular reason?
I don’t like endings that tie everything together in a tidy little package. I don’t like reading other people’s books that are written that way either. If I do read another author’s novel that ends that way, it reinforces my desire NOT to write that way, no matter how good the novel might be. I like open endings. I like a surprise at the end. I like the intrigue a book with an ending that isn’t clear cut, presents to the reader. With an unsettled ending, the reader can use his own imagination, and end it himself. Of course, with an ending that leaves a doubt, there’s always the possibility of a sequel if the public enjoyed the first one.
Many of your novels seem to involve and revolve around a strong female character rather than a male character. Any particular reason?
Not really, although I will say I love writing about a woman that’s strong, that’s not afraid of anything and will make sure you know it. I do believe we are only starting to scratch the surface concerning women’s involvement and role in all aspects of life as we know it. I really believe they are just starting to realize that they aren’t and never were, the inferior sex. To me they are much more interesting to write about because there is always a mystique about them, about how they really feel, what they are really like, regardless of the persona they present. Their outward appearance never seems to be an indication of what they are truly capable of doing, both mentally and physically. Such is the case with Lois in Out of Reach, with Kat in the Brakus series, and with Rosa in An Absence of Ethics.
Do you outline your novels before you start?
Absolutely. That doesn’t necessarily mean I strictly follow that outline, but before I ever start, I have a brief outline of each chapter. I then break that outline down and concentrate on the first ten chapters. I then focus only on the first three chapters and finalize my thoughts on those. Once I have fully written those three, I concentrate on the next three until the book is completed. There are always a considerable number of changes that take place between the first and the last chapter, but all in all, this system works best for me.