Autumn With An Author: James Cudney IV

I am honored to introduce you to Author James Cudney IV, from New York City. He doesn’t need any introduction really. His name is a guarantee for a good read. James is a writing volcano, it seems he produces a new book every four-five months in every format and are translated into many romance languages. He writes family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. I met him in the blogosphere a few years ago, we clicked immediately and became friends. I let him tell you the rest.

Author James (Jay) Cudney IV
  1. James, you wrote among everything, a few book series such as Braxton Campus Mysteries.
    Do you take all your characters for a walk to make sure you still recognize them after a few months have passed by?

    I do enjoy writing in a variety of genres. Coming back to the Braxton Campus Mysteries is always refreshing but sometimes painful. There are almost 150 characters across the eight books (#8, Sleigh Bell Tower releases in December 2021), and while everyone is vivid in my mind, I can’t recall all the details about exact physical traits and their extensive histories. I generally remember the main ones, but at times, I’ll think… “Didn’t I say she hated cold weather in the second book?” and then I’m back to reading them again. Luckily, I maintain a spreadsheet with all the primary details and relationships, and I cut/paste descriptions of settings and people in a master document. I always wish I could conjure them up and go for an amazing walk!
  2. Do you always have a good relationship with your characters or do they appear in your sleep and tell you what to do?
    Rarely do they appear in my sleep. New characters will, but once someone is alive in a book, they are gone from my dreams. And that’s because they are real, so I don’t need to rely on my imagination as much. Occasionally, I’ll be in bed thinking about someone’s next adventure and it will spill into a dream… but the new ones fight hard to cross the threshold into my literary reality.
  3. Your publications have been translated in many languages, you have produced paperback, kindle and audio books. Is it time for a movie?
    I would relish that! Early on, there were some talks about Watching Glass Shatter being turned into a film or series. Truthfully, I wasn’t savvy enough in the industry and couldn’t split my time between writing, marketing, and filming. I’d love to revisit it in the future, though. I would love to see the Glass family on the big screen even more than the citizens of Braxton.
  1. If a movie producer turned one of your books into a movie, would you play a role? If not, which actors would you choose to play your characters?
    Great question. I acted in high school and college. If there were a small part, perhaps a walk-on or one with two or three lines, I’d definitely consider it. There are some of those characters who would lend themselves to me taking the risk of performing in front of the camera instead of behind it. When we launched the initial marketing for Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, we had contests to choose the actors for the primary roles. I had so many potential options to consider. I’ll always fall back on Meryl Streep playing Olivia Glass; she’d be the perfect actress to bring out the many sides of this matriarch.
  2. Are some of the people you know afraid of sharing with you their happenings, thoughts, feelings or events, risking to end up in one of your books?
    Definitely not. I have included a few lines people muttered in real life, but most of the characters are all fictional. Given there are murder mysteries in most of the books, that would be scary. I also tend not to be risky or intentionally offend anyone I know, so I wouldn’t put them in a strange position. But if someone angers me, they become the picture I see when I am writing murder scenes in the books. It’s cathartic and comforting without bordering on the insane and criminal.

  1. 6. With so many books published in a short time, I gather you are busy writing every day?
    Not anymore. Although I took three years off between my last corporate job and this one, I am now only able to write on the days I take off, at night, and on weekends. What used to take me three months takes me nine months, and even then, I’m exhausted from ten-hour workdays… writing is hard, especially while running a blog, social media, marketing existing books, and having a personal life. I’ve got the next book almost finalized for a December 2021
    Legally-Blind-Luck-Promo-Hardback-Ereader (2).png
    release, but nothing else is written… so I will be busy again soon.

    7. Do you need your wiring space to be inspirational, tranquil, and inviting or messy with noisy music?
    Pure silence. No interruptions. Don’t need to look at anything inspiring. I focus on the words and the screen, and it flows from my mind. But I need three to four hours when I can dedicate myself without anyone needing me or feeling the desire to check my work email or phone calls.

    8.You read a lot and review a lot of books. How do you manage it with your work, daily life and writing commitments?
    Not very well lately. I’ve slowed down a lot of things… when I’m writing, I barely get to read a book a week. When I’m not writing, I can finish three or four, so it balances out. I have no writing planned from Nov to Dec this year, but I will be outlining the two books I want to write in 2022. I try to maintain a schedule so workouts and work are done by 5:30. I have two hours to write or edit, then eat dinner, watch TV and read before bed. It’s mostly a matter of planning in advance, calendarizing my entire day so I have free time and dedicated ‘work’ time.

    9. Do you enjoy every book you read?
    Mostly. I prefer to read a book series and authors I already enjoy. For every four books where I choose them due to the author or series, I add in one from an indie or a friend I’ve met online. When it’s a genre I don’t normally read, it’s tough… unless there is a good story. Two good author friends write in genres I don’t read, but I love their stuff. You can usually tell from my book reviews if I liked it or not. If I have a light review or it’s generic, it means I hardly got anything from the book. I won’t give it a 5, but I might give it a 4 if it’s an author I want to support. If you see 3 or less, the book had a major problem or I just didn’t get into it. Some 3 ratings are purely in comparison to other books in the series that were so good, they got 4 and 5 ratings.

    10. If you had to describe yourself in just three words, what would those be?
    Organized. Diligent. Multi-dimensional. (Yes, that hyphenated word counts as one here.)

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full-length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog
Next Chapter:

Social Media

Genres, Formats & Languages
I write in the family drama, suspense, and mystery genres. My first two books were Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I wrote a sequel, Hiding Cracked Glass, for my debut novel, and they are known as the Perceptions of Glass series. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with seven books available. Recently I co-wrote a psychological drama, Weathering Old Souls, with Didi Oviatt.
All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, paperback, hardcover, large print paperback, pocket-size paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links
Perceptions of Glass
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Hiding Cracked Glass (October 2020)

Father Figure (April 2018)
Weathering Old Souls (co-written with Didi Oviatt May 2021)

Braxton Campus Mysteries
*Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
* Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)
Legally Blind Luck – #7 (April 2021)
Sleigh Bell Tower – #8 (December 2021)

Amazon Book Links

Watching Glass Shatter

Hiding Cracked Glass

Father Figure

Academic Curveball

Broken Heart Attack

Flower Power Trip

Mistaken Identity Crisis

Haunted House Ghost

Frozen Stiff Drink

Legally Blind Luck

James, you are a powerhouse and I am honored to have you as my guest. Congratulations on your new release coming up. If you were any closer, I would have invited you to the TV station where I produce my shows and put on a small production for one of your books.


I feel intimidated by James, please allow me to do a small advertisement of my books.

Books by Author Valentina Cirasola

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. 

Get a copy of her books here:
Amazon and Barnes&Noble


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robbiesinspiration
    Nov 07, 2021 @ 17:29:09

    Hi Valentina, it is always wonderful to read about Jay and his writing and reading. He is an inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people


  2. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Oct 29, 2021 @ 10:55:02

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people


  3. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    Oct 29, 2021 @ 10:54:31


  4. Liz Gauffreau
    Oct 28, 2021 @ 21:20:00

    A very impressive interview!

    Liked by 2 people


  5. James J. Cudney IV (Jay)
    Oct 26, 2021 @ 22:41:38


    I’m utterly astounded at this wonderful post – and so grateful. You’ve been a fantastic new friend, and I hope to meet you one day in the future. Truly, what you put together in this post is stunning. All your effort and design aesthetics show beautifully here… and I am honored to call you friend. Thank you.



    P.S. Read Valentina’s books – brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.
    Oct 26, 2021 @ 21:47:47

    Terrific feature Valentina and James.. a great introduction to your background and books.. xx

    Liked by 2 people


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