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Goodreads asked James Shirk:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

James Shirk I write as though I'm watching a movie. I almost never lay out chapters or know necessarily where my characters are going. I just see them do what they do on my internal movie screen and write about whatever they say or do. I'm surprised more often than not. For the Merkim saga, a scene came into my head of a man walking along a desolate beach, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and looking for a way out. And up popped Merkim. Who would have guessed?
James Shirk
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