The photos of graduates that cover one of the hallways at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester include every possible unique background one could imagine. Adding to that list is Jesse VanDeWalker, a 2013 associate in business administration degree graduate, who is also an accomplished author. With two published books under his belt and one forthcoming, Jesse is missing one critical accomplishment: a blog interview. MSB happily changed that and we are glad he said yes (thanks!) because he is kind of a big deal in our eyes:
Tell our readers about your not-so-secret life as a published author:
In some way or another, my writing started a long time ago. I dabbled in it merely as a simple hobby versus a profession. What changed it to the point of becoming a published author has to do with a previous job. I worked as a retail manager at a video game store and writing, because of the pressure and stress, was my stress relief. The simple act of using it cathartically, after beginning and learning about myself and what genre was missing as published books, evolved into writing about topics, events and subjects that are under-published.
When did you realize your affinity for telling stories?
That is what it is all about: telling stories. My gift of gab, spinning a yarn, if you will, has come naturally since I first started telling them to friends and family years ago. Once I realized the effect I had on gaining—and keeping—their attention, I knew I was on to something. In hindsight, that point was when the writing element came into play.
What do love most about writing?
As much as I might plan a story, including character development, I find myself, even as the author, encouragingly surprised when I develop a character to a point and then, out of nowhere, they seem to take on a life of their own that I did not anticipate. This unexpected, although welcome, shift serves the overall story line development that makes writing so rewarding, with an outcome that I hope readers will appreciate.
Speaking of being a published author, tell us about your two books, with one forthcoming:
My first two books, Crow Wing and Saint Lucy, are both crime thrillers with Western elements that you could liken to Richard Stark’s books. My interest in writing this genre is due to being able to find only a limited collection of books of this nature. My forthcoming book, Hard Heart Land, is a collection of short stories that combines my other books’ affinity for Westerns with supernatural elements.
Where can readers purchase your books?
What are your future plans? More books, more notoriety and a mansion?
I would settle for half a mansion and cash. In all seriousness, the passion I have for writing is much like starting a business as an entrepreneur or producing videos and music. Today, there are more nontraditional avenues to follow in order to publish your work, since one can place less reliance on traditional publishers. I’ll keep writing and publishing more books as I’m able, which is rewarding in and of itself, but more perks are always welcome!