Becoming a Novelist

On the lake - James RubartWhen I was ten my biggest dream was to be a novelist. It was fueled by reading The Chronicles of Narnia, and from my story being chosen as the best in my 7th grade English class.

But in eighth grade the dream took a major hit. I took journalism class (loved it) and at the end of the year tried out for the school paper. Didn’t get chosen. Rejected. In that moment I buried the dream and listened to a lie that sank its claws deep into my heart: “You can’t write.”

I believed the lie. But the dream refused to die throughout my teens. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest magazine. I dabbled in short stories. In my 20s I even went to a few one-day writing seminars. But I never showed my writing to anyone.


The Dream Comes Alive

Then in 2002, my wife announced she was going on a fast. Why? She didn’t know. How long? Same answer. After two and a half days a light bulb exploded over my head as I rode next to my wife in our car. I felt God say, “I’ve given you the skill and desire to write, when are you going to step into your destiny?”

I turned to Darci and said, “I know why you’re fasting. I’m supposed to be a novelist.”

She stared at me and said, “I’m hungry for three days, and you get the answer?”

We both burst into laughter. It was the perfect response to lighten a moment where I had to make a serious decision. Would I choose to step in? The obvious answer is yes. I dove in full-force to writing my first novel (ROOMS) and finished it in late ’05.

I won’t bore you with the details of how it was rejected and ultimately purchased (in early summer 2008) so suffice it to say it took significant perseverance and belief. That’s why, whatever your dream is, I encourage you to keep pressing in.  They can come true.




The Matrix - Jim Rubart's Favorite MovieThe Matrix
It's A Wonderful Life - Jim Rubart's Favorite MovieIt’s a Wonderful Life


The Chronicles of Narnia - Jim Rubart's Favorite BooksThe Chronicles of Narnia


Wapato LakeWapato Lake, WA

TV Show:

Lost TV Series - James RubartLOST (even with that ending)


SwitchfootSwitchfoot- The Beautiful Letdown

Favorite Person:

DarciMy incredible wife


Playing guitar, water skiing, backpacking, photography, and golf


Artichokes & crab

My (used to be) Secret Writing Room

I do most of my writing in a secret room in my home. It’s accessed through a tiny door in the back of my youngest son’s closet that leads into our attic, then into the room.

chairOur house was built in the late eighties when the style was to have tall elevator-like shafts in the entry ways with a chandelier hanging down. For years I looked at the space and said, “What a waste. All you’d have to do to create a cool secret room would be put in a floor.” So seven years ago—with the help of a friend—I did.

wallThe black leather chair was brought up when the floor was half done. (Nope, it’s never coming out.) The window lets me look out on the beauty of the northwest across the street and lets natural light in. The sword you can see is a replica of Aragorn’s sword from Lord of the Rings.

This is one of the walls with copies of my novels and some other mementos.


Quick Bio

Grew up: Pacific Northwest: Seattle, Spokane, Kirkland, WA

College: University of Washington. B.A. in broadcast journalism

Work history: Started off on air at a radio station, then went into sales

Other job: Since ’94 I’ve owned an ad agency/marketing firm.

Favorite memories: They come from jumping off cliffs with my boys, water skiing together, long walks & talks with my wife, and going deep with friends.