A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF
Every author needs a publicity packet. As part of that packet, a good component is the quick interview to let potential customers know a bit about you. You don’t want to tell them every irrelevant detail in a fifty question diary that’s a hundred pages long, just a quick-and-dirty few questions to pique their interest. The following might or might not be the final result of what’s going to be in my packet. It’s an example of what you might consider for your own self-interview one day.
WHY DID YOU START WRITING?
I was in Clarence Ruth Elementary School in Lompoc, Calee’fornia when my English teacher was talking about nuclear war. He said that if all the energy were released from our English book at once, that was enough power to destroy the world. From that point on, until I graduated from high school, I hated English. Yet, I loved to tell stories, loved to read, and my imagination had no bounds. Various essays in school, despite my aversion to English, showed I had a talent for writing (though I didn’t realize it at the time). However, my first attempt at fiction didn’t come until I started a Star Trek satire in Spain, in 1971 on a manual typewriter. I made ¾ of a page and realized it was hard! I quit and never tried again until I actually learned to write the “Nazi method” by my Air Force boss. He forced me to learn to write proper for performance reports, since I was a supervisor. After a while, I realized I had a knack for it, and took on a different outlook to that nuclear analogy from Clarence Ruth toward English. Then, in 1995, when I realized I was never going to make it as a musician, I needed a creative outlet. Things just came forth and I found magic in words.
FROM WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
I’ve always had an active imagination, from when I used to tell the kids at kindergarten during show and tell that my sister went down the drain after bath time, to being part of a crew on a sailing ship in junior high school. However, I can sum up the shining example one day coming home from kindergarten in Lakewood Calee’fornia. I used to walk home through the end of a cul-de sac to our house. All the neighborhood women would be out waiting for me to tell them what I did at school that day. One day, I had this drawing. The ladies gathered around and asked me what it was. I thought about it a moment, then it just popped into my head. “It’s a Polka-dot Sewer.” My mom heard them all laughing and came down to see what the uproar was about, and that was history.
That pretty much sums up my inspiration. It just comes out of the air. I can’t explain it any better than that.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST NOVEL- HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I was on my waning years in the Air Force, working on college, yet I somehow found time to follow my muse – chase my polka-dot sewer. I had an idea for a bunch of friends to find a cave with alien artifacts inside. I wrote that first novel, The Cave, a science-fiction adventure and actually completed it. That story will never see print, but it was a start. Right then, I knew I could do it. I had so much fun, despite full-time classes on the weekends and lots of homework that I went right into my next novel, my first icky bug (horror), The Greenhouse.
WHAT GENRES DO YOU WRITE AND WHY?
I’ll say right up front that I follow my muse. Because of that, I write in multiple genres, which I’ve already alluded to above. So far, I’ve written science fiction, icky bug (horror), adventure thrillers and fantasy.
Something I need to impress upon you is that despite the broad genres, some things are common to all of them. They’re all still adventures, and they all have humor. That’s something I strongly believe is part of me, and I can’t help it be part of my writing. Will that ever change? Who knows, but as it stands right now, that’s the way it is.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FANTASY?
Funny story about that. I never had any intention on writing a fantasy, frankly because I haven’t enjoyed a fantasy novel since reading Andre Norton back in the seventies. To tell the truth, besides some similarities you may notice in Meleena’s Adventures to Lord Of The Rings, I didn’t actually like the trilogy all that well. I tackled it in Palmdale Calee’fornia in 1969 while watering a golf course at night for a summer job. I read between sprinkler runs and had to keep my feet off the floor to avoid the scorpions running around on the floor. I had to struggle through the three novels, and didn’t understand why until I recently tried to read one again. They’re written in the omniscient point of view. Yuck! Besides that, the novels were too wordy. I’ve suffered through other fantasy tomes because my wife is into fantasy. I didn’t like them, mainly because of wordiness and because they were based mostly on intrigue rather than adventure and action.
My wife is the reason I decided to write fantasy. She talked me into it. My inspiration came from playing Dungeons and Dragons in the 80’s, not Lord of the Rings. The story is then again, an adventure set in a fantasy world, thus the main title, Meleena’s Adventures. I make no bones about that. I wrote it the way I’d want a fantasy to be. I’m hoping my readers will feel the same way.
Folks, there you have it. I could go on and on with questions, but much more and a reader’s eyes will glaze over. Maybe not, but I’ll leave it up to someone else to think of more questions. Happy writing!