Today, I turn things over to Earl Javorsky. Y'all treat him nice, ya hear?
What are some of the best and worst things about being an author?
Having people like an entertaining story is nice, but it’s nice like having them like your baked cookies is nice. What’s really fulfilling is when people respond to the fundamental strangeness of my interior world as it is expressed in my writing. It’s a way of connecting, and it’s a bit much to expect that strangeness to resonate with every reader.
The worst part is—besides getting stuck and frustrated occasionally—is the aspect of self-promotion. I feel like a network marketing newbie in a gladiator pit.
What are some of the lessons you have learned as a writer that caught you off guard?
I have been surprised by my hunger for approval, something I thought I had long outgrown. And by my occasional tendency toward grandiose fantasizing. It’s one thing to care about finding appreciative readers and to dream big, yet quite another to crave praise and imagine award ceremonies. It’s an interesting lesson in staying right-sized.
What can you share about your writing process with new or up and coming writers?
Just write. Read good stuff and you will internalize good habits. Join other writers, be part of the culture of creators—I don’t believe in the idea of the creative loner working in a vacuum. Read The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler, and Stephen King’s On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft.
If you were to change genres, what would be your next choice?
What could traditional publishing learn from the Indies? And how about the other way around?
I’m too lazy to start a diatribe here and now.
The writing community can be its own worst enemy at times. What are some of the issues you see cropping up? Solutions?
Same. My writing community is small and I don’t pay attention to the culture at large. Nor do I watch my Amazon numbers.
The social media is . . .
The social media is here. Use it or be a proud artist in total obscurity.
Share some information about your work with us:
Here’s the original agent pitch for DOWN SOLO, which was relesed in December:
Charlie Miner wakes up looking down at his body on a gurney at the LA County morgue. When he moves closer to the body, it pulls him in and he is able to make it get up and walk around. Charlie, a down-on-his-luck, heroin-addicted insurance fraud investigator, leaves the morgue with two priorities: to get a fix and to find out who killed him. The trouble is, there’s a bullet in his brain and his memory is full of holes. His quest will take him backward to rediscovered memories and forward to new danger, further loss, and, finally, possible redemption. Down Solo borrows from Stephen King only to the extent that, generally, people don’t reanimate their bodies and continue daily life. Otherwise, the novel is more or less a straightforward (well, slightly convoluted) Chandleresque mystery.
How do you deal with negative reviews?
What are my options?
How much reading do you get in, and can a writer excel at his or her craft if they do not read?
I work as an editor and proofreader. When I take a break, I read Harper’s or Wired in the back yard. At night, I read fiction before lights out. I’m a print junkie. Expecting to be a good writer without reading a lot is like trying to be a good musician if you don’t listen to music. Hopeless.
When does self-promotion cross the line and become a nuisance?
There is no line.
What projects are you currently working on?
Responding to editor suggestions for my next book, TRUST ME, which is coming out in July. Taking notes for my third book, which will be a sequel to DOWN SOLO.
What is in your “to be read” pile right now?
The Bitch, by Les Edgarton; Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality by Max Tegmark; a book or two on Buddhism.