How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
If it were not for OpenOffice and its spell checking I could never be a writer. That said, I seem to go through a lot of scratch paper. Perhaps it is because I grew up before computers existed. Notes in a text or other file tend to get lost but when I'm writing something I intend to complete my desk is littered with things written down on paper in my nearly illegible handwriting.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
Interesting question. I've seen it asked in many different ways. People talk about Earnest Hemingway “at his best in the morning.” Others talk about his drinking. Few connect the two and say he was at his best hung over. It is kind of a straight line. If you drink a lot then you are either just sobering up or hung over in the morning.
Oddly enough I find I'm at my best when physically tired. I don't mean exhausted after a day's work, but the kind of tired you get the next day or the day after many days of exhausting work. Where you have slept all you can sleep but don't seem to have enough energy to go outside and do something. That kind of physical fatigue keeps me parked in the chair at the keyboard. The writing part of my mind is in complete control pretty much because the rest of it is still checked out.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
The definition of success changes over the years. Early on you want to have that run away hit so you can “live the life”. A bit later your focus starts to move towards writing that one book which will last. Once you approach the big 5-0 you tend to focus on writing something you really feel needs to be written and hope there will be one other person at some point in the future who discovers it and claims it made their life better.
Occasionally I visit a writing forum or two. I'm always amused at the fledgling writers striving to make their first work a break out commercial success. When they ask why I'm amused I tell them they should focus on writing really good books early on then strive for that big commercial success with their last book. Why? Because it wags the long tail of their catalog. Many get offended when they here that, but it weeds out writers from lottery players. Far too many people putting work out there think they can write a single story then live on easy street. They don't want to hear that easy street doesn't have a zip code.
How did you develop your writing?
As a child I wrote a lot of letters communicating with family members. The Post Office was all we had back then. I guess that resurfaced later in life.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
When it comes to my “geek” book series “The Minimum You Need to Know” inspiration comes from identifying things developers need to know which aren't widely documented or, as in the case of the logic book in that series, are simply no longer taught. My novels come from various places. In the case of “John Smith” those characters simply refused to leave me alone until I told their story.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
A glass of Chardonnay by the fire place with some good DVDs.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I write when I have both the time and the need. I self publish these days. I have no deadlines or release commitments. This gives me the freedom to do it right.
"John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars" is one big interview. It is a transcript of a dialogue between "John Smith" (who, as the title of the book implies is the last known survivor of the Microsoft wars) and the interviewer for a prominent news organization.
Genre – Dystopian Fiction
Rating – PG
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