Your novel Arithmophobia is out now on Kindle, what can you tell us about it?
It’s a collection of short stories all wrapped in the theme of numbers. Numbers can be scary, especially if they’re NEGATIVE numbers that happen to appear in my bank account. But numbers surround our everyday lives and sometimes they are magical and other times…deadly. Oh and by the way…Arithmophobia is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for Kindle AND paperback. I just thought I’d throw that out there.
How long have you been writing for?
I’ve been writing since I was in first or second grade. My first stories were knock-offs from ones I’ve read. I remember one called, The Mummy Brothers. It was bad but I was 8! I wrote on and off as I got older but it wasn’t until the last twelve years or so that I began to write in earnest.
Any rituals or superstitions you have before beginning a new story?
Actually, I don’t. When I get an idea I just sit and pound it out on the keyboard. I can make one up though. Like most writers, I can make up some pretty tasty lies. Ooh, here’s one…before I begin writing something new, I dig up a long dead author and pluck out their fingers and I use those bony phalanges to do the typing on my computer. It brings me inspiration…and visits from the police.
How often is your writing interrupted by your pets?
One of my cats will jump up and start chewing on my laptop the second she sees me getting into a groove.
I believe cats are writers in fur suits. So when they see you’re writing and being creative they attempt to steal your juju! But..since they don’t have thumbs, they become disgusted at their lack of appendage so they thwart our efforts to write. Fuzzy bastards.
Any advice to writers that are just starting out?
Don’t write to get famous or make money. Write because you love to write and NEED to write. I’m not saying a person CAN’T make money writing because one can, but it takes a lot of blood, skin and one’s first born. If you are starting to write, hone your craft and find your voice. I’m a humorist, I don’t use flowery language and I’m skilled at dialogue. Those are the areas where I shine. I write to my strengths. But that doesn’t mean a writer shouldn’t expand themselves. There’s ALWAYS something new to learn about yourself and your writing.
Do you have a special playlist of songs for writing?
I need silence to write. I’m a musician also, so if there’s music on I end up singing harmonies or listening to the guitar part and trying to figure it out. But if I HAD to choose a playlist, it would be; The Sound of Silence, Outside the Silence, Enjoy the Silence, Silence is Golden and my personal favorite–Please Shut the Hell Up I’m Trying to Write.….you get my drift here.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I take time off and let my head wander. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few days off if you’re not on a deadline. I’ll ease back into it with some micro or flash fiction from a writing prompt. Sometimes that scrambles the brain into creating something. Or…I ask someone for an idea. I may have NOTHING but a friend might have a great simple bone of an idea where I can add some flesh and sinew…and maybe an eyeball… or two
Do you have any projects coming out that you’d like our readers to know about?
Why, yes I do. Thank you for asking! I have a novella in the editing process which will be looking for a home sometime soon. I have three or four short stories being considered for publication in different anthologies. I am tossing around ideas for a new book. I just haven’t had one that stuck to the wall just yet. But in the meantime, I’m blogging and writing micro and flash whenever the mood strikes.
Thank you so much for the interview Shawn!!
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