Interview with a vampire

Joe’s Post #13

vampiresAre you a vampire?

No. But a catchy title is important. If I wrote interview with me, who would read it? However, I often resemble a member of the undead, especially if I haven’t had a cup of coffee.

Why are you doing this?

A workshop I took long ago suggested a writer should imagine success. Imagine signing your books. Imagine the interviews. This is such an imagining, based on an interview with Ian Rankin. Plus, I’m a narcissist.

What got you started?

I’ve always loved to tell a good story. Back when I was a kid, this might have been called lying, but later, it became known as writing.

What was your big breakthrough?

Getting published in the Province’s Sunday Serial Thriller Writing Contest, judged by Daniel Kalla. It made me realize I could do it.

How difficult is it to get published?

Very, very, very difficult. Sending naked pictures of myself with my queries probably didn’t help things. Hiding manuscripts in my drawer doesn’t help. What helps, writing a novel and actually sending it out.

How do you know a novel is done?

When I send off the first query. It’s my way of saying, hey, stop mucking around with changing where I put that comma and start another novel.

What’s the biggest myth about being a novelist?

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of work, a lot of dedication and a bit of luck.

Is it true that art is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration?


Which writers do you most admire?

Lee Child. Michael Connelly. Stephen King. G.R.R Martin. All the Buffy writers.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned today?

Zero dark thirty is 12:30am.

What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

If you aren’t getting published, it’s your fault. Don’t blame the market. Don’t blame the agent/editor. Write a better book. Work harder. Get everything you’ve ever written out there and when it comes back, get it out again. Success will not be given to you in this field. – Dean Wesley Smith. Kris Kathryn Rusch.

Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?

Ask anyone who talks to me just after I’ve done my writing for the day. It’s like talking to  someone coming out of a coma. Except I mumble more about decapitated bodies.

Is there anything about your writing life you regret?

That I didn’t start out earlier. I have no idea why I thought accounting would be more appealing.

What’s the worst thing anyone ever said about you?

Danbo a cardboard character

Danbo a cardboard character

Quite a while ago, someone wrote, “You have cardboard characters.” I mean, no one sets out to write cardboard characters and I couldn’t talk to the person who made the comment, so I wondered, was it every one of my characters? My main character? What made them cardboard? Their actions, their dialogue, too much backstory, too little? Give me an example so I can learn.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a writer who never gave up.


Pages written do date: 300 (actually, I think it’s 302 but 300 sounds cooler,  I mean it wasn’t 302 Spartans, it was 300.)

Presents bought: 0

Days to the Hobbit movie: 1

Goal for next week: Finish Novel – First draft

7 thoughts on “Interview with a vampire

  1. I read this at 7:19 am – is that seven dark thirty? It must be because it sure is dark! Thank you for my first smile of the day. Very clever my dear colleague, I loved it all the way down to “300” – and then I didn’t love it anymore… And for a nano second not you either. What do you mean by the words: Goal for next week: Finish Novel – First Draft? What is this ‘First Draft’ addendum?

    My goal for the next 7 weeks – Finish Novel, Period.

  2. Oh, and just why did you think accounting would be more appealing?
    Very cute cardboard characters by the way – maybe you should write a novel featuring all the cute cardboard characters excised from your previous novels? A sort of underdog epic?

  3. Love finding out what Zero Dark 30 is. I just read a column about the movie and I didn’t even understand the column, so I’m not sure I’m ready for the movie. Love your interview schtick. Promise to love that your goal for next week is to “Finish novel – First draft” under one condition: when you’re done with that will you write some of mine for me?

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