Why do you write?
Genetic? I don’t know. It just seems to arrive and demand to be put on paper or inside a computer.
What books do you read?
Have my favorites, but don’t read like I did when I was younger. I read a short novel by Sam Pink recently. Finished up a couple books by Billy Collins last week. Old favorites get re-read, but not much poetry. Bukowski, Dan Fante, Celine, Henry Miller, Sam Beckett, Hemingway, Dash Hammett, Selby, mostly the older stuff.
What inspires you?
Life on terra firma and the existential conflict. I am not interested in mainstream fiction and certainly not poetry. It write poetry but do not consider it to be poetry. Go figure.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?
Never really knew. I simply did it. I wrote my first short story when I was fifteen, first poetry in my late teens.
How Do you deal with rejection?
Oh, well. Their loss. Rejection does not bother me like it did when I was in my twenties. As you get older you roll with the punches, hopefully.
Who are some writers you admire?
See the reading list above.
Is writing the only artistic medium you do?
I also paint, but not much lately. I take photos, too.
What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?
Don’t sweat it. Just do it. That’s pretty much what I did, although there was some angst connected to the whole publishing thing back in the day.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write. All the time, if possible. Don’t let the critics and rejection get to you. Don’t force it, that never works.
What is your writing process?
I write for a living — journalism, not fiction and poetry — so writing is pretty automatic. The creative writing usually begins with an idea that is bouncing around, trying to get out. I try to get the ending first, and then start from the beginning. I don’t write the end first, because it might change, but I have a good idea of what it should be. I write creatively at night, mostly. Because the other writing takes up the day. I usually go from the computer to an old manual typewriter. I started that way, so it clicks.