Every so often, an interesting post comes my way and this one is from my writer pal, Theresa Snyder, at http://theresasnyderafterthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/11/lexi-miles-tagged-me-grins.html
For some ungodly reason, she felt that my responses to these interview questions would make for some interesting reading. Far be it for me to argue with her so here we go. Enjoy.
1) When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?
Writing and Storytelling was something I’ve done since the Age of 10. I didn’t have any initial aspirations to be a writer. Being a “writer” came about while I was a teenage musician and eventually I drifted away from a potential music career to one where I sit by myself at a keyboard, smoke too many cigarettes, keep The Coffee Industry well-heeled, and generally spin tales of fantastic worlds with equally exceptional people populating them.
2) What genre do you write?
I can write in any genre. I’m not bragging here because I’ve taken the time over the years to study a wide range of literature and honestly believe that I could do them all, if I’m in the right mood…hehe.
Seriously though, my genre of choice is Science Fiction and Adventure. I like the combination because it allows me to integrate the best of both into something unique and special.
3) What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?
I’ve written many fictional things over the years, but the one that truly qualifies as a “first piece” would be a novella of sorts called “Paradox”, which was about an international counter-terrorism organization fighting terrorists in 2015. It was started in 1984, finished in 1985, and eventually polished and copyrighted in 1990. A copy of the manuscript sits in a file drawer at the Library of Congress. I’ve made plans to purchase (ugh, everyone else is making money off this thing but me) a file copy so I can have it back in my files.
4) What’s the worst part about writing?
Getting Started. I know that sounds lame, but believe it or not, there are times when I simply don’t want to write and would rather goof off. But after a suitable period of fidgeting, I shrug and get to work. After all, the stories don’t write themselves and I would never forgive myself if I didn’t get them out there.
5) What’s the name of your favorite character and why?
I’ve created many memorable characters (at least to me) over the years, but the current crop have really become my favorites. Jack Pratt from Parallax is a character I really enjoy working with and Zack Moreau from Lights and Shadows is fast becoming a personal favorite.
In the end though, all my characters are such a diverse and entertaining bunch that it’s hard to nail down a specific favorite.
6) How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?
I’ve been blessed with an abundance of Writing Time and I try to make the most of it. I work a day job on the weekends but even there they allow me some latitude to work on my fiction.
I don’t think I have a “best” time of write. Some times, I do great work in the early mornings, some times late at night. As long as the stories get done, what the clock says doesn’t matter much.
7) Did you go to college for writing?
Not specifically. I learned the basics in elementary and high school and then built on them later. I didn’t take my writing very seriously for a long time, but when I attended college, I took classes in fiction writing and that went a long way to cementing my commitment to pursuing a writing career once and for all.
8) What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?
All of those bother me in general, but what really torques me up are those who try to write who haven’t the foggiest idea of how to put a sentence together. I know, I know, we’re supposed to be supportive of those who may not be at our skill level or experience, but it drives me nuts when the tense is wrong or the characters are saying and doing things that don’t fit the action. The ones that show a glimmer of redemption are those who respond to constructive criticism and appear to give a shit about their craft. Those guys I will go to bat for.
9) What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?
The best writing advice anyone ever gave me was “Park your ass in the chair and Write. Forget about Writing Conferences or Groups. Anything that takes you away from your story is working against your improvement as a Writer.” Sounds harsh, right? Well, it was damned effective.
10) What advice would you give to another writer?
Learn and respect The Craft. Always strive to put your best effort out there and forget about Fame and Fortune.
11) What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips, or encouragement?
I’ll have to get back with you on this one because I’m trying to keep this article to a minimum. I don’t use a lot of “writing” sites per se, though my writing buddies James Kafka (http://pellmellx10.blogspot.com/) and Theresa Snyder (https://twitter.com/TheresaSnyder19) do inspire me in ways that they probably don’t realize. Writers Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com/) is one site that I tend to turn to most often.
12) Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?
I have two great passions in my life: Creative Writing and Music. I have other hobbies like playing video games now and then, but Writing and Music are the biggies. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, people with proper table manners, and anything to do with Space (Fiction or Real).
13) What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I’m about to break a cardinal rule here, but other than my own books or research materials, I haven’t read any fiction that’s stood out to me this year. I’ve put out 4 books this year and between that and my day job, there isn’t much time for anything else. I promise to work on it.
14) What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?
Sadly, movies have fallen by the wayside for the same reasons as #13 above. Yes, yes, I’ll work on that too.
15) What is your favorite book or series of all time?
My favorite book series of all time is an old trilogy written by Joe Clifford Faust that I have read over and over since the 90s called The Angel’s Luck Series.
16) Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, not just because he was a great writer, but that he epitomizes what an Adventure Writer should be, minus some of the misadventures he went through and that rather messy end to his life. Second favorite is Clive Cussler, who can spin a yarn like nobody’s business.
17) What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?
I’m currently working on squeezing a fifth book, Lights and Shadows, out before the end of 2015 and hopefully give myself some time off before I work on Parallax’s Sequel, Parallax: Genesis, in January 2016.
18) Where else can we find you online?
Hell, I’m all over the place, but I can be found at:
Official Website: http://www.wwcassjr.com
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/wwcassjr
I think that’s all of them so hopefully, I haven’t left anything out. This has been fun.