Author Interview, Douglas Edward Glassford

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Interview #68, with writer and Kindle All-Stars contributor, Douglas Edward Glassford!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Husband, father, grandfather, son, brother.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

KAS2

Oh My Darling of the Deep Blue Sea:

It is time, but could this really be happening?

He sensed a figure in the mist, just beyond recognition; a shape mostly, accompanied by the sweetest singing voice.  She sang to him in words he did not recognize; yet did not fear.  They whirled and swirled within him as warm and welcome to his heart as his heavy woolen snorkel and bottle of Scotch Whiskey were to his chilled body.

Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

Bernard J. Schaffer – GUNS OF SENECA 6 – Opening paragraph of Chapter 2:

He hadn’t practiced medicine since acquiring a nasty ailment that ended his career in Seneca 6 forever. His wracking cough had a way of erupting out whenever he leaned over a patient’s mouth.  Blood mixed with saliva, horked into the unsuspecting face of a man saying “Ah” or a woman asking him to inspect a suspicious lump, had a way of determining the finality of their patronage.  Even Doctor Royce Halladay’s most loyal patients found other doctors.  Ones who didn’t fold up like a chair and clutch their stomachs like their guts were about to uncoil.

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

Since I am a newbie, a neophyte to commercial publishing, the story that is in this wonderful anthology of cryptozoology (rhyming unintended), is my first. Bernard Schaffer and Laurie Laliberte who are in charge of the Kindle All-Star projects are handling the business end. For now, I am just along for the ride seeking to promote CARNIVAL OF CRYPTIDS as I can… as I am doing now, by your grace, on your website.

The writing process itself is not that complex for me. Perhaps it is because most of my writing is non-fiction, and the fiction I do write tends to be short. I can just sit down with a blank page before me and… just start writing. It does not matter what I write at first. It only matters what I write by intent and purpose. I know that your good friend Matt Posner and the other brilliant authors in our anthology have all written novels or full-length books. So, their process might be very much different than mine. I have thought about writing novels, or screenplays — I see my stories in the cinema of my mind.

Always good to keep in mind intent and purpose ;) What is your definition of “good writing”?

Good writing to me is clean, uncomplicated, and honest. From the opening hook through the course of the piece, story, poem, essay, or book, there must be a flow feeds, teases out, my empathetic interest, forming an immediate identification bond between me, as the reader, and with either the narrative message, characters, or situations. I have to believe it is possible, even if it is not probable. Use of inappropriate wording, such as obscure colloquialisms, jargon, or overuse of vulgarity or unnecessary profanity tends to make me think of the author instead of what the author has written. Within character, most everything is allowable. But, like the overuse of adjectives or adverbs, lazy writing as this practice is often called, the opacity of the author increases while the transparency that suspends disbelief and makes the story real fades. If I have to jump in and out of a work, specifically fiction, that I am reading for entertainment to look up a word or jarred out of the illusion of the story-world for any reason, I will most likely stop reading.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

Do what you love and allow fame and fortune to follow. Don’t worry about what is popular, focus your energy and time on writing a good story. A story you would want to read. Because if you are not excited about your story or book, no one else will be either. Who you are will flow onto the page as if the ink was tinged in your blood. What is popular now may not be by the time you get your book to the publisher. Remember, everything you do is like signing your name to it. So, write like you want… it is your passion for your story that will carry you through the toughest of writing times.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://about.me/douglasglassford

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Much thanks to Douglas Edward Glassford for stopping by — do visit Doug’s Website for more info on him and his projects! And do check out the Kindle All-Stars FB page too.

DOUG’S BIO (in his own words): “I am a writer who favors short stories… they make me feel taller, with a particular fondness for flash fiction because it suits my ADD functionality… I am blessed that I never get bored, but I do get impatient. When I am not spending time with my beloved wife, family, and friends, you will find me reading, writing, proof-reading & editing, tinkering, or teaching kids how to find their innate genius through drawing and storytelling.”

Author Interview, John Hansen

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Author Interview #35, with teenage author of horror stories (and other random murderous pieces), John Hansen!

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Hey John! Please describe yourself in 5 words:

Creative. Passionate. Clever. Slightly insane.

Ah, a fellow insane person ;) Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Here’s an excerpt from a work in progress — but it gives you a good taste of my writing style:

“And for a moment — one terrible moment — Kyle’s cold, rigid expression softened. The ferocity that had burned within his eyes melted away into something that Hannah had not seen in Kyle in the longest time — regret. And in that one terrible instant, Hannah almost felt sympathetic for her suffering husband as she saw into that struggling soul of his, which had become trapped beneath his hard, unflappable exterior as it desperately sought out a way to reveal itself. Hannah wanted to reach out to him, to touch his hand, to fall sobbing into his outstretched arms and to have him tell her it would all be okay, to let her take him back no matter his past mistakes. But she knew better than that. Hannah could never again trust that cruel, sadistic man; much less take him back. The kids didn’t deserve him, she didn’t deserve him…no one did. No one deserved a man like Kyle. No one deserved a murderer.”

Gripping! Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):

My favorite author is Rick Riordan. My favorite book by him is Mission Road. It’s illegal to reproduce an excerpt (according to Random House’s policy), so, keeping that in mind, I don’t think I’ll break the law today. An excerpt can be found online, though, if you’re interested.

Excerpt: http://www.randomhouse.com/
book/154524/mission-road-by-rick-riordan/#excerpt

Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

In my opinion, writing is spontaneous, compulsive. I can sit down and write a book and I’d love it. It’s a hobby of mine and something I’d like to eventually do professionally. Writing comes naturally to me and many others but it is not the easy to do, even if you have a writing gift. Writing is not easy but it is many author’s calling. Anyone can write a book. I mean anyone. It could be awful or it could be amazing but just the writing aspect is nothing more than a compulsion.

Publishing is different. Publishing is difficult to do and should not discourage any of you authors, but publishing is really what takes your writing — your hobby and compulsion — to the test. As I said, anyone can write a novel and many people do because of this calling they get, but few books written are actually worthy of publishing. Lack of commercial (please don’t call it traditional because that doesn’t mean what you intend it to; it includes vanity presses like Publishing America in the ‘traditional publishing’ spectrum) publication does not wholly reflect the quality of your work, but no matter what many indies say, if you don’t succeed at all (I mean complete rejections) it should set off some alarms.

If you don’t get any requests for partials or fulls from agents, it means that there is something wrong with your writing or book. Just as simple as that. Don’t let this discourage you; it happened to me. I went back, read through my manuscript and realized that my characters were boring. The publishing industry — without doing anything more than rejecting my manuscript — changed me as an author. I took my passion to the test, and I failed. It was a slow recovery but in the recent months I’ve completely revamped my writing style and since then I’ve gotten a bunch of short story/poetry publications. I’ve been told that what I have written so far of my second novel is excellent, perfect.

To me, writing is a calling but there is a fine line between writing and publishing. Anyone can write. Only skilled writers can publish. If you fail in the publishing industry, go back to your work. Read through it again. Find what is wrong. Try again. It will work for you.

Yes, failure is part of the journey to success (whether commercially or independently published). What is your definition of “good writing”?

“Good writing” is as broad as any prose that evokes emotion from the reader. Every good book evokes emotion because that’s what makes books so enjoyable; if a book doesn’t, it is, frankly, bad. Who would want to read a book that gives you no emotion? Reading passively, as if you are at a distance from a book because no emotion escapes you, is probably the least enjoyable thing one can do. But if a book evokes emotion in the reader, the reader will feel a kinship to the author and characters and it will make the reading experience so much more enjoyable. It doesn’t matter how it is portrayed; any author’s goal is to captivate their readers. Good writing does this. Whether it is rich, beautiful prose for a love story or fast, flowing writing for a thriller, it doesn’t matter. Good writing evokes emotion within the reader, compels them to read on and ultimately enjoy the book.

Please share your #1 tip for writers:

I hate to sound so stupidly redundant and repeat what I’m sure every guest here says as that is against my personality, but this is an exception. Heed my words, don’t grumble to yourselves about how annoying I am (well, you can do that too). As you all have heard, the #1 tip for writers is to never give up. Never. DO NOT let rejections from agents and publishers discourage you at all. It’s a tough industry and rejections don’t reflect the quality of your work.

If you have a book out somewhere, don’t think twice about 1-star reviews, no matter how harsh they are. Why? Because guess who else gets 1-star reviews? Hmm, let me think: Stephen King, John Grisham, Christopher Paolini, Suzanne Collins, James Patterson and I could go on (so, essentially, you’re in good company).

Guys, it takes years to publish. Decades. A fellow crime writer who is now commercially published went through two literary agents who could not sell her book. She did countless rewrites, submitted everywhere and for a period of twelve years, she could not get her book published. But did she give up? No. She dumped the agents, kept submitting and twelve years after the books’ completion, she got a publishing acceptance. Her book now sits on the shelves at your local bookstore. Never give up. Never get discouraged. All of you have a gift, have a unique way to tell a story; show it. Write, submit, and write some more. Let my author friend be your guide. It takes forever to publish but if you work at it as much as she did, you get great rewards.

Please let us know your websites/blogs/etc:

Please visit my book blog where I read and review books, host commercially published authors, agents, publishers and publicists for interviews (I have an interview with literary agent and published author, Mandy Hubbard coming up!), and give my tips on writing as well as your occasional insane and random post. It is appropriately titled “The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer” (http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com).

I tweet as @ABoredAuthor, and am on Facebook.

I’m also on:

Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MysteryRiter)

Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5148469.John_Hansen)

CrimeSpace (http://crimespace.ning.com/profile/JohnHansen)

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Much thanks to John for stopping by — be sure to check out his vibrant blog/website to learn more about his writing, reviews, and guest interviews!