Roundtable Interview with Jennifer Brozek and Authors From Dangers Untold (Part Three)
Welcome to the Dangers Untold author/editor roundtable interview week! I asked Jennifer Brozek, the editor of Dangers Untold, along with several of the authors, some questions about their writing and editing, and we’ll be posting some of the answers from Monday until Saturday. If you’re just now joining, you can catch up on the rest at the Alliteration Ink blog.
On with today’s questions!
What are the occupational hazards of being a writer/editor?
Jennifer Brozek: Too many ideas. Too many projects. Too many people wanting you to work for free. Burn out. There are a lot of demands on your time and it all takes effort. That’s one thing non-writers/non-editors don’t understand—just how much effort it takes to craft a good story from either end of writing or editing.
David Price: Alienating your family. Writing can be a lonely business. Sometimes it feels like maybe my dreams are too big.
Erik Gustafson: Being broke and waiting months and months to get feedback.
Erik Scott de Bie: Well money, for one. Do not embark on a writing career for the money, because it isn’t there. If you can not write and still be happy, by all means, don’t write. It’s a recipe for heart-ache and money scrounging. I write because I have to. If you find that you *have to write* to be happy, then I have tough news for you: you’re a writer. Congratulations and condolences.
How do you cope with writer’s block?
Erik Scott de Bie: Usually it’s either writing something else (usually radically different) or taking an hour to play video games, at which I am terrible. Getting killed in a video game pisses me off and makes me think, “well, if I were writing this, it would have happened this way …” And I’m good.
Marty Young: I give my fingers unlimited access to the keyboard and switch off my head. If the story isn’t working, then I start something new and don’t think about it, just begin typing and see where I end up. This free-range method generally leads to new ideas or even breakthroughs. It’s actually how ‘A Monstrous Touch,’ which appears in Dangers Untold, came about. I had no fresh ideas and no direction, so I sat in my chair with a pen and paper, and let my hand just write. The story came out of nowhere.
David Price: I guess the best solution I have has been to try and write through it. It can painful when you don’t feel inspired and feel like you’re just trudging along. There’s a quote that says something like, “You have to shovel through a ton of crap to find the gold. Sometimes, that’s all it is, write something, anything, long enough for the flow to start again. Once the creative flow is going, it’s easy.
Do you worry about writing “genre” fiction as opposed to “literature”?
David Price: Not at all, a couple of my favorite writers are Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. It seems to be working out okay for them.
Marty Young: No, not at all. I write whatever story comes to me. My muse goes digging around and brings me something and I have no option but to write about it. It’s not my fault that I have a shifty sideshow of a freak of a muse, but I’ve learned to live with him and we get along just swell.
Erik Scott de Bie: No. I’m not Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Tolkien, and I don’t set out to be. I write stuff to entertain people and to tell stories from my heart. If critics want to deprive themselves of the chance to enjoy some really good “genre” stuff, that’s their prerogative.
You can find Jennifer Brozek at her website, www.jenniferbrozek.com
You can find David Price at http://www.authorwebpage.com/davidprice/index.html
You can find Erik Scott de Bie at his website, erikscottdebie.com
Marty Young is found at his website, martyyoung.com
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Several questions cribbed and modified from “Questions that authors are never asked” from the Guardian.