A.A. Garrison is a thirty-something gentleman located in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, where he lives and works comfortably above sea level. His short fiction has appeared in dozens of zines, anthologies, and web journals, and he is the author of several novels and story collections, including The End of Jack Cruz from Montag Press.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I’ve been writing for approximately six years. At the time I started, I was feeling a marked lack of an avenue of self-expression, and writing ended up fitting the bill. And so it was.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Write. Write more. Try. Fail. Try again. When it comes to writing, trail-and-error is, in my experience, the only way to do it.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
I have no writing resources to recommend. I’m sure there are good ones; I just haven’t used them.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
Oddly, I have no favorite type of fiction or author, other than, simply, “good” fiction, which is about as subjective as you can get. I like writing that contains something real, if I had to somehow measure “goodness.”
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Personally, I’ve found it very helpful to have a daily “writing time.” Even if it’s just a half-hour upon getting up in the morning, it helps to discipline me into being regularly productive (of course, I’ve found this sort of thing to contribute to writer’s block, also; so there’s a double edge, I suppose).
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
As far as outlining stories, I’ve gone both ways, and had both positive and negative results. I’ve produced solid stories that were first outlined to the detail; also, I’ve written equally well with no idea where I was going or how to get there.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
I deal with rejections by staying in touch with the reality of writing quality: that it’s almost completely subjective. In my experience, nearly all “goodness” and substance of a piece of writing lies in the eye of the reader, with very little objective, measurable value (as evidenced by fierce rejections that have been followed up by glowing acceptances, with no change to the writing in question).
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
My only goal, writing-wise, is to continue writing, whatever that writing may be. Fiction, nonfiction, good, bad–so long as I’m filling blank pages, I will have met my goal.
9. For the next five years?
See last answer.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
I would like to throw out a link to my blog: http://synchroshock.blogspot.com.