1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I’ve been writing since I was young enough to formulate coherent sentences. I found in writing a means to communicate things I couldn’t (and still can’t) say aloud. I’ve always been a more eloquent writer than a speaker; my spoken voice and my “writer” voice are two very different people.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
The only advice I can possibly give is this: writing is work. In short, acquire a work ethic to match your ego. I spent most of my adolescence being praised by adults, unassailable to my peers in my raw talent–but talent alone, as I soon learned, wouldn’t get me published. It took hours of writing, thousands of words, countless novels read, dissected, integrated. Be humble, learn from your betters (and there is always someone better), and keep writing. Beyond that, use your own experiences; writing is an act of communication. When writing, ask yourself: What do I need to communicate?
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
I’d recommend Duotrope as a writer’s resource.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
My favorite type of fiction is speculative fiction, or fiction with speculative elements, I should say. For instance, “1984” is speculative fiction, while “Infinite Jest” contains speculative elements. My two favorite authors are Philip K. Dick and William Gibson, though I’ve also been heavily influenced by David Foster Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. Le Guin, and many others.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
As someone who works full time and goes to school, I know how hard it is to find the time. I find myself doing a lot of mental “prep work” throughout the day. I’ll think of ideas, characters, whole sentences, etc., until it runs dry. I let ideas mature and resolve naturally before writing them down. Doing this kind of prep work has the added benefit of getting me excited prior to actually sitting down and writing. Other than that, just use whatever time you can find.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
When it comes to writing, I’m very much a blind idiot. Beyond the aforementioned mental prep work, I don’t outline my short stories, and write purely from instinct. I’m constantly in the process of absorbing my surroundings, probing it for meaning, patterns, anything I could use for narrative purposes. I should note that this is not a good thing, and the important of work ethic and planning should be reiterated.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
With women, I drink vodka. With writing, I drink whiskey.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I plan on writing a novella, or novelette, the idea of which has been gestating in my mind for ages.
9. For the next five years?
I can hardly see past breakfast tomorrow morning, let alone five years from now!
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
You can find more of my work on Alfie Dog, Corvus (now defunct), Aphelion Science Fiction, and Entropy Squared.