Today’s featured author is me! My short “The Main Event,” was just published in the anthology “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors from all over the world. Here is what I had to say about life, writing, and my story:
1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Coffee. There’s nothing more beautiful in the universe.
2. What was your inspiration for your story?
My story is inspired by and loosely based on the true events of the murder of a wrestler known as Bruiser Brody. He was prolific during the 80s and wrestled all over the world. He was wrestling for a promotion in Puerto Rico and had a disagreement with another wrestler. The other wrestler called him into the shower area to discuss ‘business,’ carrying with him a knife. Brody was murdered. I decided to put my own spin on the story and developed a character who was trying to climb the ladder of success within wrestling but didn’t want to wait around for an opportunity.
3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
Money would probably be one. It would give me the stability and security to be able to write full time. I would probably wish for a house with an office or a specific writing space too. My third wish would be for the UK to stay in the EU. #Remain.
4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write?
I’d say reading Stephen King made me decide to be a write but in terms of influence, I’d put that down to Lee Child and his Jack Reacher novels. I read through 16 or 17 of those novels in the space of a few months.
5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?
I find music, unless pertinent to the story, can be distracting. However, I have found in the past that listening to white noise videos on youtube helps me focus and concentrate.
6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?
When I’ve struggled with the Block in the past, I’ve taken a step away from the story and tried to write something else. I’ve also found trying to brainstorm ideas around it to help. Stream of consciousness writing has also helped before, to just write for the sake of writing helps to get the juices flowing.
7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?
I’d say I knew around 75% of the story, but the end was a part I struggled with a little. However, as the theme was a contract within the story, I thought it’d be cool to include a bit where the contract had been breached and then gets ripped up. I figured a way to work that into the story and thought the consequences would be unspoken but eluded to.
8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?
Difficult question. I’d say it’d probably be cast by wrestlers, rather than Hollywood actors. Maybe Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin would probably be good as Andre Steele, young and cocky. Perhaps Goldstein would be played by one of the older wrestlers, Kevin Nash or Scott Hall. If I’m fantasy casting this gig, I’d definitely want Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to play Butch, and probably ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin to play ‘Cowboy’ Dean Anderson. As for the director, I’d like to take on that job for myself!
9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?
The story ended up being what I hoped it would, I’d say 75% of the story was straight forward to write. It was the last part of the story that I had to work for. Any changes made were to simply accommodate my idea for the ending; an extra sentence to explain this, or justify that, near the end.
10. What book were you reading when you thought, This stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…
I wouldn’t say there was a particular book which made me feel that way. I loved reading King and wanted to write but nothing really came of it for a long time. A moment of inspiration in the shower changed all that.
11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?
Before I started writing the story, I did want to learn as much as possible about the death of Bruiser Brody. I watched a few things on YouTube, read a few articles and accounts of other wrestlers who witnessed it. What I found out, served as an inspiration for the story and some of the characters.
12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?
I would love a cabin in the middle of nowhere, sort of like Paul Sheldon in Misery, where I can isolate myself from everything and everyone. But suffice to say, nowhere near that crazy, dirty birdy Annie Wilkes.
13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?
I’d say I relate to Andre Steele a little, I’d love to be able to skip a few steps on the ladder of my job, but I wouldn’t kill for it, so I guess not so much.
14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.
I’d go as far as to say The Dark Tower series, is and always will be, my favourite novels. Specifically, within the series, Drawing of the Three or Wizard And Glass.
15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?
I’m actually usually more of a pantser than I am an outliner, however my story was definitely mostly outlined than it was pantsed.
16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?
As long as I’ve got coffee, maybe some pringles or bourbon biscuits, I’m a happy writer.
17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?
My other published story is nothing like ‘The Main Event.’ However, my on-going novel project is a crime thriller, which I guess you could say is similar to this story.
You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/