Friend of the blog and new author Daniel Polansky (author of Fantasy novel “The Straight Razor Cure”) helped us give you a little extra bonus on the build up to Christmas with this, his interview for us, that we’d thought lost to the Electron Spider ravages through the massive Interweb.
So, for your reading pleasure, Daniel answers some of the telling questions that new authors get and responds openly, honestly and of course hopefully will buoy up that writer within you…
Falcata Times: Writing is said to be something that people are afflicted with rather than gifted and that it's something you have to do rather than want. What is your opinion of this statement and how true is it to you?
Daniel Polansky: It’s a bit hyperbolic, at least for me.
FT: When did you realise that you wanted to be a writer?
DP: I think that first you realize you want to write. The verb comes first, if you can dig it.
FT: It is often said that if you can write a short story you can write anything. How true do you think this is and what have you written that either proves or disproves this POV?
DP: I’ve never read that quote.
FT: If someone were to enter a bookshop, how would you persuade them to try your novel over someone else's and how would you define it?
DP: I would subtly threaten their family, or perhaps observe that my competition was a nazi-pedophile.
FT: How would you "sell" your book in 20 words or less?
DP: The recipe for the antidote to the poison you just drank is hidden somewhere in its pages.
FT: Who is a must have on your bookshelf and whose latest release will find you on the bookshops doorstep waiting for it to open?
DP: My bookshelf is getting a little thick these days, but you can always find a few Raymond Chandler novels amidst the debris.
FT: When you sit down and write do you know how the story will end or do you just let the pen take you? ie Do you develop character profiles and outlines for your novels before writing them or do you let your idea's develop as you write?
DP: For the first book, it was all a little slapdash. With the sequel I'm being much more deliberate with outlines and such.
FT: What do you do to relax and what have you read recently?
DP: I walk and listen to music. I’m in the middle of Winston Churchill’s biography of the Duke of Marlborough.
FT: What is your guiltiest pleasure that few know about?
DP: I am a black-out drunk.
FT: Lots of writers tend to have pets. What do you have and what are their key traits (and do they appear in your novel in certain character attributes?)
DP: I don’t have a pet.
FT: How similar to your principle protagonist are you?
DP: Not very. He’s a two-fisted amoral homicidal drug addict, and I’m only the second and fourth.
FT: What hobbies do you have and how do they influence your work?
DP: I love to travel.
FT: Where do you get your idea's from?
DP: Books and life.
FT: Do you ever encounter writers block and if so how do you overcome it?
DP: Some days it’s easier than others. You push as far as you can every day and don’t kick yourself too much if you can’t always hit a quota.
FT: Certain authors are renowned for writing at what many would call uncivilised times. When do you write and how do the others in your household feel about it?
DP: I do most of my writing during the day. Sometimes I will think of an idea that I want to jot down and will ask whomever I’m talking to not to talk to me until I’m done, but mostly they’re understanding about it.
FT: Sometimes pieces of music seem to influence certain scenes within novels, do you have a soundtrack for your tale or is it a case of writing in silence with perhaps the odd musical break in-between scenes?
DP: I guess in my book it’s all atmospheric noise.
FT: What misconceptions, if any, did you have about the writing and publishing field when you were first getting started?
DP: I really didn’t know enough about it to have preconceptions. I suppose I thought it would take less time from the date of the sale to the book being published.
FT: If music be the food of love, what do you think writing is and please explain your answer?
DP: I don’t know how to answer this question.
FT: What can you tell us about the next novel?
DP: It’s similar to this one, but better.
FT: What are the last five internet sites that you've visited?
DP: They’re all x-rated. Am I kidding?
FT: Did you ever take any writing classes or specific instructions to learn the craft? If so please let us know which ones.
DP: I have never taken a creative writing class, for better or worse.
FT: How did you get past the initial barriers of criticism and rejection?
DP: I wept a lot.
FT: In your opinion, what are the best and worst aspects of writing for a living?
DP: Filling a blank page is the best thing about writing. It has to be, or there wouldn’t be a point. As far as the negatives -- it can be a solitary existence.