Grandpa Hank’s Writer Interviews

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Writer Interviews | 0 comments

Ever since the moment I realized I’d been blessed with a talent for writing, I also became acutely aware that I had no idea what in the hell to do with said talent. Basically, I knew that you wrote something good and when it was polished enough, you got it to… people. But you couldn’t just get it to any people. You had to get it to the right people. The process, as I understood it went like this…

Step 1) Write
Step 2) Revise until awesome
Step 3) (Radio static)
Step 4) Success

Seriously, drive across Wyoming some time and try to find a decent radio station. (Don’t cheat and use satellite) In my head, that’s what I heard when I tried to process step 3. But I swore that other people heard it loud and clear. They were somehow getting awesome music and sports scores twenty miles west of Powder River. There had to be a path. A concrete, discernible, step-by step blueprint I could follow. And so I’d ask the same question to every successful writer I met.

“How did you get to where you are today?”

Their frustrating answer always entailed a lot of hard work and about nineteen coincidences I had no chance of duplicating.

“So you’re saying if I buy a crappy old Honda Civic and move to Seattle with your old boyfriend there’s a chance that on my way to pick him up from jail after he got arrested for urinating on a school bus, I might get sideswiped by a literary agent who’s only in town from San Francisco picking up her niece from college because her klutzy brother fell off a ladder and couldn’t make the trip. Seems doable.”

It was frustrating. It all seemed so… random. But somehow in the story of their successes, it seemed like the entire thing was predestined all along, which was strangely uplifting.

With that in mind, I’m going to occasionally do interviews with writers at various stages of their careers. These writers will fit into three distinct categories – successful, semi-successful, and hoping to someday be successful. Some earn their living off nothing but the words they type, and many are simply struggling to keep their dream afloat.

I’ve found that as writers, it’s just nice to realize that other creative people are going through the same ups and downs. It also helps to know that successful writers weren’t always successful. We just don’t know about the years and tears it took them to get to where they are. Hearing other writers talk about their own path helps the rest of us not feel so alone in our setbacks. And that’s the goal of all of my upcoming interviews.

I’ve lined up a lot of very interesting people and hopefully we’ll get at least one interview a month up here. My first interview is going to be with a writer named Allen who is only a year out of graduate school trying to wade through the cesspool of Hollywood after earning his MFA in screenwriting last June. Look for the two-part interview later this week.

Also, thanks to all of you who followed my November twitter novel. It was a fun exercise and the story of Barry, the love note, and a bunch of slacker zombies turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. If you haven’t gotten to read it, follow me at @grandpahank.

Hope your Thanksgiving was spent enjoying friends and family and your Black Friday was also spent enjoying friends and family, far, far away from the greedy consumer driven shame we bring upon our great country each and every year.

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