Undiscovered Interview #1:
1) With work, cherry picking, reading, and dancing, you seem like a pretty busy person. Do you set aside a specific time to write, and if not, how do you know when to write?I don't set aside a specific time to write, and a lot of times I don't end up writing as much as I'd like to. Actually I've been giving thought lately to setting aside a specific time each week to work on my novel because I've been neglecting it far too much lately. It's mostly the novel that I have trouble getting around to working on; poetry I usually just write as I think of it, and I work on short stories a lot while I'm online doing stuff. As for how I know when to write, two things generally tell me... if I'm feeling inspired, and if I have something that needs to be written by a certain date. It's definitely not the most professional system and maybe not the most productive either, but I feel like I can't really prioritize writing and treat it as a career until I have some idea if it can be one for me.
2) You call yourself an art devotee. Could you define what you think characterizes an art devotee?I think an art devotee is someone who centers their life around art. Someone who not only enjoys art but can look at anything as art. Someone who sees beauty in everything, tries to live artistically, and appreciates a rusty car for its artistic merits. People who make decisions in their life based on what would be the most artistic as a whole - those are art devotees.
3) You are quite an avid reader. Can you recommend a book for fellow writers who want to see prose done extremely well?I could recommend a lot - I always get caught up on that when asked to recommend a book, I just have too many books that I loved. Ideal before I recommended a book to a fellow writer I would find out what kind of writing they're interested in, but since I can't do that here... I think I would recommend Bernard Cornwell's Harlequin, published in the U.S. as The Archer's Tale. Bernard Cornwell has a lot of talent and I think that book was representative of it, in terms of plot and style and characterization and just about anything else you can think of. I wouldn't recommend it if the writer were particularly young, though.
4) Can you recommend the most relaxing, easy-going book you know for beach reading or for reading when you have flu and cant really think straight?That's tough. Most of the books I read are far from relaxing and easy-going. I would recommend any book that's divided into short bits, something that will catch your interest but not necessarily demand it. Books like Why do men have nipples by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg or Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler's Best, worst, and most unusual. But I suppose my top recommendation for that sort of reading would be Lynne Truss's Eats, shoots and leaves.
5) Now for a personal question. Weve all heard that being in a less-than-desirable mental state gives writers and artists new insights and enhances the creativity and quality of their work. Can it also act as a hindrance to producing good work?Definitely. A less-than-desirable mental state is often closely connected to a lack of motivation, and when I'm not motivated I can't create - or at least, can't create anything very good. Not to mention I can get really depressed sometimes and even if I have written something I won't think it's any good, which just discourages me. So although bad stuff can lead to inspiration, I usually can't do much about the inspiration until I've moved on from the bad stuff (whether the bad stuff is internal or external). A balance is important, which makes me think of something I read in a very interesting book called The Midnight Disease. It was all about writing and the various psychological and neurological things that can have a strong effect on a writer. Unfortunately I can no longer remember many of the specifics shared in the book, but I think it said something like 10% of writers and 40% of poets have bipolar disorder. That's compared to I think 1% in the general population. It's more common in artists of any kind but particularly writers and poets. The theory is that it's actually helpful, because during the "manic" stages a person is usually very creative and productive, and then during the "depressive" stages they can work as their own editor and clean up some of the more wild and incoherent things they had created while they were manic. Even non-bipolar poets and writers can have the benefit of some of those symptoms, particularly if they have a relative who's bipolar. I don't think that I'm bipolar - I think I'm just a teenager - but I definitely have the stages thing going on with writing. And I think my father might be bipolar so maybe that has something to do with it.Want to get interviewed? It's as easy as news.deviantart.com/article/30…It doesn't matter what kind of art you do, just what you have to say!