Today we welcome Luke Goldstein to the guest author interview, read what he has to say below:
Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi there, my name is Luke Goldstein and first and foremost I am a writer. I've held various day jobs throughout my time living in Southern California, but writing is most definitely my passion and the goal I am striving for. In between bouts of sitting at the keyboard, I am also a blogger, painter, avid reader and a soon-to-be-father.
What first inspired you to start writing?
Ever since I can remember I have always loved storytelling and if i'm lucky being the one who is actually telling the story. There is something in those moments when you have a captive audience and they are being transported to somewhere you create, a place that before only existed in your mind, but now it lives on in them as well. That is a wild feeling and once I got a taste of it I never wanted anything more.
Writing is also a practice t hat allows me to talk about how I see the world, how I understand (or fail to understand) the multitude of human interactions. Creating these fictional worlds can help me understand the real one in ways I might not have thought of before.
And what was your first story?
My first attempt at writing a novel was my freshman year of college. I was in a Creative Writing course (which coincidentally took place in the first floor lounge in my dorm, so I could show up in socks and PJ's if I liked) and instead of focusing on our daily journal, I spent a lot of time writing a Stephen King-inspired horror novel. I turned in what I had written so far as a peace offering, showing that I was at least working on creative writing. The response I got from the teacher was a touch surprising, "I think you need psychological help." I guess she wasn't a King fan.
If you could work with any author, who would it be?
Stephen King would be my first choice for a couple reasons. He is insanely prolific, so I would love to pick his brain about his writing habits and how he keeps them going in the daily attack of distractions and outside life. He also writes in a style that I admire due to its ease and upfront nature. His stories have a "punch to the gut" attitude that cuts through unnecessary flourishes and flowery prose.
Mark Danielewski would be my second. He writes in a completely different style, wildly poetic and the greatest attention paid to every detail of every letter (even down to the font choice). His ability to think in verse, complicated alliteration and the actual sound of the words, it is utterly fascinating to me.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The feeling of finishing a story. The actual writing of it can be torture and putting myself in that chair day-in and day-out is sometimes a feat of gargantuan proportions, but when I write that final word and step back f rom the project, that's a high of personal pride that cannot be matched. During the writing though, coming across that one sentence or one expression that came out of nowhere but fit so perfectly, those are incredibly nice as well.
And the least?
The anxiety of never knowing if you are taking the story in the right direction or if it is any good at all. That voice in the back of my head (referred to by another writer as radio station KFKD) is always telling me to just walk away, start a new story (which it will also tell me to walk away from), or just pick a new passion. Avoiding that voice or at least decreasing its volume is one of the hardest parts of the craft for me.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Just write. Get time in your schedule to just sit down and write. The more you do it, the more you will find your voice and you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish just be getting your butt in the chair on a routine basis. King once said that if you write only 300 words a day (a rather tiny goal to meet), you would have a novel by the end of a year. Sure, it might not be the best novel yet, but it is a solid first draft which you can edit and craft into something amazing. So, for the sake of getting the point across one more time, just write!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am still writing for both of my blogs (http://www.theendofthepage.com and http://www.realitydig.com) and I have also begun working on my next novel. It is a definite change of tone and pace from my first one. This is a much more gritty, horror-based story about an adopted young man who finds out his bloodline might not be something to be proud of. It's a battle of nature versus nurture to see if he is destined to car ry on the family tradition or break the chain of violence.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My latest work, and debut novel, is "What Came First?". It follows four complete strangers as their lives become intertwined in the biggest traffic jam in Seattle's history. At the center of it all is an object that at first looks small and ordinary, but turns out to be so much more. You can fit here at the official website (http://what-came-first.com) and it at most major online retailers, but here is the Amazon link to get you started: http://www.amazon.com/What-Came-First-ebook/dp/B0098PUF6W/
To find out more about me, you can also come to my homepage at http://www.lukegoldstein.com/
Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing from all of you!
Thanks to Luke for sharing his thoughts with us, on Monday we welcome Alexes Razevich to the hot seat.