Today I'm welcoming author A R Taylor to the blog to chat about writing, publishing, and her novel Sex, Rain and Cold Fusion. I hope you enjoy her insights. I certainly did.
KB: What do you write?
ART: Fiction, though in the past I've done documentaries and non-fiction, also three plays.
KB: Tell us about one of your books in 3 sentences.
Sex, Rain and Cold Fusion is a novel about big-thinking physicist David Oster, a charming cad who flees Caltech and his three girlfriends for the Pacific Northwest, pastoral fantasy firmly in hand. Once there, he finds himself overcome by rain, another beautiful girlfriend, and several crazy physicists intent on his ruin. Obviously he needs to discover some entirely new physics principle, as yet unnamed, but can he deliver?
KB: Why do you write? Give us three reasons.
ART: I've loved doing it since I was a kid. For me, there seems no greater joy in the world (excepting family). It's a great way to live.
KB: I couldn’t agree more. Complete the following sentences:
My first ever published piece of writing was… (not counting fifth grade play): "The Graduate School Experience" in The Personnel and Guidance Journal. The piece grew out of work I did at a think tank in Berkeley.
A book about writing I love is… Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, but lately I've been reading James Wood's wonderful How Fiction Works.
A novel I love is… Anna Karenina, but a contemporary one is Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan.
My favorite place to write is… in my study. It overlooks a tidal lagoon (or swamp as my mother called it), and there are ducks, snowy egrets, and pelicans all the time.
Someone who helped me improve my writing is… the editor of Sex, Rain and Cold Fusion, Jean Casella. She poked, prodded, and challenged all the way, never taking any fancy phrase too seriously. I learned a tremendous amount from her.
Writing is… doing it over and over and over again, also known as re-writing.
Editing is… finding the order that lies beneath all the verbiage. A friend once said: Structure equals order––order equals freedom. You can only get wild and crazy once you know the shape of your own story, at least that's my experience.
Traditional publishing is… not a business, but a rich man's hobby. Self-publishing is… heroic and intense.
KB: Describe yourself in five words.
ART: Funny, kind, skittish, nervy, faithful.
KB: Why are you faithful?
ART: It's such a pleasure––to keep faith with people, to have them trust you and to know you're worthy of their trust.
KB: What’s your next big writing challenge?
ART: I'm working on a new novel.
KB: What advice would you give to a brand new writer?
The first thing to do is get as interesting a day job as you can, one that fills you up with information, then get enough money to quit that job and write.
KB: What does your current Twitter or other online profile say?
ART: My Facebook page has a more coherent appearance, in terms of who I am. It has jokes and weird things happening near me, also reflects my love of animals. It's a work-in-progress, meanwhile I worship at the page of George Takei. His is the best.
KB: What would you like it to say?
ART: That I'm cool and funny and sympathetic. (In my fantasies anyway.)
KB: Where can we find you online?
Watch the SEX, RAIN, AND COLD FUSION Book Trailer Here: youtube.com/watch?v=Ai39sIvQm_Q
Purchase SEX, RAIN, AND COLD FUSION here.
KB: Thanks for stopping by, Anne. It’s been a pleasure to have you here.
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