* you can find the original interviews and much more on my 'everything writing' blog (http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com), including author spotlights, guest posts, book reviews, flash fiction or poetry - new items posted 6am UK time Monday to Saturday and writing exercises at 6pm very weekday.
Monday, 30 April 2012
Author interview no.16: Dick Blizzard (revisited)
Back on June 20th 2011, I interviewed author Dick Blizzard, the sixteenth for my WordPress blog. I hope you enjoy it...
Welcome to the sixteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. Today's is with novelist / article author Dick Blizzard. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hello, Dick. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Dick: Married (53 yrs) with four children, one grandchild, Retired Delta Airlines International Captain, Former Naval Aviator. My wife and I cruised the West Coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico for 23 years, Currently licensed to command boats up to 100 tons.
Morgen: 53 years... that's longer than I've... no I won't say that. :) What genre/s do you write?
Dick: Factual Articles based on my experiences in aviation and boating and life. Fiction – I have written two novels, both available now on Amazon as ebooks.
Morgen: And what have you had published to-date?
Dick: My Naval Aviation article “Into the Abyss” was published in FlyPast Magazine’s 2011 Feb issue. My Article, “Better to be Lucky than Smart” is currently available at www.airliners.net. It is a factual account of my hijacking in a Delta DC-9.
Morgen: Wow! Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Dick: No. I would like to find an agent. ‘Author House’ wanted to act on my behalf to find a group to make my novel, An Eruption of Decadence, into a movie. I declined because they were asking for up-front money and offered no specifics.
Morgen: A definite red flag. I’ve heard mixed reports about AuthorHouse and, like anything, unless you can go on recommendations you can trust, it’s always worth being very careful. You mentioned that your books are available as eBooks, do you read eBooks yourself?
Dick: I do read ebooks on my Kindle. I have found formatting the text to be a challenge.
Morgen: I've not played about with mine too much yet but I look forward to doing so. What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?
Dick: Kentucky Explorer Magazine published a factual piece I wrote about my dad’s family enduring hardships in SW Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. I was thrilled when FlyPast published me recently.
Morgen: :) Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Dick: I have been ignored and I don’t like it.
Morgen: I thought like that with the first couple but now like to think that they’ve read it (it’s always nice to think that someone has) but that it just wasn’t for them. Hard but they’re par for the course. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Dick: I have decided to rewrite my first novel. I feel I have grown as a writer and it is a story I am passionate about. I intend to make it better.
Morgen: Great idea. I always equate writing to playing the piano, play (write) a bit every day and you’ll get better. I now stop if I feel I’m waffling (as is often my way) or going off at an unnecessary tangent. Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
Dick: Yes – I try to stop at noon, but sometimes it goes into the evening hours.
Morgen: I know that feeling. :) What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
Dick: Writer’s block happens – I let it cure itself.
Morgen: Short and very sweet. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Dick: A little of both – I don’t use an outline.
Morgen: I find if I plot too much that it doesn’t stick to the original plan so I’m vague and let it take care of itself. Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Dick: No – they are all on my blog for sharing.
Morgen: That’s very generous (or brave?). :) What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
Dick: I get into it and sometimes forget it is not real – that irritates my wife. She likes my non-fiction better. I am terrible at marketing. I took marketing at the University of Miami – if I learned anything, I forgot it.
Morgen: Marketing's hard. I think you just have to belong to as much as you can and keep jumping up and down saying "pick me". What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Dick: Have fun.
Morgen: Absolutely. Writing has to be about / done with passion. In which country are you based and do you find this a help or hindrance with letting people know about your work?
Dick: U.S. My blogs entries are read around the world.
Morgen: Likewise, although the majority (US:UK 2:1) are from the US. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
Dick: Airlines.net, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube have all generated ‘hits’ for my work.
Morgen: I must get my work on YouTube. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Dick: I like to do presentations and they have been well received. Also, I have been told many times, “You have a vivid imagination.”
Morgen: Which does come in handy for a writer. :) Thank you Dick.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the questions. You complete them, I tweak them where appropriate (if necessary to reflect the blog ‘clean and light’ rating) and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know. :) You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore, Kobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. Finally, I also now have a new blog creation service especially for writers: http://icanbuildyourwritingblog.wordpress.com.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.