A Pulitzer Prize finalist - and one of the authors every aspiring author should read. I could tell you more about him myself, but there is no way I could say anything about him that would top the author bio on his website: Before landing a job teaching creative writing, he worked in a shoe factory, a garment factory, a tire repairs manufacturing plant, a department store. He earned money umpiring men’s slow-pitch softball games, gathering addresses for the U.S. Census Bureau, delivering pizzas, detasseling corn for the Dekalb Seed Corn Company, flipping burgers at Hardees, and working on a Christmas Tree Farm. Through all those jobs, he kept writing. If that’s what gives you pleasure, he hopes you will, too.
SIX SIMPLE QUESTIONS
WITH LEE MARTIN
1) Do you feel writers should write each day or "when the mood strikes"?
I try to write each day because regularity produces results, but, alas, teaching and other real life things get in the way, so I'm not always able to write each day.
2) Do you have a "writing spot," or do you move around?
I have a spot, my writing room, where I'm either in a comfy chair with pen and paper, or at my computer. I've also written in hotel rooms and wherever I happen to be at the time.
3) What is the one book (written by someone else) you would have liked to have written yourself?
'Rock Springs' by Richard Ford. I love those stories. They helped me write the stories in my first book, 'The Least You Need to Know.'
4) What is the one book you feel every aspiring author should read?
I love what 'The Great Gatsby' has to show us about the structure of a novel. The first two-thirds of the book dramatizes all the major elements and in effect puts into place a brick wall, brick by brick. The final third of the novel involves the pulling out of those bricks, one at a time, until all that can be done with the material is done.
5) What is the best writing advice you have ever heard/read?
From Isak Dinesen: "Write a little every day, without hope, without despair."
6) What is the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Follow Isak Dinesen's advice and fall in love with the process. Give little thought to reaching the desired result; it will come if you trust the process.
Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.