Thursday, August 2, 2012

Authorsday: Andrew Clawson

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
-This is going to sound cliché, but it’s true. One day after I set down the book I was reading, it just hit me…why don’t I write a book? I’d been reading all my life, and it seemed simple enough, so what would be so tough? Looking back, I can’t believe how foolish it sounds. If I only knew then what I know now, this may never have happened.
2. Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?
-One of the toughest parts of my research was determining exactly what factual elements to include in my story. The main concept was easy enough, but the idea of focusing on George Washington and one particular aspect of his life was merely the beginning. Fleshing out this idea was by far the most time-intensive part of the process, other than the actual writing. I needed to identify locations and items from our nation’s history that were not only interesting to myself and (hopefully) the reader, but that would blend with the fictional areas of my work to produce a believable narrative.
3. How many rejections have you received?
-Around forty or so. I must admit that every single one was polite and encouraging. Even if they really thought my work was a pile of nonsense, no one was cruel enough to tell me that while they were dashing my hopes of representation.
4. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?
-Write every damn day. That’s the best advice I could ever give any aspiring author.
5. If you have a day job, what is it?
-When I’m not writing I work for a Class I freight railroad investigating railroad accidents. You see some interesting things at my job.
6. What’s your writing schedule?
-Whenever I can find the time, but usually at night. I’ll set a word goal for myself, which I always strive to achieve. It can vary depending on how much time I have and what part of the story I’m putting on paper that night, but once I sit down and start typing, I do my best to stay focused until I hit my goal.
7. What’s your favorite quote?
-I’ve got two, because you’ll probably laugh at the first one. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” (obvious, but I love it) “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” (This becomes more apparent with every passing day)
8. Who is your greatest cheerleader?
-My Mom.
9. What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?
-Fluently speak a second language.
10. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
-The most rewarding part of this process was seeing my characters develop before my eyes. As the story progressed from start to finish, what were originally hazy, abstract outlines came sharply into focus, becoming living, breathing people (sort of). It became so that while as the author, I was driving the story, my main characters were sitting shotgun, serving as the navigator. Knowing how these people would react, understanding their motivations, wants and needs, allowed me to write quickly and efficiently, producing a more involved and complete tale.

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