Happy Thursday, readers! Today, I have a guest who puts the spotlight on comedy with his writing. Here to tell you more is Edward!
Hi Edward! Thanks for joining us here on Table Talk. Tell us a little about yourself.
1) What sorts of things do you write and where are you in the publishing process?
I write mostly absurd comedy mixed with elements of fantasy, and I’m all over the place! I self-published a book, but took it off the market to re-edit. That process is going well and I’m constantly amazed by how much my style has changed after a couple years.
Then I’ve got another book I’m editing before writing the second part of the first draft.
Then there’s another that’s shorter but only one-fourth written.
2) What inspires the stories you tell?
Life. The universe. Everything. Douglas Adams. Isaac Asimov. Random conversations with people. Subconscious association. Disassociation. Nintendo. Weird dreams. The person reading this right now who doesn’t know I know they’re reading this but I do. But I don’t.
3) What life experiences have helped you to become a better writer?
I worked as an audio-book editor for a couple years, which helped me understand better the natural rhythm of speech. It also forced me to read over two hundred books in two years, so… that helped too. I was able to peek between the lines at the outlines of best sellers to see what made them tick. It wasn’t pretty.
4) When you write, how do you plan your schedule? Do you commit to a length of time, word count, or just write as time allows?
This is a good question, and I only recently developed a decent answer. According to my new schedule – from seven to nine in the morning I write, from nine to ten I work on my author’s platform, then I write again from ten to twelve. I’ll take a ten minute break every hour. I use a mechanical egg timer to remind me that time exists. I’ve got a video about the system here: https://youtu.be/2GmBoKlGMyw
5) What is the most challenging thing you’ve come across in pursuing this craft?
I think it’s my worst enemy in all this. Once I put it aside, everything’s easy – the writing, editing, proofing, publishing, etc. But my anxiety often stops me from ever making a move. Or, once I do make a move, it says, “Hey! How about this other idea instead?!”
The new schedule’s helping.
6) Has anything come surprisingly easy for you?
I wasn’t particularly surprised by how easy it was for me. But I was overwhelmingly surprised at how difficult it is for others. Apparently I’ve got a talent or something. I just assumed everyone could whip up a joke on demand.
7) How did you reach the decision to become an author? Was there a defining moment, or was the decision gradual?
I worked as an audio-book editor for over two years and read over two hundred books. In that time, I realized two things. A – I was in a dead-end job making decent money with benefits where I would probably die from some illness caused by sitting in a dark basement all day. B – There weren’t a lot of good comedy books out there.
I had a story my dad and I had been working on for fifteen years and I decided it was about time to finish it properly and make something awesome.
Two years later, I’m editing the crap out of it.
8) If you could sum up a piece of wisdom you’ve gained in your journey to write, what would it be?
Just do it.
Don’t let your dreams be dreams.
NO, SERIOUSLY! This is the biggest mistake anyone can make! Don’t overcomplicate it, don’t make excuses, and don’t let excuses make you!
9) How would you prepare someone who wanted to start writing? What advice would you give him/her?
I have a pen.
I have a paper.
I have a JUST WRITE THE FREAKING BOOK.
Write a few short stories. Find your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strengths. Figure out the awkward punctuation issues. Once you can write a short story without it being stiff, start writing your book.
10) What do you enjoy reading?
Not a lot actually.
I know. It’s weird for a writer to not like reading. I’m pretty sure I have mild dyslexia, ADHD, or both. A book’s got to be really freaking good to keep my attention and be worth the aching eyes.
With that said, I do enjoy non-fiction, Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, and the occasional well-written fantasy novel by other authors.
I’m currently reading “The Stuff of Thought” by Steven Pinker. (Non-fiction: linguistics, psychology, very dense, extraordinarily well done.)
11) Do you have a favorite author? Do you have a favorite book?
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
12) Different people have different ideas of what makes a great story. What’s yours?
Fun dialogue, deep thought, a dash of humor, and short chapters. #NoFiller
13) What’s your dream writing job?
A. Give my writing away for free to everyone who wants it.
B. People laugh, think, and form a community around my work.
E. Profit. $35k per year is fine. I’m not greedy.
I’ve yet to figure out the exact platform to do this.
That’s what this year is about.
No. It’s not Wattpad.
14) Do you have any writing resources you swear by?
The writing community there is amazing.
15) Where can people find you/your work?
Currently I don’t have any books for sale.
However, I do have some interesting stuff over on YouTube. If you’re looking to boost your creativity, or just want a good laugh, here’s a link to my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdDv5fjjEySZjR31st1zt0g
I’m also losing my mind on Twitter: @EdwardVanWinkle