This week I interviewed Edgar, a grandfather of two, with two books already under his belt. Shall we see what Edgar's been up too and what he has coming up.!
Hello Edgar, welcome to your interview, it's time to get nosey! Let's start with a little bit about yourself!
I was born and raised in New York City, and am currently living in Livingston, New Jersey with my wife, Jeanne. I have two grown sons and recently, the wife and I became grandparents for the second time. They are the biggest reasons I wanted to get my books published. I work as a computer specialist at a public-school system by day, and I write at night. I consider myself a storyteller, more than an author. The distinction, I would prefer to be amongst the crowd, telling the story, instead of alone in a room, writing it. During my downtime, I enjoy photography, fishing, and nature walks. During fishing trips with my dad, I would often go off on nature walks on my own. Whether on the sand dunes by the seashore or in the woodlands by a lake, I enjoyed taking in the sights and sounds of nature. These experiences inspired the settings for my books.
Nature sounds like it inspired you greatly. What got you into writing?
I am the youngest of four brothers and as a youngster, they encouraged me to draw. I enjoyed taking what was in my imagination and putting it to paper. As I got older, books opened a new world to me where I could see the places and characters, that authors wrote about in my imagination. My favourite genre is fantasy, and a close second is sci-fi. I remember picking up a copy of The Hobbit and being transported to the world of Middle Earth. From that point on I was hooked. I found that drawing what was in my imagination only provided a snapshot of a scene. What I wanted to do was tell the whole story my imagination had conjured up. I started storytelling my ideas to my young sons and noting what worked and what didn’t. Before I knew it I had my first short story.
What’s the main thing you love and hate about writing?
I love being able to create personalities, putting characters in impossible situations and coming up with creative ways to navigate or overcome their challenges. I don’t like writer's block or when I do not have time to write, especially when the ideas are flowing.
That is the worse, you're just about to let the story flow and something or someone interrupts you. Who is the worst villain you’ve ever written, and why?
In my first book, Journey Home, the characters are pond creatures and they face an outside villain, mankind and pollution. The inspiration was an experience I had as a young teen. My father and I would make an annual trip with the church to a shrine, and in the area, there was a small lake. The gentleman that owned the property allowed us to fish there as long as we cleaned up after ourselves. There was a stream running down a slope on the right, feeding the small lake on the left. I enjoyed this time with my dad and the sights and sounds of nature. This went on until I was about fifteen. The next two years we didn’t make the trip and to be honest, I do not remember why. When we finally did go back, I was devastated to see that the stream had dried up and the small lake was stagnant. When I looked around, there were bottles, cans, papers and plastic bags strewn about, and submerged in the water there was a shopping cart. An oil slick covered part of the surface and the area was quiet. The gentleman that owned the property came down and recognized my dad and me and told us that there was no sense fishing there. He said that the local kids come at night, make a mess and throw their garbage in the lake. I could see the pain in his face. My dad turned to leave and I asked him if I could stay a minute, and they both just looked at me. I took a garbage bag out of my pack and began cleaning the garbage from around the area my dad and I would have fished from. When I was done, the gentleman asked why I bothered. I told him that when I was younger, we had promised him we would clean up the area before we left. I knew that that would be the last time we would visit there and I wanted to remember our little spot all clean. My dad was proud and the gentleman appreciated the gesture.
That is such a tragic story, such a shame that we do not pay enough attention to nature but what a wonderful memory of time well spent with you and your dad. What is next on your list to write/publish?
I am writing Book III in the series. My wife has also caught the writing bug and I hope to help her with the children’s book ideas she’s imagined. I’m going to try and illustrate them for her.
Oh How wonderful! I'd love to interview you both again when she's wrote her story! Who is your favourite author, and why?
It would be J. R. R. Tolkien! The first time I picked up The Hobbit, I couldn’t put it down. I read it three times in a row. His style of storytelling, the fantasy world he created and the unforgettable characters he spun, left me spellbound. I was extremely sad each time I came to the end of the story. A work colleague saw me reading it and asked if I had read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. When he explained that The Lord of the Rings were the next books in the series, I went out the same day and purchased them. Needless to say, I devoured them and they did not disappoint.
I read them the opposite way around. I think he'd have done more if he had the chance. Tolkien had created such a rich world. Who encouraged you the most to write?
My wife has been my biggest supporter and encourages me to write. She reaches out to schools and her contacts so that I can do author reads. She also shares my posts on her social media page.
She sounds like a wonderful woman. Are you as avid a reader as a writer?
I had a two-hour bus commute to work every day and I used that time to read, read and read some more. Once I was done with a book, I would announce it on the bus and swap books with the other commuters. Since changing jobs, I haven’t had as much time to read. Now I’m an avid writer.
It's hard to find a balance between reading and writing. I read first thing in the morning and last thing at night and write like a maniac during the day! What’s your favourite genre?
Fantasy, but sci-fi is a close second.
Do you listen to music when you write? Or can’t you stand background noise when writing?
I have a playlist of new age music, that I listen to while I write. Being that it is all instrumental, there are no voices to distract me.
I think this is an obvious question but...if you could interview any famous author who would it be and why?
Based on my previous answers, you probably think it’s J. R. R. Tolkien, but it would actually be Anne Rice. I loved reading her Vampire Lestat series. I would wine and dine her until she revealed all her secrets. I always hoped she would have a series dedicated to the Talamasca, the secret society set up to watch over and keep track of the paranormal.
I was wrong lol Anne Rice is a loss to the writing community, she hasn't released anything for years it's such a shame. Yes, a book on the Talamasca would have been great! Now talking of secrets, tell me a secret that none of your fans know! So no one can say, I wish I could ask Edgar this!
As a teenager, I hated reading. I would read but not get the meaning of what I just read. I just wasn’t interested in the stories that we were reading in school. Then a schoolmate, Rochelle, who was doing very well in the class, gave me a copy of The Little Prince. I read it and enjoyed it but I still couldn’t do the same with the English literature books. Rochelle became my English Lit study buddy and we would take turns reading paragraphs and chapters and discussing what we had just read. The light turned on and I have enjoyed reading ever since.
Tell me what your main character would say about you!
Gary the goldfish would say, I think Edgar is a nice guy. He gave me great friends and an awesome place to live. If you happen to meet him, please ask him to write me a girlfriend.
Oh that's so sweet! Is Gary going to get a girlfriend, no don't tell us! Finally, any words of advice?
Write your ideas down, no matter how absurd. Keep writing and writing until you finish a bare bones draft. Don’t pick it apart, instead, keep true to your ideas and add some meat to the bare bones. Once you’re done, ask yourself, have you kept to the idea, theme, lesson or message you wanted to convey. Edit and re-write with this in mind. When you think you’re done, ask someone to read it. Make sure this person understands that it’s a first draft and what kind of feedback you are looking for. This may be the hardest part, but it is well worth it. Thank them profusely. You are not obligated to incorporate any of their suggested changes but keep in mind, they are part of the audience you want to reach and connect with, so their comments have merit. Lastly, hire an editor before you publish and best of luck.
Thank you, Edgar, for talking with me today, I loved doing your interview, it is one of the most enjoyable I've done. I'm looking forward to seeing if Gary gets a girlfriend!! To keep up to date with Edgar please follow him on the following links
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