One of the nice things about Twitter is having the means to meet authors from all over the world. I was lucky enough to interview this author and get to know him a little better. I always find it fascinating to hear about the history behind the author. I love to gain insight into who they are. Enjoy meeting
1. What started your writing career? I started writing back in the third grade. My first love was always acting-writing was something that was just always there even though I never took it seriously. Being one of those nerdy kids who’d always finish their work first, I’d write stories in my spare time out of boredom. When my teacher caught on to what I was doing, she encouraged me to ‘Just keep writing.’ Both she and my mother always told me I’d write a book one day, to which I always laughed because I never believed it. As time went on, I studied acting in high school and college while my writing went from short stories to an award winning one-act play and then screenplays. It wasn’t until the fall of 2011 when I got laid off from a job I’d had for 6 years that I caught wind of the independent publishing industry and thought I’d give it a shot. It’s funny to me now knowing all those years my mother saw something that I didn’t.
2. How many books have you written and what are the titles? So far I have 4 titles available, with at least three on the way. They are as follows:
EXODUS: A REQUIEM FOR JACOB FORLORN-Dark Fantasy
REVELATION: THE RETURN OF JACOB FORLORN-Dark Fantasy
THE LITTLE BOY AND THE SEA-Children’s Fiction
3. Are you working on anything currently and if so what is it? Yes, my current work in progress is a novel entitled PORN AGAIN. Before I got into publishing, I worked for a major adult novelty retailer in which one of the stores was located in New Orleans on Bourbon St. You can imagine just about any crazy thing happening in that store and you probably wouldn’t be far off from the truth. For years I was always asked the question, ‘What’s it like working here?’ My response was always that I could make a movie or write a book about what went on there, so here it comes. What most people don’t realize is the fact that it’s not the people who work in a sex store that you have to worry about…it’s the people who shop there. You learn a lot about sex and sex toys obviously, but you also learn a lot more about love and relationships in modern-day America, and a lot of it isn’t always positive. After working there, there’s nothing about sex or relationships anyone can tell me about that I haven’t already heard.
Here is the synopsis for PORN AGAIN:
"What's it like working in a sex store?"
That’s a question that Harper ‘Happy’ Downman will soon learn the meaning of…in more ways than one.
The poster child for middle-class America, Happy is your typical button-down, conservative Christian American with a quaint home, a lovely wife and a dull sex life. At the height of the Great Recession, a drastic turn of events in both his personal and professional life rock Happy’s world to its very core. All seems lost…that is until his lecherous older brother comes to the rescue with a ‘stimulating’ solution that’s sure to raise more than just eyebrows within his eccentric family.
Relocating to the decadent, hedonistic streets of New Orleans, he soon finds that he’s way out of his league. In a world of porn, sex toys and interesting characters, Happy takes a memorable journey of sex, love and relationships that he will never forget.
Porn Again is a funny and insightful romp proving that it’s not always the people who work in a sex store that you have to worry about. Sometimes it’s the people who shop there.
A tale of faith, love and sex toys. Read it with someone you ****.
4. What genres do you write? I don’t really have set genres that I gear toward. From the material I’ve put out already, I like to experiment with different genres. For me, it’s all about the story; if it happens to fall into the category of Literary Fiction, Horror or Erotica, then that’s just where it goes. Ultimately I would like to be an artist that can be successful writing in multiple genres. It’s great when you can have work in the marketplace for everybody.
5. What is your preferred genre and why? Don’t really have one. Much like book publishing, I’ve also written stage plays and screenplays. I try to be as versatile as possible.
6. Is writing the only thing you do if not what is your “real” job? My current day job is as a graphics installer. Anytime you ads posted in storefront windows, malls, on office buildings or vehicles, that’s the gist of what I do. It’s a lot of time on the road traveling and bringing my work with me. My laptop is never far behind, so once I’m done with the day’s work, I’ll hit the gym for an hour and then get back to what I really want to do which is write.
7. Which book is your favorite and why? The first is The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley. While history will always have its perception of who Malcolm was, his life story is a powerful and beautiful one that all human beings can learn from. The fact that this man was once the lowest of the low and evolved through spiritual enlightenment to become someone that people all over the world wanted to hear speak had a profound impact on me. Growing up in a rough neighborhood in New Orleans, I learned early on that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like. What matters is the will to go out and define yourself no matter what the world thinks you can and cannot do.
8. What is your writing style? I try to be as visual as possible, with colorful, quirky characters that people can relate to. Being a student of playwriting and screenwriting, I try to bring all these different elements to the table when I write; it just makes for a better, well-nuanced story in my opinion.
9. What inspires you to write? Art, music and film. Being a native of New Orleans, I’ve grown up around all three, especially films, with THE GREAT DICTATOR being my favorite of all time.
10. What advice would you give to new authors or inspiring authors? Definitely study the craft of writing and never give up. I tend to liken the independent publishing boom today much like the growth of Hip-Hop years ago. There was a time when you really have to be great to be successful, but as the industry flourished, more and more people figured out ways to make money without necessarily being good at what they do. Indie publishing has followed that route to a tee. The market is so oversaturated with material that it’s becoming more and more challenging for authors with great stories to get attention. Aspiring authors should definitely follow the best practices of their favorite authors and strive to put out material that can sit on the same shelf and compete. Everything from great storytelling to editing and formatting and cover design plays a huge part. Most of all, NEVER GIVE UP.
11. Do you think any of your books could be translated to the big screen if so why? Definitely OCCUPATION and PORN AGAIN. OCCUPATION is a short story dealing with a zombie apocalypse that takes place in New Orleans during the week of the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras. If you know anything about filmmaking, that is high concept if there ever was. The screenplay is already finished and I will be shopping around for an agent soon. The same goes for PORN AGAIN. While there have been movies and television shows that deal with the adult industry, none have really gone inside what happens in a sex store. Let’s face it-sex sells.
12. Share some of your hobbies other than writing. Aside from writing, working out has quickly become a huge priority for me. Not that I’ve ever been seriously out of shape or anything like that, but as I get older, the urge to reinvent myself has taken on a new shape and it’s fun. The acting bug has begun to bite me once again, so another goal of me is to get back into acting school and hopefully make back to the stage one day. Other hobbies of mine include photography and filmmaking.
13. Favorite Films
The Great Dictator-Charlie Chaplin
Do The Right Thing-Spike Lee
Malcolm X-Spike Lee
The Dreamers-Bernardo Bertolucci
Im Juli-Faith Akin
Rear Window-Alfred Hitchcock
Le Diner de Cons-Francis Veber
The Usual Suspects-Bryan Singer
The Godfather-Francis Ford Coppola
La Dolce Vita-Frederico Fellini
Life Is Beautiful-Roberto Benigni
Angel Heart-Alan Parker
14. Music Playlist
· Just Friends-Amy Winehouse/Back to Black
· Jimi Hendrix-Third Stone From the Sun/Are You Experienced?
· Copernicus Landing-Kid Cudi/SATELLITE FLIGHT: Journey to Mother Moon
· Without You-Lapalux
· Cherry Wine-Nas feat. Amy Winehouse/Life Is Good
· Nirvana-You Know You’re Right/Nirvana
· In My Head-Psapp/Early Cats and Tracks
· Solar-Thunderball/Hotel Costes 4
· No Jive-De Phazz/Hotel Costes Vol. 1
· Gutter Rainbows-Talib Kweli/Gutter Rainbows
· Black Boy Fly-Kendrick Lamar/Good Kid Maad City
· Si je meurs ci soir-MC Solaar/Cinquieme as
· Memories Live-Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek/Reflection Eternal-Train of Thought
· The Blast-Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek/Reflection Eternal-Train of Thought
· The Heretics-Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross/The Girl w/The Dragon Tattoo Sdtrk.
· Don’t Explain-Billie Holiday/Verve Remixed
· Blood-Velvet Acid Christ/Lust for Blood
· Come Together-The Beatles/Abbey Road
· House of the Rising Sun-The Animals/Retrospective
· Glad to be Unhappy (DJ Logic Remix)-Billie Holiday/Remixed & Reimagined
· Me & The Devil-Gil Scott-Heron/I’m New Here
· Slip and Slide (Suicide)-Kosheen/Resist
· Shiny on the Inside-Leona Naess/Thirteens
· Let Go-Frou Frou/Details
· When the Levee Breaks-Led Zeppelin/Mothership
· Communication Breakdown-Led Zeppelin/Mothership
· Kashmir-Led Zeppelin/Mothership
· A New World in My View/King Britt & Sis. Gertrude Morgan
· Walking On Space-Smooth