Wednesday, June 3, 2009
**INTERVIEW with CRAIG LANCASTER**
It is an honor to interview author Craig Lancaster. author of: "SIX-HUNDRED HOURS OF A LIFE" Subtitle: " OR: They Say You Get 630,270, But I Don't Like To Assume" Genre: Literary Fiction INTERVIEW Geri: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer? Craig: I think it has always been a part of me. I grew up in a sportswriter's house, constantly exposed to books. It has always been something I was good at, and occasionally, the only thing. Geri: What type of books do you enjoy writing? Craig: My fiction writing tends to be heavily character-driven, and that's the kind of writing I gravitated to as I was developing my love of books. When I was in High School, I was on a self-guided discovery of Hemingway, and Steinbeck. I responded to the beautiful simplicity of the way they wielded the language, and built characters. Later, I dug into Ivan Doig, and Wallace Stegner, they also left a big impression on me. Geri: Did a special person in your life inspire you to write? Craig: My stepfather, Charles Clines, who was a long time sportswriter, and his job seemed exotic to me when I was a child. Geri: Have you written any books based on a true life story? Craig: One of my books titled "PAST-DUE PASTORALS" is a slim collection of essays that are very personal. I tried to tap into specific events that had a common humanity, and I think I succeeded, more or less! Geri: Who is your favorite author? Craig: Probably Doig! He builds such lovely sentences. I'm envious, but I can't write that way. Hemingway, and my own journalism training probably had the biggest impact on the way that I write. I'm spare, sometimes to a fault. Geri: Are your characters created from people you've known in real life? Craig: They are bits and pieces of people I've known, but I like to chop up those details, and rearrange them in a way that I doubt anyone I know would see himself, or herself in the story. Geri: How many books have you written? Craig: I've written two! SIX-HUNDRED HOURS OF A LIFE, and PAST-DUE PASTORALS. I'm about one-third of the way into my next novel project, and I have three, or four other ideas into some level of development. Geri: Where can your books be purchased? Craig: www.amazon.com www.target.com www.amindadrift.com/store.html Geri: Describe how you felt the first time you were published? Craig: It felt like the end of a long journey. I decided to self-publish, and that has been an education in itself. I relied pretty heavily on my background as an editor in doing a professional quality job of typesetting, and cover design. I received a lot of help from editorial-minded friends in editing the project. Now, after some praise from well-established authors in my area, I'm trying to find representation for the book. Geri: Do you have any current work in progress? Craig: I'm about twenty-five-thousand words into my next novel, and other ideas simmering. Now that I've launched a book-writing career, I'm trying to get to a place where I'm always in three levels of involvement which are active promotion, marketing, active writing and research. Geri: What are some links to your websites? Craig: www.craiglancaster.net www.goodreads.com/author/show/2857826.Craig_Lancaster www.myspace.com/craig_lancaster Geri: Do you have goals set for the future? Craig: I'd like to find representation for "SIX-HUNDRED HOURS OF A LIFE" and bring it to a wider audience. In the long term, just keep writing. Geri: Are you exactly where you want to be with your writing? Craig: My decision to start writing books is fairly recent. I always suspected that it was in me, but life took up most of my time. So yes, all things considered, I like where I am. Geri: What can help authors to reach their dream? Craig: One of my good friends, "In Open Spaces" who is author Russell Rowland said, "Every success story I've ever heard of involved persistence." I think that's the best way I've heard it described, a lot of doors are going to close on you, you have to keep knocking. Geri: Have you ever experienced writer's block? Craig: I've had good days, and bad days, but nothing described as a block! Geri: What advice can you give to prevent it? Craig: Just keep writing! Geri: As a child, did you have favorite books? Craig: I found pleasure in "The Great Brain" and in "A Farewell To Arms." Geri: As a child, did you enjoy reading a lot? Craig: Oh man! It was the best thing in the world! Geri: If you had the opportunity to one day live the life of a famous author, who would it be? Craig: I don't really care about living the life. I would like to inhabit the brain of someone like Ivan Doig, who sees such delightful possibilities for stories in history, and contemporary times. Geri: Many authors feel a sense of self-satisfaction, achievement, after publishing a book. Can you relate to such feelings? Craig: I feel both, because I released under my own imprint! Geri: How do you balance occupation with writing? Craig: I'm fortunate that my professional life dovetails nicely with my writing! Geri: How did you feel at your first book-signing? Craig: A little bizarre, but it's gratifying to know that someone wants your work, and wants you to put your imprint on it. Geri: If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would change? Craig: It wouldn't change my plans, or my aims! Geri: What was your most difficult task in writing the book through promotions? Craig: I've had to learn to sell my books myself, to approach a bookstore, or library. I'm not a born salesman! Geri: Many writers need to listen to music, or focus on a scenery while writing, can you relate? Craig: I need silence, and a good mental picture of what I want to put into words! Geri: If you were to publish in a different genre, what would it be? Craig: I think I'll hang around literary fiction for a while! Geri: Thank you for your time with this interview. It's been a pleasure! Craig: You're welcome!