8 Fragen an Wallace Stroby

1. Do you have a specific place where you write? How does it look like?
I have an office in my apartment. One wall is floor-to-ceiling bookcases. I have a big desk with my laptop and printers and a lamp. There are shelves on both sides of the desk, and above it is a large print of Edward Hopper’s 1939 painting “New York Movie.” On a far wall are racks of CDs I sometimes listen to while writing, and framed photos of Bruce Springsteen that were taken by photographer friends of mine at local concerts.

2. Which book particularly touched/fascinated you (lately)?
Night Dogs by Kent Anderson. It’s the second book in his semi-autobiographical trilogy about a Vietnam veteran who becomes an inner-city police officer after his return to the States. The first and third books are Sympathy for the Devil and Green Sun, respectively. They’re gritty and sometimes brutal, but deeply compassionate at the same time.

3. Did you ever wish, after publishing a book, that you did something different in it?
Not really. Usually when I’m finished with a book, I don’t think much about it afterward, except when I realize there was something I left out and it’s too late to include it, which is always frustrating.

4. Do you plan ahead a lot or do you (sometimes) just start writing right away?
I generally start right away once I know the characters and the general situation, and I don’t outline. In the last couple books though, I’ve had to outline as I went along, if only to keep the material organized in my mind.

5. How old were you during your first writing attempts and what were they?
Probably nine years old, and writing down on looseleaf paper the stories of movies I’ve seen, at that time mostly Universal horror films, I recall.

6. You are on a deserted island, all by yourself – except one of you characters. Who would you like to have with you and why?
Crissa Stone would probably figure out a way to get off the island – though she might leave me behind in the process.

7. How/where do you get the ideas/topics for your books?
Ideas are the easy part. Fleshing them out enough to sustain a novel – and having the energy required to spend the time writing it – is more difficult. And it’s very easy to second-guess every decision you make.

8. Some advice for people trying to be authors on how to stick with writing and keep motivating themselves?
To quote Stephen King, there’s only one piece of advice you can give aspiring writers – read a lot and write a lot. If there’s a secret to it, that’s it. Though clearly that’s not a secret at all.



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