Mr. Raven Interview Excerpts I from Book Marketing Buzz Blog
Q: Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
A: That’s easy! A lifetime of reading and enjoying the work of other authors. Asimov, Crichton, Heinlein, and too many others to name brought me here. With many of my favorite literary voices silenced forever, at least on our earthly plane of existence, I figured it was my turn at bat. None of us live forever, so it is now or never. Leaving stories for future generations to enjoy is the closest to immortality we might get.
Q: Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
A: The current iteration of my writing career is young—barely a toddler in chronological age. It might have been a young adult by now, as I should have started twenty years ago. My first short story was never published, but was historical fiction inspired by a World War Two pilot that I had met at an air show. It was about the Tuskegee Airmen and their struggles as an all black fighter unit in a segregated military. I thought the story needed to be told and would make a great movie. Lo and behold, it wasn’t long after that a couple of movies were in fact released, both of varying quality. Feeling the market thus saturated with that particular subject, I shelved my own story and my writing aspirations went dormant along with it. I realize now that instead of being fearful that my story might be taken for cashing in on what was suddenly a popular subject, it could have served to further enhance important topics on racial equality that are in the headlines almost every day now. The lesson here is to have faith in your writing if you, and your readers, know it is a quality product.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?
A: The biggest challenge was getting out of my own way. Thinking that I wasn’t good enough, or that my work wouldn’t measure up to the articulate masters that inspired me. I am a perfectionist, but with that comes the risk of productive paralysis. We are often our own harshest critics, and that can be a good thing as long as there is a balance. The balance can come from the feedback of others. If someone reads your story and is genuinely moved emotionally then it is wise to place that feedback on the scale of your own lack of confidence. The more positive reviews I get helps fend off the monster of self-doubt that constantly lurks, whispering in our ear. The first time one of my stories moved someone to tears, I also became tearful with joy. I was experiencing the words I had written in a new way, through the eyes of another. It’s one of the best feelings in the world and a new author will never experience it unless they have faith, stop procrastinating, and give their story life.
Q: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
A: The biggest mistake is the belief that one can edit their own material! Maybe some can do this, but I think an author’s brain takes mercy on us and smooths over mistakes that the less biased brain of a good independent editor will catch. It’s uncanny, but a scientific fact. I can still find an occasional mistake in books printed by the largest publishing houses, so what chance did I think I had? The lesson is, do your best proofreading, and then still hire a professional editor. Then sit back and be shocked, amazed, and even dismayed at how much you missed