Morgen: Hello, Bruce. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Bruce: I am originally from New York but currently reside in Richmond, Virginia. For more than 20 years I have been involved in the music business in various capacities from studio engineer and mastering engineer to live sound reinforcement. I also have a degree in English from The University of South Florida. A few years back I began combining the two disciplines and I started writing for numerous music magazines. In addition to books I continue to write for many different music publications.
Morgen: Two notoriously tough industries – presumably you’ll have had some rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Bruce: I have had more rejections than I care to think about. I don’t really have any trouble dealing with rejections. I have never submitted anything that I didn’t believe in 100 percent. I have been around the block a few times and I know not everyone will get it and to be honest I don’t expect them to. I am just looking for the one person who does get it; the rest just get tossed into the trash bin without so much as a second thought. Art is very subjective; I understand that and fully expect to receive tons of rejections knowing I will eventually find the right outlet.”
Morgen: Absolutely it is just one person’s opinion. Just a shame if they’re the editor of your favourite magazine but as you say there are plenty of outlets out there. How much of the marketing do you do?
Bruce: I have become my own best proponent. With technology the way that it is now it is quite easy to grow a fan base and then connect with them on a regular basis. Social networks like Facebook have become invaluable in this day and age, especially when as an artist I am working on a limited budget.
Morgen: I’m on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and have met some really wonderful people that way… many of whom have been on this blog. It’s literally opened up the world. Did you have any say in the title / covers of your book(s)? How important do you think they are?
Bruce: When I was working on my books “For Those About To Cook” and “For Those About To Cook, Pure Metal” I worked hand-in-hand with Safkhet Publishing. They made sure that I was involved in the creative process and always made sure I was fully satisfied with the covers before they went to print.
Morgen: What are you working on at the moment / next?
Bruce: At the moment, my second book, “For Those About To Cook, Pure Metal” is in the editing stage which has freed up some time for me to tackle another endeavour I have wanted to attempt for a while. Sticking with the music and food genre I have created and begun filming a musical cooking show I am calling “Brutally Delicious”. Basically it is a show where bands come into the studio, chat about their new project and then cook an original recipe with me in the kitchen; think Rachel Ray meets “The Headbangers Ball”.
Morgen: That does sound like fun. 🙂 I guess this is less of an apt question for non-fiction but do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Bruce: My mind gets way ahead of me when I am writing and typing so even though I have been at this for a while I still find the need to go back and edit; sometimes significantly.
Morgen: Oh dear. 🙂 What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Bruce: My favourite thing about writing is the whole creative process. I absolutely love taking an idea and putting it to paper watching it eventually grow into the project that I had envisioned. I find that I can so easily get lost in writing and brainstorming that the hours literally fly by.
My least favourite aspect of writing is the business side of things. I cannot stand all the corporate nonsense that comes along with the whole process. I guess if I made enough cash as a writer and could pay someone to do that for me it would be ideal. Now however, writing, music and cooking are passions of mine that really get me out of bed in the morning even if they don’t pay the bills.
Morgen: Having just given up my job (two weeks ago) I’m in that situation but you’ve got it spot on; you need the passion. I have it in JCB loads. 🙂 If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Bruce: Jesus Christ, whether you believe in him or not his impact on the world has been huge and has changed the world. So much has been written about him both good and bad that I would love the opportunity to sit down and break bread with him. I would have so many questions. As far as cooking I think a good Middle Eastern dish would be appropriate, maybe some Falafel and Tabouleh followed by a strong, black Turkish coffee.
Gene Simmons from the rock band Kiss. As a long time fan of the band the little kid in me would love to sit down and chat with him over a meal. Even more than that though he is a fierce businessman and marketer and I would hope over a nice long meal he would impart some of that knowledge to me. As far as a meal I think a nice hunk of rare bloody beef would be appropriate – perhaps an extremely rare prime rib and a Bloody Mary to wash it all down with.
I would also like to sit down and share a meal with my all-time favourite author James Joyce. He was an author who wrote his way and on his terms; commercial success was not the goal. The goal was to create fresh, vibrant fiction that pushed boundaries and moved into uncharted territory. I would absolutely love to pick his brain on the craft of writing. As far as meals go perhaps a nice Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage.”
Morgen: I think I’d want to keep asking Gene to stick out his tongue to see if it really is that long. 🙂 Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Bruce: “If it is too loud you are too old!”
Morgen: I love that. Thank you, Bruce.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome critique for the four new writing groups listed below and / or flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays. For other opportunities see (see Opportunities on this blog).
The full details of the new online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, are:
- Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group (http://novelwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/508696639153189)
- Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group (http://poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/388850977875934)
- Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group (http://scriptwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/319941328108017)
- Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group (http://shortstorywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/544072635605445)
We look forward to reading your comments.