Mr. Boddie has graciously agreed to stop by for a chat as part of our Spring Celebration. His latest collection, Conversations with Swishy Pete Volume II, is available from JMS Books (which means one lucky reader could choose it as their prize, if selected as a winner in this week's giveaway):
In this second collection of stories, the fabulous Swishy Pete and his cohorts double the funny. Don't worry, dolls -- each episode is better than the last. Revisit Delicious, Minnie, and Char as they delve deeper into their lives and the unique friendship they share. Join them in celebrating Chars’ birthday as wackiness ensues and the comical Aunt Bessie is introduced. Conversations with Swishy Pete Volume II gathers together twelve flash fiction “episodes” featuring Swishy Pete and his friends as they dish on life in the Big Apple. Sometimes deep, often humorous, these short stories bring a fresh perspective that redefines GLBT stereotypes. So, honey, come listen in as Pete tells it like it is.
Now, without further ado, let's learn a little bit about the man behind Swishy Pete:
♥ What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The very first book I can remember reading is 'Where the Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak. In grade school I was armed with a library card and I spent all my free time browsing books and checking out the max number each visits, in addition to reading I loved being around books, something that is still true today. I loved fantasy books as a child, and I would imagine I was the protagonist usually a magical being. I began to imagine great stories, my imagination became my best friend, and in middle school my stories came alive on paper. I believe that it was in middle school, where teachers were the first to read my stories.
♥ What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genres are gay/lesbian and high fantasy, and an excerpt of my writing is available at http://www.jms-books.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=17
♥ What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
In order for my creative process to begin, I need the right atmosphere and the right set of mind to be inspired by some idea I believe deserves to be brought to life on paper. I'm a title first writer. I need to have a title before the story blooms. I'm inspired by book, music and movies. Usually I hear words that intrigue me and then my mind's eye sees all the components of the story, from start to finish. Then I go to work. If you can imagine a math wizard who sees an equation and then visualizes all the parts in midair, and then solves the problem--That's how my creative process works.
♥ What type of reading inspires you to write?
Books with strong, fluid, narrative driven writing inspires me. I particularly like reading books about post-slavery African-Americans' assimilation into society. For example, Toni Morrison's Beloved and Alice Walker's The Color Purple.
♥ What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
First, an interesting storyline that’s has multiple layers where the curtains are slowly pulled back to reveal the heart of the story. Rich characters who are well-developed, displaying their insecurities, hopes, and dreams. Intelligent descriptions and dialogue which supports, back-story, tone or mood, motivation, and/or move the story forward etc.
♥ What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Third person subjective, I like to get into the heads of all the main characters.
♥ What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
A character that has a unique voice, is easily identifiable, and has a quirky personality—that’s shows all their insecurities, hopes, and dreams by how they behave.
♥ Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for the little boy or girl in Somewhere American that may pick up my book one day and find a connection, not feel alone or an outcast. To blossom a writer career or help them move forward positively in their life.
♥ Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Up until this point it has been personal therapy, I'm currently working on a book where there is a lot of pain at the heart of the story, and I examine how pain and fear manifest in my characters life. It's personal.
♥ Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes, oral storytelling is part of my heritage.
♥ Does reader feed-back help you?
♥ Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
♥ Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes, several different if possible.
♥ Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
Yes, I do, but I believe it changes often.
♥ What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I have a monthly calendar to stay on track of what need to be completed.
♥ What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I have many notebooks of my work ideas, books I love, all the office things, and works that inspire me.
♥ Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write on the computer, trying voice text at the moment. I keep a notebook on each book I write and frequently write detail that come to me and enter them later. I don't print, but would love to hear how other writers use printing in their process.
♥ What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Polish them and send them out to publishers.
A huge "thank you" to A. Scott Boddie for stopping by. You can check him out on the web at JMS Books.
Spring Celebration going, it's also time for you - the readers - to do your part by stopping by, saying hello, and hopefully even sharing a few thoughts on any of his stories that you may have read . . . or are looking forward to.
Don't forget, this is also your chance to become eligible for this week's giveaways, so be sure to include your email address in your comment. Of course, you don't have to be a follower to win, but being a follower will earn you a bonus entry for the week (just let me know in your comment if you're a new follower or an old favourite).