Here at Literative we care about helping writers find their own, whether that help comes in the form of tips, prompts, or inspiration. However, we also enjoy interviewing authors, giving them exposure, while providing inspiration for upcoming writers. This week, we’re shining our spotlight on author, poet, screenwriter and editor, Mitchell Bogatz, whose latest work, Tiny Instruments, has been generating some rave reviews on Amazon.
When and why did you decide to become an author?
I first decided to be a writer when I took Metaphysics in college. Before that, I thought I would major in philosophy, but I realized that philosophy isn’t just people pondering the world. There is also a mathematical language to things, and a way of writing that purposely makes ideas more confusing so people can appear smarter. I realized that’s not what I wanted. I didn’t want people telling me how ridiculously intelligent I was. I wanted to share my soul with people. From the time I was a kid, I always knew I would write. It wasn’t until then that I realized that I wanted to be a writer.
What about your chosen genre appeals to you?
I’m not a one genre author. My first novel is a science fiction, but my second (a work in progress) is a novel about adultery set in the 1920’s. I don’t want to limit myself to a genre. I don’t like people putting limitations on what I am capable of writing.
Have you ever used a writing prompt to help you come up with an idea?
Only with flash fiction. Never with my short stories or novels – but who knows? I don’t really care where the ideas come from, as long as they are excellent and original.
How long does it take you to finish a book?
Again, that depends. I wrote Tiny Instruments in 7 months… But then I didn’t do anything else that entire time. I had no social life. I’d quit my job and was living off the money I’d saved up to write. I had a lot to prove back then – to myself and to the less supportive members of my family. This next one might take me a bit longer.
Do you outline your plot first or do you come up with the story as you go (pantser)?
I outline, and I outline a lot. The outline for my first book was over twenty pages.
What do you think is the most important part of a story?
Characters. If the characters aren’t there, your story is just a list of events. “Bob ducked this punch”, “Mary kissed this guy” and so on… If Bob and Mary aren’t completely real, I honestly don’t care if they are dodging punches while kissing each other. It means nothing. I would rather read about two real people sharing an awkward, knowing glance. The best stories, however, are a combination of both characters and events.
How much do you think your environment (geographic, population, etc..) impacts your writing?
A lot. Philosophy and Psychology are an integral part of my writing.
What have you found to be the best way to market your books?
Twitter is really nice. I built my following through blog posts and such. I post interesting content that every writer can enjoy – and then, I post what I really want to be re-tweeted: information about my writing.
How do you handle rejection and negative reviews?
I read them, I feel bad for a few seconds, and I move on. You have to be thick-skinned in this business. Dwelling on it is wasting time that you could be using to write.
How do you find your courage? A lot of new writers are scared of putting themselves out there to be judged. So much so, that many of them never even take the first step. What advice would you give to them?
If you’re scared of being judged as a writer, you only have three options: stop being scared, quit writing, or fail… You have to want to write enough that you would do it even if you knew you would fail at it. Once you know that’s the case, you do everything you can to make sure you don’t.
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
A novel called Cavalcade. It’s set in the 1920’s and it’s about adultery. That’s all you’ll get out of me right now. I don’t like making promises about what something will be like or when it will come out. Writing is for me, not anybody else.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Sure. If you commit a crime because you thought I was subliminally trying to tell you to, that’s on you. That has nothing to do with me.
It may be too obvious to point out without being redundant, but Bogatz has helpful advice, entertaining answers, and talent. We’d like to thank him for being a part of our little project, and wish him the best on Cavalcade, which sounds like a great story already!
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