Pete Klein interviewed
Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:27:00 AM
by Peter F Klein
|Klein answers a series of question on writing.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WRITER PETE KLEIN
WHAT DID YOU FIRST READ? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
Probably Dick and Jane. Maybe before Dick and Jane was comics. I don't recall any early desire to write, certainly not before high school. Reading came first. Listening to the radio, watching TV and movies. In grade school, I advanced to Classic Comics. The first major novel in High School was "Great Expectations."
My first creating writing was for a literary high school publication where I published some poetry.
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?
I consider myself very catholic in my reading. Favorite subjects include religion, philosophy, history, science, outdoors. In the fiction category I prefer horror, sci-fi and mystery.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE? What happens before sitting down to write?
When I was in grade school, I used to like to day dream. I view writing as a form of day dreaming. I play with words and ideas for awhile. Look at a blank page, then put down a word and see where it leads.
Words often act like dominoes. One leads to another. There is a hidden logic behind each word.
WHAT TYPE OF READING INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
There is not one type of reading leading me to write.
Inspiration can come from any of my five senses.
Inspiration is mostly emotion. Words trigger emotion, as do smells, sounds, taste, sight and touch.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BASIC INGREDIENTS OF A STORY?
Here I would like to answer with an opinion.
Basically, one could say a story is anything with a start and a finish. How you go from start to finish is called a plot. Here is where I have a problem with the question.
Humans want to believe there is preordained logic to everything. I rather think there is a logic which stems from chaos. I guess this puts me in with free verse, avant-garde and the Theater of the Absurd.
This attitude, no doubt, may cause difficulty for some when I write fiction.
On the other hand, when I put on my non-fiction hat, I strive for objective, logical prose.
WHAT VOICE DO YOU FIND MOST TO YOUR LIKING: first person or third person?
In both fiction, non-fiction and in my role as a reporter, it is always third person.
Only in opinion do I use first person.
WHAT WELL KNOWN WRITERS DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
Well I certainly need to start with Shakespeare. I've read every play and poem he wrote.
I like Joyce, Herman Hess, Thomas Mann, Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Walt Whitman.
But to list everyone I have ever liked would create a small book and I'd probably still leave someone out.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR A CHARACTER TO BE BELIEVABLE? How do you create yours?
Oh dear! What is believable? Who is believable? Life is unbelievable.
I think in fiction, as well as in real life, characters do some unbelievable things. Just when you think you know someone, they do something you would never have thought they would do.
Now I have a question for you? Haven't you ever acted out of character and done something you never thought you would do?
Maybe it is doing something unbelievable that a character becomes believable.
ARE YOU EQUALLY GOOD AT TELLING STORIES ORALLY?
What I am very good at is talking BS for the fun of it and being believed.
DEEP DOWN INSIDE, WHO DO YOU WRITE FOR?
I think every writer writes for themselves. The hope is that you end up pleasing others as well. As Ricky Nelson said in a song, "You can't please everyone so you might as well please yourself."
IS WRITING A FORM OF PERSONAL THERAPY? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
I think the answer is yes to both questions. For me, writing is mostly fun. Bottom line, all art is play and play is often the acting out of things both in yourself and in others you find disturbing. Play brings them out from the darkness into the light.
DOES READER FEED-BACK HELP YOU?
I like reader feed-back, especially when it is positive.
Is it helpful? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
What I would say is every artist must be careful when it comes to feed-back. You want to recognize constructive criticism while not be destroyed by the negative.
DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN COMPETITIONS? Have you received any awards?
No and no.
DO YOU SHARE ROUGH DRAFTS OF YOUR WRITINGS WITH SOMEONE WHOSE OPINION YOU TRUST?
DO YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE ALREADY FOUND "YOUR VOICE" or is that something one is always searching for?
I believe my voice is always changing and I would hope it continues to be so.
WHAT DISCIPLINE DO YOU IMPOSE ON YOURSELF REGARDING SCHEDULES, GOALS, ETC.?
Because I depend on my job as a reporter for the money I need to live, my discipline is to put that job first.
Because reporting comes first, my creative writing is done whenever possible.
I should be working on my novel instead of doing this.
WHAT DO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH IN YOUR WORK AREA IN ORDER TO HELP YOUR CONCENTRATE?
Coffee and cigarettes. The coffee goes cold and the cigarettes often burn without any help from me.
DO YOU WRITE ON A COMPUTER? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
The best subject I took in high school was typing. Now I keyboard on a computer.
I use OpenOffice to compose and edit. Since I self-publish, the final draft is saved as a PDF file.
WHAT SITES DO YOU FREQUENT ON-LINE TO SHARE EXPERIENCES OR INFORMATION?
There are numerous author groups I belong to on the Internet. I do attend local author book signing gatherings where I get the chance to talk with other writers.
Most of the sharing I have done is on my BlogTalkRadio show -http://www.blogtalkradio.com/TheAdirondackBookhouse- where I have interviewed many authors.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH PUBLISHERS?
I'll tell you a short story.
A dear, dear friend is an agent who owns a major Literary agency. Before I decided to go with self publishing, I sent a manuscript to her. She liked it well enough to send it out to several publishers. I think it was the third publisher she sent it to that didn't get back in the usual time. She checked with them and - they lost it!
This was back before I had a computer. I did not have a backup copy. It was gone, gone, gone.
She did not object when I said I wanted to self-publish. My reason to self publish was simple. I was beyond the age of 60 and was in the mode of not knowing how long I might live. I didn't want to wait the years it can take from the time you finish a book to the time it MIGHT be eventually published by a traditional publisher.
WHY HAVE YOU WRITTEN THE BOOKS YOU HAVE WRITTEN?
"Adirondack Hikes in Hamilton County" was the result of hikes I took with my twin granddaughters. The stories were first published in the paper where I am a reporter, The Hamilton County Express. Several readers of the paper suggested I publish the hikes in a book form, which I did.
The two vampire books, first "The Dancing Valkyrie," then "The Vampire Valkyrie," were the result of a long fascination with vampire stories and my desire to do something different. Though I like all forms of fiction and horror in particular, I am a bit of a skeptic. I don't believe in monsters of any sort to include ghosts, werewolves, zombies and vampires. I figured: if there were vampires, they would be natural creatures. This belief resulted in my approach to my vampires.
WHERE ARE YOUR BOOKS AVAILABLE?
My three published books are available at local book stores and libraries (and any book store by order if not in stock, as well as at many online sources including Amazon and Google.
Let's not forget my own web pages at http://www.lulu.com/ravenwolfpublish and http://www.vampirevalkyrie.com and http://www.petekleinvampires.com
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I have two vampire novels, "The Dancing Valkyrie" and "The Vampire Valkyrie," and am now working on the third in the series, tentatively titled "And God Created Vampires."
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?
Show them! Publish them! Be naked and don't be afraid.