I am especially pleased to welcome Marc Shapiro this week to my blog. Marc and I are both published through Riverdale Avenue Books and have the pleasure of working with the lovely Lori Perkins. Marc does something which I would very much like to do which is write celebrity biographies. If he ever let’s me pin him down, I’m going to force the secrets of his success out of him. His recent book about Katie Holmes had me up until the deep hours of the night.
As for Marc, he has published approximately 40 non fiction books. He is a published short story writer, a published poet and a published comic book writer. He actually makes a living doing this.
Don’t tell the authorities.
1. Did you always want to be an author? If not, what else would you have done?
By the time I was 13 I had already gone through the paleontologist, heavy metal rock guitarist phase. From then on it was write or die. As you can see I’m not dead.
2. Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or the voyage of the damned?
Any writer who says their road to publication was a stroll in the park is delusional or a liar. Even when its good it’s the voyage of the damned. If it were all a bed of roses everybody would write. All writers worth a damn wear their scars proudly.
3. Who is your favorite author and why?
Charles Bukowski. He was real street, real honest, the ultimate outsider. After that Rod Serling, HP Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Ginsberg, Kerouac, all the beats. Henry Rollins, Patti Smith and all the rockers with a writer’s heart.
4. What influenced or inspired you to write?
Freedom. The opportunity to live by my wits and imagination. The idea that writers are cool people. I could go on forever.
5. Describe your writing style?
It depends. With my non fiction, it tends to be more straightforward, more journalistic, but with a certain amount of gonzo where appropriate. With short stories, comic book scripts and other forms of fiction, you come up with the story and just let yourself go. Each story tends to dictate its own style. It’s instinctive. You know when what you’re doing is right.
6. The novel you would like to see turned into a movie?
My current novel in progress ‘Fade In…Fade Out’. It’s one sick puppy but with very real character and story. No pussyfooting around with this one. The movie would be unrated.
7. How important is it for you to keep your life as a writer separate and your private life separate?
People who know me know what I do. When it comes to promoting something I’ve written I’m the ultimate publicity whore. I’m on facebook and that’s pretty much the extent of my interaction in between writing gigs. Not big on parties and hanging out. But it has been known to happen.
8. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert with extrovert rising.
9. Are you an island unto yourself in your writing or does the input of critique partners push you along?
Nobody reads my work until it’s done to my satisfaction. With my non fiction the manuscript goes from myself to my agent to my publisher and that’s it. I have one trusted friend who reads my fiction. I value his opinion even though I usually ignore it. Opinion only…communicating with people on a work in progress can be the creative kiss of death. Yes I know alot of you do it that way and that’s okay if it works for you. To each his own.
10. What music are you listening to these days?
Lots of rock and pop from the psychedelic 60’s. Classic rock and heavy metal…Sabbath, Dio, Maiden, Cirith Ungol…Forever Changes by Love…The soundtracks from The Exorcist and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.
11. What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?
Not so much the best but the most inspiring…My grandmother told me that I would wind up dead in the street if I tried to be a writer. Proved her wrong. At the end of the day I learned that one should write because they have to…not because you’ll make alot of money and get laid. Writing calls you. It comes in the night and does not let go.
12. Where can we find more information about you and your books?
All my books are on Amazon. Drop a note to my agent Lori Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will steer you in the right direction. Haunt the brick and mortar stores that are still left and demand my books.
13. Do you have any last words?
Write if you have to. Otherwise just get out of the way.