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A Brief Interview With Will McCoy by Will McCoy

The interview I’ve earned but have been denied. This is what happens when great
writers are ignored due to an over competitive industry with those in power taking to
cheating and bias, they have to create the whole thing themselves. I hope this will
change one day, but in this society, who knows when that will be…

What is your name all about, and who are you? Where are you from?

The name Will McCoy is a pen name I chose after I completed my second book, Traffic
Light. Will McCoy is what I call a blurred boundary term for real mccoy, a word(s) that
looks or sounds similar from a certain distance, enough to cloud the mind and the parts of
the mind that discern meaning, similarity, difference, etc. Philosopher’s like Jacques
Derrida and Ferdinand De Saussure go into some of these tricks of the mind which are
often key elements in many of my stories. It’s similar to the name I chose, ‘Jim Ewen
Ortekle’, which is the pen name I attributing the artwork to in the book, a play on the
phrase genuine article. My real name is Dylan Christopher, I was born in New York City
and grew up in the Hudson Valley, and have lived all over, from Vermont to Southern
California.

What have you accomplished as an author of fiction?

9 novels, counting my almost complete new novel Second Citizen, which would be my
strong point, novels. A handful of short stories, less than twenty. I have a good 60 or 70
ready to go, in various stages of being complete. My first full length short story
compilation Head is in the works, although with so many novels to complete, I have no
exact date for completion. As for the novels, there are close to 150 more, all with covers
designed, the next 30 have entire front and back covers and the books are put together in
document files, like complete books ready for e-book or press. Very few authors can
claim this. Most authors have trouble coming up with new books every few years. I think
I can write 5-10 of the best quality books every year, provided I secure the correct
contract. Mine aren’t cheap dime store novels either. Although all of them are completely
unique, they’re styled after award winning works by the likes of Graham Greene, Chuck
Palahniuk, Ken Kesey, etc. There is no shortage of things to say about the human race. I
design all of my own covers at this point, another accomplishment, and I stand by the
statement that they are of the highest caliber and represent my characters, stories and
concepts to the fullest extent. The books, although have prices, bar codes, and reviews,
aren’t part of a selling ploy. The books themselves are not for sale, I am not self
published. The books are printed, although are only authors copies and are intended to be
distributed to legitimate and qualified agents, editors, authors and people in the industry,
as well as select friends and family, as representations of my work to make selling them
an easier affair once I secure the right contract. The real accomplishment is in the time
I’ve completed them in and the quality of the books. Six of them were within the span of
three years. They are as good or better than what you will find on the Barnes & Nobel
best seller rack, and I will refund anyone their time that feels differently. No other author
will guarantee this, and that goes to show how confident in my work I am. I’ve also yet to
have anyone try and take me up on it, which some say isn’t possible. With my work, I
believe it is. To top this off, I can and have written 400 page books in not much more
than a month, and my book One was written and completed in 2 weeks. It was later
revised, so perhaps another week or two of general work hour time was put into it, but
this was over the course of the following two years, which gave me some more insight
into the editing process, which is part of what serious writers grow into and go through.
My first book The Devil Has A New Name is 777 pages and was completed in 77 days.
My next book Traffic Light took me just over a year to finish. It’s 650 pages and still not
where I want it, although it’s my magnum opus in many senses and after one more re-
write should be complete. All of my work took a tremendous amount of organization,
patience, talent, drive, and sacrifice to accomplish, and I feel there are very few, if any
other authors who have been able to do anything similar. Not of the caliber my books
have turned out to be, nor for the fact I did all of the cover art, editing, and the rest of it
also, in a society that pushes so hard to keep people out of the business and away from
turning their work into a career. My final accomplishment is a 500 page non fiction
private periodical titled Rattlesnake And Copperhead Dens Of The Northeast, on the
subject in the title, that rivals many scientific journals and is more so a mixture of coffee
table book and field guide, with hundreds of color photos and notes from field work I
conducted personally on the subject. The book is not for sale as it deals with the locations
of endangered species, although is a masterpiece and one of the most informative pieces
of literature on the subject, and a great example of what I am capable of completing. The
general book was completed within months, although has been updated over the previous
year, and is still an ever updating work in progress, as I visit more sites in the area.

What are your main concepts, driving forces, selling points and/or opinions that
represent you as an author and your work?

I write about darkness, mainly. And everything in between. The suffering of humanity, I
often add a satirical element, and some of my novels are meant to be more humorous than
others. They all have a very real edge to them and I do my best to capture reality, to bring
the readers closer to consequence and the real world, not some illusion of words to dupe
them out of anything. My humor is what many might see as sick, but it’s this brutal
reality I aim to capture where one must find their own way to relate and react. Some cry,
others laugh. Much of life isn’t really that funny, but sometimes it’s all we have. The
truth is often what makes us laugh, and without the truth, facts, honesty, we have nothing.
This I feel is why my work is so dark and honest. Otherwise I feel I am doing a disservice
to readers. I do not aim to dupe anyone and I think all of this weak and empty fiction out
there does little more. I aim only to bring readers closer to themselves, to the truth. I also
have some beautiful, truly gorgeous novels coming, like From The Hole In The Sky,
which is done in accordance with Watership Down by Richard Adams, and some other
books filled with a prose hard to match. Many of them though also have a dark layer to
make them relatable and real. I primarily write about capitalism as a theme, as this is one
of the primary central concepts of great writing and a popular topic as of lately in
particular, although I think all of the best novels had this idea in common. Lord Of The
Flies, The Quiet American, Midnight Cowboy, One flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest, The
Man Who Would Be King, Death In The Afternoon, The Beach, Deliverance, Infinite Jest.
Great novels are multifaceted and have various layers, like diamonds or brilliant
gemstones. They cut into the mind at different angles, causing various reactions, bringing
to light different human emotions, taking readers through different experiences and this
is what I aim for in all of my work and deliver in every book. As a former film major,
they were all designed to be turned into screenplays and films, packing catchy
dialogue, heavy action, depth, conflict, voice, unforgettable characters and plot twists
that render the entire story easy to transfer to the screen.

What other authors or people are you most influenced by?

Number one might be Bertram Russell. I feel he saved my life in some odd sense,
Problems In Philosophy more than any other book helped me find my reason when my
emotions took over and I lost a good deal of my mind. I was heavily in denial for many
years and drank way too much. I’m not an alcoholic though, never needed any
recovery to stop, and have a deep understanding of consequence from facing my
denial. I think many people exist in deep seeded denial and don’t even know it. Some
of my denial stemmed from all of the horror in my life and the terrible things
happening in our society, some of it was from dealing with what I think are constant
lies, inaccuracies, disinformation, all of which lead to mistakes in our conscious
thought process, most of this due to capitalism and all the problems and evils of what
humans are doing to try and save themselves, no matter whose lives they destroy.
Other problems are just the facts of nature, I try to go into them in my work. Logic and
deductive reasoning really fascinate me though and are elements I play with in my
books. As for novels, Journey To The End Of The Night gave me a deep understanding
of disparity which has helped lift the blindfold from my eyes and show me the true
depth of human suffering. Celine, like many of my favorite authors really only had one
great book I could read, but these facts and ways of showing me the world the way he
witnessed it are truly spectacular, and important for me as a writer. Another great book
from that time period is Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars, a really powerful twisted
story, with very complex and impressive writing. Of course Dickens is my favorite
author. Oliver Twist is perhaps the greatest book ever written. It is extremely clever,
deep, multifaceted, the characters and the writing itself is brilliant. Hemingway is
another, Death In The Afternoon, A Farwell To Arms, both are also favorites. One Flew
Over The Cukoo’s Nest is probably my number one favorite book of all time, followed
by Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlighy. Both are touching, deep, honest, tragic
and as real to me and frightening as anything in the world I have touched or
experienced. My modern favorite would have to be Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk,
some of the greatest style and form and use of language I’ve ever read, such a strong
concept so well executed, although I’ve yet to read anything else of his I like nearly
that much. Of course, Bukowski is my favorite short story writer of all time. His
favorite book Ask The Dust, by John Fante is great and I have dark, more serious books
like this coming along. The Beach by Alex Garland, Deliverance by James Dickey,
Faulkner, and of course Cormac McCarthy, our greatest living author. No Country for
Old Men, The Road, Child Of God - these are masterpieces that contain all of the right
elements for great books that can be easily turned into deep, dark, honest films, and his
style and prose is top notch, perhaps the best I’ve read. Hubert Selby Jr. is another
influence, for his hyper real and brutally honest portrayal of the side of America we
rarely see on TV screens, and his dark statements about consequence and the truth of
life, particularly about how America works. Of course Graham Greene does this in The
Quiet American, another great book that can help lift the blindfold from any believer.
Another, Lord Of The Flies, which is one of the most balanced, easy to read, and
brilliant novels ever written, for its every all around book component that it possesses.
It’s well balanced dialogue, well paced action and growing suspense, is a perfect mix
on my grade scale, and so I can’t not mention it here. Steven King’s Running Man, I
think is his best work, for being short, brilliant, brutally honest, and certainly is an
influence. The stories he wrote that were turned into Stand By Me and The Shawshank
Redemption are also brilliant, and I enjoy these deeper more realistic stories than the
genre based horror and epic fantasy novels that are closer to cheap thrills in my
opinion, he certainly has all the talent in the world. I guess he has had a number of
other very good books like Carrie and The Shining, although I wouldn’t say he is one
of my main influences when it comes to style. I also have a different conceptual aim,
although King’s ability to be our number one commercial author in America is highly
impressive, along with his deep understanding of setting, the feelings his works illicit,
and is something I aspire towards achieving as well, the number of books he puts out
are also impressive and I am working to follow in similar footsteps. I’m not as
influenced by novels like Ulysses or Infinite Jest, as I feel they aren’t well balanced,
but I still think they’re brilliant for the writing content and so I often mention them
with some of the above works. Like Journey To The End Of The Night, which is a
favorite, it’s too difficult to turn some books into a good film, and I think this shows
the imbalance of the works, no matter the writing content. In my opinion, a great book
will have all the components that make a great story, and any great story should be
easily translatable onto the screen. There are exceptions, One Hundred Years Of
Solitude, Don Quixote, Moby Dick, although I think the correct formula and all the
right balance is what makes a novel truly great. A non-writer who also impresses me is
Alex Honnold the rock climber, certainly as for people lately in the public eye. I’m
impressed by his dedication to such a dangerous lifestyle and the risks he’s taking,
obstacles he overcomes, and the general mastery he has over himself. In some sense I
feel I am doing something similar, although I wish getting published and on shelves
were easier, and I’d rather live in comfort than always fighting for my time to keep
writing, which many authors that have accomplished less than me have been able to
achieve. I also will not sell out or drop the quality or quantity of what I am achieving,
and I think a guy like Alex Honnold is living by similar sacrifice and so I can’t not be
impressed by him.

How do you stand out from other authors?

My balance. I think it can be hard to call enjoying a book anything but a subjective
experience, although often I think this idea is over used to knock the salability of a
book, particularly relating to the level of mastery it might possess, by those looking to
stop it from selling. The competition in this business is fierce, and this makes getting
into a position to sell legitimately perhaps more difficult than having something worth
selling. The other truth is different people are looking for different things. Because a
lot of life is all a big contest, due to the rules and the inner workings of capitalism,
nobody wants less quality or to work harder and fail, and so life has become an
equation for most, and people will take to any choices that make their math add up for
them, even if it screws up all of yours. Remember, opinions can often be muddled with
facts and there are arguments no one has time to prove. This makes it easy to target
books as personal experiences unable to be judged. Many of the same people will then
often try and say it doesn’t measure up to current market trends. Sometimes I think it’s
correct. If you’re a writer who didn’t do the work, it will show. To assume this is
always true is a mistake. A great book will be well balanced, something many writers
cannot accomplish. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference, and there are
certainly people playing favorites on the business end of it. You can’t quite compare
Midnight Cowboy or One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest to any other book, but they’re
incredible statements and have all the correct components that make them great. They
are well balanced novels. This does not mean everyone will read them or like them, but
I would say they are measurably great, timeless, classic, when standing next to other
books, for the balance they’ve obtained in all areas of the spectrum of what it takes for
great books to posses. This I believe is what I posses that many writers these days lack.
Funny through, my personal life is incredibly imbalanced due to all the sacrifice it
takes to write books that come out like this! My other real talent lies within my
understanding of how to write a great fiction book: My understanding of story,
character, dialogue, voice, concept and style. I have a natural ability to understand the
very heart of many complex current issues happening in society, as well as the ability
to see through time and capture those timeless themes, the recurring aspects of being
human that I can use to make controversial statements about life. This gives me the
ability to completely show how various parts of human experience work while
remaining true to my conceptual themes and the story structures themselves. I am also
well versed in creating powerful, believable characters, often with unique ways of
speaking and recounting their experiences to make my points. Many of my books are
highly stylized to top them off, and have very particular patterns of word usage and
‘tricks’ to help lead minds toward my points, stories and meaning. This really becomes
an editing process that anyone can learn. A large vocabulary, lots of understanding and
wisdom, long wordy sentences, or too many facts can all throw off the balance.
Simplicity I feel always works best, although with some of my works, I do a lot of
research and I play with different styles. I read a 900 page book on insects to write
Beneath The Nothing And The Nobodies, for example. The final thing I posses is a
great ability to empathize with many different types of people. My books, the first
person stories in particular, are often written with authentic and unique voices of very
different people, even non human ones, such as SLAVE, which is told by a female
android. Beneath The Nothings And The Nobodies was written from the point of view
of a one inch cockroach from the ghetto, and One, by a fifteen year old boy born with
one eye. Like actors do, I can become different people. See, feel, taste, sense like them.
I have to, to get to know them properly. I also have to meet them, sometimes have
entire experiences with them. This can make things interesting and even difficult. I
made a lot of poor choices in my life that I look back on and think, “Why the hell did I
do that?” In some sense, I think I was looking for the knowledge, and authentic
experience of knowing gritty human life to get myself ready for what I’m doing now.
Authors like Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, or William T. Vollman, who
have a journalistic edge to their pursuit of great books are especially people I look up
to and have strived my best to emulate in the sense of immersing myself in life to gain
the authenticity of whatever it is I’m learning about with hope to know it fully and let it
soak out into my work. Men, women, children, every type of person, I seek to
understand, and so I’m always asking people questions. Racists, even murderers, and
this can make life difficult, spending so much time being other people, leading myself
in and out of many horrible scenes inside my mind, and all the ideas I have to sort out
and experience without ever engaging in, to accomplish what I do. Especially while
constantly realizing so much of it is real and frightening and happening all around me
more and more, for the reasons I uncover, as I continue to grow as an author. This is
what I have to do to get my stories and so I do it. I should also add, I take no medicine
to attain this, nor use any tricks other than dedication, sacrifice, self acceptance,
understanding, patience, and whatever I can afford by trying to best organize my time
to write, which is what I spend most of my time doing. Hard work is always key in any
art form or business. I also study law and health to protect myself and know what
choices I need to be making and would recommend no one attempt to do what I do
without some sort of support system and greater knowledge of what they are doing,
although I think it really is key for any aspiring author to learn everything they can
about themselves and also these very difficult aspects of writing, before they attempt to
get into the business where the difficulty only increases. Sure Hemingway and
Bukowski were drunks, but in this day and age, that’s nearly suicide in my opinion and
a sure sign of imbalance. That is one example of how competition has changed and
only a very surface level one, but my desire is to stand out mostly when it comes to
quality. I push for balanced books that are that next level above my competition.

Do you have any accreditation, publishing history, or other experience in the


industry worth mentioning?

I am not yet published, although am highly accomplished. My work has been requested
by top agents and editors. I have been recommended for the Iowa Writer’s Workshop,
and several other MFA programs, by top writers and authors and people in their field,
although I hold no college degree. Most of my work I would say is self taught,
although I’ve read many books on writing and the techniques involved, some of them
several times over, the dictionary itself, cover to cover, more than once. Not being a
scholar has had a tremendous impact on me on being taken seriously, although I think
I’ve done better and accomplished more in a shorter amount of time than most literary
college graduates have or ever will. Although I was not accepted to Iowa, I hold no
resentment nor envy. At Iowa they promised me that all Pulitzer Fiction Winners went
to their program, and there are some very good writers who went there, but I have yet
to see an author come from that program that can match what I feel I have earned
with my work. Not even the teachers I feel have written the number and quality level
of books I have, and I’ll leave it said like that. What I’ve earned is the ability to
understand this and feel very proud of what I’ve done, even without the recognition
yet. I can sit next to master authors and know what they’ve been through as well as
know the one’s that aren’t legitimate. I do not claim to be the greatest writer ever. I
know I am very good at what I do, this also doesn’t make me some perfect person. I’m
far from it and not afraid to admit it. I’ve met and read writers so talented I couldn’t
even begin to compete with them. Writers like Tom Robbins, their mastery, wisdom,
intelligence, and there are many others. They continue to floor me with their superb
understanding of the craft and of life itself, however, I believe I’ve already
accomplished more than many of them. My books are better balanced, more complete,
more marketable, current, cutting edge, and can more easily be turned into the kinds of
films that I think are innovative enough to be remembered and help actors and
directors advance in their careers. I will also say, my books could be edited down,
chopped and changed by a professional editor. Some of them are like director’s cuts for
films. I also do not believe they are perfect, unto anything but themselves. There are no
perfect books, but what I’ve written is as close to it as you will find in this modern era.

How do you see the industry and the people that work in it?

I’ve been quite discriminated against and it’s grotesque. The industry has been ruined,
would be an understatement. A good example would be the whole James Patterson
thing, but he’s an easy target. Patterson had two fairly good books that he did early on
in his career breakthrough stage that sold a lot, both were turned into films, which
made him popular. His popularity took him to being able to do it as a career. He writes
fast, he’s not bad, although his latest stuff I think is really sub par. He keeps his stuff
away from controversy, which is exactly what the Catholic organization I believe he
actually works for, wants. They lent him the kind of money to turn his writing into a
production line for what I think is their own agenda to influence minds, get their
agenda in the hands of readers, which is part of a much greater numbers games they
work over the ‘souls’ of people they have no business interfering with, and so he hires
50 other writers, to hog the shelves in book stores, and get his name on novel’s he
hasn’t written, to pay his debts for million dollar homes and all that, which, the latter
of, I have no problem with. Again, I really don’t have much of a problem with any of
that, or writers like him. They earn the reputations they have, as we all do. Guys like
Louie L’Amour, George Simenon, they wrote as many books, and as far as I know, did
it themselves. Writers like Steven King, who I feel hasn’t put out a lot of the kinds of
books I like in a long time, still sticks with his formula, and does it all himself,
completing 2-5 books a year, which is a remarkable accomplishment for those that
know. Maybe James doesn’t want that impressive kind of reputation, which is his
choice. I have no problem with the money he’s made, who doesn’t want that kind of
stuff he has? I’m glad it’s achievable, imagine if it wasn’t? I also like James Patterson
on a business level, and admire him for other reasons, but the facts are the facts, he
isn’t writing his own stuff. In a game like baseball, this would be compared to doping
or the likes. Although, you also have to be aware, he hires writers who aren’t good
enough to be big name authors. I don’t know if this is some form of exploiting, but I
also like to think he’s doing something to help in his own way. I could be wrong. So,
that said, James is a unique case, and so, more so than James, it’s his backers I
disagree with if they are ruining the business for others. Really, it gets hard to point
fingers, there are so many problems in the publishing world, and the rest of the world
itself, which in my opinion leaves so much to write about and fewer people who want
or have the time to enjoy the work, know the good work from the bad, know how to
protect and endorse the good work, which is a whole other problem that causes so
many more of them. In simple a lot of the people in power are phony, bought out, or
too involved in other things. All of the middle men who are out to get the new writers
from having a chance to be read at all would be even higher up on the list. Pay-to
publish and other vanity scams, unqualified small presses, self publishing is perhaps
the worst. It’s made Jeff Bezos a multi billionaire, who has done a lot for authors with
Amazon, but has helped trap others in this trick, which it is. No serious author will
make a career or gain a readership by making that mistake. It has happened, but the
statement alone is designed to mislead people into some very, very difficult odds in a
business that is already extremely difficult, which makes the misleading a deception at
best. The best authors strive to work with teams of professionals and people who
should have the aim and qualification to deliver the highest caliber of work to readers,
although all of that has changed. There have also been people on the literary and
teaching side of it I feel are bent too far in the opposite spectrum. To them, it’s all
about your commitment, how long you’ve been writing, who you know, where you
went to school, how young you were published, how many short stories in various
small periodicals you’ve achieved, what class you’re from, how many times you’ve
been rejected, how well you behave amongst the wealthy, etc. Not that these things
aren’t also important, in my opinion you can never be good enough, too over qualified,
or have a level of nobility that can’t be attacked, although I believe balance is key and
this imbalance in the industry is the main problem. But remember, a good marketable
book, especially is it’s of high quality, is a good book. Creativity and all the honor,
courage, and strength of great fiction doesn’t always come pre-packaged in a plan from
your local church, and many of those that dominate the industry seem to care more
about control than they do about the quality, the work on shelves at your local
bookstore should be plenty of proof of this. I also think a lot of the teachers and
schools and people in positions of judging our upcoming authors are extremely biased
and not at all playing fair. It’s a numbers game and is so imbalanced in the wrong ways
for such a select few, what we are seeing is the result. Why aren’t there more authentic
books like Midnight Cowboy, by authors with unique voices and points of view like
James Leo Herlihy? Sure there’s some cheap knockoffs, but often it seems a lot of the
great books just aren’t being written. Aside from said reasons, there are also other
reasons for this, as I believe these problems go far beyond the publishing industry, all
of it is affecting our race, the human race itself. Bottom line, books need to be
available to readers that have the kind of value that should stimulate feelings,
encourage reactions from others, examine the difficult things in life that give back to
people by helping them through life, not tricking them out of it. A good story is key,
but there are other components that make great books, innovation, depth, truth, to
name a few. That’s what I strive for in my work. The problem is many readers don’t
have enough experience with authentic, brilliant, quality writing to know the difference
and so this is exploited and I think there’s so much of it out there it’s hard to even
explain. Truly great books eventually get recognized, and for that alone I keep going.
Good genres and epics that everyone can read are great, but it’s often those smaller
catchy clever ideas and stories that, when executed properly, I think of Fight Club by
Chuck Palahniuk, The Life Of Pi by Yann Martell, Everything Is Illuminated by
Jonathan Safran Foer, Endless Love by Scott Spencer, The Grey by Ian Mackenzie
Jeffers, Perfume by Patrick Suskind, No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy,
these are diamonds that are so important to the coming history of this industry, part of
great lessons for all of us, not just in story telling but in what these author’s are saying,
and it’s become a trend for authors to emulate, most of which fall short of it. A lot of
my work I aim for the likes of them, and feel that I am delivering. All of the previous
were award winners and turned into films, and I think this is key to great fiction. All of
my favorite films were based on great books, and although there are many wannabes
and attempts at this, I think few are able to actually pull it off. There are also great
books like Infinite Jest and Ulysses, but these are imbalanced, hence why it is hard to
turn them into films. A good book these days needs all of the components, and
unfortunately, from what I’ve seen, so few have them, and I imagine I’m not alone in
achieving this and being denied access to readership due to many of the above reasons.
Of course, different writers are at different points in their careers, and all of these
situations function like little barriers to keep people caught up in different places, and
so all I can do is keep pushing on and proving how great my work truly is. It speaks for
itself and I stand behind it fully as an author with very little hesitation and am
confident the truth of it will shine through and help these authentic stories overcome
the obstacles they have been met with. In simple, it’s a time game now, not even a
money game. That’s what none of them want you to know. Hollywood has become
similar – with a drop in the cost of equipment there’s been a rise in independent
filmmakers who just aren’t qualified, lack great scripts, and end up with empty, hollow
films, even if they have a know-how of all of the big special effects, an understanding
of the style, etc. The big studios are also watered down – all the great actors of the 60s,
70s, 80s, unique people like Brando, Nicholson, Bridges, Stallone, Streep, etc, have
been replaced with hollow soap opera stars and pretty faces who don’t have the talent
and seem to have been chosen merely because they are great at being very competitive,
often with a near brilliant understanding of capitalism and how to make the best self
serving choices, and many if you do the research come from certain wealthy families.
Too much emphasis has been placed on winning, and this has destroyed the careers of
people and even people themselves who are the most talented and deserving and I
think many of them still don’t know it. The new breed, due to their competitive edge,
this doesn’t qualify them in my opinion nor does it return the heart and soul of the
industry and all that we loved in the past, and is the primary reason why movies these
days are empty. Everyone sees it and I don’t think it’s just me that hasn’t seen a film I
truly thought was spectacular and deep and worthy of watching again in many years.
We’ve seen the stuff in the news to back it up, all the corruption and scandal. It’s very
sad. As for the publishing industry, I think a lot of the same stuff is happening and just
isn’t as well disclosed to the public. A lot of the business has turned into talking people
out of dreaming of the big publishing deal, and there are certainly reasons. Most
authors aren’t or will never be that good, many who aren’t get the deals because of
who they know or the strategies and specific regiments they were put on by their
parents since they were children, it’s all really messed up and I know I’m not the only
person who understands this. No one can completely predict the market, but the
general lack of integrity is astounding. Those that have things arranged for themselves
are ruining it for others, although I won’t say any names. It’s very sad and has made
being who I am difficult, but when money’s in it, or changing the schedules of people
that see themselves as more important than you, causing any controversy, affecting
markets, it can be even more tricky, and I think my work is that powerful and this has a
lot to do with why I’m being ignored. Second Citizen, although not based on me at all,
nor any of my set attitudes, is certainly partially meant to be a representation of this.
The discrimination is not unintentional nor based on the quality of my work, but is
often a rigid formula designed to filter out people that aren’t doing everything they’re
told to do. A lot of it has to do with the literary curmudgeons, people so versed in
grammar and literary rules yet who have absolutely no real story telling talent or
understanding of the conceptual, creative and correct commercial elements that are
often far more rare and desirable due to curriculums designed to rake in money and
time from student authors and turn them into editors, teachers and poets as opposed to
helping young writers create anything really powerful or high quality on a commercial
level, but often it’s failed teachers and people who have had this done to themselves
that end up posing as the gate keepers upholding the same barriers. With all of the ‘pay
for your book deal’ traps and other roadblocks in the industry, it’s sad to know that the
books themselves are practically now used against authors who are already at a huge
disadvantage, but that’s the world we live in and I feel blessed to at least be able to
know it with certainty. As I’ve stated, I should already be published and competing on
bookstore shelves, but most of the people I’ve met in the business are self centered,
extremely guarded, over cautious, jaded, downright scandalous, manipulative and
playing by rules no one other than a casino owner or strip club owner would
understand, possessing far from the general integrity this industry has claimed to be
protecting for a very long time. No one accomplishes what I have without backing and
a big financial plan that covers the hard work and time I’ve put into this, and yet I’ve
accomplished it without it. I have also met some great advocates, although many of
them have been reduced to situations by the people who are doing some questionable
things that leave them with little power to change anything. In simple, when you get
good at what you do, you know who is up to what. I’ll leave it said like that.

What are some more specific issues and things you might change in the publishing
world if you could?

If you could is a great way to explain the entire thing. Although on a surface level,
anyone can learn to put together a book. Especially nowadays with the changes in
computers, the entire market is geared toward leading people into ‘doing it all
yourself’. Like IKEA. The people that built these companies certainly didn’t worry
about the consumers and what was going to befall them. When you put together your
own couch, do you have to lift it yourself, move it yourself? And when you move? If
things aren’t fixed I fear there will be no more books, no more teamwork, or anything
that resembles a functional system for people to even be able to write good fiction.
More so, the other world exists but it’s a select club for people that have been cleared
as valuable and I would say have earned it, but I’ve earned at least that and have been
unable to obtain it, for various reasons. One of the biggest ones is time. Time is
everything, as is consequence. People often don’t want to invest in other people or
what they don’t like or who they don’t like. Often it’s a form of bias, any way you slice
it. The consequence of this is that the industry is ruined and many people have
achieved things they do not deserve. Others have been blocked. It’s heartbreaking to
see how crooked and unfair it is. Even beyond my own work, as a reader I started
writing books with aim to try and recreate the classics that I can’t find anymore on
book shelves. Sure there’s some decent writers, but the books are imbalanced, and very
few end up being truly great. There are other reasons though, I think authors
themselves are tapped. There are also authors who aren’t ready and are published long
before their stuff is good, I think many of them stay there. My first book was
completed quickly but was and is not sellable. My second book I think stands up to
some books I see on shelves, and is certainly a very impressive piece of literature, but
is still very imbalanced. Once I wrote One, I realized I had done it. Everything since
then has fit the mold and exceeded my expectations the better I get at my craft. In fact,
I will go so far to say everything I’ve written starting with my novel One and after is at
least as good as anything you will find on the best seller rack at Barnes & Noble by the
likes of George Saunders, Fredrick Bachman, etc. I think A Gallon And A Carton Of
Grace is even better than that, for being sentimental, real and very original, and books
like Johnny Non-Lethal, Slave, and Beneath The Nothings And The Nobodies could be
turned into great films very easily. One is still my favorite book that I’ve written. It’s
short and super clever, innovative, brilliant and one of a kind. If I could change
anything, other than the endless low balling and power of persuasion people use to try
and talk you out of doing things the right way, it would be how I’ve been treated, with
such little respect. Being rejected or ignored for the right reasons is as simple as people
don’t have the time, or aren’t aware of what you’ve accomplished. That can be easy to
deal with, they pass you on to someone that does. But when they don’t and you’re
ignored, and you find the people ignoring you are choosing authors who have not
worked as hard or have as good material you begin to wonder why that is. You begin
to see it’s the time for you they don’t have. You just aren’t worth it is the message, no
matter what you do, and that can be hard to digest fully, that there really are such a
powerful group of people in control working so hard to try and decide our fates,
picking and choosing who lives and dies, so to speak. Maybe even literally. This is a
heavily capitalist country and it can be hard to sort out who is doing what, especially in
the digital world. I think of Charles Bukowski and what he went through coming from
such poverty, and John Kennedy O’Toole, who killed himself after two years of
rejection, and I believe was more so psychologically manipulated and perhaps even
strategically murdered by the same forces that rejected him. As someone who has been
in a situation of trying to save a suicidal bridge jumper, which is a main plot point in
my novel Seven Steps In Every Direction, based on my life, as well as through various
facets of the mental health system, I don’t think this is too far fetched. There is a lot of
shady business being conducted out there, very questionable techniques, and the
consequences of some very rotten things happening all over the place in these times of
great lies and illusions. Books themselves which were one of the things America
fought Hitler over and supposedly won, and were designed to protect knowledge, seem
to have been turned around by similar forces looking to dominate minds and control
markets and decide people’s fates in ways that I won’t even get into, but is near
authoritarian and awful. I stand by my integrity, honesty, and my hard work and the
quality in my books speaks for itself. Ultimately, I think those standing against my
work in the industry will loose the battle. Great books always eventually get through.
They weigh something, have their own time they take, nearly have lives of their own,
and certainly have an effect, even on all the people being blocked from the
consequence they might cause and how they effect potential readers. The market itself
seems more about what can be gained by controlling and influencing the minds of
readers, unfortunately, rather than giving the readers back any real truth or at least a
higher quality of fiction. It certainly isn’t all subjective and I’m always looking for
those other authors with impressive books that have gone nowhere. Very few, if any,
have I found. Of course, I’m still looking.

Any advice for prospective authors?

Know everything, know what you’re getting into. Hidden costs in life are one thing,
add sitting in front of a computer writing novels twenty four seven, the costs only
increase. Time added to the picture, and all of the investment of learning everything,
being an author is a tempting idea and has become lucrative for some, but a dooming
damning position for so many others. Those who aren’t good enough should know
immediately that their talents may lie elsewhere. Know yourself first and foremost. I
studied qigong, yoga, deductive reasoning, psychology, and all sorts of others health
related information to give one an idea of the work I put in. I could write a book about
surviving in the modern age by knowing your local health food store, for example. The
point is, you can never know enough. I enjoy what I do which is why I do it, and this is
something else I’d recommend. If you can’t love doing something over and over again,
it will never be worth it, no matter how much it pays. If you can’t afford it at all, that’s
a whole other argument, which is why I think proper research and patience is a
requirement for anyone looking to get into the businesses. I think a lot of people only
go so far due to bad arithmetic. Do the research and homework first, know what to
expect. Some things you can never know until you go through them. I also think
understanding how other people work is crucial. Not just the people in the businesses
and those who came through before you, but how capitalism and people work in
general. There are many tricksters out there and people who will prove to be a waste of
time. I think others are invaluable, but often sorting them out can be the trick. Knowing
authors like Bukowski, Hemingway, Dickens, William S. Burroughs, David Foster
Wallace, John Kennedy Toole, what they went through as people, and why, this is
crucial. Reading their work, understanding all of their techniques, why certain things
work and others don’t, this is often what separates a great writer from a marginal or
bad one. You can spend so much money on an education these days, on writer’s
workshops, hiring editors and publishers, etc. A really good author needs to spend
none of that, and the end equation, the cost, is just that – the cost. It can be trimmed
down based on what you know, and having the appropriate plan of attack for what
you’re doing. If you’re merely looking to sell pallets full of horrible genre fiction, I
couldn’t give you advice, but there are many ways to accomplish it, although there’s
costs there also, and I think everyone finds their own way in the end. That’s my best
advice, know as much as you can, and be open to learning more, whatever it takes.

Thoughts on your latest work?


Second Citizen is an unparalleled and cutting edge statement about selfishness in our
country. Capitalism is a selfish game, as in many senses, life itself is a selfish process,
and this story examines it in every detail, in a comical, relatable and completely
brutally honest way that brings Independence Rivera, the narrator’s point of view and
everything he goes through in fighting to have his own TV reality show for pissed off
Americans to compete to be the ‘Second President’, and what happens as a result of his
corporate backers giving it a try. Independence works at the studio where he delivers
his pitch and makes his deal, and I wanted to capture the desperate Latino American in
these modern times of Trump Wall, and how he plays his cards to please his bosses,
fights with his competition, and still capture all the brutal honesty of what television
really is, in a way that anyone can understand, whether or not they agree with
Independence, who is a questionable almost anti-hero at best. Nothing else examines
classism, racism, religious bias, sexism, chauvinism, and all the corporate warfare in
the modern workforce and the level of such competition better than this book, and the
proof is in the pudding, soon to be released to a select few in my ongoing pursuit of the
correct publishing deal.

Where do you see your work and career in the near future and beyond?

I see myself being published and getting the attention and the respect I’ve worked so
hard to achieve, whatever that entails and delivers in the end.