In my quest to learn more about writing, I interviewed Andy Szpuk. Novelist, short story writer and poet, Andy Szpuk is based in Nottingham, UK. His historical memoir ‘Sliding on the Snow Stone’ is available from multiple web retailers and is also stocked by The Bookcase, a leading independent bookstore in Nottingham.
Do you have a routine, for starting a new project?
I’m currently working on a historical novel: Crystalline Heights. In a sense it’s a follow up to Sliding on the Snow Stone in that it covers another little documented episode of Ukrainian history, but it also tackles other themes. I’ve constructed a story plan in quite some detail, but have also left enough room to develop the project as I go along.
Do you have a special place with complete peace and quiet, not necessarily your office/desk?
There’s far too much traffic (in a literary sense) running through my head to get peace and quiet, but I like the idea!
Do you find you have to be in a particular mood before you start? Can you explain that mood?!
I’m lucky because I’m an even-tempered kind of guy, so nothing much really bothers me, and if it ever does, I channel that energy. I try to turn it into something meaningful.
What do you enjoy about writing?
Exploration. Of myself, and of others. And of the world in general, past, present and future.
What are the pitfalls to watch out for and which important lessons have you learned?
Complacency. The great thing about writing is that it constantly prods you to see whether you’ve done the best you can. Usually you haven’t. Making the necessary improvements is hard work, but worth it. And the occasional bouts of crippling self-doubt need to be embraced to drive you forward. Some reckon arrogance is required to be a writer, but I disagree. Humility is far more important.
Is there anything you would like to change about blogging?
Interesting question! Sometimes I think it would be good to have a mastery of HTML code and CSS, but then I think it might eat up more time and keep me away from writing, so I’m happy to keep things as they are.
This is an interview with professional blogger and author Andy Szpuk by amateur blogger at Majoula’s Chronicles.