WRITER TO WRITER:
INTERVIEW WITH DAVID EDWARD WAGNER
Here is the complete interview David Edward Wagner recently did with the website "131 Preview Review" with author and site curator SI Hayes. Enjoy!
Welcome to the 131 Preview Review! I'm excited to have you here! I hope you've had a good day. I understand you are currently in Istanbul, Turkey.
My day was good. Just getting some things done and trying to keep up with the never-ending work load.
And yes, I am in Istanbul, for about three years now.
I understand you are quite busy. The interview is pretty straight froward, we'll chat a bit about the work I've read, and segue into other things you have been doing.
Great no problem, I am really happy to do it. Thanks for taking the time.
Oh no problem, I love to read and this Review blog gives me such an opportunity to meet the authors it's a thrill for me.
I really did enjoy "Marvelous Things" it was truly thought provoking.
Cool, thank you. It was interesting to write, so i was hoping some of my own questions rubbed off on the reader. hopefully with just enough action/suspense to drag you along.
It was quite suspenseful, I wanted to pull my hair out with Lt. Abbott around the middle. LOL
Haha, good. that means I was doing my job, right?
You certainly were. You managed to really grip on to what it's like to be in isolation. I have a wee bit of experience with that.
As I understand, it you took to writing Marvelous things with a want to explore the development of consciousness from a philosophical point of view... What brought you to that field of study in the first place?
First, as far as the aspects of isolation, I have some experience with that as well. I think most creative people have their own relationship with isolation, and they handle that relationship with various degrees of success and failure.
With Marvelous Things, I was really interested in diving into the head spinning, mind-numbing, self-questioning haze that one can fall into with extreme, extended isolation, as well as the search for meaning and/or identity that could occur within those circumstances.
This search, I guess, ties into your second comment, about exploring consciousness from a philosophical point of view.
I would have to agree, we all seem to have an inherent need to shut it all out, and down. If only to dissect every little thing that affects us.
I was reading a lot on the evolution of consciousness, from several points of view (scientific/philosophical/spiritual) before I began writing Marvelous Things. And on top of that, I do have an MA in philosophy from SFSU and the questions I was looking at in my creative work (how is consciousness experienced, is conscience necessary, etc.) really began intersecting with my academic interests.
In addition to all of that, I really love bio-synthetic future tech and speculating on various forms it could take. I have always been fascinated by that.
So you've always been a wee bit of a Science Fiction fan or was your interest more about practical application?
As to the bio-synthetic tech?
Yes, I think I have always been drawn to science fiction type stuff. I love technology and science and the mythological structures that seem to underlie a lot of the best works in the genre. I mostly just love good stories, and for my entire range of interests, science fiction (in its widest sense) offers the most bang for my entertainment buck, if that makes sense. I can have fast paced action interacting with strange and visceral worlds and beings, large-scale world building mixed with intense psychological motives and explorations.
And I should add that ever since I was a small child, the blending of human with machine has been an ongoing fixation/morbid curiosity. I perhaps think a bit too much about the different ways flesh and metal could be combined for a variety of uses.
There's nothing wrong with curiosity, morbid or otherwise... It keeps us interesting.
Most of us tend to write what we like to read. IF we weren't all a little twisted in our own liking and thinking there would be little left to interest a reader.
I understand that in approaching me for this piece you are also gearing up for a new release.
Will it be in a similar vein to Marvelous Things or will it be more like your other work Linus Cain: A Dark Fable, which sets around a cult mentality with a satirical twist.
Well, it is science fiction, but I think that is where any similarity between itself and any other books I have written ends. My new book is titled Anchors No More and it is due out in mid January (after pre-orders begin in mid-December). Anchors No More is a time travel story, but definitely a new twist on a familiar theme. In the end, Anchors ends up being as much as a military action/tension, Saturday matinee-style story as it does a serious speculative look at the possibilities and political potentials of time travel technology and theory.
Wow, sounds like readers will be in for a hell of a ride...
The pacing and style of this book is fast and hard. It was originally written as a serial that was released one chapter/episode a week (for 46 weeks). This really effected the pacing and structure of the book which I think really shows in the energy of the writing.
When you're not writing I understand you split your time up between California and Istanbul Turkey. How did that kind of traveling happen for you? Has it influenced your work at all?
Well, I fell in love with Istanbul through old Turkish coffeehouse music I used to play with some friends of mine in California. Over the years, I visited Turkey several times form my home in Northern California. Time passed, I have friends move out here for various reasons, and after getting my MA I decided to go for it.
I live here now with my wife (who is Kurdish) and I write as much as it is possible to write,a s well as spending time researching the business of writing. I teach English for cash and spend the rest of my time traveling, researching, and writing between 4-10 hours a day.
Oh, I never actually answered your question. Yes, living here and traveling so much does affect my writing. Exposure to languages, cultures, foods, ideas... the more the merrier, you know, its all inspiration, it's all ways to expand your mind and think of new ways to express yourself. It all goes into the same pot of soup, you know.
WOW... I wish I could focus enough to write that many hours some weeks, let alone a day! I applaud your dedication. I know what you mean about the same pot! And you've got yourself a very large pot indeed!! Seeing as you don't just write books.
You've written screen plays, music, and have even produced some video from what my research tells me. Going so far as having written what became NBC's The New Normal. What was that experience like for you?
First, I have to say I hope there's not a typo on my website that claims I developed the New Normal. haha, one of my bands wrote a song that was used on The New Normal, one episode, one song. ( i will check the wording on my website, )
I may have mis-read, but yeah I'd check it out. LMAO! Still it had to be a great experience, none the less.
But yes, I do write and perform original music, do some video work (of my own and for hire) and write screenplays, flash fiction, and whatever else i can get my grubby little brain on. ha. I am really trying lately to navigate the business side of modern literature and creative writing. It is a whole new game out there and you have to learn as much about marketing and business as you do anything else. So, I guess I can say I officially went 'all in' with my writing a few years ago, realizing that nothing else could or would make me happy in the long run. Now it is all about splitting my writing time, my creative time, with the need to support a family and develop steady income.
So far, I am writing steadily and producing some of my favorite and best work ever. It is exciting. Now, just hoping that translates into food on the table. haha, ain't life grand?
Anyway, I wish I would have developed the New Normal. Some sort of job security. haha
Hey look at it this way, after reading your work and looking you up I was willing to believe you capable of having your hand in that honey pot. Which says one of two things.
1. Your that good.
2. I have terrible taste...
I'm going with the first one, personally.
It's a long road, but as I understand worth it in the long run. I'm not making any money yet, but I'm doing what I love, and eventually someone else is gonna come along and love it too. And the cash will fly. We just have to keep that positive outlook and keep breaking our assess until that spark burns.
You are exactly right. When i said I went 'all in' with my writing, I definitely meant it. For me, I need to write, I need to do this. I have tried to not do it before and it does not work for long. It is definitely my life and I have done it a long time with little financial reward, just enough to keep a few balls rolling. It is interesting though, I just got married a year ago and it is really changing everything. Balancing my compulsion/desire to create with the all-to-real knowledge that I have to somehow make it earn some degree of income if I am to continue dedicating myself fully to it. It is scary in some ways, but it is also freeing in others. Now, I have no excuses, no time to waste. Every word I write now is joy, every idea I have is used and/or cataloged for future use. I have certainly upped my game, my output and my word count, knowing that it is moving forward, it is closer to the best of both worlds with every page I put behind me.
I understand that compulsion. That need to write. I've never been one to run short of words. My first solo novel was going to be 130K, until I turned it into a trilogy, and even then total it's over 300k. But I don't kill any idea, like you said you filter them and file them away.
It's the marketing part that is hardest. Publicists cost an arm and a leg and most blogger/Reviewers are charging now a days. It's why i keep doing what i do here at the 131 Preview Review somebody needs to stick it out for the indy writers.
You are right, and that is why what you are doing is so important. I appreciate the time you take and the interest you show. I think it is important work, all of this cross promoting/sharing links and ideas/introducing writers to new readers. It is one of my favorite things to do and definitely a bit more grass roots than the 'pay me a lot of money to Tweet a link' route. Indy authors support! rah rah rah!
LOL. Hoorah! As my bro it the army would say!
Thank you so much for joining me today/night. I'm sure that you'd like to have dinner at some point while it's still hot. lol I look forward to seeing what else you have to show us in the next few months. It's been a pleasure.
Do keep me in the loop as I'd love to check out your work as it's available. I'm always here at the 131.
Awesome, I will. And a big thank you to you also. It was a fun interview process. I would love to send you the new book once I fine tune it. Maybe in the next month or so when it goes on pre-order. And thank you again!
Now, off to dinner.
Cheers and have a good day.
Absolutely!! And thank you very much as well! Have a great Night!.
Well That's al we have for this day, do check out David's other works as they all should prove to be quite the "Marvelous Things!
Marvelous Things and Linus Cain are available
in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.
LINKS TO PURCHASE OR PERUSE:
David Edward Wagner on Amazon
David Edward Wagner on Kobo
David Edward Wagner on Barnes and Noble
David Edward Wagner on Smashwords
You can hook up with SI Hayes on Twitter at: @shannonihayes