- What type of books do you write? Though I believe it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly what type of books I write (or plan to write), I will say that I hope to bring a more robust, character-oriented flavor to genre fiction, and, if it’s not to pretentious to say so, bring it into the literary mainstream. I think this has been happening already with writers such as Mat Johnson, Lev Grossman, Victor LaValle, Jonathan Lethem, etc. So I’m not really looking to reinvent the wheel. If anything, I’m looking to explore, expand upon, and refine what others are doing, and hopefully, in the process, stumble upon something great.
- What is your latest or upcoming book about? Well, on the surface it’s about a boy whose father tries to make him into a superhero, vis-à-vis a mélange of what might be called ‘Manhood Tests’ combined with unhealthy amounts of a plutonium compound, and a dash of divine intervention. But while the superhero narrative takes the stage somewhat in this book, The League of Somebodies is really about the ways in which knowledge and tradition are passed down through the generations. It’s also about gender, and the dangers of tribalism.
- What inspired you to write it? I won’t get too specific with this one, but I will say that family had a lot to do with it. You really are your father’s son sometimes; you can’t escape who you are, even if you try. But I also had a funny exchange with my wife one night, when we somehow imagined a horrifically hilarious image of a child being forced to run from a train by an angry Scotsman. You might say it began there.
- What did you do before you became an author? I traveled the globe for a bit, teaching ESL. I lived in New York and went to grad school in California. Odd jobs seem to be a big part of writing. Whatever helps pays the bills.
- How does it feel to be a published author? Better than not being one, that’s for sure!
- Any advice for struggling writers? I know this is pretty much ‘the thing to say,’ but I’ll say it anyway: keep going. You can’t really stop if you want to see your words in print. The fact of the matter is that you have to convince people (a lot of people, hopefully) to pay 13.99 plus tax to spend 14 or so hours with characters, language, and plot that someone else other than them created. You can’t delude yourself with the fact that thinking if you don’t write your book will still get done. Books are long, and won’t finish themselves. You have to focus, maintain pace, read a lot, and get something on the page. Serious writing is a job. One shouldn’t forget that.
- Where do you see book publishing heading? In a good direction, actually. I don’t fret for the future of publishing. If anything, I think more people are reading, and authors will have a big public thirst to quench. But I do worry about monopolies, Amazon and the like, pushing small bookstores out of business. Small bookstores are what helped me survive up until this point. Losing them would be like losing a life raft out at sea.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.