I’m kicking off a new Author Interview Series! First up on this beautiful sunny Friday is fellow Indie author Robert Krenzel, the mastermind behind the historical fiction series, Gideon Hawke.
You can see my interview with him on his blog here: http://robertkrenzel.com/2015/06/05/interview-with-amanda-clay-author-of-the-ya-novel-rebel-song/
1) When did you first know you would write a book?
I guess I always knew I had it in me. I thought about writing one about 15 years ago, but never really got anywhere. A little over two years ago, after bemoaning the quality of a book we read together, and stating rather pompously that I could do better myself, my son and daughter challenged me to go ahead and write one. So I did. I’ve always told them they could do anything they set their mind to, so I suppose it was time to show them as well.
2) I know that you’re a career Army officer. How has your military experience influenced your writing?
In every way imaginable! We are all products of our experiences and you can spend over twenty-three years doing something so all-consuming without it leaving a mark. The Army has deployed me all over the country as well as to Europe and the Middle East. I’ve had some pretty intense experiences (like nearly getting blown up), and have learned a lot about the value of life and love. I have seen the aftermath of outright atrocities. I have friends who suffer badly from PTSD, who are missing body parts, or who are never coming home. I know the wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of fallen heroes. And I have left my family behind to wonder if I would come back. All of those things are floating around in my head when I am writing, and sometimes they make their way onto the page in one form or another.
3) Which book, or which author, has been the most influential for you as a writer?
Wow! Tough question! I would have to say I thought historical fiction was nonsense until I read The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. Not only did it inspire me, but that book’s impact on popular culture, and on our perception of the Battle of Gettysburg, showed me how powerful it can be to translate the real-life drama of history into a form people really want to read. I hope the Gideon Hawke series makes a few people want to learn more about the American Revolution.
4) What writing genre would you like to tackle other than Historical Fiction?
I would love to write traditional history, but I am not sure I have the time for the research. Maybe if this writing thing works out and I don’t have to hold a regular job… I also think it would be fun to tackle a mystery or horror novel.
5) How do you handle that pesky writer’s block?
I just do something else. Most of my best ideas come at awkward times, when I can’t write them down (jogging, mowing the lawn, driving home from work) so if I am lacking ideas, I go find them, and then try to remember them. My more serious problem is that when I have time to write, it is often hard to focus on just writing; when the creative juices start flowing, sadly, it is often soon time to do something else (pick up the kids from practice, go to bed, and so on).
6) (I’m stealing this one from you because I love it) You have two hours to spend at any location on earth, sharing conversation and the beverage of your choice with any author, living or dead. Who is the author, what is the beverage, where would you choose, and why?
While he is not always thought of as an author, Ben Franklin and I would sit down over a bottle of Merlot, on a warm spring evening, at a table along the Liberty Mall in Philadelphia. I am sure Ben would enjoy a nice French wine, and I know I would! I would love to hear what he thinks of what Philadelphia has become, if he even recognized it. More importantly, it would be incredible to get his perspective on some of the “Founding Mothers and Fathers.” Given his wit and sense of humor, I’m going to bet it would be a wonderful couple of hours. I just hope I could keep up!
7) When they make a blockbuster movie out of The Glorious Cause, who do you see playing Gideon?
Most of my favorite actors are way too old! I would actually really love to see the casting director find a talented unknown actor, someone from out of nowhere, who could take the role and make it his own. If that doesn’t work out, I could see Jason Dolley doing a fine job; I think he is a tremendously underrated actor.
8) What are you reading right now?
Actually, I am reading your book, Rebel Song! It rocks!