Reading! It’s (still) what’s up.

Greetings, my friends!

As promised, here is part 2 of my e-chat with Jeff Vande Zande, the author of the recently released novel, Detroit Muscle.

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When we left, last time, we were discussing whether it could be possible that this (skilled, admittedly) author actually ISN’T a person in recovery from addiction. This book really grabbed ahold of me pretty quickly, and I have to say that I enjoyed the ride. (Pun intended) Nobody had to strong-arm (punny, right?) me into reading it. After a prolonged period of not reading anything purely for my own entertainment, I’m happy to tell you that I’ve been inspired by this one to find another couple of recovery-themed books! “Guts” by Kristen Johnston arrived the other day, and “Scar Tissue” (How tremendous is that title?!), written by my favorite Red Hot Chili Pepper. 🙂 But I digress.

I am impressed with Jeff’s writing style and I encourage anyone who needs a break from the Big Book or the Basic Text to grab ahold of this. It’s just over 150 pages long, and in my opinion, the perfect pool-side book.

(The name and the picture on the cover won’t tip ANYONE off to what you’re reading about. Heck, for all they know, you’re reading about travel, of buying a new ride.) 😉

Here’s the rest of our chat:

4.How did you know that you were ready to write a book? Do you have any sage words for an up-and-coming writer?
Detroit Muscle is not my first book. I have three other published novels and two collections of fiction. I’m not sure that I’m ever ready to write a book only because I know the lonely work that is involved with finishing one. When I get an idea for a book, I spend the first several weeks hoping that the idea will go away. I’ve had many ideas for books but, like with the common cold, if I wait long enough the idea goes away, and I am thankfully cured. It’s the ideas that stay with me, that eat at me, that I end up writing. I just couldn’t get Robby out of my head. I had to write his story because it nagged at me.
As far as sage words, I would tell an up-and-coming writer to be ready to put in the seat time. When I’m working on a novel, I write every day, usually for a few hours. I write the first draft without looking back. I try not to reread or rewrite anything that I’ve written until I have a finished draft. If I start trying to edit or revise too soon, I derail the forward movement of the idea. Someone working on a novel should try to write every day. He or she should go into it knowing that it’s lonely, long work. Also, enjoy the process…enjoy the writing. It’s not about racing to publication, but instead simply enjoying watching the story come together.

5. What would you say to someone newly sober who feels like, since getting clean/sober, everything has turned to sh*t?
I would remind them that they are going through a life-changing phase. Change is often painful and feels different from the familiar. Even if that familiar was harmful to us, it can feel better than the unknown. I would probably tell that person to expect things to go to shit. Shit, however, is a good fertilizer, too. We can grow even stronger from the shit we’ve been through. Embrace the shit.

 
And there you have it! Ground-breaking content (for us, any way) here in Wondrland. PLEASE let me know your thoughts after you’ve read Detroit Muscle.
🙂

I’m off to start on my next literary adventure. Peace out.

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2 responses to “Reading! It’s (still) what’s up.

  1. Ghegheghe ’embrace the shit’. Yep. And this is a big learning experience for me; “If I start trying to edit or revise too soon, I derail the forward movement of the idea.” I have that with anything I do, that is when perfection comes gate crashing and I don’t finish anything. And ‘simply enjoying watching the story come together’ is a good thing too. Need to learn that. 🙂 Guess it is all addict behaviour: not wanting to be where I am at. :-). Learning a lot here. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

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    • lol I loved that last line, too. Part of becoming recovered, I think, is realising that UNLESS we “embrace the shit”, we’re never gonna be able to REALLY give others hope. As always, I’m so glad to see your thoughts. 🙂

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