Sunday, March 28, 2010
An Interview with Award-Winning Author Sean Chercover
Sean Chercover, for those who haven't ventured out of their bomb shelters in a couple of decades, is an outstanding crime, mystery, and thriller author based out of Chicago. Check him out at www.chercover.com.
Sean's literary achievements include an Anthony Award, Crimespree Award, CWA Short Story Dagger Award, and a Dilys Award, just to name a few.
Q) What was the defining moment or event that sparked your desire to become a published author?
A) Not sure there was one defining moment or event. My mom used to read me bedtime stories - Curious George was a favorite - and when we ran out of books, she'd sit by the bed and make up new Curious George stories. I remember being struck by the idea that all these amazing books were actually written by someone, just like my mom was making up stories. So the interest in storytelling started very early. By the fifth grade I was entertaining the fantasy of writing fiction as an actual job, and it was around that time I wrote my first short story.
Q) You enter a lot of contests and have done well in them, and deservedly so. How has that affected your writing career?
A) Actually, my publisher enters my books for awards, and I've been very lucky, and won more than my fair share. Those awards are helpful to my career, both in terms of validation, and in terms of making my name more familiar to a wider range of readers.
Q) “A Sleep Not Unlike Death” is an award winning Gravedigger Peace tale. He’s chilling, no doubt about it, and yet a character we want more of. What are your future plans for him?
A) Thanks very much! I'm thrilled by the response that I've gotten from readers to Gravedigger, and to that story. I suspect, at some point, Gravedigger will get his own book - maybe even his own series. Time will tell...
Q) I know you moved your writing office out of the house. How is that working out for you?
A) It's working beautifully, thanks. My productivity has gone way up. The office is a five minute walk from home, but it is a world apart. No phone ringing, nobody knocking on the door. When I'm at work, I'm at work. And when I close the computer and come home, then I'm no longer at work, and my family gets my full attention. I'm not tempted to sneak away to my home office and write. If I really want to work in the middle of the night (and that's not unusual), I take the walk back to my office. But the separation of the two is very good, both for my work and for my family life.
Q) Do you still have your Popeil Pocket Fisherman?
A) I do, and it still works! Been a couple years since I've put it in use (I do have a "real" fishing rod) but thanks for the reminder - I'll give it some action this summer.
Q) What advice can you give to a struggling writer trying to become published?
A) 1. Write (fiction - not blog posts, not Tweets, not Facebook status updates).
2. Read (fiction - not blog posts, not Tweets, not Facebook status updates).
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2, six days a week, for the rest of your life.