DAMON GLATZ Author of Clash of Men releasing December 2018 from Burning Willow Press
I know many writers who jump in all different genres, so what is your favorite to write?
I like a challenge, so far once I have finished a story in one genre I move on to try another. My current trilogy is fantasy, but after that I want to try sci-fi, or horror. I don’t know if I will ever revisit fantasy again after this, I think I have said everything I wanted to say.
Currently, there are over a million books that I want to read… and some I have in the past I wish I had written myself, do you have any that you read that you thought about and said, I wish I had written that book?
Not necessarily books, but really specific emotions that I feel when I experience other works that make me think “How can I make my work feel like this?” For example, there’s an episode of Black Mirror (San Junipero) that I wished I could have written, only because it was so emotionally beautiful I just dreamed of having one of my works having that effect on people. I’m getting closer. I think the grand conclusion of my trilogy will be emotionally impactful to readers and that is what I am really working towards.
What is the one thing that you must do to get into a writing mood. For me, it is listening to 80’s hair metal.
My noise cancelling headphones, with those I can write anywhere once I can shut down the world around me, but I usually listen to movie soundtracks or other instrumentals. Vocals are distracting when I’m writing, I just need the music.
Is editing your story just part of the job or does it literally kill a part of you to “kill your children” as it has been said? What about making revisions?
I’m a perfectionist so I don’t mind editing. What I hate is re-writing. Starting a chapter from scratch or re-doing a scene is the worst thing for me. Re-writes become a chore and I lose momentum usually. Thankfully this is rare.
When you read a book by another author do you ever look at it and criticize it or edit it in your head as the way you would have done it yourself?
I get that way with movies and TV, not-so-much books. Movies I become very critical and removed from the story as I watch. A good book sucks me in and I don’t get a chance to think about it critically until I put it down and mull it over later.
What would you like to be chiseled into your headstone?
Headstone? My pyramid will be as magnificent as it is large, citizens of the future will marvel at its magnificence and wonder if I was a king or if I was a God.
But I’m sure it will mention something about being an author as well…
What was your favorite candy to get at Halloween as a kid?
Anything that is not candy corn. Why people buy that coated wax I will never understand. However Kit-Kats of any flavor are my favorites.
What is your favorite Halloween ritual? And if you do not do that… what is your favorite Halloween movie?
Gathering with my friends to watch Netflix’s collection of awful B-horror films with some drinks and candies is always my favorite “ritual.” That’s what Halloween is for me and I am excited for that every year.
Beach, Mountains, Country, City? And follow up… favorite season… just a hint here… you should say Autumn.
I am a rural guy. I don’t like cities and I’d rather be in a place that’s peaceful. I can’t stand crowds, that’s why I need to work with my headphones because if I can hear others talking I can’t write. And I will advise your hint and agree that autumn is indeed my favorite. It’s the right temperature, all the best holidays, I love it.
I know my “To Be Read” list is never ending and grows daily… how is yours? And do you prefer paperbacks or e-books? Notice I did not ask about audio?
Oh god, I don’t read nearly as much as I should. Personally my list is all probably movies and TV shows I want to catch up on. Which I like doing because I find myself learning about writing just as much from visual media and it takes less time. And I think the only e-book I ever read was my own as a test, 100% of my book collection is physical. I’m not against e-books by any means, it’s just not what comes to mind when I hear a new book I want is coming out.
If you could not be an author then what would you be?
Well the dream was to be a Hollywood film director, it turned out to be easier to get my stories out across the written page rather than on film. But I’m young and who knows where this all leads. But I have been writing my whole life so this is pretty much inevitable.
Cats, dogs, both, other?
Growing up I hated cats and loved dogs. As I grew older that started to change and now I love my cat and could not imagine having a dog. Recently I could do either or but they have to be low maintenance.
Most newbie authors are told to write emotional state in what they already know… so how did you break away from that newbie status of writing what you know in the beginning?
Fortunately, I was never given that bad advice and I have always pushed myself to write things that are foreign to me. Like acting, I do research and put myself in the scene before I write. While I agree it is certainly easier to write what you know, to me that implies that you should learn what you don’t know before you write about it.
Advice in one sentence to a new author who is not published yet?
Absorb everything you can from people who know more than you, which is probably most people.
Do your siblings or other family members support your choice to write horror? Fantasy? Erotica… if you do? SCIFI? Other genres?
My family would support my writing regardless of genre. I think if they could choose most of them would prefer historical fiction because most of them are history buffs, but fantasy can kind-of dip into that realm so I got close.
Do you ever use writing as an excuse to get out of doing things with the family… especially the in-laws?
I have never used writing as an excuse to get out of something I don’t want to do, however I have to commonly miss out on things I do want to do because of writing. I guess in college I skipped class a few times because I was deep in writing a particular chapter and I couldn’t pull myself away. Those moments will always be the best for me.
Beta Readers, Proofers, Editors… all are important to produce a better work of literature. So, who would you say is the most important in your team? Or do you not have those in place and are working on that?
I have a small army of friends who always want to beta-read my work, which is a blessing. It is really nice to not beg for beta-readers like I have seen some authors do and I have a great and supportive network of friends and relatives that not only ask for my material but encourage me to keep writing, so I would say they are the most important to me.
In your day of writing… do you push through it all day or do you take mental breaks?
This definitely depends on the scene. My favorite scenes are the climatic action sequences and I can get deep in writing them. If I feel I need a chapter of “travelling” or “world building” I will take rests to get through it. I like high energy writing, if I’m not excited then it can sometimes feel like a drag.
Book signings? Necessary evil even for the introvert?
My favorite part of being an author is talking to the people that enjoy my work. Not just a supportive friend, but a stranger who went out of their way to read my book and then meet me. I want to talk to them, hear from them, learn how the book affected them. That is the most awesome experience I could ever feel and book signings are an excuse for me to live that moment. And it is an equally awesome moment for a fan to meet the author of a work they enjoyed so it is great for them too. I have been on both sides of book signings and it is awesome either way, I love the idea of them and how could you not? These people came to meet you! How cool is that?!
What do you have coming out in the next year and who is producing it?
Oh boy. Well first of all there is this book, Clash of Men which is the first of my End of Legends trilogy coming out in December, brought to us by my friends at Burning Willow Press. Then book two of that series, Battle of Mythics, coming out in this summer. I also have other projects I am working on such as my writing series Pen & Sword on YouTube along with new surprises like a web comic that is turning out to be a lot of fun.
What is your go to alcoholic beverage of choice?
Any German lager. Preferably in a gigantic stein.
In the book, Misery by Stephen King, his main character celebrates the end of the Misery books series by smoking a cigar and drinking a scotch so, how do you celebrate a finished story?
A deep breath and a picture taken on my phone to send a few people captioned “I’m done!” Then I go back and re-read…
Ideas come from all over. I get mine everywhere… so my question is what was the inspiration for the last (or upcoming) book you released?
This is a story I have wanted to tell since I was a child. I cannot retrace anymore where the inception of this story originated, but I can look back at journals from decades ago and find notes, maps, ideas, all for this story. This isn’t saying much at my age, but, this has been a life’s work.
Where can we stalk you at? Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, website?
I am trying to improve my social media presence. That’s part of the publishing part of this whole thing I am trying to get on top of. I am most active on Facebook but the most interesting stuff will be on my YouTube channel Pen & Sword.
While writing, has any of your own stories given you nightmares?
Not nightmares, I almost never have nightmares in general, but I have dreamed out scenes with my characters before. It’s probably because I am often thinking of my stories as I am falling asleep and they just carry over to the other side. I’m fine with that, it’s usually two characters battling which is fun to watch.
Have you ever seen a movie that was better than the book? If so, what was it and why?
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was better than the books and I will die on that hill. Not the hobbit, just the original trilogy movies. The books are classics but I think they struggle to hold up to this generation of audiences, the movies are masterpieces that are damn near perfect.
When writing a novel, do you have an intended audience (i.e. adult or young adult)?
I have always joked that I keep my books “PG-13”. Something intended for older readers but can still be enjoyed by younger ones too. I don’t want to exclude anyone, so I keep my options open. But I would definitely say young adult is the targeted demographic.
Do you ever base characters on people that you know? If so, do you ever kill said characters and feel bad?
A better question is, do I have a character that is NOT based off a person I know? Myself and my friends and family are all over my books and other works. And in my personal experience my friends LOVE getting killed off. Being an action series, having a climatic heroic death is something they feel excited to be a part of and they know it is always for good fun.
As a reader, what are some ways that I can discover new independent authors and novels?
Bring up writing at work, or in circles you would not expect. Whenever I bring up my writing in my day to day life I keep finding more and more closeted writers who are inspired to get their work out there. People you would never think of, you are surrounded by talented writers who are just intimidated by exposure, which is understandable. Or maybe they just have an idea but don’t know how to get started. Trade work with them and help each other out, that’s always the most fun part.
What is your ideal writing space?
In all honesty, just putting on headphones and writing in the school cafeteria was always my most favorite place to write. That’s where it all began for me. An hour between classes, a soda next to me, a keyboard, and a good idea. I don’t need much, and I miss those days, it was simple and something I could do on my own. That was always so special for me and I don’t know if I will ever find those moments again…
Do you ever feel that your characters have a mind of their own and change the course of the planned storyline?
Absolutely, and I was not prepared for this at all when I started. There were a few scenes that I lost control of and the characters had their own ideas for what was about to happen. After a while I let it take over and figured the characters knew more than me. For my second book I expected it and actually planned on it, a few times I sent them into situations I had no prepared outcome for, they always found their own solution that surprised me. I always interpreted this as something well developed characters will do and I embraced it as a positive thing.