Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the ninety-ninth, is of humour author Thomas Sullivan.
Thomas Sullivan is the author of Life In The Slow Lane, a humorous memoir about teaching driver education to teenagers for a cut-rate company in Oregon. He was an In-Car Instructor who worked with kids on the road once their classroom instruction was completed.
His book was originally published as an ebook by Uncial Press, and was recently released in audio form by Cool Beat Audiobooks. Thomas’s other humor writing has appeared in a variety of online journals including The Short Humour Site and Bad Idea Magazine, among others. He has been an instructor in a number of vocational and educational settings and currently lives in Seattle.
And now from the author himself:
To use a bad driving pun, I began writing by accident. The company I worked for occasionally had a car die and busy students frequently missed lessons. Our scheduling was also erratic, so I often had a few hours between lessons. This created “down time” on the job that I used to write about the funny episodes that occurred while I was teaching students and interacting with my employer. Over time I assembled my collection of tales into a narrative about a year teaching great kids and working for a questionable employer.
I don’t think one needs formal training to be a good writer. But being untrained does mean that a writer needs to find a good editor and be very, very open to suggestions. I was fortunate to find a great editor (a gentleman in Virginia named Kevin Quirk) for the initial draft of my story. The editors working for my publishers revised the story even further. So my one insight to the process a writer goes through is that the stories we produce don’t belong solely to us. They are meant to be collaborations and openness on the part of the author is essential. This is often difficult to accept as an emerging writer.
You can find more about Thomas and his writing via…
Author website: http://www.thomassullivanhumor.com.
Audio sample: http://www.prx.org/p/71515.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with poet, biographical fiction author and political journalist Matthew Abuelo – the four hundred and twenty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.