Welcome to the sixteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. Today’s is with novelist / article author Dick Blizzard. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hello, Dick. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
Dick: Married (53 yrs) with four children, one grandchild, Retired Delta Airlines International Captain, Former Naval Aviator. My wife and I cruised the West Coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico for 23 years, Currently licensed to command boats up to 100 tons.
Morgen: 53 years… that’s longer than I’ve… no I won’t say that. 🙂 What genre/s do you write?
Dick: Factual Articles based on my experiences in aviation and boating and life. Fiction – I have written two novels, both available now on Amazon as ebooks.
Morgen: And what have you had published to-date?
Dick: My Naval Aviation article “Into the Abyss” was published in FlyPast Magazine’s 2011 Feb issue. My Article, “Better to be Lucky than Smart” is currently available at www.airliners.net. It is a factual account of my hijacking in a Delta DC-9.
Morgen: Wow! Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Dick: No. I would like to find an agent. ‘Author House’ wanted to act on my behalf to find a group to make my novel, An Eruption of Decadence, into a movie. I declined because they were asking for up-front money and offered no specifics.
Morgen: A definite red flag. I’ve heard mixed reports about AuthorHouse and, like anything, unless you can go on recommendations you can trust, it’s always worth being very careful. You mentioned that your books are available as eBooks, do you read eBooks yourself?
Dick: I do read ebooks on my Kindle. I have found formatting the text to be a challenge.
Morgen: I’ve not played about with mine too much yet but I look forward to doing so. What was your first acceptance and is being accepted still a thrill?
Dick: Kentucky Explorer Magazine published a factual piece I wrote about my dad’s family enduring hardships in SW Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. I was thrilled when FlyPast published me recently.
Morgen: Well done. 🙂 Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Dick: I have been ignored and I don’t like it.
Morgen: I thought like that with the first couple but now like to think that they’ve read it (it’s always nice to think that someone has) but that it just wasn’t for them. Hard but they’re par for the course. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Dick: I have decided to rewrite my first novel. I feel I have grown as a writer and it is a story I am passionate about. I intend to make it better.
Morgen: Great idea. I always equate writing to playing the piano, play (write) a bit every day and you’ll get better. I now stop if I feel I’m waffling (as is often my way) or going off at an unnecessary tangent. Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
Dick: Yes – I try to stop at noon, but sometimes it goes into the evening hours.
Morgen: I know that feeling. 🙂 What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
Dick: Writer’s block happens – I let it cure itself.
Morgen: Short and very sweet. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Dick: A little of both – I don’t use an outline.
Morgen: I find if I plot too much that it doesn’t stick to the original plan so I’m vague and let it take care of itself. Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Dick: No – they are all on my blog for sharing.
Morgen: That’s very generous (or brave?). 🙂 What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
Dick: I get into it and sometimes forget it is not real – that irritates my wife. She likes my non-fiction better. I am terrible at marketing. I took marketing at the University of Miami – if I learned anything, I forgot it.
Morgen: Marketing’s hard. I think you just have to belong to as much as you can and keep jumping up and down saying “pick me”. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Dick: Have fun.
Morgen: Absolutely. Writing has to be about / done with passion. In which country are you based and do you find this a help or hindrance with letting people know about your work?
Dick: U.S. My blogs entries are read around the world.
Morgen: Likewise, although the majority (US:UK 2:1) are from the US. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
Dick: Airlines.net, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube have all generated ‘hits’ for my work.
Morgen: I must get my work on YouTube. Where can we find out about you and your work?
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Dick: I like to do presentations and they have been well received. Also, I have been told many times, “You have a vivid imagination.”
Morgen: Which does come in handy for a writer. 🙂 Thank you Dick.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on this blog) is free.
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