Eric G. Young [ericgyoung]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The first piece of writing that I can remember influencing me the most was "Jack & the Beanstalk." Even before I was able to read it myself, my grandmother read it to me over and over. I attribute this to my continuing love of fantasy fiction. The first to read my writing were teachers; in particular, I had a teacher in high school who took extra time from her schedule to read my bits and pieces of fiction, short stories and the like. She gave me extra advice, pointers and encouragement.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre of writing is fantasy. I do not have a site where this work is featured. I do blog on non-fiction topics, however, which can be found at:
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
It depends on what I am writing, but a lot of my creativity is triggered these days by something I see on the Web. I spend a lot of time thinking about my writing prior to actually writing - "noodling" is what I call this pre-writing phase.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Most often, history.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Plot, good characters and a conflict with which readers can identify
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
What well known writers do you admire most?
J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
To be believable, a character must be fallible.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Tough question...me, I suppose, but this is something worth thinking about a bit more.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
For me, writing is therapeutic in two ways. First, I love language for its own sake, so if I am able to create a sentence or paragraph that uses language in an interesting way, I derive joy. Second, writing requires discipline which is good therapy for most everyone.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Not in the general sense. If a reader is someone I know is especially fluent in the type of writing I have created, then their feedback is useful.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No competitions as an adult. Competed and won awards as a child. I don't believe in writing competitions as a general rule.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I am not as disciplined now as I would like to be, actually.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I work in different locations, even sometimes in public ones, so this is difficult to answer.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I do write on a computer, but correct on paper.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I am not inclined to do this with my writing.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Depends on the publisher, but they are superfluous in today's market where writers can self-publish quite easily.
What are you working on now?
I am presently in the early stages of a fantasy novel that incorporates one of the most terrifying stories in all of history, one that has been turned into a "nursery rhyme" over the years but is actually a tale of great horror. That's all I wish to say at the present time.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Don't throw a single one of them away, even the barest fragment. This is particularly true if you wrote them as a child because we are at our most imaginative as children.
What did you study? What did you specialize in?
Within the general field of law, the focus of my study was law & economics theory. I do not "specialize" in any particular area of law, as that term is regulated by state law. I focused on civil rights and tort law in my practice.
What has been your professional experience in the arena of law? How long have you been in the profession?
I am in the process of retiring from the profession after 13 years. It is a disgusting profession. I recommend it to no one.
Are there any links we can follow to see something more about you?
What types of cases interest you most?
Cases involving discrimination based on disability, injury cases
Clients can sometimes be emotionally upset. How do you get them to adopt a realistic and rational attitude?
This is quite difficult to do. Patience with the client is the best approach, but in many instances, clients adopt an emotionally inappropriate response to what is happening to them. Lawyers must be mindful that such clients may be in need of mental health services and not to play the role of therapist-lawyer.
What do you do when your gut says your client is lying to you?
What strategy is usually effective, an aggressive and intimidating one, or one that seeks a reasonable compromise?
In the area of litigation, usually a combination of both was how I approached my cases. 98% of all civil cases settle prior to trial, so at some point, compromise must enter the picture regardless of how aggressively one begins.
Is it important to know beforehand the personality and habits of the judge that is going to decide the case?
Absolutely, as well as a judge's political or philosophical beliefs.
Is courage needed to practice your profession?
Yes, but we're not firefighters, so let's not go overboard here.
What is justice? Is there a way to measure it, or is it only a sentiment?
One of the reasons that I am backing out of the profession is that, in our society today, justice is a contextual sentiment. Contextual in that what is "justice" depends entirely on a given situation or even who is speaking. We lack fundamental truth in our socio-legal-political system and, because of this, our system lacks the ability to dispense actual justice.
Is it acceptable ethically to think of a lawsuit as a business opportunity?
Yes, but this is a slippery slope against which lawyers must always guard.
A video shows the guilt of the defendant, but because it was recorded illegally it is not admissible as evidence and the defendant goes free. Is this absurd justice?
What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of the jury system?
The strength of the jury system is that it brings together members of a community to collectively determine rights, duties, obligations, punishments that will apply to that community, guided by legal principles, common sense, human experience. The weakness of the jury system is that, due to unwillingness to serve or inability, the actual makeup of a jury is frequently non-representative of their community, which can affect the outcome of a case.
Is it necessary to maintain a costly and slow justice system in order to avoid a flood of irrelevant cases?
This question is illogical. The speed of the justice system has nothing to do with the relevancy of any particular case or all cases.
Is the amount of attention paid to crime by the mass media excessive?
Yes, as is the way in which attention is paid. The result has been an ever-increasing and irrational fear in this country of one being the victim of a violent crime even though criminal activity has consistently been decreasing.
Where are you headed professionally? What would you like to be doing five years from now?
5 years from now I would like to be focused entirely on my writing and not be practicing law at all. I am considering the possibility of working in the field of legal technology or marketing, however.
What advice can you give someone with an interest in pursuing this profession?
Consider a different profession.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
http://cyberesq.wordpress.com - legal technology
http://civilrightsandwrongs.wordpress.com - civil rights
http://mythbeliefs.blogspot.com - mythology and folklore
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
I started my blogs at various times in 2009. I had taken a leave of absence from law practice due to medical issues, and started blogs to keep my writing and research sharp, explore interest in emerging social media.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
I use both blogger and wordpress - enjoy them equally.
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
My legal blogs receive, on average, in excess of 1,000-1,200 visits per month (I do not watch stats on a per day basis). My mythology blog receives less, as I do not focus as much attention on it as the others.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
Regular posting requires a lot of effort and organization. Having a blog calendar, even if you aren't able to follow it to the letter, is a must. I try to post, on average, 3 times per week to my legal blogs. This, I generally succeed at. However, this schedule keeps me from attending to my other blog.
How do you promote your blog?
I promote my blog by regular sharing on a number of sharing services, blog directories.
Have you ever received gifts for blogging about your opinion of products or services? What do you think of bloggers who do that?
On my legal tech blog, I provide reviews of software or other services. I have received licenses to use services, but nothing else. I strongly believe that all such gifts or other relationships be disclosed.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
I would really like to move into the monetizing phase for all of my blogs.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
Really think about the subject and why you want to blog. There are so many blogs on the Internet that start off strong but slowly fade because the topic was not chosen carefully or the blogger did not realize the amount of work involved.
Eric G. Young