Hal Alpiar [halalpiar]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
Comic books! With a pad and pencil! My students.
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?
I write nonfiction and fiction -- business, novels, children's books, news releases, marketing and advertising, website content, healthcare, magazine articles, radio scripts, speeches, and love letters. Some samples if you're willing to poke around, at www.TheWriterWorks.com or BusinessWorks.US
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Concentric circles. I start with an idea and build from the center (vs. using outlines). I have my coffee.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Billboards because they're the hardest thing to write -- 7 words or less and tell a story with a beginning, middle and ending . . . AND be persuasive!
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Having firsthand experience and expressing the messages persuasively and with passion.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Both. It depends on the application and the target audience.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Kenht Haruff, E. Annie Proulx, Richard Russo, David Baldacci, Nelson DeMille . . . and the nonfiction authors (whose names escape me) of Devil in the White City, River of Doubt, Last Call, and Love Wins. Lots more, but I'd have to run up two flights to my library to list them!
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
To be based on a real person or composite of real people. I use composites of real people.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for myself. I have to please myself with the story and characters. I am a tough self-critic and ferocious editor of my own work.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Does reader feed-back help you?
Always. I have as many readers read as possible.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
All the time.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I 've found mine, but it's different with every work.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I am very achievement oriented and set rigid (but flexible) goals for every project. If that sounds crazy, it might be, but effective goals have to be firm and moveable at the same time.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Everything. Opposite of most people (I'm told) I surround myself with visual distractions and audio distractions . . . they help me focus and concentrate!
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Yes. Yes. Yes. That's my process.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
My blog www.BusinessWorks.US; TWITTER; BING; LinkedIn; TBDConsulting.com; and for inspiration: my son's site: www.ChrisAlpiar.com and my daughter's site: www.DodgeballTheatre.com
What has been your experience with publishers?
They are 100 years behind times and until they recognize that the world is passing them by, they will continue to become more irrelevant every day. They need shots of business adrenelin.
What are you working on now?
Selling a children's book series, a novel, and two memoirs that I've written.
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?
Thicken up your skin and the3n dig 'em out of your drawers and closets and dust 'em off and go for it cause you can't take 'em with you if they ain't published. Whadda ya got to lose, a manuscript?