Quentin R. Bufogle [quinn]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
My earliest passion was for comic books and at age 10 decided I would become a cartoonist. After attending NYC's High School of Art & Design, I went on to become a contributor to National Lampoon Magazine, as well as the NeWave/Underground title "Depraved Comix." At age 24 I began writing short stories and soon realized that my true passion was for the written word not graphic art. My first reader was my girlfriend.
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 don't read or write "genre" fiction. My first novel, "Horse Latitudes," (published 11/08) is usually listed in the "general" or "literary" fiction categories, tho my writing does have a definite humorous slant and my book has often been described as "laugh-out-loud funny."
You can check out my short story, "Love Song for a Cyborg," at www.goodreads.com/quentin as well as my blog and book reviews.
An excerpt from "Horse Latitudes" on Amazon.com using the "Look Inside!" feature and my blog there as well.
And my "Blue Skies on Mars" blog at www.quentinr.blogspot.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
My creative process when working on a novel involves sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper at the same time each day. I always write in the evening and I always write the first draft of everything (even my blog posts) in longhand on a yellow legal pad (for me, there's something about typing on a keypad that changes the rythm of my writing). When I'm done writing for the day I put the work completely out of my mind until I'm ready to sit down and begin again the next day (something I borrowed from Hemingway) and I always end the day's work in the middle of a sentence so I can immediately pick up the thread and begin the flow again the following day (something I also borrowed from Hemingway).
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Reading doesn't inspire me to write. The absurdity of life inspires me to write.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Well, the "experts" will tell you there must be conflict and your protagonist must "want something." I agree, but for me humor must also be an element.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Depends on the story I'm trying to tell. First person creates a greater sense of intimacy and is easier in drawing the reader in -- tho much more limiting in terms of storytelling.
What well known writers do you admire most?
There are many; my greatest influences are Hemingway, Bukowski and Henry Miller.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Don't know if I'd consider writing therapy tho I imagine for some it is. Internal conflict is essential to creativity (I think) -- you know, the whole "tortured artist" bit. Someone once asked Charles Bukowski if he'd like to write in peace and he responded, "I could never write in peace."
Does reader feed-back help you?
Only if it's overwhelmingly positive.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
Not usually. When I was 7 years old my story was judged the best in my 2nd grade class. I'm still living with the consequences.
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?
My "voice" changes as each book or story dictates. I'm not a stylist tho oddly enough most of the writers I admire are.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
For me it's essential to sit down at the same time each day and when working on a book I write 5 days a week. I do set page goals but don't live and die by them. I'd rather write one really good sentence than 5 pages of dreck that's going in the garbage bin. Quality over quantity always.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Absolute quiet. I once shared a house with a good friend of mine and our bedrooms shared a common wall which my writing desk faced. At night, while I was wrestling with the muse, he'd often be wrestling with some college girl he picked up at one of the local bars. Sometimes it got quite noisy. To solve the problem, I got myself a pair of those industrial earmuffs used by people who operate heavy machinery. I wrote 2 novels that way.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
What has been your experience with publishers?
What are you working on now?
I'm making final revisions on my novel, "The Siren of Neptune's Beach."
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?
Based on my own personal experience -- burn them.
Quentin R. Bufogle
Las Vegas, NV