Red Haircrow [redhaircrow]
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Yes, it is very necessary for me those times of retreat, a lonely mountain top, an isolated riverbend, or something like that.
What city in the world currently attracts you due to its creative environment?
Forever and always, Berlin.
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I began reading when I was four years old, so I guess it was the typical types things. My mother discovered I could because I would read the label of cans, street signs, etc. She didn't quite believe it so she brought me a dictionary, flipped to a page and asked me what I saw. I read it for her. The first serious book of my own I recall was at 8 years of age a family friend gave me a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs, "The People that Time Forgot", I was a sci-fi/fantasy fan forever after.
I first began to write around age eleven. I was deep into Star Wars at the time and had ideas of what I wanted to happened, so I started writing them down. My first fanfics.
My parents, that didn't go over very well at all.
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 favourite genre is sci-fi and/or fantasy. Very, very predominantly that is what I read. History is also a favorite.
I write in the fantasy category most often though most is not published at this point in time. The genre is foremost for me, the depth of the characters and the story, that my characters happen to be gay or bisexual is incidental. "Typically" though, my writing would be classified under gay fiction, but I think that is limiting and a disservice in a way. Fiction should be just fiction, if it's good it's good, no matter what label is placed on it. All too many people still discount a certain type of fiction because of labels.
One fantasy story available as an e-book download at Dreamspinner Press is Lieutenant's Love http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1885. It was recently rated and reviewed at Rainbow Reviews, receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars. http://www.rainbow-reviews.com/?p=6552
For a few free examples of my works, anyone can visited the e-fiction section of Gay Authors-Quality Gay Fiction http://www.gayauthors.org/efiction/viewuser.php?uid=7855
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I wish my creative process was more disciplined or accessible. I often have story ideas when I write down in detail, creating an outline and/or synopsis, but to actually sit and start writing it....I have to completely have the mood or suddenly fury to work on it. Also a number of my stories are dreams I've had, and it's important for me as soon as I awake to type it all up non-stop, before I lose the muse.
I have to have a strong inspiration and spirit in me to sit down and write.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Seldom does any thing I read inspire me to write, I usually just have an idea out of the blue, but there have been a few times when I've read something like war history which made me think of a story, or specifically once I read Maria McCann's novel "As Meat Loves Salt" and I had in idea to also write a story of comrades in arms who fall in love.
More often it's an event or experience I've had in life which inspired me to write.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Strong but understandable emotion, empathy, believable storylines, accuracy of details yet a flair of creativity, and of course, characters which can clearly be "seen" and sensed.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Usually third person. I've written a few stories in first person but only shorter ones. I don't have a story in me at the moment which I think justifies and can handle a first person voice.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Edgar Rice Burroughs, C.J. Cherryh, Elie Wiesel....
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Believable actions and behaviours, yet if a character has been explained and described well enough even if they do something unpredictable or "out of character" it still works. It helps to make them more "human", more empathized with.
My characters come with the story idea. If I've had a story idea, and usually they occur to me fully complete, so also so the characters come complete. I know what I want them to look like, do, be, everything when I've created the story.
People who know me very well, if they read my stories certainly remark many of my characters have aspects of myself in them easily recognizable.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
No, I am not much of a talker/speaker. Very minimal with words. I can speak, and other careers have required it, but much more prefer the written form. I much more prefer to be quiet.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Myself. I currently have two stories on the market, only these two and they were published within the last year although they've been completed for seven. I have several dozen others complete, but the experiences my stories are based on are my own life experiences, so it's a question of whether I want to put "myself" out there, although readers wouldn't necessarily be aware of this fact.
I write because I like to see my characters have their stories told. It gives them a rest in their clamouring inside my head, as it were.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
No. If I have an internal conflict I do not and have never written about them. When they're complete and quiet in myself, then later (usually much later) I may use my experiences as a basis for a story.
The times I did try to use writing as a form of personal therapy in an attempt to utilize that "creative force" as you call it, it only served to upset me more. That does not work for me at all. If I am upset for some reason, I do not write at all.
Does reader feed-back help you?
It might sound crass, but no. My stories are my own, my characters and ideas, they do not need any input as far as feedback goes. They will emerge as they wish, and exactly as they wish. Nothing will change that.
If someone likes them, sure, of course, that type of feedback is nice but I use it mostly as encouragement to keep my process pure. Whether it's in my personal life or my writing, I do not like to be influenced by others, whether they like or dislike me or my work. I am resistant to that actively.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No, not recently, but then submitting work to publishers is a type of competition in a way. You get accepted, some do, and some do not. There is competition certainly.
Well, with hindsight I did submit some work to a sci-fi writing competition many, many years ago. I don't even remember what story it was or if I have it anymore. I think it was an L. Ron Hubbard one.
No, I've not received any awards as I have not submitted any work to competitions of that sort.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes, but not often really or recently. They are willing to read at any time though.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I would have to know your definition of "your voice" first before I could answer this question.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I know there are those infinitely perky writers who advocate and say they always set themselves a goal of 10K per week, and others should also, in order to be successful. That is entirely dependent on their definition of success and their personality and creative type.
I have no schedules, goals, word count to reach. I am again resistant to those who preach that method broadly because it suggests if you can't do that, there's something wrong with you, or you don't want it badly enough. Everyone is different.
I am a mood writer. If I have the mood I can write an entire story in a matter of hours, it is like a lightening bolt and I have the energy. When I don't have that feeling, I don't force it. The times I did, I produced extremely poor work according to my standards and had to do tons of editing. When I have the right mood for me, I later have to do little editing. It just clicks in a good way.
I do regularly make updates to my blog, various accounts, Twitter, etc.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
There is no special thing I surround myself with in my work area. There is nothing special I do to try to concentrate. I have travelled around so much, so many different places and settings I've lived in, whatever is around me is fine. I only ask if anyone else is around they not talk to me but leave me mostly alone.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I usually begin an idea on paper, or if I am writing poetry. I then transfer it to computer. I don't usually print what I write. I used to. I found it served little or no purpose for me.
I've done editing before for other writers, and like my writing style, I am either focused completely or totally off doing it. With my own editing it's the same, I totally go into focus mode and get it done and usually it's quite good.
The only process is I test myself daily by starting to reread a certain set of completed stories. If the focus "clicks" in, I will complete it fully. If it doesn't, I leave it for another time.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I don't understand this question, it could be more clear in what they are specifically asking.
I do not frequent any on-line place to share experiences, but then I question what type of experiences this interview is referring to. Personal ones? Certainly not.
I do share some information about publishers accepting submissions on Twitter perhaps or more directed at Gay Authors-Quality Gay Fiction at my blog there http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/blog/306-flying-down-the-mountain/
What has been your experience with publishers?
I don't have a lot of experience with publishers as a writer. I have more as an editor working at a publishers house, rather like "from the inside looking out".
I have two publishers I have worked with: Dreamspinner Press and STARBooks Press. With DSP I submitted my story Lieutenant's Love and it was accepted after a few weeks. It was my 1st submission anywhere for that story. I was surprised I had such a quick response.
With STARBooks, and my store Convenience Store Romance, within the anthology Boys Getting Ahead, http://www.starbookspress.com/search.php?ID=2881&SEARCH=SINGLE it was even faster. I sent an inquiry with the first five paragraphs on Friday, on Saturday Mickey requested the full story, on Sunday he wrote me back and said, "We want it. Here's your terms and contract."
DSP is more "user friendly" in that they have a forum groups, they post you messages, etc. while STARBooks is succinct, to the point, no smooching. I wasn't surprise by that style and it worked for me. Some writers might find it a bit dry, but I don't need to be buddy-buddy or "wined and romanced".
What are you working on now?
I have almost a dozen short stories I work on at any given time if the mood hits me. Most of them involve gay or bisexual characters in the fantasy, contemporary or speculative genres.
I have two novels in the same state, one is an alternative medieval type fantasy, swords and war and that type of thing. The other is a romantic drama of sorts, an aging actor struggling to find love while dealing with emerging repressed memories of past abuse and his family's continued apathy.
The last is a fantasy anthology involving characters of a fictional race of people who have a "third" sex.
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?
Do what you wish to. I can't say what you should do for your own work. I've had harsh experiences with showing my work to people, parents, during my formulative years...so I remain reserved on that topic.
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
When I was a small child because my mother was not a particularly good cook. My great grandmother got me started.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
It was a later in life choice, and a spur of the moment type thing anyway. I'd always been interested in foods, etc. I think it becomes a part of your anyway when you travel as food is intergral to culture and certainly display much of it's creators personalities.
I began in a very different career, and although I am a published writer, cooking is my "day" or in my case, night job.
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
I have received no formal culinary training. Some travelers like me sometimes take jobs in food industries because they are often seasonal and easily obtainly and turn over is high in some areas. For most, you learn as you go.
I always worked in some food industry when putting myself through college for my main career. If I was interested in a food type, I took a job at such a restaurant and learned.
In the last seven or so years, I worked primarily in cooking, a German restaurant, though I've had training in Chinese and authentic Mexican cuisines. I've always done cooking for friends and occasions "on the side". I learned more with good teachers in a hands-on environment.
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
I am a private chef, first of all, not a "cook". I obtained the position in a "Iron Chef" type competition. The client wishing a new private chef set up a test with judges and other watchers. Out of the several who tested, I obtained the position. The great irony was they were all classically trained chefs, I was the sole one "self-taught".
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
Certain items yes, such as fish or seafood. Herbs and most of the vegetables I grow myself.
If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, what dish would ask to eat after your rescue?
A good döner kebap with a spicy sauce.
Who cooks in your home?
I avoid it as much as possible, because after working I don't usually want to. If things are going badly in the kitchen though I will take over because I hate to see good food ruined.
What would you say to a novice in the kitchen to help them get over their fear of cooking?
Why should you fear food?
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
Mostly deals with updates to my stories or topics regarding writing, personal observations sometimes, and about some events or another in my life.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
I post if I have a solid update to provide, or if something thought-provoking has happened which I felt the need to write about.
How do you promote your blog?
I have a few authors pages at places like Goodreads, Gay Authors and on Twitter, to name a few. I provide links or RSS feeds which update so any viewers can fly over to my blog if they want to read more.
What hobbies have you got?
browsing 2nd hand shops, buying way too many books, watching certain anime types, watching sport, absolutely too many to list
Which actor would you like to be?
Hm, I think that's kind of a strange question. I suppose if I absolutely had to make a choice, it would be...Can't think of one. I have never considered this question at all.
If you were sent to a deserted island, which book, CD and film would you take with you?
I wouldn't have to, they are all in my head.
How do you find the balance between working to live and living to work?
If I don't enjoy doing something, I can't do it. So I would choose living to work as more fitting of my personality. I've had jobs which paid a great salary, but I hated the work. In the end, I quit because it was killing me inside.
In moments of tension, what techniques work in calming the mind?
Remembering what I love most. Mentally I distance myself, and objectively try to look at a situation as if it is happening to someone else. Or trying to place myself in the other person's position or mindset.
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
Another strange question from my perspective. Why would a simple pleasure for me be big or important otherwise?
What is the greatest loss you have had in your life?
The question's too personal. Sorry, I won't answer it.
How do you respond to telemarketing calls?
I answer the phone maybe 1% of the time. I don't like talking on the phone and if someone needs to reach me they can do so by email or my private line. But if it's a telemarketer on the general phone, I tell them to take the number off the line, or I add to the directory of spammers.
Are you an ex-smoker? How did you quit?
I am not an ex-smoker. I still smoke occasionally if I'm with friends and having a drink. I have a cig maybe 3 or 4 times a year. I don't smoke at all when I am in the USA. For me it's not an addictive habit. I can take it or leave it.
It is 5 pm on a typical Sunday: what are you doing?
About to go to work.
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
I haven't discovered anything yet in which I am completely incompetent.
Of what are you an addict?
There's few things I cannot live without.
You have nine wins in a row in a game of roulette: do you continue because you are on a good run, or abandon the game because statistically, it is your turn to lose?
If I felt like quitting I would, or continue playing. I wouldn't let statistics influence me.
What toy gave you the best moments of your childhood?
The big-wheel, that dates me.
What was your favourite primary/secondary school teacher like?
I had no favorites.
How did you meet your current boy/girlfriend?
That's assuming there is one. I am not dating anyone and not particularly interested to at this point. Mostly my friends provide the type of interaction and comfort, fun, whatever else I need.
Your New Year resolutions.
I don't do new year's resolution. Anything that needs done doesn't need a specific time to begin or end.
Is there any superstition that makes you change your behaviour?
Yes. LOL To speak of it would be bad.
Does knowing someone's zodiac sign help you to better understand that person?
No, or very minimal at best. It's not the zodiac for me but rather the psychological studies of people borns at certain times of the year and how that influences their behaviours, perceptions, etc. throughout life.
Please list something you have not yet done, but that you would definitely like to do someday.
Climb a certain geological formation.
In your lifetime, what is the best news you have ever seen printed?
To which other place in the world would you move without hesitation?
I've traveled a lot more than most people, and there is always hesitation of some kind if you have a brain (and use it).
A word or expression that you love.
It feels good to say "fuck it" sometimes, but I only do it, for the most part, inside my own head.
A word or expression that you detest.
Any derogatory/prejudiced/biased term regarding race, sexual orientation, national background, etc.
If you were to return reincarnated, which real-life person would you like to be?
I have never thought of this, and never considered it. Again, I have no answer to this type of question.
Did God create the world in seven days, or do you believe in the theory of evolution?
Do you believe it is true that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity?
Yes, and it is very much untapped, and too many are self-limiting. Also the roles of religion and government, advertising etc. play a role in dummying down individuals.
Do you boycott brands if you learn they employ children in third-world countries or harm the environment?
No, because I take into account the cultures there are not like my own and don't try to force my societies rules, strictures, guidelines etc. on someone else.
The example used of children working in third world countries is a great example of this. Using USA thoughts as a base, children tend to be indulged and stupified by the bombardment of corpulent pleasures and vices. Perhaps this is considered showing them love and not being too hard on them. While in a third world country, the parents may not love their children any less or more, but to keep the family together it's necessary for children to also work. The children often can feel a sense of accomplishment and helping their family, of pride in their skills.
I don't believe in any way forcing one's own beliefs on someone else.
Do extraterrestrials exist?
It's absolutely ludicrous and the ultimate in egocentricity to believe that in the infinite, still growing and ever changing universe humans are alone. So yes, I believe in extraterrestrials.
What do you currently have in your MP3 player?
I don't have an MP3 player.
What books are you currently reading?
Because I am working on a number of stories at the moment, and I don't read when I am writing, I don't have anything listed although I continue to buy books. Next time I begin reading it will be "Fever Dreams" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Have read reviews it's not as good as the others in the series, but Agent Pendergast is one of my favorite fictional characters. I'll read it just because.
Places in the world that you have visited recently.
If you mean within the last year, Germany, Finland, and the USA.
What is that special film you never tire of watching?
Serenity, the film of the Joss Whedon's series Firefly.
What do you use: Mac or PC and why?
I use a PC because it's what I bought.
What is to come after consumist society?
Do you find the saturation of advertising in the media excessive?
Yes, but then I seldom watch television, films in theatre, news broadcasts or read newspapers. I have a few select sources for world information and news updates, but I keep it to a minimum.
Do you believe there is excessive sex and violence in the media?
Ok, these questions seem to be based on American society, and that is not one I am a part of very often and greatly by choice. I believe there is excessive violence and sex in the media I have observed especially in that it's such a pseudo- or overly religious society. But then repression and censure on that level inevitably creates excesses in other places like media.
In Germany, sex or sexual images, nudity is common in media in general, and not greatly remarked on. Violence is much more limited, as it is considered very unnatural unlike sex.
What were your favourite subjects when you were in primary/secondary school?
History. Accurate history more specifically. I was kicked out of many a class for pointing out the fallacies in subjective textbooks.
Do you think video games, chat rooms, etc. have a dangerous addictive
effect on teenagers?
I think they can, but it entirely depends on the teenagers and their communication levels with their parents or guardians. These things are not bad in themselves, its the predators making use of them.
Has there been a personal-growth book that has transformed your life?
That's a hard question in that I can't remember the titles of the books exactly only the subject matters. One was about adult survivors of abuse, another was of meditations and sutras.
Specifically because of my Native American ancestry and my close ties to it, many of the things which helped my personal growth were verbally given, stories and memories passed down through the People. So in that, there are no books.
Have you ever bought works of art? What type of art? What compels you to purchase art?
I've not bought works of arts in many years because I've travelled so much and that's not stuff you can take with you easily when you're going to be on the move for months at a time.
Do you defend urban graffiti?
I don't defend it but it's inevitable and irrepressible in a way. I've spent many of the last years in Berlin, Germany. If you've been there, you know why I say that. It's everywhere and simply a part of the whole.
What magazines do you frequently read?
I don't read any magazines.
Piracy continues to grow: What will happen to the music and film
industries and culture in general?
Even if I read or view something online illegally placed there, technically. If I like it, I always go buy it. I think it will even itself out. Much of the film and music industry is severely overpaid for what they put out and what real benefit they give to the world. It's all about hype. The more hype you got the more money. I say give more money to the trash collectors and plumbers, without them we'd all be in deep shit. Things are out of balance.
What sports do you play and how often?
I don't currently or actively play any sports at the moment. If I do, however, it is tennis, badminton or football (the REAL football).
How do you explain the rise in "fame" culture?
Would need a definition of what you consider "fame" culture.
What do you have in your wallet right now?
No idea exactly. A lot of different things I do remember placing there like old event tickets, photos, my role card and money, of course.
How do you kill time?
No one can kill time. What a strange question. LOL
In which city do you live? What are your favourite and least favourite things about it?
Currently I'm in the USA in a certain city. My least favourite thing is that it is in the USA. I can't say there is anything good about it except I'm with my son, so that's always a plus.
Where have you thought of going for your next holiday?
Somewhere there is a beach, one not too hot.