Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we talked to Rush Leaming about his writing and recently released book, The Man Who Screams at Nightfall: and other stories. a sharp, inventive, and deeply moving collection of short stories. (Read the review here).
RUSH LEAMING has done many things and lived in many places.
At various times in his life he has been a/an: car wash attendant, bartender, dishwasher, Adjunct Professor, lab rat decapitator, shoe salesman, fish pond builder, a monster in a low-budget horror movie, music video director, refugee camp volunteer, film production manager, ESL teacher, star of a country music video, newspaper delivery person, Chinese wok assembler, night time hotel desk clerk, cement mixer, ballet manager, waiter, internet teacher, screenwriter, short film director, Cuban cigar mule, auctioneer, pre-med student, traffic pattern analyzer, photographer, landscaper, homeless, Academic Director, shepherd, lifeguard, audio-visual coordinator, recruiter for a prestigious government agency, and single dad.
Just to name a few…
How often do you base your characters on real people?
Always! My books are 93% true!
How many hours a day do you write?
I’m a binge writer. I don’t write everyday and often go years in between projects.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write the kind of books I would read and hope others like them as well. That’s all I can do!
Do you read your book reviews? Do they please you or annoy you? Do you think you can learn a lot from reading criticism about your work?
I read the first wave and once I find one person who seems to reall “get it” then I’m satisfied. I don’t read beyond that because I’m insanely thin-skinned and probably should not be involved in the creative arts!
What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I always wanted to be the love child of Charles Bukowski, George Orwell, and Ernest Hemingway—if that was scientifically possible.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer?
Getting noticed! And fighting the snobbery against self-published writers in the mainstream publishing world. We have festivals devoted to do-it-yourself indie musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers. But God forbid you publish your own book.
What life experiences have shaped your writing most?
Everything. Everything is research and everything is fodder. I’m definitely a “method writer”. I like getting in the trenches with my subjects and experience things from their perspective as much as possible. That approach has gotten me in some sticky situations, as you’ll see in this book!
What’s next for you?
I’ve got two more novels and one more short-story collection that I HAVE to create. Then that will probably be it as far as Rush Leaming is concerned. I will have said what I wanted to say.
Categories: BookView Review Interview