Narcisissm…Egotism…call it what you will, but I caught the bug to be interviewed and, since The New York Times or even E! Magazine has yet to bust down my door to ask me questions about my life, I figured the best way to do this would be to interview myself. Not a huge stretch either, since I’ve been accused of having multiple personalities.
Shut up, you.
Anyway, here it is: an interview of yours truly by yours…trulier, or something to that effect.
Philraldo Rivera: Before we begin, let’s introduce our guest, shall we? Phil is a writer who’s still aspiring to be published by a mainstream pubber. He’s a working man, husband, father of soon-to-be three boys (the third’s due in a few weeks), who also enjoys sports—especially basketball and (American) football, playing guitar/writing songs (see some of his recordings), and finding creative outlets where he can. Please welcome, Phil Partington.
Phil: Thanks, Philrado!
Philrado Rivera: So let’s get to it, because I’m pretty sure it isn’t healthy for us to keep in split character like this for too long. Why did you—?
Phil: I have always been drawn to creativity…
Philrado Rivera: Um, I know you know the questions before I ask them but, for the sake of the readers, it’s probably best if you let me ask anyway.
Phil: Oh, right…that’s fair.
Philrado Rivera: So…why did you become a writer?
Phil: For the same reason I suspect most people become writers: it interests them. I’m a left-brain user and a junky for creative outlets. From the time I was old enough to hold a crayon, I drew pictures of characters with word bubbles floating above them. I didn’t know how to write real words, but I have vivid memories (of when I was younger than five or six) of scribbling gibberish in these bubbles and then walking around from adult to adult telling them the story in these scribbles. The story always changed and never fit the short length of the scribbles, but the adults never seemed to mind this…if they really listened at all. In summary, I think mostly all writers write because they’re wired that way; it isn’t really a choice.
Philrado Rivera: What’s the hardest part for you about writing a novel?
Phil: The writing part of it. Seriously. The last six or seven years have brought about many life changes: found and met my birth family for the first time, got married, bought a house, had kids, selling the house and buying another one…life can take a toll on writing time, energy and motivation. That, and I’m cursed with the editor’s gene, so I often get in my own way when it comes to the forward movement of a story.
Philrado Rivera: At least it sounds like you’re not short of subject matter to write about.
Phil: True, true, not that I have had any major difficult crosses to bear in my life. Been healthy, had a good and boring (and I mean that in the best of ways) upbringing, good relationships with my birth families…it might not be every man’s dream, but I’m certainly living my dream.
Philrado Rivera: Besides, if ever you do run out of ideas you can always draw from how you slept with a teddy bear until you were 14 years old.
Phil: Cheap shot…and it’s a lie.
Philrado Rivera: Oh, right, that was a different one of your personalities.
Phil: Excuse me?
Philrado Rivera: Moving on. So where do you get your ideas from?
Phil: The same place I suspect most writers do. As I said before, fiction writers are wired differently, but one thing I believe they all have in common is the drive to ask questions in order to look at life in unique ways. Whether it’s subconscious or not, that’s where story ideas generally come from—at least, at the most fundamental level. It comes down to the “what if” statements of life.
Philrado Rivera: Could you elaborate on that a little?
Phil: Certainly! Let’s go with, What if Phil has a psychiatric breakdown during this interview and attacks Philrado Rivera? That would certainly make for quite a story…
Philrado Rivera: Yeah, let’s not go down that road.
Phil: Because I’d be attacking myself, see…
Philrado Rivera: No, I get it. Moving on…again. Now, as we’ve covered, you’ve yet to be published…lazy or just not that talented?
Phil: Another cheap shot, Philrado, cheap shot. But no, I don’t think it’s because of a lack of talent, or at least I hope not. All the feedback I’ve received from agents I’ve queried (who’ve been willing to give feedback) has confirmed that I can write well, and there have been plenty of nibbles in the work-in-progress I’ve put out there.
Philrado Rivera: What’s this work-in-progress? What’s it about?
Phil: It’s called The Siren’s Lyric, which I’ve changed from Deshay of the Woods. It’s a fantasy about a siren in the woods who meddles with the men of a nearby farming village. I’m currently re-working it a bit—cleaning it up, changing a plot line that was kind of messy…stuff like that.
Philrado Rivera: Do you plan on re-submitting it to agents/pubbers?
Phil: That’s the idea. I’ve been told the market for it is fuzzy, but I think there’s one out there. Plus, I was working on a new WIP, called The Queen of Clubs, which I’m really excited about, but with so much going on in my personal life at the moment, I was getting a little stuck and burnt out on it, so I opted to spend some time with an old friend.
Philrado Rivera: Really? You consider me a friend? I…I never knew. I’m touched!
Phil: Not you, moron…The Siren’s Lyric.
Philrado Rivera: Oh.
Philrado Rivera: Kind of an awkward moment there.
Philrado Rivera: …
Phil: Moving on?
Philrado Rivera: Yes…right. What is your favorite motivational phrase for writers?
Phil: “Embrace the suck.” I don’t know if it was he who first said it, but I heard this many years ago from my uncle. He’s a high school football coach. Life can suck and the writing process is no different. Rather than whine about it (which I do sometimes), embrace it…and, more importantly, accept that it’s inevitable.
Philrado Rivera: Anything you’d like to say to readers/fans?
Phil: Thanks, mom.
Philrado Rivera: Awesome,…and maybe just a little sad. Thanks for your time, Phil, though we both know you’re just gonna go back to watching Netflix and drinking beer. How’s the alcoholism treatin’ ya these days?
Phil: How’s your face treating you these days?
Philrado Rivera: Always a pleasure. Be sure to check out the rest of Phil’s website, as well as the beginning chapters of some of his works-in-progress.
Phil: Oh, and follow me on Twitter…and then someone explain to me what I’m supposed to do on Twitter.
Philrado Rivera: What? You don’t get twitter? Oh, never mind. Thanks again, Phil. Really,…insightful stuff.
Phil: My pleasure, pal.
Philrado Rivera: So what? We’re friends now?
Phil: I prefer to call us ‘occupier of the same space,’ but sure…if that label works for ya.
Philrado Rivera: Awesome. Now let’s end this before we start to ramble.
Phil: Too late.
Philrado Rivera: Right…moving on then.