Happy Friday, my friends, and welcome to the kitchen for another Starving Interview! Today, we have a chat with G. A. Schindler, author of one of this week’s Starving Review dishes, Shrugg, 1 Mile! Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself to my literary foodies!
‘Ellow there. I’m G. A. Schindler, Greg to my wife, mother, and a few close friends.
Do you do any work outside of the writing kitchen? Any non-work interests?
When not spilling forth great literary masterpieces, I dabble in pollen – hybridizing daylilies in my beautiful garden. I’ve retired from gainful employment, subsist on my entitlements and strictly avoid doing anything useful. Physical exercise to keep fit is as close as I get to work.
What is your latest dish to be served up? Are there any past pieces of literary cuisine you think we should take a bite out of?
Currently a pirate story has commandeered my pen. As yet it’s uncertain that the pen really is mightier, at least in my hand. Of my three splendid children’s books, Timmy and the Hotdog Song, perhaps stands out. Get it only if you know a child to read it to or have ever been a child. You’d likely find my book of poetry, songs, and humor quite accessible, and my sex education book (Love is the Smile) surprisingly educational – and both enjoyable.
What made you want to put on the chef’s hat and whip up your own books?
I’ve penned poetry since high school, journalism in college, and then song lyrics. Birthdays ending in zero are sobering. At sixty I put together the poetry/songs/humor book, lest it all disappear when I do. My prose is improving since I retired and joined a writing group.
Do you have a genre of specialty or do you dabble? Why?
I dabble. Good ideas are rare and I try to write them in the genre they best fit.
Style! Every literary chef aspires to have their own unique one! What do you think sets yours apart and why?
The poet in me dictates economy of words. And I like dialog. Other than that, it’s whatever works best. Whatever seems like the thing to do at the time.
Even the best of us find inspiration is the dishes of others. Do you have any literary inspirations, heroes, and influences?
Eliot and Frost influence my poetry. Pound and Browning are great, too. I’ve read prose for content many years. Now I should reread some perhaps, noticing style more.
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes: the art and craft of writing itself! Do you have a preference of points-of-view when you write?
First person’s best if one can just stay away from I, I, I sentences. But sometimes third person seems necessary.
Sparse or wordy, how do you like your descriptions served up? Are you a Hemmingway man or do you like some saucy adjectives with your nouns?
The poet in me dictates word economy, though I’ve begun to try to bring in imagery that needs more space sometimes.
Picking off the menu of base literary conflicts, what’s your favorite and why?
The story idea brings its own conflict(s). Once I get it going, the story seems to be telling itself to me. The characters are quite in control.
What do you think is more important to your recipes, plot or characterization? Why?
Thus far my stories have been more plot driven.
We all know that the first taste means the most! What do you do to get that first bite hook with your readers?
To grab the reader’s interest I usually start at what I consider an exciting part of the story. Or else I throw in a teaser or two early on.
The most important of questions: Cake or pie?
Pie. As long as it aren’t square. Some pie are.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to aspiring literary chefs out there, what would it be?
Write what you enjoy writing even if it’s hard work. Don’t be afraid to try a new genre if you get an idea. Find a writing group for feedback. If you start novels and don’t finish ’em, go back to a favorite and write the ending. Then fill in the middle. It’s easier to get there when you know where you’re going.