Today is the sixth day I’ve spent in Hell. Should I be worried that I am quite enjoying myself….
Anyway please welcome pdmac.
Here’s his bio: pdmac spent a career in the military before transitioning to education as a university Academic Dean. He has a MA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Theology and is a member of the Georgia Writers Association. He writes across the spectrum having published numerous poems as well as a poetry book titled In the Kansas City Museum. His recent short stories appear in Short Story America (Volume 3) and the newly released Poets in Hell. More short stories are scheduled to appear in the fall issues of The Mulberry Fork Review and Short Story America (Volume 4). His epic science fiction novel, Wolf 359, is now available on Amazon. He will be a guest author at the upcoming LibertyCon 27 in Chattanooga, TN. More information about the author may be found at pdmactheauthor.com.
The short story Grand Slam appears in the recently released Poets in Hell, now available on Amazon. In Grand Slam, poets Li Po and Anne Sexton, along with philosophers Camus and Sartre, are called upon to judge a poetry slam. Believing themselves to have been chosen for their literary and intellectual genius, the four are agonizingly disappointed right from the start, quickly realizing there is more than physical pain in Hell.
Welcome to the Hell Interview Channel, brought to you infernally hour after hour.
How did you end up writing for Heroes in Hell? I have the good fortune of knowing both Janet & Chris Morris.
How do you deal with writing in a shared universe? There’s actually a great deal of latitude, as long as one remains connected to the theme and environment.
Why did you choose the characters you are using? I’ve had a long fascination with Li Po – China’s greatest poet and a very outlandish individual who made living in exile a way of life. The other three characters were Anne Sexton, Camus, and Sartre. I chose Sexton because I like her work. I chose two existentialist philosophers because I thought it would be fun to have two brilliant atheists trying to make sense of their eternity.
Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m originally from New England, but we moved quite a bit – Ohio, Wisconsin, and New York. I’ve lived in Texas, Arizona, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. I now live in Georgia.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write across the spectrum – fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. My latest release is an epic science fiction novel series called Wolf 359 (available on Amazon). I also have literary short stories in Short Story America and The Mulberry Fork Review.
Where do you find inspiration? I’m not really sure how to answer this, in that I am compelled to write. For me, if I waited for inspiration, I’d never get anything written.
Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? Yes. There are many characters that I dislike, but despite that, they are human, and occasionally they do something nice.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? No. A person dies when it is necessary – whether they are good or bad.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? Research is time consuming. For Wolf 359, I wanted to make sure the science aspect of the book was correct, so I spent many, many hours researching star formation, life support environment, etc.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? There’s nothing like a good story. I want to entertain first – though usually a message works its way into the story line. I have no problems with and underlying message – I just don’t like being preached at.
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great characters; solid plot; great world-building; technically perfect. Characters make the story, followed by the plot. If no one cares about either your characters or plot, it doesn’t matter how “pretty” you write – no one will care. And great characters and great plot can often counter-balance a less than stellar edited work.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Wolf 359 is available in both e-book and print. I hope to eventually expand to audio.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do both – self-edit and use editors. That way I have many eyes reviewing my work. Still, errors do happen – even in professionally edited works.
Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? Though this is still a problem, I think this is finally beginning to change, despite the battle with the traditional publishers. I think writers are starting to realize that having a traditional publisher doesn’t necessarily translate into sales
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? I read reviews for what they say and how they’re written. Unfortunately, I’ve read far too many 1-star reviews completely unrelated to the work itself – e.g. the book wasn’t delivered on time, et al. I believe reviews are very important – the more (valid reviews) the better.
What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? This can be a slippery slope as some authors might not want competition. Still, I tend to add value to an experienced writer’s opinion.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Write, rewrite, get criticism. Repeat.
What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? Book signings – be personable and don’t hide behind the table.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I tend to read 5-6 books simultaneously (it’s the ADD in me…). My wife and I will be spending a vacation in Crete in September so I have been reading a number of works on Crete, especially the resistance during WWII. I’m also currently reading the Memoirs of Field Marshall Montgomery.
Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? I don’t have one favourite because I enjoy many genres. One I will point out is Michael Jecks, a British author of medieval murder mysteries. I find his writing well researched and entertaining.
What are your views on authors offering free books? I think it’s a great idea.
Do you have a favourite movie? Again – I have lots of “favourites.” I tend to prefer action films, though I like good thought provoking films.
Do you have any pets? No. My wife and I have a very active lifestyle – we race mountain bikes, kayak, hike, etc., so we don’t spend a lot of free time at home.
Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing? My “worst” job was a “pot-licker” – washing the large pots and pans in my college’s kitchen. I spent most Sunday mornings and early afternoons scrubbing pots and pans. What I learned that I use in my writing is that people are fascinating regardless of position or job. All one has to do is watch and listen.
Book links, website/blog and author links:
Author link: pdmactheauthor.com