The ShatterColors Standard Interview -- Author Version: William Starr Moake

(Interview consists of 15 pre-set questions. Authors have published at least one novel or short story/poetry collection.)

1) Why did you begin writing, and how long have you been doing so?

I began writing fiction in 1990 when an evil sadistic spirit possessed me. Before that, I wrote for actual money as a journalist.

2) What does your writing routine consist of?

I only write when the Muse inspires me. I must have alcohol and nicotine in my bloodstream before I can start writing. I rarely outline except for brief notes. I continue writing until my brain stops working properly.

3) Have specific events ever flung you into an extended and productive period of creativity?

Almost all of my fiction is autobiographical to some degree, but I never write about anything that happened recently. I need the "pathos of distance" to judge the literary potential of the experience.

I had a long burst of creativity a few years ago when I wrote at least two short stories every month. I'm not sure what caused it, but it wasn't a specific event. My fiction writing hasn't been nearly as prolific since then. Now I spend more time writing non-fiction -- essays, journalism articles, reviews, etc.

4) What are common sources of inspiration?

(1) Painful experiences.
(2) The few ephiphanies I've had.
(3) The work of writers I admire.
(4) Esoteric ideas from eastern philosophy and quantum physics.

5) What does a book need to do to get you to read it from beginning to end?

A dazzling writing style. Content is practically a function of style to me.

6) Who are some of the authors you most admire?

Henry David Thoreau
Albert Camus
Ernest Hemingway
Friedrich Nietzsche
Hunter Thompson
Charles Bukowski
Fyodor Dostoevski
D. H. Lawrence

7) How familiar are you with the literary canon?

The only canon I'm familiar with is the German Big Bertha described in Hemingway's "A Farewell To Arms."

8) What's your take on politics and literary endeavor?

Politics is a gutter profession. Some literature sits in the gutter, but it's looking up at the stars.

9) What are your feelings about formal vs. free verse?

I'm not a poet, but I can read either style without upchucking.

10) Do you feel "flash" fiction (300 words or less) is a viable form, or nothing more than a writing exercise?

I think flash is far too confining. I can't describe my genitals in less than 300 words.

11) When not writing, what do you do for amusement?

Watch old movies on cable TV. They are much better than new movies.

12) What's one of the most annoying things you can think of?

Bad writers making millions of dollars. Stephen King, John Grisham, Daniel Koontz, the witch who wrote the Harry Potter books, etc.

13) Briefly describe what you consider to be one of your standout childhood pranks.

Making nitroglycerin when I was 15 and blowing up the hillside behind the YMCA in my small hometown. Today that would get me 20 years in prison as a "terrorist."

14) What are your upcoming projects/works in progress?

Short stories and memoirs. No more novels!

15) Care to conclude with a sweeping philosophical statement?

Never give a sucker an even break.


The ShatterColors Standard Interview -- Author Version
© 2006 by Robert Scott Leyse

William Starr Moake Responses
© 2006 by William Starr Moake



About the Author

William Starr Moake grew up in Michigan and worked as a journalist for several years in South Florida. After majoring in anthropology in college, he traveled extensively, freelancing as a travel writer/photographer. Moake is the author of three books of fiction, two novels and a short story collection all published since 1999. When he is not writing, Moake works as a freelance web designer and software programmer from his home in Hawaii, where he has lived since 1972.


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