Hat’s Off Corner Welcomes Barry Lyga
Last month I read Boy Toy by Barry Lyga and knew I’d be one of his fans from then on. I admit to some gushing in a comment on his blog, and then I did a very bold (for me) thing. I emailed him and asked him if he’d care to visit my blog. And HE SAID YES!!
So here is one of new favorite authors. Mr. Barry Lyga. And here’s my REVIEW of Boy Toy if you want to see what I wrote.
|Barry Lyga’s Website|
You’re a busy dad and author, so I wanted you to know you made my month by taking time for this interview here on The Write Game.
Let’s start with one question I always like to hear the answer to: As a writer I look to others whom I enjoy reading for inspiration. Do you have a writer or writers you read for inspiration?
B.L. I tend to be inspired by whatever it is I’m into at the moment. There are some things I read in my youth — the comic books of Paul Levitz and Alan Moore, REPLAY by Ken Grimwood — that have lingered and seem to inform everything I do, but in general, I don’t go any particular author in search of inspiration. I read for amusement, for pleasure, for the joy of seeing someone craft with words. Inspiration is a nice side effect, when it happens.
Me: Can you talk a bit about your experience with rejection, how you handled it, what you learned from it? Any “advice” to those who are still getting the “Thank you, but no thank you” letters?
B.L. My advice is simple: Get used to it. There’s this myth out there that once someone says “Yes,” you’ll never hear “No” again. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been a professional novelist for ten years; I’ve published over a dozen books, including a New York Times bestseller, and I still get rejections. You just have be prepared for it. I generally try to assume that everything I do will be rejected. Then, if it isn’t, I get a nice surprise! Whatever your coping mechanism for rejection happens to be, don’t toss it out the window with glee when you get that first acceptance — you’ll need it again.
Me: Is there a story behind the story of this latest book that you wish to share? The ah-ha or lightning moment where the story inspiration struck?
B.L. For AFTER THE RED RAIN, I guess the moment was when Rob and Peter told me the basic idea of it and asked me to write it! I thought, “I bet I could write the hell out of that!” It’s up to the reader to determine whether or not I did, of course!4. What’s the hardest part of being a successful, published author? (i.e. finding time to write, creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes).
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Me: What’s the hardest part of being a successful, published author? (i.e. finding time to write, creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes).
B.L. I have trouble with this question because I don’t entirely agree with the premise — I don’t think of myself as “successful.” I think of myself as failing more gracefully, perhaps! For every book I’ve published, I can think of someway I failed it, either by missing a great moment or not pushing it out into the world hard enough. You come close with the idea of “creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes.” I’ve always wanted each book of mine to be better than the one before it. Sometimes, I’ve managed to hit that goal, but other times not. Finding time to write is a problem only insofar as I’m now a stay-at-home dad and my first priority is my daughter. But even with that tiny, adorable, slobbering obstacle in my way, I’ve still managed to find time to write a new book this year. The hardest part of this life, truthfully, is the very real fact that once I’ve written a book, it’s fate is pretty much out of my hands. The publisher, the booksellers, and the readers will determine its fate, and there’s pretty much nothing I can do about it at that point. A tough lesson!
Me: “Failing more gracefully” is going to go on my bulletin board. But if your other books are as riveting as Boy Toy I’ll come by and disagree with you–nicely.
Thanks again. It has been great to read your answers. Hope others will glean help from them. And here’s to your latest book–After the Red Rain–just out and getting fab reviews.
Quote of the Week:
What do you think about Barry Lyga’s answers to my questions? Hope you’ll take a look at what he writes. It’s refreshing and bright stuff. How about you and rejection? What’s your take on that part of life?