Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I currently work as a Private Investigator, a high school English teacher, an Army Reserves officer, and a Russian linguist. I weave writing and the business side of Rusty Wheels Media the best that I can, in and out of all of those “jobs”.
What novels affected you the most growing up?
“Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury because that was me as a boy. Encyclopedia Brown, and anything by Patrick F. McManus. Bruce Coville came to my school once and signed my copy of “My Teacher is an Alien”. I was hooked.
Where did the idea for your current book come from?
A few years back, I started writing letters I had no intention of ever mailing. This form of therapy grew into a collection of salty rants and unspoken melodies which I decided to put into a collection. I invited my sarcastic sister, and a handful of writers that would submit, and we were off. I intend on curating this collection at least once a year until I someday walk the plank. I want nothing more than to receive carloads of letters from all over the world. Words filled with unrequited love, missed interpretation, and even loss give me hope. One of the Letters is to my best friend, Denton, who shot himself a number of years ago. There are things in there I couldn’t say. That is art. I want to curate more, not just my own.
Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?
No, I have this wonderful and annoying voice going on inside my head. He narrates everything I do, everything I see you do. I can’t turn him off and he wishes I could type faster. There is probably a name for this but I’ll just stick to writing over the asylum. Besides, the world is a wonderful place.
What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?
I started out on a typewriter, I collect them for some strange reason. I keep one open and working in every room. This serves as some kind of reminder. I write mainly with yellow legal pad and black Sharpie, most of the time in a loud environment or on the go. This has changed a bit as I now go for the most convenient. I have a much smaller laptop now that goes everywhere with me. I also whisper story ideas when I am on a stakeout into a voice recorder. I use Dragon at times and Scrivener. I write whenever and wherever I can.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
Very important. I have an MFA in Creative writing. Smart right? No, poor. We talked about the craft of writing, over and over. I am thankful and I am still a forever student. What we never talked about was marketing. So far, I have been blundering along, wasting precious money. As shown from my many jobs above, this means time. I know that there is no silver bullet to book marketing and any number of things can get you to where you want to be. I need to understand all of the devices for book marketing so that I can mix just the right kind of magic with a quality product. If I could only replace one of my many jobs, I would be off to the races in production of my creativity.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Write and Read all the time. Also, collaboration is not only fun but essential. If you can work with others, they will hold you to deadlines and quality.
What are you reading now?
“S.” by John Updike. I found it at a used bookstore while on an Army stint in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is interesting because it is a novel written entirely in letters from one person. I am also listening to “Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques” by Professor James Hynes. These lectures revolve around the craft of writing and helpful tips.
What’s your next step?
I am writing and editing “Letters Never Meant to be Read: Volume II”. I have an upcoming short story anthology titled “Worked Stiff: Short Stories to Tell Your Boss” that will be out by the end of spring. I am also working with fellow writer A.M. Hounchell on a psychological thriller.
Follow Marc D. Crepeaux on Twitter: @marcdcrepeaux
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