Author Name: Bruce W. Bishop
Genre: Historical Fiction / Family Saga
Book: Unconventional Daughters
Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? Thank you for asking! Yes, I am, and I still occasionally write freelance articles.
Favorite authors/books: Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findlay, Tom Harpur, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, On Writing by Stephen King
What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? The first time I imagined becoming a ‘real’ journalist was when I was my high school’s newspaper editor in the mid-1970s. I later sold articles to local and city newspapers which gave me more confidence to continue the craft. But it wasn’t until I became the president of the Travel Media Association of Canada and seeing my byline in national newspapers that I felt I was a bona fide, legitimate writer.
Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I haven’t kept a journal for many years but I normally use a travel diary if I am away for a week or longer.
Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I was directly involved with a national writers’ organization, as mentioned above, for some time, and it was one of the most fascinating and enjoyable periods of my life.
Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I suppose as is typical with many Geminis, I do both! But I tend to be up with the sun in the warmer months. I don’t think I do my best writing late at night.
How do you get over a writing slump? It’s funny, but I was talking about this with my brother recently. I don’t normally refer to this as a ‘writer’s block’ (or slump) but more of a ‘writer’s fear’. In other words, will I be able to write something that people actually want to read? When I put myself in the reader’s shoes, I don’t want to disappoint and I want to entertain and/or enlighten, if I possibly can.
Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Dialogue, for sure. This may harken back to my college days and courses in film theory and screenwriting.
What are you working on now? It’s an interlinked novel with Unconventional Daughters, which I’m calling Unrepentant Sons. One won’t have to have read Daughters in order to enjoy Sons, but some of the characters from the first novel are in the second. It also takes place in the same time period as when the first book finishes (mid-1930s).
What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Just do it! It is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it was the pandemic lockdown that really convinced me to do so. We have such a finite time on earth, and living in a period of major societal and economic change should be enough to convince anyone to at least attempt to write and publish. Initially, for at least three months, I researched the traditional publishing route, including how to get a literary agent. Then I decided to go the independent route because I didn’t want to waste any more time seeing my novel published, and to me, that’s a big “pro” with self-publishing.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? No, I don’t. I wish I could devote more time for leisure reading and perhaps listening to podcasts. Podcasting is a wonderful medium we could not have envisioned thirty years ago.
Favorite escape: A deserted beach, anywhere.
Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I’ve heard of it, but haven’t tried it yet. Is it savory or sweet? I usually prefer dry or bitter to sweet.
Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Pillows, for sure, to barricade myself before a good movie!
Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? If I had to do either of the three, I guess I would choose raking leaves, which I did a lot in my past. Living in a city apartment now gives me the freedom not to have rake, shovel or weed!
Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? I’ve tried homemade with fabric, a heavy-duty one that smothers, and finally chose to only use the disposable ones.
Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: I’m almost afraid to say that there hasn’t been a writing challenge during the pandemic because I have accomplished more since its beginning than in the previous couple of years. I consider myself to be very fortunate in this regard.
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