This week’s interview is with Todd Morr, another Farenhieght Press author. I’d like to thank Todd for his honest answers to my questions and encourage you all to check out his author page on Amazon here. If you’d like to be featured in my author interviews, send me a message using the contact form here.
What’s your track record – what have you written?
Under my own name, I have five novels/novellas out in the world, Captain Cooker, my first published work of any kind and its sequel Best Laid Plans of Idiots and Fuck-Ups from 10th Rule Books, Jesus Saves, Satan Invests and Mr. Chips Must Die from Spanking Pulp Press, and If You’re not One Percent from Fahrenheit Press, though it might be under the Fahrenheit 13 banner now.
All of them are action-heavy crime fiction except Mr. Chips Must Die which a sci/fi action horror kind of thing. I also teamed up with fellow Central California writer Chris Davis for half of Double Tap- Two Shots of Central California Noir, with a tale from the 80’s called Fiero.
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Why do you write?
I like it and I might be half decent at it. Or, I just need attention and writing is much easier on the marriage than playing in a rock band (though I’m still doing both and she hasn’t thrown me out yet).
What makes a successful days writing?
Other than hitting a word count (which matters more when I’m working on a deadline) it’s just the feeling I’ve done something I would want to read if someone else wrote it. Or if I’ve come close to reaching my ideal Elmore Leonard and Richard Stark meets John Carpenter and John Woo sweet spot (which I’ve never done, but I keep trying).
When do you feel most productive?
When most of the world is asleep. I get the most done between ten at night and two in the morning.
Do you have a writing routine? What is it?
Yeah, since I’ve been doing a lot of freelance stuff which has deadlines I pretty much have to. I turned the spare bedroom into a dedicated office where I go in and write without distraction. I find I get more done with music, usually some old school metal. I try to get some time in during the day, but like I said before I get the most work done between around ten and two. I’ve found giving myself a deadline for my own stuff like I’m my own freelance client has led to getting a lot more done too.
What stops you from writing?
Not much these days. All the kids are out of the house and I don’t even have a day job at the moment. The only thing that stops me is me, but I’ve kept myself in check lately. Oddly the main thing keeping me from finishing some projects I’d like to complete is writing for other people. Getting books published is awesome, but if when someone offers money, even Chinese I-Pod assembly money, for me to write something for them I’m going to do that first.
Say you’ve hit a slump. What do you do to get going again?
I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever hit a slump, though some might say I’m always in a slump. The most important thing to do is start, all it takes is a line of dialog to get going sometimes. If my ideas are bad, I call it practice and dump it, but one idea almost always leads to another. Even a bad idea can lead to something good.
What advice would you give someone who can’t get their writing going?
Probably what I said above. It’s hard for me to give advice because I don’t really feel I’m very successful as a writer. I like the stuff I’ve done and a few publishers have agreed (and I love them all for it), but if sales matter the world doesn’t feel the same way. Which I guess is the key, write what you want to write, that way when the world doesn’t give a shit you can enjoy doing it anyway.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever had?
Back when I was teaching guitar I had a student who was a writer and I asked if in exchange for some lessons if he would read something I wrote and give me some advice. He didn’t want to, fearing I’d hate him after, but I swore as an art major and a musician I had been told I suck plenty of times (I wasn’t lying) and could take it. He took me to task on several things but the thing that stuck with me was a variation of Elmore Leonards tenth rule in his Ten Rules of Writing, which was: leave out the parts readers want to skip, or as my guitar student said, less can be more.
Where can people find out more about you?
All the usual places. I’m on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter @ToddMorr1. I’ve got the Amazon author page and can be found at times expressing mostly uninformed and stupid opinions on unimportant nonsense at the 10th Rule Books Blog. I’m also reading stuff over at the 10th Rule Books Podcast on a weekly basis.