Award-winning author, Kevin Brockmeier, will be reading and signing books at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center and the Wittliff Collections at Texas State Sept. 6-7.
Brockmeier will read from two different published works to offer a unique experience for audience members who attend both events.
AG: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
KB:Not until I was 18 did I know that I wanted to be a writer. I always enjoyed writing, and I always enjoyed reading as much as anything else. But I had a long sequence of prospective careers in mind when I was growing up. I remember wanting to be a clown when I was really little, an inventor, an actor and a lawyer. Around my senior year in high school, I decided I wanted to write, if I could.
AG: What is your strategy to move beyond writer’s block?
KB: My writing process looks an awful lot like writer’s block. I never work very quickly. I conceive and re-conceive every sentence many times before I will move on to the next one. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have times between books when you’re not writing and you’re concentrating on other things because it can make it easier to return to the page. The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard for people who are faced with writer’s block in the middle of story or novel is to dive hard toward the central purpose of the book.
AG: What are the differences between writing for adults and writing for children?
KB: The biggest difference between the two is that the children’s novels are much more conversational than my adult novels. They’re all meant to seem like a boy who is 10, 11 or 12 years old is simply telling you his story. The other big difference is that my children’s fiction is very jokey with puns, gags and humor. I don’t think my adult fiction is devoid of those things, but it wouldn’t be at the center of the experience.
AG: What is one of your favorite passages from one of your books?
KB: There are some last lines that I remember. For instance, last line of “The Brief History of the Dead.” It reads, “They would listen to each other’s voices, and they would breathe each other’s breath. And they would wait for that power that would pull them like a chain into whatever came next, into that distant world where broken souls are wrenched out of their histories.”
AG: Are you working on a new novel or story at this time?
KB:I am. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the year.I don’t know whether to present it as a novel with an unusual amount of autobiography or a memoir with unusually novelistic attack.
AG: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
KB: The one piece of advice I think every published writer would offer to every aspiring writer is to read. Read as much as you can, and fill your head with other people’s books. I think that is where you will learn. Not only will that inspire to you want to write, but that is where you will learn many of the elements of your craft.