Would you believe it's Monday again?
No, neither would I.
Let's go back to bed and try again later. Maybe it'll be Tuesday.
If we do that, we'll miss today's interviews!
Cancel that. Who's up first?
Joseph A. Schiller is a high school social studies teacher in Houston, TX USA, where he lives with his wife and three sons. In addition to the publication of his fantasy novel Upon the Arrival of Dawn, he has had two short stories published by A New Ulster.
A darkness grows, threatening the delicate fabric of the Universe. An ominous cloud spreads, bringing an increasing imbalance across the Cosmos. Essences bent on wickedness and ultimate destruction are violently stripping the Energy of Life from innocent terrestrial creatures, bringing Existence to the very brink of collapse. Only one Celestial essence boldly accepts the calling to seek out the source of the encroaching evil and restore Harmony once again to Existence. Azrael, humble servant of Eternity, offspring of Existence, will stop at nothing to protect the Universe, mortal and immortal alike.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
DCU or MCU?
Both, but very selectively so.
Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity?
Just looking for the easy money.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
My passion for writing began in the 7th grade in a creative writing elective. I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to develop my voice and confidence with writing at such an early age.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Read. Read as much as you can. I firmly believe that the best authors are probably even more committed readers. It makes perfect sense. If I want to be someone that writes well, I need to be immersed in well written stories.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing definitely energizes me. In fact, if I had the freedom to set aside everything all of the mundane things I normally have going on in a day and just write, I would. I’ll procrastinate almost everything, but writing is always a priority.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Taking the easy path. What I mean by that is this. I have heard from a number of authors that paid a vanity publisher $5k or $6 for editing, marketing, and publishing services, instead of either seeking the knowledge to do as much themselves as possible, or at least shop around for cheaper options. Instead, they spend money that will take decades of book sales to get back (unless they are one of the rare break out success stories). I think what makes self-publishing so helpful in becoming a better author is all of the learning and growth that takes place along the way, including the pre or post-publication side of things.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Both, as with anything in life. It’s a fine balancing act. Enough of an ego is needed so one has the self-confidence to fight for their story, but not so much that they are not open to criticism, feedback, or coaching from experienced authors.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write for myself first and foremost. Obviously, I hope others also enjoy my stories, but I don’t write for others.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Yes, absolutely. Just as there are infinite forms, possible expressions, and mediums of visual art, the same is true of literary voices. In fact, I would argue that I am not a very emotionally expressive person.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Your mind is a muscle, exercise it constantly.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Finishing the writing process for the first time is like losing your virginity. The feeling is so spectacular that all you want to do is have the same feelings over, and over again.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Investing a few hundred in a final edit, and book design.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
Everything we think, believe or know about “reality” is wrong.
What does literary success look like to you?
Enjoying writing and everything creative about it.
What do you have coming next?
I’ve finished the first rough draft of a non-fiction historical investigation into the possible Jewish origins of the Shinto faith and the Japanese people. My goal is for the book to be ready for publication by the end of the summer. I’m also working on the outlining for a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid based on the Greek mathematician, philosopher, and mystic Pythagoras. My goal is for it to be ready by the end of the summer of 2024.