Successor to Tom Clancy, an Interview with Grant Blackwood (part 2)

Part Two of my Interview with best selling author, Grant Blackwood, successor to Tom Clancy

blackwood-portrait-253x300Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment ?

A. I don’t have a muse, per se. If anything, my muse is the drive to write stories that entertain readers. That’s the little voice that sits on my shoulder. Too often writers fall into the muse trap — believing that they’re creativity and productivity is at the whim of something “out there”, something fleeting. Start writing. The muse will be there.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

A. July of 1987, two months after I got out of the Navy. I’d been thinking about writing a book since I was eight or nine. That morning in July I caught myself on a good day. Instead of saying, “maybe tomorrow”, I got out a typewriter and went to work. (For you younger folks, a typewriter is an ancient mechanical device that was used in long, long ago days to….)

Q. What makes a writer great?UNDER-FIRE-copy1-2

A. There are a lot of traits that make writers great, but a few that come to mind are curiosity, focus, tenacity, and an unwavering faith in the power of imagination. For genre writers (mysteries, thrillers, etc.), one of the most important — and often ignored — qualities is a keen awareness of why readers pick up your kind of book — they want to be entertained.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?

A. For me it goes like this: Brainstorm, sketch, outline, write (editing as I go), revise, then deliver. How fast that plays out depends on the deadline I’m facing. Of course, once a book reaches the publisher there’s a another layer of stuff that happens.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing/stories?

A. Tough question. It’s impossible for a writer’s life experiences to not affect what ends up on the page but I can’t tell you exactly what those things would be. It’s like a puree of events, large, small, good, bad, and in-between.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

Grant Blackwood
Writing under his own name, a Briggs Tanner novel

A. Usually in the brainstorming stage. I have a pretty specific method for brainstorming that tends to sort out a lot of hurdles and big questions. I’m a big believer in the power of the subconscious mind; it’s always working in the background.

Q. What inspired your stories?

A. When I was about eighteen I was reading a thriller that had me stuck to my chair. Time passed without my noticing. I forgot to eat. I forgot to let my dog outside. When I finished the book, the reality of what had just happened struck me: Somewhere, that author had created from whole cloth people, places, and events that had just hijacked (in a nice way) my brain for an entire day. Right then I realized that’s what I wanted to do for a living.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

A. How grateful I am for them. Without readers I wouldn’t be doing what I love for a living. It’s a thought that’s never far from my mind.

Click here to enjoy Part one of this entertaining Interview

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!      Grant Blackwood (Tom Clancy) in Sept. and Julia London in October.
Coming later in September: 
A bonus Interview with iconic comic book writer, Chuck Dixon, in September.
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