1) You wrote Reejecttion, and collaborated with another writer and illustrator for ReejecttIIon — A Number 2. What was the reason for the collaboration and how does a collaboration work?
The collaboration came about very organically.
A fellow author, Harry Whitewolf, read the first book and asked me when I was going to write a second. I told him that I didn’t have the time to write a second book by myself and asked if he would like to help. The partnership evolved from there.
My hope is that someday the “Reejecttion” series can evolve into something like a literary Saturday Night Live the indie authors can come and go. I would really like to see a Reejection 3 where I only contribute a few pages of content.
2) What motivated you to initially write Reejecttion and subsequently self-publish this book?
I had enough material for one long short story collection. However, a lot of the stories were tonally different. So instead of doing one long short story collection, I did two short ones — Reejecttion and Something to Stem the Diminishing.
Something to Stem the Diminishing could not be more different in tone the Reejecttion. It’s more literary and many of the stories deal with longing and disappointment.
3) With all of the rejection slips in these books, what do you think about traditional publishing vs self-publishing and how effective self-publishing is?
From the viewpoint of the writer, it’s still the same problem — How do you get people to care?
With traditional publishing you were trying to get agents, lit magazines, and publishers to care. With Indie publishing, you’re trying to get prospective readers to care.
But in the end, who are you? And why should they care?
By the way, thank you for caring ; )
4) You have written a number of books, I imagine these have all been fun projects to write. How long have you been writing?
I say that the initial writing part can be a lot of fun — the first two to three drafts. But some books, like Ghosts of Nagasaki, have been through many more drafts. That’s a lot of hard work. Something to Stem the Diminishing was hard work. So was the Lexical Funk.
With the Reejection books, I settled for one or two drafts. It was a very breezy writing and publishing process.
For this reason, I’ve also been doing a lot more blogging and micro-writing of late. It’s instant gratification and I feel it helps to nurture the child-like joy of writing. This type of writing is great as long as you can keep your expectations in check.
5) Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers?
Yes! Haruki Murakami, Douglas Adams, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, J.D. Salinger.
6) Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m also a researcher on International Relations. I’ve written extensively on various issues from Japanese security politics to climate change. You can read my work on The Diplomat, The Diplomatic Courier, e-IR, and East Asian Forum.
Right now, though, I’m focusing on my fiction writing and my blog.
7) Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?
Start small and try to set achievable goals. Try to write every day. Try to read every day.
That’s about it.
8) What are your future ambitions for your writing?
I’m working on a new novel at the moment. I’m hoping to finish that by 2019 or 2020. It takes me a while to finish a novel. In the meantime, I hope people will sign up to my blog: http://www.ghostsofnagasaki.com for free short stories and essays.
Daniel has wanted to be a writer ever since he was in elementary school.He has published stories and articles in such magazines as Slipstream, Black Petals, Spindrift, Zygote in my Coffee, and Leading Edge Science Fiction (and many others). He has written six books: The Sage and the Scarecrow (a novel), the Lexical Funk (a short story collection), Reejecttion (short story/ essay collection), ReejecttIIon — A Number Two, (short story /essay collection), Something to Stem the Diminishing (short story / essay collection), and The Ghosts of Nagasaki (a novel).