Today we are pleased to announce a new collaboration in Gobblers: Bogdan Dragos. The author has kindly accepted to answer a few questions about himself. Thanks for joining and welcome aboard!
Q: Do you have a favourite book? If so, which one?
A: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. I won’t say it’s the greatest book ever written, but it sure is the one that influenced me the most. And that’s because it happened to come into my life at a time when all I knew about fantasy came from fairy tales and fables where all characters are perfectly black and white. The good ones are perfectly good and the bad ones are perfectly bad. Well, you can guess how Blood Meridian hit me then (I think I was about twelve or so).
Q: Do you have a favourite author? If so, who would it be?
A: Well, considering my answer to the previous question I’ll have to say Cormac McCarthy. First of all because his prose reads like poetry. I love that. Second because the guy managed to get published despite being very unconventional with his writing (as you know, he uses no quotation marks for dialogue and builds unhealthily long sentences.)
Q: Since when have you been writing? Did you have any previous intuition that you’d become a writer?
A: I think I got the spark when I was twenty. Being okay with solitude is perhaps the greatest way to know that writing is for you. I got this job at twenty where I have to spend twelve hours alone into an office and supervise casinos through CCTV cameras (working both day and night shifts). It gets pretty lonely at times and that triggers long episodes of daydreaming. From there it’s just one small step to writing some thoughts down.
Q: Literature and gender. Could you give me your opinion (elaborate if you want)
A: I like everything that leans towards tragedy. Stories where the main characters aren’t safe from maiming and permanent death. I don’t like characters coming back to life or healing from ridiculous wounds like dismemberment or such. Yeah, maybe it’s a bit edgy but I really feel like it takes away from the thrill of the story, the spice. There’s too many stories where the main character gets pierced through the heart and you just know they’ll turn out perfectly fine a few chapters later. Those stories aren’t worth reading. But hey, don’t forget, that’s just my unpopular opinion (everybody has one).
Q: Self-publishing vs publisher: what would you opt for? Why?
A: Far as I know, self-publishing works only if you’re already someone famous, if you have an established audience. Otherwise, your best bet is to go for the classic hunt for literary agents (that’s what I’m doing now that I have a novel I want to publish).
Q: How much time do you devote to writing? Do you regard self-preparation (prior to writing) as something relevant for writing?
A: Well, you know what they say, in everyone’s career luck plays a bigger part than they’d ever like to admit. I do consider myself extremely lucky to be able to write from work. That’s what I do (so in a way you could say I’m making money writing :D). In twelve hours I find enough windows of time to fill a few pages. Then I edit them when I get home. As for self-preparation, I believe the trick is just to get yourself to start. Force yourself if you have to. There’s nothing more effective. But always start with low expectations, that’s important. Don’t go into it expecting to lay down the next “War And Peace”. Expect to write crappy stuff and more often than not you’ll surprise yourself.
Q: What advice would you give to novel authors?
A: I’m not a published author (not with a novel at least), so I can’t consider myself qualified to give advice. But one good piece of advice that I’ve heard is to make it a sacred rule to open your project daily. The goal should be to take one minuscule step a day, but do take that step every day. Even if all you write is one sentence. It will keep you invested into the story and ideas will pop up into your head when you’re away from it. However, if you don’t open your document every day you risk getting distracted with other things and your story will fade away.
Q: What are your current and short-term literature projects (elaborate if you want)
A: Well, I have an epic fantasy project of about 700,000 words and I have to divide it into books. Problem is, you can’t find an agent who would want to take up a project of that length from an author who doesn’t already have a few titles published under his belt. So yeah, I guess you could say I’m now writing another, shorter novel (aiming for about 80 – 100.000 words) and trying to get it published, so I can return to my epic fantasy series.
Q: What would you like to write for Gobblers?
A: Poems. Like those I have on my poetry blog. Free verse, slice of life poetry mostly in third person, sometimes in first.
Q: What would you like to read in Gobblers?
A: Poems. I do read a lot on my phone when I’m at work or whenever I’m in some waiting room somewhere.
Visit the author’s blog at: https://drbogdan.home.blog/