Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase, Fiction Attic, Paraphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s Award, Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home.
What inspires you to write?
Assuming you mean the physical act of writing, there’s nothing that inspires me. When it’s time to write, I force myself to sit down and put words to paper. If I have nothing to say, I get up and do something else. On a more esoteric side, though, I’m always writing. There is a stream of dialogue, narratives, or even basic scene setting going through my head any time I am not fully engaged with some other task or person. I do find, however, that I’m more creative and productive when my life is unsettled; either temporarily, through travelling or illness, or routinely, through moving to a new home or city other significant lifestyle changes.
Also, and this sounds a little disturbing, but when I start to hear music in my head, I know it’s time to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
Seat of my pants, all the way. In fact, I often write out of order, which I’m told lends a cinematic quality to my writing. For short stories, I just type in Word. For novels, I use Scrivener, which allows me to more easily write in scenes, and to storyboard, to rearrange and reference back. I’m a strong believer that in any good story or novel, each individual scene should be able to stand on its own merit, outside of the collective work. If it can’t, it’s probably not vital to the story. And if it’s not vital to the story, kill it. Even long, dense works of fiction are made up of the same small blocks: words, sentences, and scenes.
Once I get to the editing/rewrite phase, I always work with printed copy and a pen, and always outdoors. When I’m finally finished and hand it off to my editor, he finds at least a hundred errors, and at that point I know I’m around halfway done.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have a friend of mine who works for a well-known literary agency. I sent her an early draft and she liked it, but right away, there seemed to be too many rules, too much noise there. It had to be a certain length. Change the tense (‘present tense is only appropriate for YA,’ etc.), so I immediately turned to self-publishing. It’s easy to do…anyone can upload a sketched cover and a word doc to Amazon, but to do it well, as with anything, is very difficult. I hired my own editors, artists, and designers, setup my own distribution channels for the best market reach, followed a custom marketing plan designed for my book, hired my own publicity firm, etc. In essence, I started my own publishing company, and learned as much as I could (and still am) about the business. This is the advice I’d give to any writer, and, really, to any artisan. If you want to become a furniture designer, you can’t just learn to make chairs. You need to learn the business, the market, even the human body itself. A beautiful chair sitting in your dusty basement serves no one. Yet, that’s how so many artists seem to live.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of publishing will be more craft oriented, and certainly dominated by self-publishing. There is the real fear of the onslaught of unreadable books; this is already happening in Amazon and other channels. Unpolished works filled with errors, romance/bondage written in preteen prose, but there’s an endless supply of virtual shelf space, and, for those who take their work seriously, not just the writing but also the writing life, the career; those people will inevitably find an audience. Because there are still far more readers than there are writers. And the apparent meritocracy of the online world (outside of paid/fake reviews) gives more writers a chance to shine.
What genres do you write?
action, adventure, mystery, fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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