About Bruce J. Berger:
BRUCE J. BERGER turned to writing after a 40-year career as a trial attorney, earning his MFA in Creative Writing from American University in Washington, DC, where he now teaches. His first novel, The Flight of the Veil, won a Bronze Award in General Fiction from Illumination Christian Book Awards, and his second novel, The Music Stalker, was a Finalist (Suspense) in the Next Gen Indie Book Awards contest. Including To See God, the three novels are now grouped by the publisher as the Forgiveness and Faith novel series. Bruce J. Berger has also published more than 50 stories and poems in a wide variety of literary journals. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Laurie, and their dog, Whiskey, and down the street from his grandson Cole and granddaughter Neely, to whom he has dedicated To See God.
What inspires you to write?
First, I feel my desire to write is a natural human urge, that is, to be creative. That’s baked into our DNA, although some people have more opportunity that others to express this desire or see it come to fruition. Second, writing for me is a discovery process. I want to discover what happens to the characters I’ve created, how they handle the triumphs and tragedies that all human life experiences. So, I want to see who lives and who dies, whose dreams are rewarded and whose dreams are thwarted.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Let’s start with Dostoevsky, who The Brothers Karamazov is still the best novel I have ever read. As a former trial attorney, I’m particularly moved by the famous trial in that novel. But beyond that, I very much love the novels of John Fowles, author of The Magus and The French Lieutenant’s Woman among others, and Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain and Thirteen Moons, among others. I have frequently reread these, so many times, in fact, that I’ve lost count.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am much more of a “seat of the pants” writer. Although I may have a general idea, when I start out, of the main action of the novel, I let the novel unfold as I write scene-by-scene, and often what emerges is very different from what I had originally contemplated. It hasn’t been my practice to write character sketches, however. At this point, I’ve been writing about the same characters for about 14 years. I know them already, almost as well as I know my real family members.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I most certainly do both listen and talk to my characters. How else can I learn what they need and want? Or how else can I learn what they’re thinking? In fact, the idea of an author talking with his characters is so strongly imbedded in me that I’ve published at least two short stories where this explicitly occurs, “Conversation Under Duress” and “Invitation Accepted,” which are included in the Nate and Adel series of 17 short stories that I have made available on Amazon for e-readers.
What advice would you give other writers?
I would turn the old adage “Write what you know” on its head. Instead, I would urge writers to “Write what you need to know.” Another way of saying this is, “Write that book that you would most like to take off your bookshelf and read yourself.” In other words, write the novel whose world you not only want to create, but to discover and understand. Write the novel that will attempt to answer the questions you’ve always had.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I turned to small independent book publishers when I became frustrated with the difficulty of finding a literary agent, which is an absolute necessity if one wants to publish with one of the large publishers. Having landed with Black Rose Writing, I’ve never been sorry. My works are developing their audience, I’ve done well in literary contests I’ve entered, and I’ve probably sold as many copies as I would have had I ended up with a large publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Just as there’s an innate desire to create – and thus to write – there will always be a reading audience demanding new books. There will always be an impetus for writers and publishers to develop new audiences or enhance their existing audiences. I would hope that the human race has increasing amounts of leisure time and uses much of it to continue to read and therefore I hope that the book publishing industry keeps playing an important part in the progress of humanity.
What genres do you write?: Literary fiction, historical fiction, fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
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Link To Bruce J. Berger Page On Amazon
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.
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