About Chadwick Wall:
Born and raised in New Orleans and its suburbs–and working and residing there during Katrina–Chad has written for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Sewanee Purple, the Riverside Reader, the Baton Rouge Advocate, and most recently Austin.com. After years living in many cities and regions, he counts himself lucky enough to reside in the laid-back yet vibrant, friendly and creative city of Austin. Here he spends many of his days and nights either holed up like a hermit, reading or writing away-or prowling around, investigating all of the live music, delicious cuisine, and cultural hubs he can find.
What inspires you to write?
What inspires me the most are certain special people who pursue their dreams to the fullest and aim highest. Many of these are writers, but some are musicians, actors, filmmakers, scientists, activists. Yet I find inspiration often in music, in film, in something I may see randomly during my day. Those moments where I experience my strongest and most intense feeling, or original thought, or those eureka moments where I feel I have arrived at some newfound wisdom, those inspire me to write as well.
Tell us about your writing process.
On my best and happiest days, I rise before dawn to brew a pot of coffee and to write, getting in at least two to two and a half hours of writing and/or editing. Like most, my mind works best shortly after I wake, and I want to use this for writing more than editing, which I feel I can do later in the day, often in the evening or at night. During the day, I try to keep a Moleskine pad in my pocket to jot down random thoughts/ideas, or interesting dialogue I hear around me. When writing a novel or short story, I feel it is best to write the first draft without pausing to edit. That can come later, with future drafts. I used to be scared of the second-act slump, that if I outlined or whiteboarded, I would subconsciously feel my novel was already rendered and I wouldn’t finish and publish the novel. Thus my debut novel was not outlined/whiteboarded, I felt that it was so very “from the heart” that it did not need outlining. I also feared I would never finish if I whiteboarded. I no longer have this concern and am now heavily outlining and notecarding my second novel. I think this will make for a more finely-crafted novel.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I’m comforted by the fact that I don’t actually speak to my characters 😉 I do however, feel that I can hear them speak to me during the process of writing, and editing. I feel like I can tell the differences in their voices, inflections. And I can imagine their appearances–in fact, as a more visual than audial writer, I can see them in my mind’s eye better than I can hear them.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write daily if possible, at the time of day when you feel your minds functions at its best. Musicians and painters usually practice daily, why shouldn’t writers? Choose employment that supports your art, and ideally, that even inspires or enriches it–but never employment that leaves you drained or dispirited. Seek out and associate with serious writers, preferably writers who work in your genre(s). Join or form a writers’ group where you can critique, and be critiqued. Find your voice, that which is unique to you, don’t mimic the voice(s) of other writers. Be your authentic self as a writer.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
A highly respected small press in Oregon expressed interest in my book after reading it, and I met and pitched two prominent New York literary agents, and both expressed interest. But I actually didn’t walk much down the traditional publishing path. Two friends in Austin owned a indie publishing company, and I used their services and Amazon’s platform to publish my debut novel. I wanted to support my friends, and to support an Austin business.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There will always be large and small traditional presses, but independent publishing on platforms like Amazon will continue to eat up more and more of the publishing landscape. Reflecting this change, e-readers will year by year comprise more and more of the reading medium, over paperbacks and hardbacks. Ideally, traditional and independent publishing would both thrive, and this will almost undoubtedly happen. There is room for both and they do not have to be mutually exclusive.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Literary Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print