DAHLIA SCHWEITZER is a writer, curator, educator, and performer. Her books, articles, concerts, and installations–found across mass/mainstream, critical/academic, and emergent/underground channels–touch upon themes of media and identity; sexuality and femininity; decay and reinvention. Sometimes her intention is to critique and suggest, others to transform and advance, and yet others to arouse and entertain.
Schweitzer’s other works include erotic fiction (Seduce Me, Queen of Hearts, Breathe With Me, I’ve Been a Naughty Girl); cultural criticism (Some Kind of Monster: Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer); impassioned essays in publications including Hyperallergic and The Journal of Popular Culture; and an album of electronic dance music (Plastique). A former resident of Berlin, Tel Aviv, and New York City, Schweitzer currently lives in Los Angeles. Here, in the city of angels (and devils), she teaches critical thinking and creative writing while working toward her PhD at UCLA.
What inspires you to write?
Julian Schnabel wrote that “Making art is the only way some kinds of people mediate the world. It is the way they fit into the world…Through making objects one learns things about life that cannot be learned (or communicated) in any other way. It gets made out of the need for a direct, concrete truth that stays intact, available, as long as the work exists.” And that is why I write. It is my way of understanding the world, of mediating it. And I love words.
Tell us about your writing process.
When it’s time to write, I put on my headphones, turn on some Deadmau5, pop in chewing gum (I don’t know why, but it works), and then I make myself do it. When I’m in the middle of a book, I force myself to write a certain number of pages each day. When I’m editing, I edit until my eyes go bleary!
I always outline — but I also remind myself (every day) that first drafts are supposed to be horrible, that they are ALLOWED to be horrible. Because otherwise, I’d never finish that first draft.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t do either, but they definitely exist in my head. It’s always an amazing feeling when other people read my book and talk to me about my characters, as if my characters were real for them, too.
What advice would you give other writers?
There are no shortcuts.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I love that self-publishing gives you total control about when, how, and in what way you can publish.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s going to change a lot, and I think that’s good.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Erotica, Fiction, Romance, Non-Fiction, Art Criticism, Film Criticism
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print