Jesse Pohlman is a 28 year old writer from Freeport, New York, with both fiction and non-fiction as his domains of choice. He holds a Masters of Education and Bachelors of History from Adelphi University, as well as a Bachelors of English from Queens College. More to the point, he’s independently produced not only five works of literature but also publishes a blog about his hometown’s current events.
When not writing, Mr. Pohlman is a helpless ski bum, as well as a fan of more energetic sports – paintball, fencing, tennis, swimming, and more. He also has been known to indulge in roleplaying games and even some Tribes, from time to time.
His latest novel, “Protostar: Memoirs of the Messenger,” is available exclusively on the Kindle; his most recent paperback is “Physics Incarnate,” which can also be found on the Kindle.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is a compulsion. It’s just something I’m unable to resist. I can find my direct influences anywhere – the riddiculopity of the news, the religious lunatic spewing hatred that happens to be across from wherever I’m seated, or even some TV show I watch that touches on an idea which could warrant further exploration. Sometimes I’m inspired by other authors, but most of the time I just dawn upon a story that needs to be told, then give it what it needs.
Tell us about your writing process.
My process is fairly simple, by most standards. I usually try to sketch out a bunch of notes in a small, black-leather-bound journal I have. These notes serve as a nice scaffold for when I sit down and write, mainly by making sure I don’t forget or mix up any critical details; hair color, personal traits, that sort of thing. When I actually write, well, it all comes in a burst. I’ve literally sat down, started writing, then looked up to see four hours and five thousand words had passed me by. Usually, my rough drafts sound a lot like this response; as if I’m speaking to a person who is listening. It’s when I edit that I narrow things down and take a more narrative approach.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, absolutely! In “Physics Incarnate,” (And it’s pending sequel! Shh!), the character Jim Lowery is an Irishman who has a very strong accent. I often read his lines in my best (terrible) attempt at an Irish lilt, just to see if it flows well. Sometimes, especially when he’s agitated, I have to weigh the benefit of his authentic incomprehensibility against the reader’s expectation not to have to muddle through a hundred words of broken English.
What advice would you give other writers?
I could give another writer a lot of advice, but my first response to the question is, “Advice about what?” If it’s on how to get started as a writer, the best thing to do is to do it. If you’re in college or high school, then sign up for any literary magazines or newspapers you can find. The editorial pressure of being butchered by your peers is pretty significant, and being judged on your writing by them? It’s exactly what you need to get started. Otherwise, consider opening up a blog or Deviantart for your writing, or maybe even swing over to Reddit and post some work there if you aren’t afraid of the internet trolls.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
With my original books, starting back in 2005, I published through a small company called Lulu. At the time, independent and self publication was much smaller. I’d submitted my work to plenty of big publishing houses, but either didn’t hear back from them or, well – a short story. One rejection letter I got said, basically, that they loved the book but they just weren’t looking for writing in that field. The company folded not long afterwards, like many publishers have done. So, I went with Lulu; and it was alright, except that they shift a lot of costs on to the reader. Since learning about Amazon’s “Createspace” imprint, as well as it’s Kindle options, I’ve moved over to them.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of the publishing industry is bleak, as long as you’re adopting the perspective of the old-school large publishing house. Reading isn’t exactly the national pass-time, and those who indulge in it are typically, but not exclusively, of higher socio-economic standing. They’re all migrating towards electronic devices, and technology has utterly upended the traditional supply chain. Digital distribution lets newcomers (hi!) in with relative ease, eating away at the big guys’ profit margins, since all the new guy has to do is provide a product and access to said product.
True, they net the same benefits of not having to produce as many physical books to satisfy demand, but the strategy of the old guard seems to be in the mega-hit; Stephen King novels, for example, still sell to just about everyone just based on name recognition. On the other hand, because they have to devote so much energy in advertisement and production value, the large publishing houses are less willing to take on new creators.
This forces new guys (hi! Again!) to distribute digitally and independently. It’s great for the reader who has a digital device – a full-length novel can cost as little as ninety nine cents! And, it gives the little guys a taste at some spending cash and a hope that they’ll break it big. But the big guys can always sign on people for digital distribution exclusively; and, they have endless catalogs which can be easily reproduced in digital format to bring in new dollars and cents.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Conspiracy, Superhero
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print