Here’s my “official” book bio:
Kevin Sharp is a New Mexico native who currently lives in Northern California, where he teaches high school creative writing. He is the author of numerous screenplays and two award-winning short stories. While he has technically grown up, Kevin has yet to outgrow Looney Tunes, The Price is Right, fantasy novels, or comic books. Deep down, he still thinks that working with apes would be the best job in the world.
I’ll also add that after college, while supposedly on the path to an acting career, I ended up in screenwriting. No, none of what I wrote ever got produced – but it’s still possible to earn a decent living! After leaving the movie business, I ended up teaching. I now teach high school creative writing and film study (not a bad gig).
What inspires you to write?
In my former life, I was inspired by needing to pay rent and eat. Oh, and hopefully realize every screenwriter’s dream of seeing my work in the movie theater.
Nowadays, sometimes it’s an idea I want to explore; sometimes it’s reading another book (good or bad); sometimes it’s writing quickie pieces with students or in a writer’s group and discovering a gem buried in there.
Tell us about your writing process.
I ALWAYS outline. A lot of this stems from my writing background — anyone who starts a screenplay without a road map is asking to get lost. So I’m a big believer in structure. With that said, my roadmap is just that; if I decide to take the car on a detour, or a route with less traffic, that’s OK.
I used to have a corkboard with index cards tacked to it. The Scrivener program lets me do that virtually, though I still sometimes write on index cards just to be old school.
Very loose character sketches before I write. Character is an area I like to discover during the process.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I learn about characters through their actions. I may tell them what to do, they may surprise me. On occasion, I have to break the news to them that they’re not needed after all.
What advice would you give other writers?
1. Finish everything you start. No matter how bad an ending is, just put an ending on. Then, presto! You have a completed story/essay/play/whatever.
2. Write every day, even when (especially when) you don’t feel like it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first novel is self-published, even though I started on the path toward traditional publishing. I figured that after all my experience with Hollywood agents, the book business would be a nice change of pace. BZZZT! Wrong! I still found walls and closed doors at almost every turn.
If someone reads my work and doesn’t respond to it, that’s fine. What I resent is not even being able to get my work in front of someone. My novel is a “small” story that would never spawn a mega-movie franchise, and so many agents have stars in their eyes only for “big” projects.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Being around adolescents every day, I still see a hunger for reading material (despite the gloom and doom prognosticators). This is one reason that, when more than one agent told me teenagers “only” like to read scifi/supernatural stories, I had to call BS.
I don’t think physical books are going anywhere. I could envision a future where more publishers go to a print on demand model for smaller titles. But the people ensconced in their New York/LA ivory towers may find themselves out of touch with the readership.
P.S. The kids I talk to all prefer “real” books to ebooks.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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