About L.J. Dickles:
L.J. Dickles lives in the midwest U.S. with his wife, son, and two furry kids. He enjoys reading and writing all genres of literature. When not writing he enjoys traveling to baseball games, watching college football, and drinking craft beers. While he has currently only written fiction he looks forward to expanding into nonfiction and other genres. His specialties are humor, dystopian fiction, and science fiction.
What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything. It’s hard to pinpoint. It’s like a light bulb goes off and it seems to always happen while I’m driving. Before I know it I’m scrambling for a gas station to pull over and write down notes. My characters are always an eclectic mix of my imagination and various traits of people I’ve been close to my entire life. Knowing there are people out there who enjoy reading what I enjoy writing is the main thing that helps me keep punching away on the keyboard.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am not a very good example to follow because my system is kind of organized chaos in which I’m the only one who really understands it. For short stories and even novellas I will usually just hammer it out. For longer works I tend to make a rough outline of key plot events, maybe list out characters and their qualities (briefly), but I very much enjoy just writing and letting it go where it goes on the first draft. The first draft is always the most fun and produces the least quality. Revision and rewriting are extremely critical and that’s where I usually grit my teeth and get into the meat and make things pop.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to put myself inside each of my characters. I’ve always had an ability to see things from other points of view. I believe that really helps me get in touch with my characters. I’m just wired that way. I don’t think I talk to them necessarily. It’s more asking myself questions as I see the world through their eyes. What would x do here or what would y do? How would they react to this? That’s how I develop my characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, write, and write. Then write some more. Don’t expect to make money. Write because you can’t not write. If you’re not always thinking up ideas or eager to get into the zone and leave this world for a while, it’s probably not for you. Writing fiction anyway. There are few times in my life where I just didn’t feel like writing. I’ve always had a story to tell.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I know it’s probably cliche, but I think Hugh Howey has been my biggest inspiration when it comes to how I distribute my work. I’ve never really even queried an agent or publishing house. I come from a business and technical background so electronic self publishing was kind of built for me. I’m always trolling his blog and I just find myself agreeing with almost everything he says. I’ve always been an open source/free market kind of guy so anything that fosters competition is fine by me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s very dynamic at the moment and a lot is left to play out. I don’t think self publishing is going anywhere and I don’t think traditional publishing is either. They both have pros and cons. I think they’re both great for everyone. Traditional publishing will usually put out higher quality work, simply because you can’t just hit a publish key and slap one of their names on it. There is a lot of junk out there in the self publishing world. But there are a lot of gems that have been discovered and are still to be discovered. I’d like to hope I’ll be one of them.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: humor, science fiction, psychedelic fiction, YA, dystopian fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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