T. R. Locke is a critically acclaimed bestselling author, screenwriter, humorist and former stage and commercial actor. He has ghostwritten over a dozen books. He writes an authoritative blog for artists about the entertainment business at TRLocke.com. His work has been featured on TV, in national magazines, on Yahoo and across the web. He has lectured at Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Journalism and other colleges and universities.
What inspires you to write?
In my book, I talk about the exact moment that I first desired to be a writer–watching my sister type on a computer at her job when I was 12–before personal computers. I was fascinated by words appearing on the screen out of nowhere. I have loved writing ever since.
Tell us about your writing process.
I procrastinate as much as possible. Deadlines help. Then I dive in–like a cold pool, lake or ocean–just one big START. Soon I’m moving along and comfortable. I don’t know why I procrastinate except that real writing–as opposed to journaling, which I do with ease and utter abandon–is hard work.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Both. If inspired, I just start in and worry about structure later. Too much focus on structure can lead to forced scenes and lost narrative, but I do have to know where I’m going. Once I’ve started, I usually get the feel for where I’m going and eventually it starts to take shape. I think the structure is fairly natural for me.
If I’m inspired to write by a character I’ve imagined–I go with that character and feel out his or her world. If I’m inspired by a plot, then structure more naturally takes over.
As a screenwriter, structure ruled my world. I think that’s why it’s fairly natural for me now.
What advice would you give other writers?
Attack the point of your resistence. Whatever you’re fighting is likely what you need to be doing. If it’s self-doubt, push past it. The stuff you write is a reflection of yourself ultimately. If you are blocked or a character isn’t rounded, you’re not being truthful enough. Honesty is the only thing people are really interested in reading.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My book is all about my struggles in Hollywood trying to please my agent. When I decided to write my book, the last thing I wanted was to hear and agent tell me why I couldn’t write about agents or how writing about producers would threaten my career. I wanted the freedom to say what I wanted to say, so I bypassed the agent and publisher.
I may have physical 2nd edition published by a traditional house though. I didn’t realize all the work involved in the details of being a publisher, agent, publicist, bookseller, website … it’s a lot of work that isn’t very fun.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Good question. It’s kind of like asking if the Internet will take over TV and Movies. TV and Movies will always be around because of their massive production values that the internet cannot match. And major houses will always be around for the same reason. They will all merge, but they will all be around. Thousands of authors give away books everyday–they are lost like grains of sand tossed on a beach. Big houses hold all the reigns to publicity and publicity is everything. If one or two independents take off, they will get contracts to play in the big leagues. And they will take them. No one is going to pass up millions of dollars.
However, I do believe that independent publishing will allow more people to make a modest living as a writer than were able to do so as mid-listers in the past.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Non-fiction, Drama, Thriller,
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print