Today Liam Sweeny is here to tell us a bit about himself. I hope you enjoy what he has to say. Vic x
Tell us how you got into writing.
I started out with poetry, but I never wrote short stories, or anything leading up into fiction until Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. After seeing what happened there, I started writing my first novel, Anno Luce. I was a guitar player at the time, so I don’t know, some switch in my brain just flipped.
Describe for our readers the genre(s) you write in and why they appeal to you as a writer.
I like to write sci-fi/fantasy/horror, if that’s a genre. I used to be into comic books, and am still into science and religion/spirituality/metaphysics, so when I see the story unfold in my head, it usually looks like some crazy special-effects, CGI movie. I also write crime/noir, and that’s a lot of just being around enough degenerates in my life, comes with the territory, I guess. If I’m murdering a scumbag with my assassin, I’m not beating the crap out of the idiot who cut me off in line at the store?
What inspires you to write?
The Juice. Not the liquor, the coffee or the cigs, but the juice. When I know that “Uncle Jake” has three quarters, a peppermint and an old, beat up card from the wake of his wife, died three years ago… and I don’t even realize I know that… that’s the juice.
Do you have time to read? If so, what are you reading at the moment? Do you have a favourite all-time read?
I read when I’m bored. Right now, I’m reading non-fiction; Vulture’s Picnic, by Greg Palast. In fact, his first book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, happens to be my all-time favourite read. He’s one of the view investigative journalists that reads like a writer.
Which author(s) would you say have most influenced your writing?
Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, James Ellroy, Anne Rice and Dean Koontz are the biggest.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
I’m taking a break to try promoting my work. I have a few half-books that I’m stuck on, so eventually I’ll crank some new stuff out.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to get feedback on the books I have out there. I don’t have many readers who have left written feedback on, say, Amazon. They usually just tell me; I’m thankful, but without Amazon reviews, your work stays at the bottom of the pile.
Where can you be found online?
I can be found online at:
Independent Authors Network: www.independentauthornetwork.com/liam-sweeny.html
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Characters. You can have the best plot, the most interesting setting, and you may be so focused on those that you use the characters like clay that you run through the plot within the setting – that’s a good way to lose readers. Jot down your plot, your setting – figure out what types of characters you’ll need – then forget about the plot and setting, and spend a few pages fleshing out your characters; more pages for main characters, obviously. Get them to the point where you can jump in their heads – then use the plot and setting as guides. People identify with your characters. It’s through them that the readers experience the story.
What do you most like about writing? What do you dislike?
I love dialogue. And subtlety, understatement when someone would expect the opposite. I don’t like description. We all have to do it, but I find it slow going.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
My strengths are in portraying realism even when the story wouldn’t be believable. I’m pretty good with dialogue. My weakness is description, as in, knowing how to describe what I can see in my mind. Styles of architecture, types of clothing, flora, etc.
How do you feel about the e-book and e-book publishers?
It’s a great way for people who ordinarily wouldn’t have a voice a chance to have a voice. That’s always good. I think that if possible, ebook writers should try to publish with POD so that readers without e-readers can be reached, but I know it’s not always possible. E-publishers, I would say, it depends on the publisher. Some are good; some aren’t. Writers just have to do the research.