What’s your writing background? When did you begin writing and what inspired you?
I’ve written since I can remember but even as a child, I used to love to write stories about what was going on around me and what I saw every day. I particularly liked writing letters, keeping journals about my travels and kept diaries of notes and observations. So it didn’t surprise me that when I started writing Electroboy, that the form of the book took that of a diary which included abstract lists and notes.
How often do you write? And how do you manage to fit in writing among other commitments?
I write every single day in some form, and that could include observations about my day or a full-on essay about something going on around me. But there are days when I find my writing in different forms: some start off as emails to friends which I then hold on to (and sometimes never send) and later become the source of larger essays.
In which genre do you most enjoy writing?
I think I’m not only most comfortable writing in the memoir genre but I enjoy it the most too. I can’t grasp the concept of fiction because the idea of ‘making up details’ or creating characters, for some reason, just doesn’t make sense to me when I already have so much information right in front of me.
What draws you to write in that genre?
I think I’m drawn to the memoir genre because if I don’t write about my own experience, I feel like I’m drowning in it and I do need to ‘get it out’ and make sense of what is happening in my life. And again, it’s something I’ve done regularly for so many years.
Can you tell me about your current project(s)?
I’m in the midst of working on a sequel to Electroboy, which would pick up in about 2000. The new book will chronicle a brand new decade which at first seemed particularly dull to me, but then I realized that the events and anecdotes of this period were twice as dramatic as what I chronicled in my first book about my bipolar disorder, and also included elements of the first book.
This next book spans a period, which includes my ‘recovery’ and decision to leave New York after two decades for Los Angeles, my marriage, the birth of my two daughters and settling into an entirely different lifestyle in a city almost 3,000 miles away from home. Of course, that wouldn’t be enough material for a memoir, so it’s the insanity and the drama of these past ten years which I delve into: this very strange city and what I have seen every day that makes me think I haven’t moved to another city but to another planet, a rollercoaster ride of a marriage, divorce and custody battle and experiences which detail an entirely different culture than anything I have ever seen and still really don’t fully understand. But for the most part, I’m writing less about my mental illness and more about the mental illness of others, while not really focusing on mental illness as a subject and more on divorce and custody.
What are your writing plans for the future?
Once I complete the sequel to Electroboy – and I’m just now waiting for this period to end so I have a point where I can safely leave my readers – I think I’ll just have to wait until what happens next, although I do feel strongly that I’ll be travelling, not only to escape from Los Angeles, but to see places I haven’t seen, which I hope will mould my next story.
Of course Electroboy is a start (on Amazon UK and Amazon US) and I do maintain a website at http:/www.electroboy.com and I’m on Twitter. I’ve also written quite a bit for newspapers, magazines and websites, and all of this is easy to find on my website.