Author interview 129 – Zelmer Wilson


Zelmer Wilson

United States

Age 45

Zelmer Wilson (1975- ) was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. At the age of three, he moved with his family to Fort Smith, Arkansas. He would live there until he was eleven years old. In the summer of 1986, he left Arkansas and moved to Phoenix, Arizona with his father and stepmother. During the summer of 1990, while visiting his mother and two sisters in Birmingham, Alabama, he discovered his calling in life, to be a writer. His debut novel, In the Middle, is inspired by his own difficult teenage years in Phoenix, Arizona.

His influences are Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Hans Fallada, and Zadie Smith

Bobbie Lamont has just graduated from college. Her on and off affair with her English professor has ended and she is heart broken. Believing that life without love isn’t worth living, she decides to kill herself on her twenty-second birthday. And then three days before the Fourth of July, she meets Miller Hoffman and her life changes. In Miller, a bright but troubled seventeen year old boy from Phoenix, Arizona, she will find the love she’s been searching for her whole life.

Romelia:    WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?

Zelmer Wilson:   For me, not writing is harder than writing, because when I’m writing I know I’m doing what I enjoy, what I’m good at, and am fulfilling the meaning of my life.

Romelia:    DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?

Zelmer Wilson:   Yes, my family supports and encourages me.

Romelia:    IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Zelmer Wilson:   I would have gone to a four year college or university and taken writing classes.

Romelia:    HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

Zelmer Wilson:   On average, it takes me twelve months to write a book.

Romelia:    DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?

Zelmer Wilson:   Yes, I do because I have struggled with it in the past.

Romelia:    AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?

Zelmer Wilson:   A person can call themselves and consider themselves a writer after they have finished writing a story. Until then, a person is only an aspiring writer.

Romelia:    WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?

Zelmer Wilson:   The difference is a person only becomes an author after something they have written is published.

Romelia:    HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?

Zelmer Wilson:   I remind myself that not everyone is going to like what I write and push myself to write better.

Romelia:    WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?

Zelmer Wilson:   I find the most difficult part of writing is determining when to show and when to tell.

Romelia:    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?

Zelmer Wilson:   I have been writing for almost twenty-three years now, starting when I was twenty-three years old and attempting to write my first novel.

Romelia:    WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?

Zelmer Wilson:   I would tell someone writing their first book to write every day, have a place to write, and devote an hour or two to just writing.

Romelia:    WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?

Zelmer Wilson:   The most important elements of good writing are characters, story, and the author’s voice.

Romelia:    WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?

Zelmer Wilson:   Most of the time, the main character comes to me first because I write character driven novels.

Romelia:    HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?

Zelmer Wilson:   First, I write notes about my characters, then I write the outline, developing them a little, and finally, as I’m writing the first draft, I get to know my characters.

Romelia:    WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?

Zelmer Wilson:   I started calling myself a writer when I finished writing the first draft of my first novel almost twenty years ago, in August, 2001, when I was twenty-six years old.

Romelia:    HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?

Zelmer Wilson:   I have a Facebook author page I post updates of my novels, pictures of the front covers, and share reviews of my novels.

Romelia:    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?

Zelmer Wilson:   My favorite part of publishing is seeing my novels available on Amazon and the least favorite part is trying to get reviews.

Romelia:    WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?

Zelmer Wilson:   I would say, unless they are already good at designing book covers, not to do it because it’s better to pay someone else to design a good looking book cover than to save money by doing it yourself and having a terrible looking book cover.

Romelia:    HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Zelmer Wilson:   I have written twelve books in the last twenty years and my favorite one was the last one I wrote, my fifth novel, Next Best Thing.

Romelia:    WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?

Zelmer Wilson:   I have the hardest time writing the opening and closing paragraphs, because they are the most important ones in a book.

Romelia:    WHAT PART OF THE BOOK WAS THE MOST FUN TO WRITE?

Zelmer Wilson:   I enjoyed writing the first draft, because I turned the outline of seventy-five pages into a manuscript which was four hundred and forty-eight pages.

Romelia:    WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS DO YOU RELATE TO THE MOST AND WHY?

Zelmer Wilson:   The character I relate to the most is Miller Hoffman, the main character and narrator of my first novel, In the Middle, because he is the character most like myself and is my literary alter ego in many ways.

Romelia:    IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?

Zelmer Wilson:   I have two more novels starring Bobbie Lamont and plan on writing four more, a series of six novels in total. Nothing but Trouble is a prequel to the Bobbie Lamont series and The Distance Between is the sequel to the first novel in the Bobbie Lamont series, Bobbie Lamont.

Romelia:    TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.

Zelmer Wilson:   The funniest part about my life is that I’m considered an adult.

Romelia:   DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES. TELL US SOMETHING WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU AND SOMETHING YOU HATE ABOUT THE WORLD.

Zelmer Wilson:   I became a reader when I was six years old and realized I wanted to be a writer when I was fifteen years old. I wrote my first novel eleven years later, in 2001 when I was twenty-six years old and published my first novel, In the Middle, twelve years after that, in 2013, when I was thirty-eight years old.

I have twelve years forklift operator experience and I hate both the class inequality and institutional racism in my country, the United States of America.

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