Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I asked Google to answer this one. Apparently, I’ve written and produced hit television shows and won awards as a creative director/senior copywriter in advertising and digital marketing. The search results also revealed that I hosted the final episode of one of the craziest shows in television history, wrote comic book stories featuring famous ducks, received awards for writing short films, play ice hockey, and most recently, became the author of my first book. If this is what Google knows, imagine what the FBI has on me.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
It’s called Find Happiness through Negative Thinking. The half-star review on the front cover speaks volumes: “I should have put him up for adoption.” — Author’s mom. I discovered the joys of negativity after experiencing countless letdowns, disappointments, false hopes, and unfulfilled expectations resulting from the positive-driven views of optimists. Everything we’ve been taught about positive thinking is a barrage of hopeful, wishful, unmerciful BS. This self-help book looks at the world from a negative perspective with a sense of humor.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t consider what I do writing. It’s more like creative dictation. I listen to the voices in my head, type what they say, and organize it. It’s not considered plagiarism when the voices involved are technically all yours. Some of the voices like to stay up all night writing. When I get up in the morning there are sticky notes all over the nightstand. I call them Post-it Hypnotic Suggestions. I don’t remember getting up to write them, so I’m not sure how they got there. Either way, there’s some great material waiting for me when I wake up.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I like to read poorly written books with lots of bad reviews. I find it powerfully motivating. It makes me think, “if they can write a book, so can I!” Nothing is more inspirational than a book full of plot holes, disastrous dialog, typos, and put-you-to-sleep chapters. When I read a book by an amazing author I’m less inspired. Then I’m like, “Who’s going to read my book when there are unbelievable, brilliantly written books like this out there?”
What are you working on now?
I’ve written a children’s book. What child wouldn’t want to read a picture book from the author of a book on negativity? I’m also getting ready to start writing my next self-help humor book. I’m not sure if it’ll help anyone or screw them up even more than they were in the first place, but I personally find writing them very therapeutic.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m experimenting with Amazon Advertising sponsored ads. The thrill of getting potential sales from 22,347 impressions and 8 clicks is exhilarating. I also look for people on freeway off-ramps holding signs that say, “Will read for food.” I’ll happily give them a book and a sandwich. There are always websites like Awesome Gang. I believe that any kind of exposure is good unless it’s to radiation.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
1) Nothing writes itself. If you think it did, rewrite it anyway. Would you go to a surgeon who claims she can do your surgery in her sleep and then schedules you for a 3:00 am operation?
2) Writing humor is particularly challenging. If you attempt it, be certain that people other than yourself and your pet find you funny.
3) If you do book signings outside of the U.S. in countries where they drive on the opposite side of the road, remember to look both ways before you cross the street. I’ve almost had multiple head-on collisions in London, and I wasn’t in a car.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It was from a managing editor who told me the sign of a great writer is a full trash basket. Writing is hard work, although I find it much less strenuous than manual labor. Rewriting is even harder. From there, rewriting the rewriting of the rewriting can turn into a rewriting nightmare. I have full trash cans all over my house. It feels more satisfying if they’re overflowing — it’s proof I’m being productive and working at improving as a writer.
What are you reading now?
After such a long stretch of intense writing with my book, my brain needs a breather. I’m doing some light reading, which consists mostly of tea leaves. Next, I’m going to relisten to an audiobook called “How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not?” by Robert Shemin.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Write. Dream. Write. Create. Write. Contemplate. Write. Lose sleep. Write. Feel cranky. Write. Repeat.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Assuming there isn’t a book called “Ditch the Deserted Island” for sale, I’d look for English translations of:
1) Venmurasu by Bahuleyan Jeyamohan — 22,400 pages, 3,680,000 estimated words
2) Devta by Muhiyyu-d-Deen Nawaab — 4,723 pages, 2,206,310 words
3) Les Hommes de bonne volonté by Jules Romains — 7,892 pages, 2,070,000 words
These entries from Wikipedia’s list of longest novels should cover all the reading for the length of my visit.
Author Websites and Profiles
Larry Gotterer Amazon Profile