Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Though I have written most of my adult life, this is my first published work. After spending a good deal of money sending my stories to magazines only to be rejected in favor of – in my opinion – boring and formulaic works, I decided to compile my tales. The reviews are positive and its the best decision I have made.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Sprezzatura. It is largely inspired by the stories of Charles Bukowski and John Fante. I love their grittiness, their non-conformity. My life has been rather hard; therefore it would be foolish of me to try to recreate the likes of Capote’s or Hemingway’s short works. My life just does not resemble theirs in any way. Give me the dirty. Give me the real. Give me the hard working son of a bitch that can’t catch a break. Because he speaks to me.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Yes. I only write when I’m on the clock at work. (Sorry, boss, if you’re reading this)
Furthermore, I keep my 30-lb dumbbells by my side when I write. For when I’m blocked, or can’t quite bend a sentence the way that pleases me, I can do some curls and re-focus my attention briefly. It seems to work.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Charles Bukowski and John Fante, as I mentioned. But largely I have to go way back high school when I was introduced to the works of S.E. Hinton. The woman is a national treasure. Kurt Vonnegut’s use of satire, in my opinion, overshadows Twain. So I definitely consider him a major influence.
What are you working on now?
I have just begun work on my first novel. Piecing together fragments of writings I did when my first marriage fell apart and I was granted leave from my work to get myself back together. I spent nine weeks travelling: eating lousy diner food and sleeping as best I could at highway rest stops in the backseat of my Toyota Avalon. Those lean and lonely times were just what I needed, and I hope to capture it adequately in book form.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I honestly don’t know. This is my first time. Awesome Gang is popping my cherry, so to speak.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep plugging away. Read everything you can get your hands on. The more literature you are exposed to, the better you will be. And do not be afraid of rejection. This game is only for the thick-skinned.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Vonnegut mentioned when you write, do not write for a great many people. Write for just one person. This person can be someone you know or someone you do not know. This person may not exist. But do not lose sight of that one person and forget writing to win the hearts of the populace.
What are you reading now?
Goble Crowe Just Deserved Better by Rover Crowe. It is a powerful novella that most people do not know about.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Just getting my work out there and in front of as many people as possible. And to keep challenging myself to be better.
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?
Ask the Dust
Author Websites and Profiles
Tommy Dishman Tommy Dishman Amazon Profile