Here is #5 in my author interview series! If you’re an author and would like to participate, click the Contact button at the top of the page and send me an email!
PepperWords: Easy stuff first: Who are you and what should we know about you? Where are you from, etc.?
R.K. Gold: My name is R.K. Gold, I am a novelist from Buffalo, NY. I am a dog lover and enjoy spending my free time walking my plott hound through the city. He is so manipulative and gives the cutest puppy eyes it’s impossible to not give him all your attention when he’s in the room.
PW: Awww. I grew up with dogs but don’t currently have any. Would love a Corgi, though! (Then I war with myself because I know it would be better to get a shelter dog, if I ever got a dog at all.)
Okay, enough of that. Back to you. Tell us a bit about your writing history. Have you been doing it long? What inspired you to start writing?
RKG: I started writing in the end of January 2014. It was my senior year of college at the University of Maryland and I was in a bad car wreck. When I got back from the hospital, I realized that no matter what—even if you aren’t doing anything wrong—your life can end at any moment. So I made the conscious decision to pursue my greatest passion and haven’t looked back. I began writing novels in March the same year and signed my first deal at the start of 2015.
PW: Wow. Talk about motivation! What an inspirational story! And what about this book? What sparked it? What genre is it, and what draws you to that particular genre?
RKG: Just Under the Sky is—well it will always be meaningful to me because it’s the first novel I ever wrote. Though it’s only a little longer than The Old Man and the Sea I really touched on some themes of self discovery and our unknown impacts on the world. It is closest to the magical realism genre. I would like to thank Weasel Press for all the marketing and designing efforts they put into it, I really love everything they’ve done.
PW: How did you land Weasel Press for this book?
RKG: I found Weasel on PW.org and started talking to them on social media. I had a short story published in one of their anthologies and they liked my work so I sent them a query letter with my manuscript attached. They sent me back a contract and we enjoy working with each other so much I have signed on for two more books (three total).
PW: That’s awesome! Okay, going backward a bit, tell us about your writing process. Is it very structured? Do you have a favorite place to sit and write, or a favorite food or drink while writing?
RKG: I love sitting in my kitchen next to the window or in my family room by the fireplace. I don’t have a set time to write but I aim to write at least 2500 words a day when I am working on a rough draft.
PW: And how long does it take you to write a book? How do you know a manuscript is ready to send out to agents and publishers?
RKG: Oof, depends. I have knocked out a 50,000-word manuscript in a week but editing normally takes me a while. My big problem is I start editing and then I think of a new idea and write a new book instead. I’ve been writing novels for exactly 2 years now (March 2014) and I have 10 completed manuscripts—only 3 have been fully edited.
PW: 50,000 words in a week?! @.@
What are you working on now?
RKG: Ha! What am I not. Let’s see I’m editing a manuscript following a high school girl’s friendship with a 79-year-old woman while being cyber bullied. I just finished two rough drafts since January for new manuscripts and I am prepping for my next two releases with Weasel Press (Brinwood May 6th 2016, and Lost Boys August 2016).
PW: Let’s go back to your most recent release, Just Under the Sky. In Hollywood we write log lines for scripts—one sentence that sums up the story, a bit like the write up in TV Guide. For example, the log line for Back to the Future might read: “A teenager gets sent back to 1955 where he must contrive to get his parents to fall in love else risk never being born.” What would the log line for your book be?
RKG: Two journalists discover the truth of their village while trapped in a forest that’s trying to kill them.
PW: Definitely sounds intriguing. And if you were casting your book as a movie, are there any particular actors you envision as your main characters?
RKG: Daniel Radcliffe for Jasper and Donald Glover for McMichaels.
PW: What are some of your favorite books and authors?
RKG: Too many. Reading is so engraved in my daily routine—I feel incomplete if I don’t read. Off the top of my head I think Hell’s Angels by Hunter Thompson and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card are two of my favorite books. I can say I am currently reading The Dark Side by Jane Mayer and since January I’ve read Catch-22, Saving Capitalism, Swag, Race Matters, Skin Cage, On Writing, And Then All Hell Broke Loose, and I think Going Under but that might have been December.
PW: What advice would you give to young writers, or writers who are only just starting out?
RKG: Actually, I don’t mean to plug but here is a blog post I wrote on the 8 most useful tips I have discovered since I started writing: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rkgold/8-tips-for-indie-writers-1osct. I think that will do a better job at explaining than a couple sentences but I guess if I had to sum up the most important thing you could do—I would say read as often as you can and find time to write at least 6 days a week.
PW: Where do you see yourself in five years?
RKG: Hopefully signed to a large publishing house. I also want to help encourage creative education with students from public schools that lack sufficient funding. STEM is amazing and very important to education, but the one thing all of the greatest minds in history have in common is an influence by art and literature. While sciences can help us find answers, the creative arts helps us ask questions we never thought of asking before.
PW: Those are admirable goals. Now a little about you in general. Favorite quote or inspirational saying?
RKG: Ha, again too many. Oscar Wilde has always offered some good quotes to reference. I’m a fan of “There is no sin except stupidity.” “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” And “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
PW: Favorite color?
PW: Favorite TV show?
RKG: Ink Master and The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness.
PW: Favorite movie?
RKG: V for Vendetta, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Midnight in Paris, and Wimbledon.
PW: Someone (living, dead, or fictional) you’d like to meet:
RKG: Lin-Manuel Miranda.
PW: And last but certainly not least, where can we find you and your book?
RKG: Weasel Press: http://weaselpress.storenvy.com/products/14275899-just-under-the-sky
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-under-the-sky-rk-gold/1122874676
Thank you, R.K. Gold, for being a willing victim! Find him on Twitter at @RKGold91 and online at rkgoldcreations.com.