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Hi All, Please say hello to Will Pollock. He is the author of the “Leaving Tricot”!!! In this interview Will agreed to share with all of us a bit of his soul as a writer and more… Happy reading! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Hi Will, tell me a little about yourself and your background? What were you like at school? Were you good at English? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’m a freelance multimedia journalist, artist and photographer based in Midtown Atlanta. I have a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern and I’m obsessed with good storytelling. A dog lover, art curator, humorist, blogger, activist and sports fan, I try to take on projects that make a difference in people’s lives.
I always had a fondness for English, but because of my undiagnosed dyslexia I had a hard time with reading comprehension. I was a shy kid, too, so I was always reticent to raise my hand. I’ve since overcome that and then some.
I’d like to continue writing books that inspire people, and continue contributing to magazines (which is my bread-and-butter and speaks to my work history). I always like to think big. I’d also like to continue to break down the consensus idea that eBooks are somehow less important or less impactful than tree books.
Which writers inspire you?
I’m a big fan of well-reported news everywhere, and I’m a voracious reader and viewer of things that keep me informed and allow me to form coherent, reasoned opinions. I call myself a “seeker and maker of non-consensus news” for a reason—and I write my own weekly humor and pop-culture blog called CrankyYank.com (in support of my book projects). I’m inspired by writers like Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi and humorists like Stephanie Miller and Bill Maher. Humor is a great way to convey and absorb information, so I always try to weave that in whenever I can.
In general, though, I gravitate to non-fiction as both a writer and a reader. I enjoy foreign affairs and anything pertaining to metaphysics (some of which appears in “Leaving Triscuit”). Right now I’m reading “The Tenth Insight”, the sequel to The Celestine Prophecy.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
My background is actually in magazine editorial. I started as associate editor of a retail real estate trade magazine and I’e always been fascinated by the way magazines are produced. My master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism was focused on magazines, too. This was all before I became a published author, but it’s a passion that continues to present day.
Which comes first – the character’s story or the idea for the novel?
The idea/concept/title/headline, in 98% of my writings, comes first. It’s my guiding principal; the subject that I defend throughout the rest of the project.
When did you decide to become a writer?
This is a fascinating question and difficult to answer because, in some ways, I feel that I’ve always *been a writer. When I was very young, I apparently wrote thank-you notes to relatives that caused them to call my mother to compliment me on my writing abilities. So it’s hard to ascribe a time when I said “gosh, I want to be a writer!”
Back in college I took a creative writing class as a freshman, and it was through that class and professor that I knew it was my destiny.
Why do you write?
My writing is my catharsis. I write to make a difference. I write because I want people to look at things in a new way. I feel a deep obligation to be a disruptor, to challenge myths, and writing is the best way to do those things.
So, what have you written?
Both of my books published so far are mission-based projects designed to help people reach for just that “little bit more” in their lives. Pizza for Good, my first book published by Agate Digital in 2014, is a blueprint on how to use America’s favorite food to fundraise for worthy causes. It’s actually a hybrid: a cookbook, a storybook, a jokebook and a reporter’s notebook. I’m really proud of that project because it brings pizza back to a local level, and encourages dirt-to-table practices. PFG also has won two awards in recent publishing competitions, which is great.
“Leaving Triscuit” is my second book and stays with the same theme of helping/inspiring people to see their animals as the exceptionally gifted creatures they are. Every dog and cat is different; but just because they don’t have the gift of speech like we do doesn’t mean they don’t comprehend what’s going on around them. I want to bust that consensus idea that they are subservient, silent participants in our lives. I hope the book does just that.
Where people can buy or see them?
Both titles are available everywhere: Amazon, GoodReads, B&N, etc. Pizza for Good also is available on my publisher’s website. I also maintain websites and twitter accounts for both:
- Pizza for Good: pizzaforgood.net / twitter, instagram and facebook: PizzaForGood
- Leaving Triscuit: leavingtriscuit.com / twitter & facebook: LeavingTriscuit
What sparked the idea for your book?
When I was embarking on a 2.5 week trip to Ireland and, when faced with the stress of leaving my dog, Triscuit, I was deeply affected by it. Affected to the point where she was physically ill and I felt incredible dread and worry. I promised myself I’d take on a project that helps people who face the same dilemma. I’ve found it’s a very common experience for parents of fur babies.
The resulting book, “Leaving Triscuit: Conscious Departures, Happy Homecomings,” is an expansive look at the process of leaving and returning—with tips, comments and deeply resonant thoughts from four different animal-communication and human psychology experts. The core concept is picture imaging: where you lean in to metaphysical and real-world tools to calm yourself and your pet so that you can enjoy time away and not worry. “Leaving Triscuit” tracks all parts of the trip and how to put these solutions into action.
How do you market your book?
In addition to this blog tour, I try to post to the FB page and the book blog regularly. I also write a weekly news and pop-culture blog that has links and ads on it for people to click on so they can go buy the book. So I do a bunch of cross promotion.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? What do you do to get book reviews?
I wish I had the foolproof answer! Just keep putting yourself out there in the ways I mentioned before. I find a weekly blog to be a good way to keep your writing sharp and to get eyeballs on you and your project. Everything I do these days is to help in building my author platform, and all authors should do the same in my opinion.
I’ve done everything from direct asks to promotions and many other items, but when it comes to reviews I find that it redounds to the folks reading to take the step to review.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Keep at it, and write some every day. Be tenacious. Be a disruptor and challenge orthodoxy. Keep your contacts and previous work colleagues close because you never know when you might work with each other again, or when you might call on them for advice, a new connection or a story/book idea. Be a voracious reader—particularly in the area(s) you’d like to focus on. Practice your pitches to editors, agents or whomever and remember that pitches need to be deeply researched; they are a direct reflection of your ability to tackle a subject. If your pitches shine, that tells the recipient that you’re a capable writer.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
You’ve been so thorough! I’ve nothing to add.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
- “Leaving Triscuit” (leavingtriscuit.com)
- “Pizza for Good” (pizzaforgood.net)
- CrankyYank: Writing. Culture. Sideways. (news blog / crankyyank.com)
- Personal blog: Will Pollock / Always tell stories (willpollock.com)
- ARTvision Atlanta (charity art website / artvisionatl.org)
- Facebook: @willpollock
- Twitter: @bywillpollock / @pizzaforgood / @leavingtriscuit
- Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/wpollock
- Pinterest: @willpollock
- Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/29RBJ8z
- Pizza for Good: http://amzn.to/1Io2cH2
- Leaving Triscuit: http://bit.ly/trskyy
It was a great privilege for me to get to interview Will Pollock, who has inspired me in many different ways. Thank you Will!!! Good Luck with everything!