Author Interview - William Breen Jr.
Poet, author, and artist, William Breen Jr. is this week's Author Interview guest.
Thank you will for participating in the interview. I enjoyed your answers, particularly the answer to question 14.
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you - in what way and what was the name of that book?
I didn’t read much as a kid, only what I had to for school. In one ear out the other. Drivers Ed book was the first book I read cover to cover like my life depended on it, to pass quiz to get my licence. After. that I remember (The Man Who Fell to Earth) Only because I was a big—big David Bowie Fan who I saw twice play live. First time at Boston Garden in 1978 May after graduating high school.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
Not for a long time –I was just a common labor normal guy working, going to college nights at NECC—what I was writing for home work my teachers wanted published –which happened twice (From the Edge) my first book, and (The Rivers Still Flowing) my second book. Not until I was writing (Black Hearts) did I enjoy what I was writing I love that book the most to date. I wanted to write a novel, and tried many times, but failed only being able to write short stories, and poetry. My fifth book (Vanity’s Diary Obsession) made me a true Author and it took two years to write. I found it to be a long hard process.
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?
Well that’s a lot I think---- Is it good enough comes to mind a lot. I write for myself, no deadlines, no pressure. I have to feel it; my first three books were like a river I couldn’t shut off dealing with PTSD. It ran threw me night and day, working full time I wrote down as much as I could long hand typing it up late at night after not sleeping for days at a time. I found it amazing what was coming out of me. I never knew I could go that deep inside myself –that I could be that dark that honest –could look at life from so many different sides. I wrote so much I threw away after writing it –sorry now –it’s gone for ever—thinking I can’t give that to my publisher –some she has –I love my publisher Melanie Fountain –she gets me, has read all my works, but the ones I threw away—I find I need distance at times –it’s great writing, but stop let it rest –go back to it maybe years later to finish it-- don’t throw it away. As my first four books I put my soul into each book. A lot of my writings are intents. So intents that I asked my publisher to pick her favorites to put in a book called (The Very Best) wanting something lighter, but not to rip off my books –each to be a gold mind after reading the Very Best. I still work a full time job-will until I retire –I am very world famous for my poetry –but get people who say to me I hope you make it big someday –I post from my page on Facebook ,Tweeter, LinkedIn ,Tumblr and Instagram and have reached millions from the groups I am in on Facebook –They read it for free as I was writing it –my publisher stopped me from doing that. I don’t look at it as having a lot of money as making it big. They do-- The millions I have reached and touched on Facebook and Instagram is amazing. That they read it commented on it, E mailed me about it—one poem at a time as I was writing it that’s success-- that money can’t buy. Not trying to be famous I find myself to be –Not caring what others thing I continue to write successfully. You have to please yourself first and not care what others think. So many people I have found want to put you down belittle what I have done, only to find I am getting bigger all the time.—well you wanted an interview and I am a honest guy I hope you like my honesty.
5. Where do your ideas come from?
Life experience’s – it’s that easy an answer for me.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
I am a published Artist and did my own cover on Vanity’s Diary Obsessions. I also am an Auto body Painter by profession, and I am color blind. I see things very differently.
7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
Odd question—had to think about this one for a while --the book I am writing is doing that. Plus, I have to be all the characters. That’s where I add to it move things around. I guess I do it all the time.
8. When you create characters, are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
This could get people in trouble as a question—I am not going there –so I will say it’s all fiction for me.
9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
No, but I like to go places and sit and listen to what people have to say, the way they say it, walk, talk, facial expressions.
10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
My first three books all have a poem by the name of the title of that book—From the Edge –The Rivers Still Flowing --Black Hearts. I like this question a lot. My first book From the Edge was to be Logic. My second book The River Still Flowing started off as Heaven’s Gate. Black Hearts is two books put together, Black Hearts and Poet to Poet. Keeping Black Hearts as the title when it came out, it was the only book by that title –now so many have used that title that’s how many people are watching me and will steal my ideas. God’s Sins So My World Begins was to be A Conversation with God. Everything was ready to go when--A person asked me if this was my book out on presale—finding hundreds of books by that title –told publisher had to change it –I was pissed. Melanie, my publisher, said it happens all the time, you can have that title for your book –after two years it took to write it, I wanted my own title. When it went out on presale, I had to come up with something fast –the working title was August the leaving almost to the end when I changed it. On a Saturday morning just days from going from presale live I came up with God’s Sins, and Melanie having read it only, said ‘and second line’ So My World Begins – I said, great let’s go with it. I have found out it’s a title that put people off. I only have two reviews – by the way all my reviews are real. But people don’t like it having emailed me, messaged me, wanting to fight with me about such a title. God doesn’t Sin—it really upsets a lot of people –I say to them did God create everything –they say yes –then God created Sin if by using man –he created it. It’s his sins. And it goes on from there –they buy the book like it, but I get no reviews. That brings as to The Very Best I wanted the very best, but not what I thought was the very best I told Melanie to pick her favorites – it’s sort of a review in a way, by my biggest fan. That bring us to Vanity’s Diary Obsessions – I love that title, it was started out as Vanity’s Diary what Comes Out. As you see things change a lot with me –not until its out do I have the title and the cover makes me feel like a rock star having a new album out. New titles for two new books I’m working on are--- working titles Train Club Telling Souls Vanity’s Diary two and A Bridge to the Fog.
11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
Train Club Telling Souls Vanity’s Diary two and A Bridge to the Fog
12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
No-- want to give one –I’ll take it. I was entered by my teacher at NECC in all the colleges in the USA, but got published not an Award. I think being a Published Author, Artist, and Poet is an award that can’t be topped myself.
I must say I have had two cups of coffee and a pack of smokes so far answering the questions need another cup of coffee before continuing on. Started at 10:30 pm its 2:37 am now.
A Little More Personal
13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
Write a big hit rock song.
14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
Well I look a lot like Bill Murray—I’ll give you just one—It was a hot August night a Friday night after work I said the hell with it, I am going to Foxwoods –it’s about two hours to get there from work. I parked my car in the five-level parking garage on the bottom level. I can wear shorts to work and I wear a cap so it only adds to the Bill Murray look. Any way a young man very well dress followed me to the elevator. I pushed the button to go up and the door opened we both got on—he started smiling at me and it weird me out I thought I was in trouble. A lot of guys-- big tuff guys have tried to pick me up before. I freeze in my shoes can’t move. Not that they are bad people just don’t know what to do or say. Any ways we get to the casino level and the door opens, he never says anything to me just has this shit eating grin on his face smiling at me. From there you have to walk down a long hall to get to the casino. I say to him are we going to win tonight? He says I hope so –have a great night Bill!!!!!!! –He starts walking in front of me and as he does, I think to myself how does he know my name? Then I think to myself O Shit he thinks I am Bill Murray.
Ok one more. It was a Friday night Had free tickets to go see John Fogerty I got stuck in traffic in Worcester MA going after work, over an hour stuck when I got there it was just about to start I thought to myself I am going to get the shittyest seat in the house, I took the ticket not looking at it –it was so late there was no line to get my ticket –I go into the MGM concert hall and look at the ticket –it’s in the VIP section Third row center stage. Its dark already and I have to ask the man where I have to sit, he walks me down front. In the VIP section they gave you free drinks I don’t drink, but the people there that night drank a lot. As I was walking through the people to get to center stage the girl a very young Black girl, I was to sit next to scream out its fucking Bill Murray. I almost died everybody was looking at me. It was so late that it was about to start and when John came out, he looked right at me and smiled.
15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
Many times, I meet people I have met in dreams. I have had visions of a friend lost long ago to cancer –he comes to me from time to time – I miss him a lot.
16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?
17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
I eat once a day, very fussy eater.
18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
Foxwoods Conn—I like the slots
19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?
Sorry don’t like this one was a loner –rode the ten-speed bike a lot by myself.
20. What makes you happy?
Having dealt with PTSD for years – getting a full eight hours sleep is heavenly.
21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Working full time, same place twenty-one years—just a job I am no one there it’s great. Keeps me grounded.
22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
I walked into Cha Chee at the Peabody Mall. He almost head butted me.
Will’s Book Links