It's Sunday night, and as usual, I have no idea what to write here. (Apparently I'm a better novelist than blogger. I have no shortage of novel ideas.) So, I have turned to Twitter for help, and Twitter has delivered in the person of Matt Agius (@LoosedGrunt). He suggested writing about all the jobs I had before I was a writer, which reminded me of Michael Grant.
I spent Thursday and Friday stalking Michael. I met him at Kids Ink Children's Bookstore, followed him to dinner at Binkleys, and sat in on his raucous presentation at Ben Davis High School the next morning. (I also slept in the hall outside his hotel room in the Hyatt, just to listen to him snore, but please don't tell him that. It might be a shade on the wrong side of creepy.)
He's touring to support his latest and best work yet, BZRK. If you like scifi thrillers, buy a copy. Now. It's got a secret war conducted nano-sized predator drones, a dystopia-in-the-making, and a fabulously wealthy, tough-as-titanium heroine bent on avenging her family.
One of the many subjects we discussed was writing advice. My stock answer to "How do I become a better writer" is this: 1) Read a lot, and 2) Write a lot. As it turns out, Michael agrees with me on points one and two but adds a third, which I will henceforth rip off. (And this is the only time I plan to give him credit.) His writing advice is: 1) Read a lot, 2) Write a lot, and 3) Live a lot.
What he means by this is that you have to get out there and do something so you'll have something to write about. Otherwise, all modern novels would be about laptop computers. I'm dying of boredom just thinking about that prospect.
And this brings us around to what I did before I was a writer. As it turns out, Michael Grant and I have a lot in common. We both dropped out of high school, lived overseas, became champion roach killers, and married women smarter and tougher than us. I can certainly see the richness of Michael's life in his novels, and I hope readers can see the same in mine.