Author Interview - Gaelen VanDenbergh

imageWho or what influenced your writing once you began? I never write about something I know nothing about. It has to be real to me, so I often draw on my own emotions, like a method actor. I am also very curious and pay close attention to people, their motivations, relationships, how they hurt and save one another, and why. I find it all fascinating, and it is what I like to write about. Earlier writing pulled more from direct experiences, and these novels will come out eventually.

What made you want to be a writer? I think when you are a creative person, it’s impossible to live a fulfilled life without a creative outlet. I would have to do something. I read, I play violin, but I have to create. My mind would melt down if I didn’t. My soul would wither.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? I believe I have undiagnosed ADD, so it’s very hard for me to stay on one project long and finish it. While all of my projects are vividly alive in my head, wrangling one project into a finished novel has been a true challenge. I’m too flighty.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? It is my first finished and published novel, and I made a decision to be honest in it about my characters and their flaws. It taught me to risk writing about the good, the bad, the ugly, and not tie everything up in a pretty bow. This is life.

Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely. I always did, but I have been sidetracked frequently, forced to labor in office jobs to pay bills. Stupid mortgage.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I take risks. I break rules. Or rather, I don’t know what the rules are?

I unintentionally break rules. Which still makes me a rebel, mind you.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? My most effective cure for writer’s block is to go for a nice long run, without a pen, or smart phone. My brain inevitably will start churning out scenes, and I have no way to write them down. It gets me through fitness ruts, as well, because I have to sprint home.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Running Against Traffic is a dark comedy about a woman named Paige who, for many reasons, has given up on life. Then her husband gives up on her, dumping her in a small town where she knows no one and has nothing, and she has to figure out why she got there, and how to live her life. This is done with the help of unexpected friendships, facing her past, and a pair of running shoes.

How did you come up with the title? Running is prevalent in this book. And it’s the first of three, the Running Series. I’m a runner, and when I first started running years ago, my mother told me I should always run against traffic. Running Against Traffic has several meanings, in this case.

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Genre – Contemporary Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Melanie Williams said...

Can't wait to read books by this author!

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