Author Interview with R.T. Slaywood

  • Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

R.T.: None yet, and I don’t plan to. Mostly because I think author worship is weird. Wait, I would totally go to a convention to see Lou Diamond Phillips and get his autograph of my copy of The Tinderbox.

  • Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

R.T.: I’m going to assume this means I’m getting paid to be there? If so, I would choose my house as I could use a good staycation.

  • Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

R.T.: The P/C answer would be to read.

  • Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

R.T.: Pantser.

  • Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

R.T.: Aside from drafting on Twitter, my fascination with Furbies and harassment of celebrities? I like to do it on my phone.

  • Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

R.T.: I used to have a favorite, but I don’t anymore. Over time I’ve developed a unique taste for accessible authors. I like to ask the writer questions, send them reactions and memes. To me, it’s a way to honor the time they spent to tell me a story.

  • Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

R.T.: It’s about balance. You can only subvert expectations to a point before people lose the ability to relate to the narrative. At some point, you need to give them a win.

  • Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

R.T.: Start now, ask questions later.

  • Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

R.T.: Food. Hard to write when you’re hungry.

  • Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

R.T.: I would pick Stephen King in the middle of writing Cujo. 

  • Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

R.T.: Two, The Genius’ Guide to Writing Bad that I Co-Wrote, and The Ballad of Bonaduke.

  • Day: What does literary success look like to you?

R.T.: To crush other writers, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their fans.

  • Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

R.T.: There are two ways to sell anything. Either the buyer likes the product, or they like you. I prefer to sell the latter.

  • Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

R.T.: Approximately 0 before and a Google search during if I don’t think what I wrote sounds believable.

  • Day: How many hours a day do you write?

R.T.: 1-4

  • Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

R.T.: About every chapter has something that is special to me. Either a reference to something that will happen or an inside joke. I think it’s what makes writing fun.

  • Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

R.T.: Any scene that involves over 3 people talking or more than 15 lines of dialog. 

  • Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

R.T.: Mostly wherever I’m not supposed to, I like the adrenaline of doing it at work or during a conversation. 

  • Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

R.T.: None of the above. The most important thing is conflict. Nothing above matters if the readers aren’t engaged with the stakes. 

  • Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

R.T.: K. Thomas, author of Time To Wake. Without her encouragement, I would have never published The Ballad of Bonaduke onto Kindle vella, it would have never made #200th favorite in August, and it probably never would have left Twitter. 

R.T. Slaywood’s Kindle Vella

The Ballad of Bonaduke

Originally drafted as Twitterature, The Ballad of Bonaduke is about an ex-con turned family man who has been homeless for years. Haunted by memories he fears to face, he’s now ready to throw his life away. However, a simple purchase leads to a violent discovery about the truth of his ‘grifts’. All on the back of a 5$ bill.

R.T. Slaywood’s book is

The Genius’ Guide to Bad Writing

Are you plagued by success? Need a break from fame? Or perhaps you’ve grown tired of your gigantic intellect and want to trade in for a smaller, used, or economic one. Well, have we got the guide for you! And unlike future you, we wrote it well.

You can follow R.T. Slaywood on Twitter and Facebook.

Another rough morning …

This is the actual story that inspired episode 6, The Toothbrush, from my Kindle Vella story, The Trifecta.

I went to the store last week, and I forgot to get a toothbrush. There was one in the drawer, so I used it.  I’ve been using it for the past week. Andrew comes into my room this morning at 8:45 and says, “Why are you using my toothbrush?”

“What?” I said, not awake yet, and still on my first cup of coffee.

“You stole my toothbrush,” he accuses.

I respond with, “It was in the drawer. Go eat breakfast.”

Andrew walks away and comes back five seconds later. “I can’t believe you stole my toothbrush.”

“Really? It was in the drawer, not being used. I didn’t steal it,” I said, exasperated.

Andrew narrows his eyes at me. “It was mine. I distinctly remember asking the lady for an orange and black toothbrush.”

“It’s blue and black,” I counter.

He says, “It has some orange on it.”

“OMG! Get over it and go eat,” I say, exacerbated.

Andrew walks away and comes back three seconds later. “I can’t believe you stole my toothbrush!”

Insane, maniacal laughter comes out of me at this point because of the sheer ridiculousness of it.

Now he comes into my room instead of standing in the doorway.

“I want my toothbrush back.”

 I practically yell, “I’m already using it! You can’t have it.”

“I’ll just wash it a million times.”

“Why do you care so much about this stupid toothbrush?”

“I was going to use it when my Star Wars one dies.”

“What? I’ll just get you a new Star Wars one.”

“No, I want that one.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

Then it dawns on me that he has a crush on the pretty, young dental hygienist who gave him the toothbrush. So I ask, “Is it because you like the pretty hygienist that gave it to you?”

He walks away without answering.

I shout, “Ahaha! That’s it, isn’t it? You like it because she gave it to you!”

He refuses to answer and goes into the bathroom. I follow, watching as he snatches my toothbrush with a scowl.

“Give me my toothbrush back! We can ask her for a new one,” I said, slightly amused now.

He shakes his head.

“Fine!” I open the drawer and pick the green one, and put it in my now empty toothbrush spot. “Happy?”

He stares at the green toothbrush and asks suspiciously, “Where did you get the green one?”

“It’s mine!” I snap.

Andrew says, “I’ve never seen it before.” 

Before I can respond, he runs off with the toothbrush I was using, and when I leave the bathroom, he goes back in there and spends five minutes washing it with disinfecting soap.