Interview with Steve Zakszewski

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire. However, I still buy print books just because I collect first editions and books look really cool on a bookcase.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hahahahahahaha. I SUCK at marketing. I'm a writer, not a marketing guru. I have 3 ways of marketing- twitter posts, Facebook, and showing up at a bar with a stack of books and sitting there looking hopeful.

I did get a copy over to a very famous TV personality with his own show. Well, I at least delivered it to the receptionist at the studio and am hoping it makes it to him and he starts reading it and decides it's so amazingly brilliant that he offers me a guest slot on his show, the book takes off, and I can spend the rest of my days doing what I love- writing and sleeping.

And I was thrilled and honored to meet Ralph Steadman at the gallery opening in support of the documentary "For No Good Reason". He's a very nice man who signed my copy of his book "The Adventures of Alice" and accepted a copy of American Loser, chuckling-- "You're a writer? When I told Hunter I was going to write a book, he told me 'Don't do it, Ralph, you'll bring shame upon your family.'"
Describe your desk
Cluttered. Papers everywhere. When I do clean it off, Piersich (my cat) plops himself down onto it and he's a rather large kitty.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I lived in Boston until I was 12 and then moved to a small town in NH. The first author that really hit me hard was Stephen King because he NAILED the weirdness and darkness of small New England towns and this is something I'm delving into in my next novel in the works, Carter Corner.
When did you first start writing?
I found I had a talent for it in 7th grade. Writing comes easily to me. I had a very good English teacher, Mr Blair, who encouraged creativity. This continued in high school with Ms Raines, and then as a freshman at UNH with Prof Thylias Moss who really encouraged us to go "out there" with our writings. Prof Moss is still out there still creating and pushing boundaries and inspiring under the name Forker Grayle.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My writing tends to be stream of consciousness. There's no real outline and for AL, all I knew was a basic outline of Mikey (the main character) and the ending. I had no idea how I was going to get to the ending and it was so much fun sitting there at the laptop and having that flash as to how I was going to proceed in that scene in the book. Lots of times I would start laughing and wishing I could call somebody but it would be 4am and not many people like getting calls at that hour, especially from someone who's laughing like a madman. That's how you lose friends really quickly.
What do your fans mean to you?
"Fans" sounds so weird. I have fans? Kidding aside, I'm grateful to anyone who takes the time to read my little old book and hopefully enjoys it. The story definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea and I feel that those who enjoy it are kindred spirits. One of the funniest reactions from people is when I am sitting at a bar with a stack of books and someone sees the title and says "Oh, you wrote that about me?" It happens quite a bit.
What are you working on next?
My next project is Carter Corner and it's set in a small NH town where hilarity ensues when a conservative Boston TV personality, an ice storm, and a moose all converge at a certain place and point in time.
Who are your favorite authors?
Hunter S Thompson is the biggie. I was a sophomore in college and a friend tossed a copy of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" at me and said simply "read this". I stayed up that entire night, unable to put it down. It totally blew me away. I love Irvine Welsh's stuff. Tom Wolfe. Shakespeare. Burroughs.

In fact, in AL, there's a little tribute to HST and Burroughs. HST paid one to Burroughs in one of his books, and I picked up on that in mine.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The need to go to my day job to earn money and pay rent and afford cat food. He's quite a large beast with a voracious appetite and I don't doubt for a moment that, deprived of kibble, it would become a feline-themed version of Lord of the Flies and I would receive a not-so-gentle reminder of man's historic place on the food chain prior to chain grocery stores and indoor plumbing.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working my day job, recovering from working my day job, checking my sales figures and pimping the book online, and exploring Brooklyn and the rest of NYC. Great place to live and so many interesting things to see and do here.
Published 2014-05-29.
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Books by This Author

Radio Free Steve Volume One Memorial Daze 2014 Scream of Consciousness
By
Price: $1.54 USD. Words: 22,310. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2014. Category: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Activism
Faced with a case of writer's block on my current project, I decided to take Memorial Day weekend and just cut loose with stream of consciousness babblings/rantings/cleverness-- choose your term. The result is amusing, bizarre, pointed, and occasionally even funny, riffing off the TV, drunks in bars, the UCSB mass shooting, the NSA, ice cream, and so much more. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
American Loser
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 136,600. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2012. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Do you think your life sucks? It could be worse. Welcome to the world of Mikey Stevens and his romp on the wrong side of the American Dream, where the endings are never happy and it can always be worse. Fans of Hunter S Thompson, William Burroughs, and Irvine Welsh and black comedies will love this newest entry into the Gonzo genre.