Interview with Dante Ego Prior

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Queens, NY. With my older brothers, I was able to explore the abandoned el and subways stations, even travelled into the tunnels where the tracks are and followed the workers pathways. There were junkyards loaded with old school lockers, which were filled with every sort of item that someone at some time tried to hide. When I hit ten years old, I had travelled the entire train system, passing by the worlds largest creepy old cemetary which I had finally found on foot. Channel 11 (if memory serves me) used to run a horror show called Chiller Theater that I used to wait up for. At 11, I recieved allowance for helping around the house, which I would immediately spend at the Lefferts Avenue movie theater. Every Saturday, they showed a double feature, a Kung Fu movie, followed by a Horror movie. These were the direct experiences that influenced my writing.
Describe your desk
I have a view of the woods, a soft comfy chair and a large desk that I keep notes taped to. They hang down like menu orders in a restaurant and they each contain a fragment of the many stories I have brewing.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing at 17, but put it on hold to become a musician. I got back into it when I was 23 and have been writing ever since.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is reading a story back sometime later and forgetting what I wrote and enjoying it.
What is your writing process?
Usually I have an idea, if it is a long story, I work on it daily, trying to write at least a page, or fortify what is already there. Sometimes re-editing the stories inspires new directions.

Then... when I have writers block, I torture myself. I used to force myself to write a complete story before the battery became exhausted. I used to pull the power cord and frantically write anything in the time span it took for my computer to warn me the battery was at 4 percent. That was usually about a few hours with the screen brightness set low.

However... I did replace that barbaric practice after losing a couple of stories because the old laptop just decided to shut down, regardless of whether the little battery icon said I had more time remaining. I simply decided to write stories, from start to finish in one sitting, plot, flesh, denoument and parting chapters to resolve the story. That worked out much better and helped me with the block.

Lastly... If none of the above do not help, resort to plan C, find the thing you need to do other than writing... and finish it, then the ideas will return! That is not a promise, but it is a good start, nothing is ever written in stone.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I remember is Tikki Tikki Tembo. It was musical, it was compelling and the art was great. The story line was like looking through the eyes of another child. Looking back on it now however, I think it impacted me like a nightmare. For me it was like "my brother just fell into the well, please help!" No one could hear me until I respectfully say "Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo just fell into the well!" While in my head, I am screaming "my little brother is drowning, he can't swim, time is running out!"

The version of Tikki Tikki Tembo that I read is a re-telling, I think Tikki Tikki has an even longer name in the original story, it is also rumored to have a different ending, probably why it is being re-told.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have found with my experience so far that the best and easiest way to get my work out to the general public, is to post on popular sites like Amazon, Smashwords and Wattpad for instance. This applies to digital copies. Createspace is also another site that is ideal for print on demand books. Some people like myself, enjoy a book by candlelight and Createspace is helpful to achieve that goal. All the sites I mentioned are easy to find if you place a .com at the end.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are like the early morning sun, I love each and every one.
Published 2013-11-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.