Interview with Oliver J Olinger

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I write, I come at it from the perspective of contributing something positive and inspirational to society. There's enough dreariness and "realism" in the world around us, so I see nothing wrong with focusing on idealism and hope in my work. Not that I shy away from attempting to capture a little of the grittiness of real life, but I like to take that grittiness and inject into it some element of optimism.
What do your fans mean to you?
I can't imagine life as a writer if fans weren't my primary focus. As I've said before, I aim to deliver something positive and inspirational to the world. Who is there to be uplifted and inspired if I have no fans?
What are you working on next?
For now, I will be devoting all of my attention to adding new episodes to the "Introit" series. I don't know yet exactly how many books that will comprise, but I'm sure I can keep it going for quite some time. Once I have delivered a large enough number of episodes, I may begin publishing books of another series interspersed with the Introit series, but I haven't decided exactly what or when that will be.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have too many favorite authors to list, but I suppose the abridged version would be as follows: J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, Malachi Martin, R.A. Lafferty, Arthur Conan Doyle, Homer, Virgil, Thomas Harris, Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant, Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, Rene Descartes, Dennis Fahey, Hillaire Belloc, Andrew Niccol, John Steinbeck, Victor Hugo, and many, many more...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a wife, a consummate fangirl teenager, and a precious toddler-aged girl. We live in central Florida, so it goes without saying that the Tyrant Mouse in Orlando claims a significant portion of my hard-earned money. When I'm not entertaining the troops (i.e. the girls), I attempt to watch every movie ever made and I'm hook, line, and sinker into several television shows. I also sleep on rare occasion.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first serious story I wrote (not including the gold-star-decorated book I wrote in second grade) was a screenplay in which I attempted to re-imagine the biblical story of Job in the scientific setting of an underwater world. I imagine that it was fairly awful, and one of these days I'll summon the courage necessary to reread it.
What is your writing process?
All of my story concepts are first submitted to the Dramatic Grand Argument storytelling process. If you are unfamiliar with the Dramatica theory, look it up and you'll find some very familiar elements (i.e. Star Wars, The Matrix, anything by Steven Spielberg, and more). Once my idea has been honed, I do what most writers do... I sit down and start typing. When I finish, I go through it again immediately. Then one more time before publishing.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
From my experience, Facebook is the end-all-be-all of Internet marketing, especially if you're on a strict budget. I'm sure a few of the techniques I use are borderline contrary to Facebook's rules, but suffice it to say that an extra profile and active participation in Facebook groups, discussions, etc. en masse are good starting points. I also use Twitter, Google Plus, Reddit, and pretty much any social networking site I can get away with using. On Smashwords, to which I'm a noob, I've been giving away free copies of my book to friends, and asking them to rate and review my work. I imagine that better ratings and rave reviews will succeed in pushing my books higher and higher in the search results.
Describe your desk
I am only comfortable writing (odd as it may seem) standing up and typing on a high table or bar-top. So, my desk, such as it is, is generally at any one of several locations at my local coffee shop or kava bar. I lead a fairly fast-paced existence, so sitting down, for me, is the same as falling asleep.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing (seriously) while enlisted in the Marine Corps, working as a Signals Intelligence Arabic Linguist. I found, while going through the Defense Language Institute's extremely intense and fast-paced language training program, that I was good at bypassing writers' block. When you're trying desperately to pass conversational tests in a foreign language, you become well-practiced at coming up with alternate ways of verbalizing whatever is on your mind (due, of course, to a lack of an adequate vocabulary). The mental exercise this provided helped more than I can say with my writing abilities.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I added this question, because I believe that personal likes and dislikes provide an incredible look into an individual's soul. That being said, here is my list of favorite films; Casablanca, American Beauty, Gattaca, LOTR (trilogy), The Sting, On the Waterfront, Groundhog Day, Up in the Air, The Matrix, Star Wars, Men Who Stare at Goats, Sherlock (TV series, but all feature length episodes), The Passion of the Christ, The Blues Brothers, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, A Civil Action, We Were Soldiers, Pulp Fiction, Throw Mama from the Train, Rope, LA Story, All About Eve, Full Metal Jacket (the first part only), The Boondock Saints (I & II), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Destry Rides Again, Tombstone, Eastern Promises, In Time, Memento, High Fidelity, Braveheart, Strangers on a Train, and Oh, so many more...
Published 2014-10-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Mind Meanderings of a Millenial Catholic
Price: Free! Words: 50,530. Language: English. Published: May 8, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Catholicism, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Theology
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
The Mind Meanderings of a Millenial Catholic is a collection of thoughts and ideas from author Oliver J. Olinger, compiled from various essays and social media posts on topics ranging from marriage to education, to art and science, to politics and the crisis occurring within the Catholic Church. The three theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are sewn throughout every thought and topic.
Introit- Black Dog
Series: Introit. Price: Free! Words: 8,200. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
(4.94 from 17 reviews)
Paul must rescue a dog of mysterious, supernatural powers from an underground dog-fighting organization before the dog's wrath is unleashed in horrific, bloody ways.