Interview with Sean B. Sweeney

Describe your desk
A small table built by my grandfather. It's a square with four legs that can be folded underneath for traveling purposes. The wood is chipped in some places. There are burn marks from nights of writer's block and light pyromania and I have also carved the word "Lifer" in the bottom right corner.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Texas, in middleclass suburbia, mostly white neighborhood, but fairly mixed. Also spent some time at my family's farm in the country. I suppose this influenced my writing by creating a sentimentality and romanticism in me about my childhood that has carried over into my work. I've read these two afflictions commonly affect Texas writers so perhaps it was inevitable.
When did you first start writing?
I first tried writing when I was six. My mom suggested it, I think, one summer day when I was restless and had nothing to do. She was a teacher who stayed home during the summer. That's pretty much it. Since then, writing has been a part of consciousness in one way or another.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"Happyland" was inspired by, essentially, what I've done since I graduated college. After college, I drifted for awhile, searching I think for my voice as writer. I got into the rave scene through a friend and, for the next three years, partied and experimented and lived recklessly. After I recovered from that, I had plenty to write about. My perspective on drugs, politics, religion, sex had notably changed and I wanted to write something that reflected that. I also wanted to document the rave scene and culture, something I'm not sure has been done from a first-person perspective within the coming-of-age/young adult genre.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The fact that no one wanted to publish me or represent me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm not sure how to define success right now, but Smashwords has helped me get my work out to a wider audience and for that I'm very grateful.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
So much. Writing a great line--that perfect marriage between diction and rhythm. Expressing something honest about yourself or the world that someone else will hopefully connect with and enjoy.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't have fans.
What are you working on next?
A couple of things sort of floating around: a conceptual poetry book about a romance inspired by bath salts, Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love, and Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungen; another concept-based poetry book written like a lost book of the Christian bible concerning a Christ-like woman who changes a man's life forever; also an absurdist-type play about people worrying about their bills during the apocalypse.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm not very well-read to be honest. It's embarrassing, but the few authors I have read and enjoyed are Jack Kerouac, Jim Carroll, Denis Johnson, and that's all I can think of right now.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee, women, music, sex, work, weed, love, football, church, day light...
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Thinking about what I'll be writing about later.
Published 2014-09-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Happyland Brigade: Rave Diaries
Price: Free! Words: 57,130. Language: American English. Published: September 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban
Ronnie meet MDMA. MDMA meet Ronnie. This is a diary from the underground celebrating clubs, drugs, youth, and love.