Interview with Roy Wilson

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Denver, Colorado. If this influenced my writing, I'm not sure how. If anything, it probably reduced my enthusiasm. At the time, Denver was thought of by many as a 'cow-town' with all the narrowness of interest that suggests.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am writing a series of books. The series is entitled: MULLING OVER SCHOOL AND LIFE. In the second, just published, (wee) volume entitled THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND, just published, I look at "internal conversation" - conversations we have with ourselves about ourselves. I introduce the reader to a set of film characters and actual people who tend to practice reflexivity in one of four ways (or who could not be so classified). I then introduce the reader to the participants of my study: self-selected members of the South Denver (Colorado) High School class of 1968. I conclude by considering whether the dominant kind of reflexivity practiced by the participants helps explain their current social status.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There are two reasons. First, I suspect that it would be difficult to find an academic publisher whose reviewers would find my ideological and analytical approach acceptable. Second, I am a control freak.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Although it may be too early to call myself a success, if I succeed as an Indie author Smashwords will have contributed in several ways. First, my books are sent to every major distributor of e-books. Second, it allows me to engage in targeted marketing. By targeted marketing, I mean that I can make the e-book available to reviewers at virtually no cost by using the coupon feature provided by Smashwords.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Figuring out what I think and a possible way to communicate it.
What are you working on next?
I have just begun the third (wee) volume in my MULLING OVER SCHOOL AND LIFE series. In it, I examine more closely the possible connections between the gender, kind of reflexivity, and current social status of the participants of my study: a self-selected subset of the South Denver (Colorado) High School class of 1968.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife, my dog, my book, and a desire to change the world.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In 6th grade I wrote a story called 'Vegetable Town'. I think I was imitating Animal Farm.
What is your writing process?
1) Read a bunch, gather sources, write an outline, write drafts of small sections, put them all together.

2) Revise, revise, revise.

3) Let friends tear them to shreds. revise and repeat.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
During the 6th grade Summer Reading Program, I came across a book with the following, arresting, title: DON'T GET PERCONEL WITH A CHICKEN. This non-fiction book by Harry Allen Smith (still available online, for free) presents a number of humorous writings by schoolchildren. For example, one ten-year old wrote "I wouldn't mind having a brother. But the trouble is I dont. And I won't because the person who does it cant do it". When I compared my writing to such an example, I gleefully concluded that I was pretty hot stuff.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. BRAVE NEW WORLD (Aldous Huxley) - I (mistakenly) thought I was an Alpha (but was distressed by the treatment received by Gammas and Deltas).

2. HOWL (Allen Ginsburg) - I felt the power of language when reading these first few lines of the poem:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night ...

I ignored the references to gay sex and just plain didn't understand other stuff.

3. ANIMAL FARM (George Orwell) - I may have read Animal Farm after Brave New World. The idea that all are equal, but some are more equal than others seemed to me to pull back the curtain on school as a social equalizer (though I wouldn't have used such language at the time), revealing the actuality of schooling as something like the social life depicted in Brave New World.

4. BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME (Richard Farina) - Over the course of my late teens, twenties, and thirties, I read this book MULTIPLE times. At first, I identified with the central character who I perhaps saw as an 'angelheaded hipster'. Later, after many rereads, I observed that I must have been obsessed about the main character Gnossos Pappadopoulis. In my last reading, I hypothesized that the character and I shared a certain distanced way of dealing with the 'traumas' of life and that similarity is what must have drawn me to the character again and again.

5. MAKING OUR WAY THROUGH THE WORLD (Margaret S. Archer) - In some ways this book (together with a number of others by the same author) helps me make sense of social life, at least as (I think) I have lived and observed it. Her work is unlike any other I have read, both in form and content. Too bad American social and educational thinkers have only barely begun to come grips with it.
Published 2014-11-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Windmills of Your Mind
Series: Mulling Over School and Life, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 8,040. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Aims & objectives, Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / General
Are you someone who “thinks things over?” Do you have conversations with yourself, silently in your head? If so, you are a practitioner of reflexivity. I use "classic" American films to describe four types of reflexivity. After introducing thirty-nine persons from the South Denver High School class of 1968, I ask if their type of reflexivity is related to the level of social status they reached.
Some Will Win, Some Will Lose (and Some are Born to Sing the Blues)
Series: Mulling Over School and Life, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,200. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Self-improvement » Personal Growth / Success, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Philosophy & social aspects
This book considers the following questions that anyone might ask at one or more points in their life. Will I be a success? Am I a success? Was I a success? The intended audience consists of (primarily) the general reader who is interested in education and (secondarily) the student of schooling, who is often an aspiring, current or former teacher.