Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Author Interview: Paul Liadis

Listen to the interview here!

Tell me a little about yourself and your writing.
I’m a 30 year old father to a 21 month old little girl, married, and I work as a computer programmer/database administrator for a university in Pennsylvania. My job deals with learning new technologies, applying and teaching others what I’ve learned as well as problem solving whatever problems may arrive. In addition to writing, I enjoy playing ice hockey and softball in my “spare time”.

My biggest writing accomplishment thus far in my mind is successfully completing NaNoWriMo this year. I had never come anywhere close to that level of daily writing output before and I may never again. It showed me that, you know what, maybe I can write a novel.

I’ve also been published in my local newspaper four times for their “reader generated” short stories. It was pretty cool to see my name and work printed in the newspaper and to have neighbors and co-workers tell me they enjoyed reading it.

I love to read, to write, and most of all make people laugh.

Tell me about the story that you've created a soundtrack/playlist for.
The story I created a playlist for is a short story I’m currently working on. The story starts with a guy, down on his luck, heading out to the nickel draught night at his local bar. On his way there, he who he believes is an old homeless woman in an alley. The guy tries to get the woman to accompany him to the bar, if only to get her off the streets because it’s so cold outside. The woman refuses, but gives him a prophetic warning to mind his neck. Once at the bar the prophesy becomes reality.
The story is funny, a little dark, and includes vampire type creatures.

What is your playlist?
1. Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day
2. People Are Strange – The Doors
3. Karma Police – Radiohead
4. Mo Money, Mo Problems – Notorious B.I.G.
5. I Believe in Miracles – Ramones
6. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
7. You’re the Best Around - Joe Esposito (from tournament montage at end of Karate Kid, I could watch this 10,000 times in a row and my mood would be immediately lifted every single time -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fua0g13djo&feature=related)
8. The Throne Room/End Title – John Williams (from the Star Wars Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

What does music mean to you? To your writing?
A good song can entirely change your mood, and even the way you view the world, if for only a few moments. I’ve found that hearing simply the first few notes of a particular favorite song from a certain period of my life can instantaneously evoke strong feelings and emotions in me. If I hear certain songs I listened to in college I get an instant smile on my face, even if I’m having a horrible day. That’s powerful.

What kind of music do you like to write to?
I have trouble writing music playing, especially music I like. So, I really don’t write to any music. If I were to, though, I suppose classical music or music in a language I can’t understand would probably work fine. I’m easily distracted I guess.

Thinking about it, I guess sometimes I do write to music. I often get songs stuck in my head, especially children’s songs (since that’s what we listen to most often now). The theme song to the Wiggles gets stuck in there pretty good. I bought my wife a CD by They Might Be Giants titled Here Come the 123s, and there is a song on there called Zeroes that’s about the number zero. This one has been haunting me for days. It’s a pretty good song, but has totally been playing in my head while I write.

If this story was made into a movie, who would you want to do the soundtrack?
John Williams. Is there anyone better? He did Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the Harry Potter movies.

If he wasn’t available, he he, I suppose it would be cool to have some obscure punk band (I think it’s against the law to be famous and punk anymore). I think that’s the type of music that captures the feel of my story (I hope).

Anything else you'd like to say about music and writing/creating?
About writing: Writing to me is very similar to computer programming, which is what I do to make a living. Computer programming involves a lot of problem solving, but I think writing does as well, only in writing we get to create the problems and the solutions. Also, both can be great fun when things are going well, and horribly frustrating when they are not.

To learn more about Paul, visit his website The Struggling Writer.

Come by next week for my interview with Hal Duncan.


heather said...

He's got a lot of similar approaches to music and writing as I do. Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Heather - we're similar? Yay!

Liz said...

Pretty Cool, Mr. Struggling Writer! Did you finish the vampire story? I would like to read it. The song list matches well with the story. You have a great future in movies and screenwriting maybe.