Author Interview: Daniel Holzman

daniel holzman

We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.*

Promoting my new novel “Bud Suckers”

In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.*

I have written two novels. The first one was based on my experience working as a professional juggler at San Francisco’s Pier 39. It is the story of a teenager who is mentored by an street performer in the secrets of passing the hat for a living. My latest novel is a horror comedy about two cash strapped college students who try to raise money by growing a crop of marijuana. Unfortunately, they plant it on a vampire’s grave and the weed causes the smokers to have the munchies for blood.

As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)*

Trying to get readers. I enjoy the entire writing process, but sometimes don’t think it is worth the effort. It is very satisfying to hear that people enjoy my work, I just wish I could reach a wider audience.

Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?*

I love brainstorming. There is something thrilling about taking an idea and bringing it to life.

If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)*

I would love for my work to be a combination of Kurt Vonnegut’s intelligence and imagination with Stephen King’s ability to get you hooked in his stories from the very fist page. I want my books to be clever page turners that the reader can’t put down.

Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

I know what it is like to grow up with a sibling that makes your life more difficult. Your half-brother was becoming more dangerous and would have sacrificed your life in his quest for eternal youth as a vampire. I saved you, and made sure you destroyed the marijuana that was tainted by the ancient vampire blood. You are now free to pursue your dreams of becoming an actor, and finally have a family that will support and encourage you.

You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

It would quite the epic match. I recently read Norm Macdonald’s book “Based on a True Story.” He was known as a gambler who was fearless in betting huge sums of money. I would match him against my character “Domingo” who lived the life of a professional card player for over two hundred years to hide his true identity as a vampire. He would play cards all night and sleep all day. I would have to put my money on “Domingo” his heightened senses and years of experience would give him the edge.

Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)*

You have to learn to trust your own instincts. If you try and copy someone else the best you can hope to be is a second rate impersonation of that author. Write using your own twisted imagination and trust that you have the talent to overcome the obstacles facing you as a new author. Avoid perfectionism, get that first draft down on the paper and then remember that the “magic is in the eraser.”

Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

Learn to juggle. It is a great way to improve your mind. There are scientific studies that shows it increases your grey matter and helps you make connections quicker in your brain. I have been a professional juggler for over 40 years and it has allowed me the opportunity to travel the world and meet famous people.