An interview with Oliver Eggert
I both love and hate novels that don’t leave a discrete ending for the reader. Have you ever felt the need to write sequels?
This is an interesting question since I do have sequels already planned for Vincent, Survivor. However, I’m a firm believer that every good story has an ending. I already have a very solid idea of how I want Vincent’s story arc to finish, and once it’s over–that’s it. I suppose I could technically write a sequel, but if I’ve done my job right I’ll be leaving the story off on a strong note. Dragging things out is never good.
There’s always another novel in the pipeline to write… Tell me about it! Does it have even a working title?
I do have a working title (in fact, I got working titles for the next three books). My next book is tentatively being called Vincent, Protector. It’s a continuation of the first book and takes place several years after the dust settles from the events of the first book. It will continue following Vincent and his adventures in the new world.
Some advice other writers have given is that your first novel is best sitting in a drawer for a while, because then you feel stronger about chopping up ‘your baby’. Do you still have a copy of your first novel? Whether this was published or unpublished, I need to know!
Unfortunately I don’t even have a copy of my very first novel, which is fine since it was pretty much crap. I think writing an amazing book in your first attempt is akin to winning the lottery.
Do you have a dedicated writing space? How does it meet your writing needs?
The coffee shop down the street has a quiet room with insulated walls to mute outside sounds. It’s perfect since I’m usually working among students studying for exams. Peace and quiet is all I need. Unfortunately, I’ve got two dogs and a soon-to-be wife at home, and while I love them to death, they are always breaking my concentration.
What is your writing process? Have you ever thought about changing it? Other authors I have interviewed talk about having an outline – post-it notes in an office, or writing in paper journals. Is there something like that in your writing technique? Or is it all digital for you?
I outline in a notebook. It’s something I’ve always done, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be banged up since I’m usually jotting down notes in it as inspiration hits (wherever that may be). I don’t like writing without having a clear idea of where the story is heading. I’ve tried doing it multiple times, and every time I end up writing myself into a dead end.
How do you know when a novel or short story is finished? How do you know to step away and let the story speak for itself?
This is a tough question, and I don’t have a real answer. I just go with my gut feeling.
Do you have a preference for ebook or paperback format? This is for both your own reading and your novels.
I used to be a snob about paperbacks, but I got a Kindle for Christmas several years back and the darned thing has grown on me. Nowadays I do either without any real preference.
Social media is becoming a big thing. How does managing media outlets come into marketing your brand and your books?
I know I have to manage my social media and brand, but honestly I’d rather just be writing. I think I’m just doing the bare minimum at this point since, to be honest, it’s not like I have any fans to interact with anyway. Once that starts changing, though, I could easily see myself engaging with them–not even as a brand thing, but just to get that connection with my readers would be cool.
You have answered other sets of interview questions, is there something you wish someone would have asked you? Or conversely, something you wish they hadn’t asked?
Nobody’s ever asked me about what I like to do outside of writing. I think it keeps things fresh to have little tangents like, “What’re your favorite foods?” Easy. That’d be steak and chili.