Interview: Stuart Nachbar

I know you’re going to enjoy this interview with Stuart Nachbar. His advice for writing (and writer’s block) is excellent. Besides that, I love clever looking websites. Here’s Stuart’s:

educated-quest

Doesn’t it make you want to visit? Before you do, be sure to read and even comment on his interview that follows. We love your feedback!

stuart

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

I am originally from New Jersey, growing up near Bon Jovi and Springsteen Country. Except for 15 months of graduate school I have lived in the Garden State all of my life.

I worked in urban economic development for eight years–it was my first “career”–then later moved into software marketing with a small start-up business based in New York City where I worked nearly ten years. I left the business three years ago and decided to write full-time.

What types of writing do you do?

My platform is in the arenas of education and politics. I try to analyze a contemporary issue from all sides, while trying to entertain the reader, too. I worked with schools throughout my “careers” so I have unique insights to offer from the perspective of an outsider.

What’s the best thing about writing?

The chance to delve into issues people care about and present them in a different way. I enjoy “what if” scenarios, too. There are many fine lines in education politics, and so many plausible outcomes.

Share some of your writing goals.

To build upon this platform in the hope it can drive change in the way education works. There are too many sacred cows in K-12 and higher education.

Is there a specific time of day you like to write?

I operate a blog, so I do one or two posts in the morning, then work on the book in progress during the afternoon and sometimes at night. I also reserve evenings for reading because there are book reviews on the blog and I want to keep up with other fiction and non-fiction in education.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

The Reckoning by David Halberstam. He foresaw the problems of the U.S. auto industry well before any journalist or industry analyst. I am an amateur auto historian, so the subject fascinated me.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I had thought about writing for several years, and had experience doing press and advertising copy at work. After I left the software business I started working on a book, which later become The Sex Ed Chronicles, my first novel, as a diversion during a job search. I got so involved with the writing that I ended the search.

Favorite authors?

My favorite non-fiction authors are Doris Kearns Goodwin and David Halberstam and my favorite fiction authors are Richard North Patterson, George Dawes Green, Jodi Picoult and Joseph Finder.

Book you’re currently reading.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

None really.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?

The best way to get around it is to sit at the computer or use a pad and paper and write down anything that comes to mind. Forget how good it is at first. As someone once told me: “Don’t be afraid to write crap to yourself. You can always fix it.”

What’s the measure of a successful writer?

Someone who gets a reader to read something that they would not ordinarily read.

Advice for other writers?

Pick a platform of interest to you, where you know so much that you have enough material to write several books. You have to love research to develop a story, so it’s important to find a platform where you will enjoy the research as well as the writing.

Where can we learn more about you?

My web site is www.EducatedQuest.com and the page for my new book is at www.DefendingCollegeHeights.com.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you, Cherie, for this opportunity. I welcome feedback from anyone who has read my work, and I’m always interested in new story ideas.

I am working on a new novel, called Tip Offs, which is about a young banker who, by accident, becomes a reluctant girls high school basketball coach. I would love to get comments on drafts of the opening chapters at www.tipoffsbook.com.

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