Interview: S.F. Chapman

S.F. Chapman says he began writing, “When the faltering economy put an end to most construction a few years back, I switched from building structures to assembling novels. The processes are surprisingly similar at times. I dithered back and forth in college between English Composition and Industrial Design, finally finishing up in Design. Writing tugged impatiently at me for years afterwards.”

Enjoy this interview.

Tell us about your book. What do you hope readers take away from it?

I just (July 1st) published a literary fiction novel entitled I’m here to help. The story is a short but very compact tale about a seventeen-year-old girl who discovers some troubling inconsistencies in her birth certificate. Her mother then sets about to clear things up with a story told using a dozen or so photographs about the many laudable good deeds and lamentable oversights that led to the daughter’s birth.

The story will surprise most readers with many unexpected twists and turns. I think that it is a good example of the convoluted complexities that lurk just below the surface in many people’s lives.

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

I’m a bit more than halfway through my effort to write a dozen novels in five years. What’s next? Finishing up novels 7 and 8 in the next few months and publishing novels 2 & 3 next year.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Collapse in an exhausted heap?

I love listening to music. I am currently revisiting my fondness for summertime songs, which means The Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Spanish language stars Belanova and Fanny Lu.

What is one of the things you’re most thankful for as a writer?

The top 3 reasons that I’m thankful to be a writer:

1)      The lack of a commute.

2)      The especially odd hours, 3 AM is perfectly acceptable when the muse strikes.

3)      The opportunity to stare thoughtfully off into space and then answer “I’m working,” when people ask what I’m doing.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

Above all, I believe that you should be happy with and occasionally amazed by your own work. If you are, then others will probably enjoy it as well.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

Oh yes; I certainly have a well-practiced ritual that leads up to my daily mischief at the keyboard: (Hopefully) nine hours of sleep, a light breakfast of Rice Krispies and orange juice, twenty minutes or so with the San Francisco Chronicle (Go Giants!) and two large cups of very strong coffee.

What is one thing that frustrates you about being a writer?

The most frustrating thing about being an independent writer is certainly the super-long lag between doing the work and getting paid for it.

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

Just one? Here are the top two of all time: Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle and Isaac Asimov’s non fiction primer on subatomic physics Atom: Journey Across the Subatomic Cosmos.

Where can we learn more about you?

With the publication of I’m here to help, you can Google “S F Chapman” and get good results. There’s a short video on YouTube and plenty of bios, reviews and postings in the Literary Blogosphere.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I hope that people will enjoy reading my books as much as I have enjoyed writing them. My daughter thought that the sentiment was too cliché when she read over my work for the interview, but it is sincere nonetheless.

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