What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Ken La Salle. I was born in Orange, California and I live in Anaheim, California. (I believe this is called being a “man of the world.”)
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something creative. I felt pulled towards theatre, towards singing, and towards writing. After spending my time in a couple of cover bands, I realized I wasn’t exactly cut out to be a rock star. After doing a lot of theatre, I realized my strength was not necessarily acting. Though I loved both more than I can say, my weakness as a singer and actor turned out to be my strength as a writer – that is, I tend to over-analyze things. You might say I think too much. There are times as a performer you just want to go with things and not think and, while that wasn’t my strength, it turned out doing just the opposite, being very aware of what was going on, thinking a whole lot, has helped me as a writer.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I tend to be very particular about calling myself a “writer.” I knew for most of my life that I didn’t want to do it until I was sure. I’ve seen that guy who brags about working on his book who you know is never going to finish it. You know he’s just boasting over nothing. I didn’t want to be that guy.
A few years ago, as my life turned more and more towards writing – one of the few upsides to a crappy economy – I began to see things change and all of those caveats I put on myself that prevented me from calling myself a “writer” were pushed aside. My plays began to get produced. I found an agent who believed in me. I was published – and not just self-published, either, which was nice.
But the day I realized I could consider myself a “writer” was when I was out with my wife and someone asked the inevitable, “What do you do?” And I said, “I’m a writer.” I said it without thinking, without flinching. It just became what I am – and I have marveled at that every day since.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
I guess that depends on what you mean by my “first book.”
I’m 46 years old and I’ve been writing seriously for about 25 years. I wrote my first book, which I have lost since lost, when I was 21. I’m not ashamed to say: it stunk. The last quarter century has been about learning, refining, and becoming the writer that I am. My first published book was Climbing Maya, available from Solstice Publishing, which I wrote in and around 2008. By that time, I had written about a dozen books.
So, the short answer is: Yes.
But then, if you look at how long it took from writing to publishing, it’s not as long. The whole process took about four years, and that’s not bad.
You can find Climbing Maya for the Kindle and Kindle-App at: http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Maya-ebook/dp/B007YIF510/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337098137&sr=8-1
You can find Climbing Maya for all e-readers at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/156534#longdescr
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I used to. I spent about 20 years working in marketing management and in marketing and technical writing. But I grew to resent that because I worked under my real name and wrote under my pseudonym, Ken La Salle. I had to do this for fear of losing my day job. I hated living two lives and looked forward to the day when I could “come out,” so to speak.
Now, thanks to the help of my lovely wife, I have come out and live my life (openly) as a writer. I am so busy between working on new books, promoting published books, working on new plays, and just generally going about the business of being a writer, I don’t have time for another job.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
I just finished a book on ethics called Dynamic Pluralism. In less than 20 words: Dynamic Pluralism presents a working system of ethics, something that has not been proposed in over 200 years.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
When it comes to self-publishing or looking for a publisher, I live by the motto: Do everything!
So, when I write a new book, my intention is to find a publisher. I’ll work to find a publisher for as long as I can and, if that doesn’t work out, I’ll look at the self-publishing option. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. Sometimes, publishers aren’t looking for the book you have to sell.
I’ll give you an example. Next month, I will be releasing my next, self-published book, The Worth of Dreams/The Value of Dreamers. I’ll be releasing it as an ebook and (with any luck) an audio book. The Worth of Dreams/The Value of Dreamers is a compilation of my first year of articles about pursuing your dreams run on the Recovering The Self website. I’m putting those together with some bonus material and charging a very small amount for it all. I know a publisher won’t necessarily be looking at this but it’s something I believe in, which is why I’m doing it myself.
You can find Recovering The Self at: http://www.recoveringself.com
Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
Yes. My lucky charm is my wife, Vicky. No kidding. I’ve been fortunate to meet and marry someone who inspires me, helps me with the business side of writing, and makes my life fun. I couldn’t ask for more!
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I’m pretty fast once I get going but I tend to “pre-write” much of my work. By that, I mean that I think through all the major issues before I write the first word. It’s not that I plot it all out to the Nth degree, but I want to know where I’m going and what I’m doing and then, with that resolved, I can begin writing. From start to finish, that means a novel takes 3-5 months.
A full-length play takes me about two weeks to write.
Non-fiction takes a bit longer. The book I just finished, Dynamic Pluralism, took me about 20 years from the first ideas to the last rewrite. Mind you, most of the work was done in the last three years, but it was important to lock down the theories before I committed myself.
Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Well, as I just mentioned, I spent a very long time working on my last book. The writing time was astronomical compared to how long it takes to whip out a novel: six months! But the thing is it was worth it. It was one of those experiences, like Climbing Maya, when I realized I had a book that could help people, could make the world a better place.
That said, the next book I dive into will be a novel – because after you spend several years working on something worthwhile, you just need a break!
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
As I recently mentioned to another interviewer, my “brand” doesn’t tend to lean towards one genre. My output is very diverse, as you can see just by looking up the books I have available on Amazon, etc. That said, one of the benefits of moving forward with my writing career is that I’m learning what people want.
For the last decade or so, my goal has been to always be a moving target. I wrote every genre that interested me – fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, literary, commercial, non-fiction – hoping that someone would find some interest in my work and I could say, “Okay, so I should write more of that.” And that is kind of what has happened in the last couple of years. With Climbing Maya out, I’m going to follow that up with another book on philosophy, the aforementioned Dynamic Pluralism, and another memoir, a book about my father’s passing away called The Day We Said Goodbye. With the encouragement I’ve found at Recovering The Self and my regular column on pursuing your dreams, I’ll be releasing the Year-One compilation, The Worth of Dreams/The Value of Dreamers.
With more of my shows finding receptive theaters, such as Writing Man Productions and the Dark Room Theatre in San Francisco producing my farce Murielle’s Big Date in November, I’ll continue to write more plays – mostly because they’re just a whole lot of fun.
In the midst of all that, I’m excited to be starting a new novel called Work of Art. It’s about a group of people drawn together by nothing but the endeavor to create art, which is actually very powerful. This is a new kind of novel for me, a hopeful idea. My agent refers to my previous work as “eorish,” but this feels like something new and I’m excited to be starting it… somewhere amidst all those plans…
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
My favorite is always the book I’m working on at that moment. Having just finished Dynamic Pluralism and as I have not yet begun my next project, I guess I’d have to say my favorite at the moment is Climbing Maya. It’s my favorite because it’s a book that inspires people and really strikes a chord and I never realized I could do that. It’s a book that has inspired me; it has made me a believer in myself. I’d say that’s a pretty good reason.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I can name two off the top of my head and they are both alike in that they are both, so far at least, unloved.
The first character is Hex from my Rynia book of fantasy novels (available on Amazon and Smashwords, etc.) Hex is a pacifist, a loner, a lost soul – and he is asked to be a hero. He’s not a hero. Far from it. But through the course of the four Rynia books, you see how the people in his life make him a hero. After finishing the four Rynia books, I was ready to go on and write two more trilogies… maybe one day…
The other character is Maggie Lawrence, the protagonist in my murder mystery, Sleepwalker. Maggie has sleeping issues and wakes up one morning to find out that she just might have run someone over as she drove in her sleep. She’s no detective and her friends are far from your usual cast of characters. She has to find out who did it, not to catch the bad guy but just to make sure it isn’t her. This is a novel I’m actively trying to sell and I would love to follow Maggie through several more books because she is so ill-suited to be a detective.
You can find the first Rynia book, A Hex Upon Rynia, for the Kindle and Kindle-Apps at: http://www.amazon.com/A-Hex-Upon-Rynia-ebook/dp/B004ZZMS24/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337098709&sr=1-4
You can find the first Rynia book, A Hex Upon Rynia, for all e-readers at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/58564
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I’ve heard it said that writers always put themselves in their books, that one character always represents the writer. I, on the other hand, like to play all the characters. I think it’s the actor in me.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
My dream of becoming a writer began in 1983, back when I was in high school. One of the other students, a guy older than me and far more mature named Roy Johnson had just written a story called Snails. I can’t recall exactly what it was about but I remember it was, of all things, a love story. It was very impressive and me being the showboating, young actor that I was, which is to say also terribly insecure than anyone could do something I could not – well, I said something stupid like, “Yeah, that’s okay. I’m working on my first novel, myself.”
And, of course, someone called me on it.
I remember that was on a Friday and I had to come up with a first chapter by Monday or be proven wrong. Well, I did… but it was horrible. For many years after that, my motivation for writing was simply to write something as good as Roy Johnson had written. Once I got something close, I was so pleased that I’d actually done it that I had to do it again!
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
The short answer is: I don’t sleep.
I’ve wrestled with sleeping problems all my life but one of the upsides to being up in the wee, small hours of the morning is that I can let my mind travel wherever it wants. I usually know sort of what I want to do next; I have inclinations pulling me one way or another so I’m generally not a blank slate. I just let my mind do what it wants and play with whatever inclination I might have.
You know, one of the things about being a writer, or any artist really, that is so hard for some people to understand is that you need to untrain so much of what you’re taught through your lifetime. I think that’s difficult for people to comprehend. But I’ve found that my writing, that all of my art, has only succeeded to the extent in which I’ve been able to shut off so much of what I’ve learned. I remember, as a child, being told not to let my mind wander. I remember being told not to daydream. Oh, what I would give to smack the folks who told me that. Letting your mind wander and having an ability to daydream, those are arts in themselves! That’s where I get my inspiration!
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I don’t so much have a routine as I have a desk and a “To Do” list. I sit at my desk and look at my “To Do” list and get started. Usually, this means about eight hours each day, except when Vicky can pull me away on weekends, sitting at my desk in silence. I’m sure if I had a laptop (with requisite ergonomic keyboard), I’d write anywhere and it’s probably better that I don’t because being able to take my writing anywhere would probably be dangerous!
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Vicky reads just about everything before it goes out. She’s my partner in this endeavor. She works as my proofreader and my adviser. I wish she was a bit more vocal about how she feels but she seems to like what I do, so I guess I can’t complain.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
They say you shouldn’t read your reviews and I firmly agree. That said, I read everything and it’s the dumbest thing I could do. I have a notoriously thin skin and tend to believe people with an almost “well, if they wrote it down it must be true” kind of approach. This has been devastating, of course, but I like to think it’s helped thicken my skin a bit.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I tend to be very hard on myself, which means that I am also my worst critic. This is very helpful, though, because while I throw away most of my ideas I also know that if I’ve stuck with something that usually means it’s worthwhile.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Sure, if it was possible. I’d prefer every review be a good one! Sadly, however, we don’t live in that universe. We don’t even live in a universe where a reviewer would listen to your request. The best we can do is accept the good with the bad. As long as I can keep working as a writer – you know, once I make some money at it – I’ll try not to let negative reviews hurt me too much.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
One of the most enjoyable things about self-publishing has been in coming up with my own covers. I am a closet graphic artist and I’d love to be talented as a painter, but I’ll take designing book covers where I can.
On Climbing Maya, I worked with the cover designer at Solstice and that was a great experience. At first, I had suggested using a mountain top for the cover, going with the implications of the book’s name. Then, I realized we needed something iconic, because the “climbing” in the book is a philosophical climb with a summit that may be an illusion. I asked if we could get a mountain top that looked like it came out of A-Ha’s Take On Me video. Mind you, that video didn’t feature a mountain top but the cover designer somehow got my intention and came back with an iconic image that ended up being the book cover. I think it’s absolutely wonderful.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
It depends. I often get a title right away, because I know where the book is going and want to start talking it up with my friends. In those cases, names just pop up. The title for my mystery, Once Removed, was like that. I was lying in bed, talking about my new book idea with my wife – the idea being about a wife who finds notes from her dead husband that eventually lead to his murderer – and the name just came out.
Other books aren’t so simple. The three Rynia books that make up the Sons of Rynia trilogy were very much like that. I spend years calling them “Books One, Two, and Three” without any kind of title at all. Once I knew I was going to self-publish them, however, I knew I’d need a title… actually, three titles. So, I sat down with the first book title, A Hex Upon Rynia, and tried to find three names that fit that name scheme. By the time I finally had them, I wondered what had taken so long!
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
As I said, I tend to think things through quite a bit. But I don’t even start thinking about it unless a core idea, event, or person nags at my mind. In my next book, Work of Art, for instance, I have the image of a boy painting flowers for the girl he loves in my head. That got me wondering: Why is he painting them? Where is he painting them? How is he discovered? Once those questions found answers, more questions started popping up until I was sure a book was there.
Are character names and place names decided after there creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I have the hardest time with name and tend to fuss over them quite a bit. For instance, I feel I tend to use the same names over and over and sometimes I think my names get to be too generic. So, I’ll change them even as I finish a book or play because I’m second, third, fourth-guessing myself. I’ll look all over the Internet for a name to grab me. Basically, I’m lucky to finish something with names intact.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Oddly, I don’t tend to think too much about traits. I usually listen for a specific voice. If I can find the character’s voice in my head, that usually also gives me everything I want to know about character. For instance, I recently wrote a play called Broken People in which a character called The Sad Man walks into the Arizona desert in the middle of summer to kill himself. When I wrote The Sad Man, I could hear his lines as Peter O’Toole. I needed to use that voice for the gravitas it provided. O’Toole’s signature voice also told me everything I needed to know about the character. I’m not always so lucky as to find such a specific voice, most of the time it’s just me, but when I can find a particular sound it helps me capture what I need to know about the character.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I do a little of both. As I mentioned, I like to find the major notes in the book. I know if I have that I’m good. The way I like to explain it is that I like to know what happens in the book and, in the process of writing the book, I learn how it happened. That gives me enough room to play while still giving me the book I wanted.
How do you market/promote your books?
Since my books have so far all been e-books – this will end with the paperback edition of Climbing Maya, coming soon! – I’ve been working on promoting my work online as much as I can. This has happened through interviews like this, of course. I’ve also created my own website. I blog fairly regularly and work the social media. Basically, I’m looking for any opportunity I can find to get the word out there!
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
How I wish I knew!
This may be the worst thing for a writer to admit, but I have learned that I am not the best judge of what is marketable. I started writing mystery novels, for instance, because an agent told me they would do well. They haven’t.
When I wrote Climbing Maya, I told my wife I was sure nobody would ever be interested in it. Turns out, that’s my first book released by a publisher. So, what do I know?
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
When I was younger, I would suffer from writer’s block but that hasn’t been a problem in more than a decade. I believe one reason for this has been because I dedicate myself to writing every day, as much as possible. Now, my problem is just the opposite. Last July, I suffered from what I called “Burnout,” which was just the opposite of writer’s block. I could not write! I had to take a month off from writing all together because I’d pushed myself too hard. Now I’ve learned that I need time off. I’m going to take time off this July as well, just a couple of weeks, to help cool off before I burn out again.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I work so much that it’s sometimes hard to turn off the machine. For this reason, my hobbies tend to either be aimed at turning off my brain or giving me opportunities to work away from the keyboard.
One way I turn off my brain is with video games, specifically World of Warcraft. I can play WoW for an hour or so and just vegetate and not think. I know this probably sounds like sacrilege to hardcore gamers but I’m not there for that. I’m fine spending an hour crafting or questing.
Working away from my keyboard comes in the form of jogging or bicycling. I love to go on long-distance road trips, cycling 100 kilometers or even 100 miles. It’s something I do not do nearly enough but it’s great because I can work on a story as I ride. It’s the best of both worlds.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Sure, as long as I can mention my memoir – or is that cheating?
Climbing Maya, my philosophical memoir about the nature of success, very nearly did not happen. I was out of work at the time and trying to think of something marketable I could write, something that would make money. (This goes back to how little I can tell what is marketable and what isn’t.) I gave the choice to my wife: either a zombie horror novel or a philosophical memoir. Fortunately, she told me I should write the one I felt more compelled to do, which became Climbing Maya.
As it turned out, I wrote both and it was Climbing Maya that found publication first!
I knew I couldn’t just write a straight non-fiction book on success; I just didn’t have the confidence to do that. But I felt I might be able to approach the subject if told through my own experience. After all, I was unemployed, my best friend was an alcoholic, and my other best friend was losing his wife to cancer. If our lives didn’t just scream “Success,” whose did?
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
My earlier writing did. I felt the need to justify something’s existence by wrapping it a kind of message. But one thing I learned through writing for theater is how unnecessary that it because that’s not what happens in life. I like to think of it this way: The conflict is the conflict. Things happen, and not always for a reason. That has helped me get of that particular crutch.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
If I had to pick just one writer, it would have to be Kurt Vonnegut. And that’s odd because so little of my writing reflects this. But I think he turned me on to so many different aspects of writing: the idea that it could be fun, that it doesn’t have to be the stuff they teach in school (I was first turned onto him in high school), that a book can be whatever it wants to be, that you can tell the story however you want, and on and on. As it turns out, my least favorite book of mine is the one in which I tried to ape Vonnegut’s style too much. I am presently in the process of rewriting the book to sound more like me. You can be influenced by someone but it’s important to know when to put that aside and do your own thing.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
For reading or publishing?
For reading, I prefer a good, old-fashioned hardbound book every time. It’s just one of the ways I show my age and my hippie roots. Because I like the idea of being able to share a book without it taking up more resources every time you read it. While paper takes trees, ebooks take electricity every time you read them. Paper books use the resource just once.
But for publishing, I’m far more open. I’ll take any format that gets my work out there. As I mentioned, all my work is in ebook format, with Climbing Maya coming in paperback very soon! I’m also going to try and release my next book, The Worth of Dreams/The Value of Dreamers, as an audio book, so I’m open to whatever gets my work in front of an audience.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
When I first started writing, I read far more than I wrote. This is important, I think, for any writer. It’s like going to school. During this time, I read and reread anything I could get by Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, Tom Robbins, Douglas Adams, and fantasy authors like Christopher Stasheff, Stephen R. Donaldson, Terry Brooks, and on and on. Then, as I began to learn the craft of fiction writing, I switched to non-fiction and found that even more interesting, reading and rereading Carl Sagan, Stephen Ambrose, Joseph Campbell, and many others.
So… short answer? I think there’s just too many to mention.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think books transfer very well as long as you keep in mind that a book is no more a movie than a movie is a book. They can’t be the same animal so you can’t expect a seamless transfer. You almost have to expect the outcome to be very different.
Again, there are so many excellent movies from books, especially comic books. (I recently saw The Avengers on its opening night and that was a big, old serving of awesome.) But if I was too pick a really good one off the top of my head, I’d say it would have to be Cronenberg’s The Naked Lunch. The book is such a different trip from the movie and, yet, the movie holds up excellently as its own being.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m currently reading I, Azimov, Isaac Azimov’s fantastic and final autobiography. I’m reading it in hardback, in a lovingly worn copy I found at a used book store.
Side note: Used book stores – really good ones – are like churches. You should attend them regularly.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I’m sure somewhere down the line, maybe as early as fifty years from now, they will. But I don’t know if they should. As I mentioned, my printed books will last beyond my lifetime. They can be, have been, and will be shared. You just can’t say that about an ebook.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
Are kids encouraged to read? Sure, but are they given the time? Are they allowed to do it in their own way? I don’t know. When I began to read in earnest, back in high school, I read pulp fantasy. Others read comic books (which I found my way to as well, by and by). And we caught hell from adults for that. My mom was good about letting me read what I wanted to read but I saw the other side as well, those who only wanted you to read what they thought was good for you. So, maybe kids growing up these days have to find their own way just like we did. Maybe it isn’t pulp fantasy or comics. Maybe it’s shitty ebooks or something else entirely. Kids should be encouraged to read whatever they want, as long as they work that muscle.
As for anything imaginative, I think grown-ups have done a terrific and abominable job at eliminating that from children’s lives. Now, it’s all about rote learning and structure and approved play, it makes me sick. I am all for George Carlin’s call for more daydreaming. We should encourage kids to daydream – hell, we should encourage adults to do it as well. It’s good for the soul!
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
My story as a writer begins in the least auspicious manner: I wrote fake commercial sketches that I would perform in front of my fifth-grade class. I had a terrific teacher who encouraged us to do our own thing. She knew it would turn on our minds. I remember my first commercial was for a weight-gain gas called “Fatrical”… it only went on from there.
But I only did this to perform, thinking my story would end as an actor and not as a writer. As I got older, though, I found more and more ways to get the spotlight as a writer until my big-mouthed braggadocio made writing inevitable.
Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I have a soft spot for fantasy novels. My first was The Elves and The Otterskin by Elizabeth Boyer. I can’t say what it is, maybe it’s just part of my generation since that’s when fantasy kind of grew up, but if there’s a dragon or wizards, I’m ready for the ride.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
You know, my first impulse is to say there’s no book I wouldn’t at least try to read but then I get to thinking about all the books churned out by the right-wing hate machine these days, saying the most hurtful things about people who are doing their best to make the world a better place… I think it’s fair to say I’d definitely never read those.
Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I’ve actually been spending a bit of time recently rewriting some of my older books, books I liked when I wrote them but just didn’t catch on. One of the startling things about my writing career, and this may sound familiar to some people, is that I never run out of lessons to learn. I’ve been very fortunate to work with some people who have given me a bit of mentoring. I should single out JW Shnarr, of Northern Frights Publishing, as one of these people. Now, diving back into some of my older work, I realize where some huge errors were made and I’m able to fix them.
What’s at the top of last list, to answer your point more directly? Point of View. I’ve always been a fan of third-person omniscient and I think it sometimes mirrors what we’re used to seeing in movies and on television. But I’ve since learned that I took that a bit too far and I had a habit of losing control of the vehicle, so to speak. Going back now, I’m tightening my hand on the wheel so the POV steers straighter and clearer.
What do you think about book trailers?
I love them! I didn’t even know about them until Climbing Maya was due to be published. When I realized I should have one, I decided to make it myself. It seemed like the right thing to do; Climbing Maya was such a personal book, I knew the trailer should be personal too. The feedback I got was so positive, I plan to put together more trailers in the future. I think it’s just another great way to connect to make a connection with your audience.
You can check out the trailer for Climbing Maya on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_QlRLNSRgA.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
My standard advice to anyone who wants to be an artist of any kind is simple: Don’t do it. If you’re lucky enough to get out, GET OUT! Life is already hard enough without asking for more suffering, rejection, hurt, anguish, and just plain frustration.
If, however, you realize you’re stuck, don’t do it half-assed. Surrender yourself to your fate. Persevere! Hang in there! Give it your all!
You’re going to make mistakes. You may even suck. That happens. It’s not a bad thing; it’s necessary in order to learn. Keep at it! Give it your all!
And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You don’t need those people. If someone talks shit about you, you don’t want that person in your life under any circumstance.
Oh, and buy my books. I think that’s the best advice of all… well, it’s good for me, at least…
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Yes, indeed. Ken La Salle is a pseudonym. I like to think I don’t even exist. In my previous life, when I worked in the corporate world, I had to use my pseudonym because being a writer while employed to be a writer was frowned upon. So, like any good superhero, I’d switch identities.
But I have to say that grew tiresome. I didn’t want to live two lives. I wanted to be Ken La Salle. And so, today I am. In fact, these days, my other (real) name feels more like a pseudonym. Funny, that.
I’m a big fan of recreating yourself that way. I think everyone should do it. It’s very liberating.
Where can readers follow you?
Well, aside from the blog, twitter, Facebook, and web details below, you can look for me at theaters around the country. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Most of my stuff is performed in California, where I hope some smart TV or movie exec will want to hire me one day. Mostly, you can see my work in theaters in Southern California.
I’m also happy to make personal appearances, hold signings, and do readings anywhere in the SoCal area. Just drop me a line! (I’ll go elsewhere if you pay the trainfare – I hate flying.)
Your blog details?
You can find me on the following blogs and sites of e-lightenment:
Life and other issues of the day: http://twolivesonepath.blogspot.com/
On writing and being a writer: http://kenlasalle.blogspot.com/
And for insights on pursuing your dreams, check out my monthly articles at http://www.recoveringself.com/category/ken-la-salle
Your web site ?
The world-famous www.kenlasalle.com has everything you might want to know about me. From my plays to my books, from appearances to publications, from media to bios, it’s the place to be and I welcome you to stop by if you’re so interested.
Your facebook page?
You can find me on Facebook by my pen name: Ken La Salle.
Your Goodreads author page?
Yes, you can check out Ken La Salle on Goodreads as well.
Your Twitter details?
On Twitter, I am @KenLaSalle. I’m always looking for more followers. So, please, stop by, follow, have a cookie. (Twitters major weakness: No cookies…)
And any other information you wish to supply?
One thing I’ve learned over the years that becomes more true all the time is that a writer’s career is not determined by the writer but by the reader. I know this is the case with my career. And so I am grateful to anyone who buys my books or enjoys my work. My career, my life, would not be possible if not for your support and I want to thank each and every person who buys my work, enjoys my work, lends their support, and acts as my friend. You are the best.