Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
A beginning self-published author in Arizona named Samuel Gospodarek. Born and raised in Surprise where everything started out as a small place in a large desert filled with cacti and is now a bigger city with cars covered in cacti (partially). I consider my personality a stew of other cultures and mannerisms I picked up. It’s because of my racial background being mixed (Mexican and white) that I feel more open to learning and adapting from different people.
The Quietus Breaker: Brother Death is my first ever self-published urban fantasy/new age adult book. A young woman named Joanna Collins is working a boring night shift at a Colorado retail store, as she then finds herself dead at the hands of a cloaked stranger. She wakes up in a grove with a swarm of moaning ghosts, and eventually confronts a pair of mystical sentient beings who escort her to the large front doors of the Necropolis Corporation. However, she receives a document on behalf of the Grim Reaper that forces her to get sent to an empty eerie city called Domain 224. The only tool at her disposal is a self-aware watch and a trolley that tells her where she needs to go.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
My first book was originally part of an epic novel I had in mind during high school. However since the pacing flowed at a much slower and duller pace I then decided to split it into three parts. The first book being the introduction, the second book taking more of a darker turn yet expands on the universe, and of course the third book being the big sizzling conclusion with a bitter sweet ending.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Everything, which is a broad answer. However just absorbing what I personally adore from different mediums is how I personally grow as an author. One of my favorite games of all time is Portal 2, which has a crazy and inventive ending that’s culminated from the background details/gags that the player witnesses. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is an excellent book with hysterical moments that riff on sci-fi tropes but also has clever political subtext that rounds the book out. I’m also way into kaiju films like Destroy All Monsters and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, which are my personal favorites.
How do you deal with creative block?
Taking strategically planned breaks so your eyes don’t get stuck on the screen for too long. Exercising daily or around 3 to 4 times a week for about a few hours. Whenever I daydream, I make physical notes of what I was thinking and how I could implement those ideas. Socializing, going out and spending time at some serene location that could ease the mind (a library or watching a movie at a theater perhaps). These methods of dealing with creative block can also be applied to other career fields, but this is what I do to get over those moments.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Not taking the reader into account and believing that the writer’s craft is critic-proof. Expecting that the rough draft is enough to warrant putting out without revision. Rushing out your book to meet a personal deadline as opposed to making a rock-solid manuscript. There are obviously way more, but these are the ones that are ringing at the top of my head.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
It can be disheartening initially to feel that way. However, take the criticism with stride and aim to make the next book to be better. There’s always something to improve on and I always take the word of the reader seriously.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The hardship of creating an entire world and its rule set became the worst surprise to me. Having to delicately set out the rules from base level and going from there was incredibly time consuming. Although this easily became my favorite surprise for the reason that I wound up making an entire world that felt unique, quirky, and engrossing.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I always aim to do both, which is a tricky balancing act when you want to create your own story. But seeing the joy that I get from my readers who read the book and tell me that they enjoy it is all the more worth it. Same goes for the constructive criticism, which I view as a very beneficial bitter pill to swallow. Those critiques make me grow as a writer and it’s why I continue to keep the reader in mind when making these manuscripts.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
They can either hinder you during critical writing hours or they can be the most beneficial tool at your disposal. If someone has a bad day, use that frustration and anger to just start writing something. I always find that when I’m in a rough corner and things aren’t going my way, I just write whatever I can. Whether it’s an idea for a book, a journal, or perhaps just a note it’s always best to use it for your own creative purposes.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Take a mental snapshot of something interesting or strange you see in public. Then map out in your head the cause and effect of that moment. Put your creative twist on it, and now you have a story. A thinly veiled one, but a story nonetheless that you can workshop or use a backbone for a later story.
What are your plans for future books?
My current plan is to continue The Quietus Breaker series to wrap up the current arc. Meanwhile I am working on another book in a completely different genre that’s going to be shorter, spookier, but keep the same light-hearted humorous tone I’ve kept with my writing style. I am currently doing a juggling act with multiple books right now and making sure that each one gets the attention they deserve.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I sometimes will randomly start singing songs that I clearly don’t know the chorus lyrics to and will make it up in my head as I go along. During my spare moments I make really bad origami, and every time I just made shoddy looking paper airplanes. Along the same lines I like to doodle drawings if given the chance of whatever comes to mind. Whether it’s abstract thoughts conveyed into a weird symbol or a dragon wearing a cowboy hat.