BIW Member Interview
Jerry Ackerman shares a townhouse in northern Virginia with two cats. When not doing the bidding of his feline owners, he spends time with his fiance’ watching old movies and reading. His alter ego, Alistair Kimble enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction.
Moe: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Jerry Ackerman: The first twinkle that I had stories inside me waiting to be told was in the fifth grade. A friend and I wrote a story that was a complete rip-off of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Throughout my teens, all the way up to my early thirties, I dabbled with writing–starting, but not finishing anything. It wasn’t until this past January that I knew I was supposed to be a writer.
Moe: Describe three lessons you have learned about writing?
1) On the first draft let the words flow, do not stop to revise or edit yourself.
2) Write every day – even if it’s only a page, it’s better than nothing.
3) Once done with the first draft, let it sit for awhile to gain perspective–then revise, and revise again and again.
Moe: What are you working on now?
Jerry Ackerman: I recently finished an epic fantasy novel and a science fiction short story, but I am currently writing another epic fantasy. It’s essentially a follow-up to the already completed book. It’s a story of a man struggling to unravel the mystery behind the death of his father. It is set against the backdrop of a kingdom being slowly torn apart by religious and political treachery.
Moe: Do you have a favourite writing related book?
Jerry Ackerman: There are so many, it’s hard to choose! I’d say Stephen King On Writing. Not only does it provide insight on his life and what shaped him as a writer, but it provides great tips on the craft of writing, and the business of writing.
Moe: What is your favourite writing website?
Jerry Ackerman: I enjoy Writing Excuses. It isn’t a traditional website, but it’s a blog that also acts as a site for a weekly podcast by three published authors. The podcasts are once a week and only fifteen minutes long. The podcast is a little skewed toward sci-fi and fantasy, but the tips on writing and the business of writing are outstanding.
Moe: Do you have an important BIW tip you’d like to pass along?
Jerry Ackerman: I think others have all ready given this advice, but it’s all about keeping your butt in the chair and letting the words flow.