Today’s interview is with Vince Wetzel, author of the contemporary fiction novel Friends in Low Places.
Friends in Low Places is the funny, poignant, sometimes heartbreaking story following five friends as they go on the same trip to the mounts over the course of 20 years. Read as they laugh, make poor decision, grow, and mature into men.– Friends in Low Places
Questions about the writing process:
Do you prefer stand-alone novels or series as an author?
I am writing my novels as stand-alone but in the same universe. For example, a main character in Friends In Low Places plays a bit part in my next novel, Lose Yourself. Throughout my stories, there will be cameos and Easter eggs to tie them all together.
How much do you write each day?
With a typical job, I set a goal of 10 pages a week. Life happens, and the weekly goal allows me some grace but pushes me to continue the grind.
How do you select names for your characters?
I look at the collection of books and movies (yes, DVDs), find a name or a character, then riff off that until I find the right name
What’s your goal with writing? Hobby/full-time?
I like to think of it as woodworking or painting. My joy in is the process of creating and making it the best I can. I will work to sell it, but in the end, my personal goal is to make back the money I’ve invested.
Plotter or pantser or somewhere in between?
For Friends in Low Places, it was inspired by my own trips with friends to a lake, so I developed the characters and as they went through their journey, I found ways I could overlay my experience in their story. For my next novel, Lose Yourself, it’s been total pantster. I just knew the characters and the end and let them take it from there.
Thoughts about writerly things:
What do you think about writing communities?
I am in a writing group and they’ve been helpful and supportive. I’ve also learned a lot about writing through reading their stuff.
And how do you handle the positive and the negative reviews?
They’re mostly supportive so a bad one just means I’ve arrived and I’ve received some reaction.
What’s the best writing snack out there?
Cheezits and a can of sparkling water. A good hearty beer also helps.
If you could choose any side character from your book to write a spin-off story about – who would it be?
That’s my strategy. To have them all live in the same universe. One of the main characters of Lose Yourself is the son of the main character in Friends in Low Places.
How do you celebrate big achievements?
A glass of beer from my favorite brewery, Bike Dog Brewing, in West Sacramento, CA
Personal stuff :
Do your family and friends support your writing?
Yes they do. During the release of Friends in Low Places, I held three Brewery and Book tour events in various parts of California and had an average of 35 people show up. I am forever grateful for their support.
What do you do when not writing?
I watch sports (Go Dodgers, A’s, Utah Utes and Michigan Wolverines, Sacramento Kings and Chelsea Football Club). I also read and hang out with my wife and friends
What book format do you prefer your books to come in?
I like to listen to audio books when I’m in the car (I drive a lot for work) or working out. I also enjoy paperbacks.
Favorite music right now?
I am into Blues right now
Do you have any pets?
My Yorkie, Wookie
A huge thank you to Vince for taking part in this author interview. And can we just give the man a high-five for still having DVDs – it’s always nice knowing I’m not alone in this online streaming world.