On June 12, 2019, John W. Bateman's novel Who Killed Buster Sparkle? hits the shelves. Bateman lives in the Deep South, chasing words and finding stories. His work has appeared in OneNewEngland, The Huffington Post, Glitterwolf Magazine, Nately's, the SFWP Quarterly, and lots of notebooks stacked in a bookcase somewhere. He has won awards for screenwriting and received a 2018 Emerging Filmmaker grant from the Mississippi Film Alliance.
Since interviews are so much fun (we all want to know more about the writers we love!), Bateman answered some poignant questions for our team:
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
The Wall. Sometimes it feels like a Great Wall and other times it feels like a little ditch that only requires a running start. More of a dread, than a fear. I hate The Wall, but have learned to live with it. Sort of like sunsets before 5 p.m. in the winter. It happens and it’ll change. I stopped beating myself up over it. Everything is part of the process. Just show up to the page and the rest falls into place.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
Jack Kerouac, without the alcoholism or the closet
What books are on your nightstand?
What night of the week? Right now: Wizard of the Crow. Dispatches From Pluto. Hornito. Dream Life of Astronauts.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Some days, it feels like the ideas grab me. They fly by, out of the blue. Sometimes, they sit on people’s shoulders, like a bug. Sometimes like spinach in teeth. Other times, they drag behind people, buildings, corners, like shadows.
Blank pages and a pencil are my favorite: anything is possible.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
The parentheses (this strange sort of non-binary, non-conforming mark between math and writing). It’s fantastic for side commentary (it’s not in the novel at all, which is kinda weird, considering). Maybe I’m lying (but I really love them).
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
And I’m not answering cause my high school English teachers are friends with me on Facebook. (I READ THEM ALL, I PROMISE. AHEM.).
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
My stuffed animal Mac. He’s a Rottweiler puppy of the perfect kind: always a puppy, never pees on the floor or begs to go out at 4 a.m. in a blizzard, and never barks. Perfect cuddle buddy.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Cause I can’t NOT write
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Keep going. No matter what.