Sitting Down with Jim Landwehr
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
Well, I’m not much of a cook, but if I had my choice, I’d cook a dinner of chicken Parmesan for Kurt Vonnegut.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
Boring my readers. As I work through a poem, or a nonfiction story, I always look at it as an imposition on peoples’ time, so I want to keep it interesting, engaging and fresh. There’s nothing worse than having someone set down your work because it’s not very good. I fight through the self-doubt by recalling some of the positive feedback and reviews I’ve received from my readers. I reassures me that my work is relevant and touches people.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
Michael Perry, a bestselling Wisconsin writer, musician and storyteller. He’s not only an amazing writer, but he has a great stage presence and is a wonderful humorist. I want nothing more than to be like Mike.
What books are on your nightstand?
Richard Brautigan, Revenge of the Lawn, Margaret Rozga’s poetry, 200 Nights And One Day, Michael Perry, Man at Work, Stephen Anderson’s poetry, In the Garden of Angels and Demons, and a couple of expired Sun Magazines, which I read cover to cover.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Most of my work is inspired by true events. Much of my nonfiction goes back to the people and places of my younger days. My poetry inspiration comes more from contemporary events. The two genres compliment each other nicely.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
Oddly enough, the upside-down exclamation point used in the Spanish language. It tips the readers off that the sentence ends with emphasis. It truly is a better idea!
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
The Hobbit. I got halfway through it and never finished. Too many characters and lands to keep track of. I still feel bad about putting down a classic like this and never picking it up again.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
The silver 1984 Chevy Cavalier that we rented to get us from Minnesota to California.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Because I can’t not write.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
“You are about to embark on the hardest, most rewarding journey of your life. Don’t be a give-up.” –Jim Landwehr
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