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Monday, August 31, 2015

Hats Off Corner Welcomes Barry Lyga

Hat's Off Corner Welcomes Barry Lyga

Last month I read Boy Toy by Barry Lyga and knew I'd be one of his fans from then on. I admit to some gushing in a comment on his blog, and then I did a very bold (for me) thing. I emailed him and asked him if he'd care to visit my blog. And HE SAID YES!!

So here is one of new favorite authors. Mr. Barry Lyga. And here's my REVIEW of Boy Toy if you want to see what I wrote.

Barry Lyga's Website


You're a busy dad and author, so I wanted you to know you made my month by taking time for this interview here on The Write Game.  

Let's start with one question I always like to hear the answer to: As a writer I look to others whom I enjoy reading for inspiration. Do you have a writer or writers you read for inspiration?

B.L.  I tend to be inspired by whatever it is I'm into at the moment. There are some things I read in my youth -- the comic books of Paul Levitz and Alan Moore, REPLAY by Ken Grimwood -- that have lingered and seem to inform everything I do, but in general, I don't go any particular author in search of inspiration. I read for amusement, for pleasure, for the joy of seeing someone craft with words. Inspiration is a nice side effect, when it happens.


Me: Can you talk a bit about your experience with rejection, how you handled it, what you learned from it? Any “advice” to those who are still getting the “Thank you, but no thank you” letters?

B.L. My advice is simple: Get used to it. There's this myth out there that once someone says "Yes," you'll never hear "No" again. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've been a professional novelist for ten years; I've published over a dozen books, including a New York Times bestseller, and I still get rejections. You just have be prepared for it. I generally try to assume that everything I do will be rejected. Then, if it isn't, I get a nice surprise! Whatever your coping mechanism for rejection happens to be, don't toss it out the window with glee when you get that first acceptance -- you'll need it again.

Me: Is there a story behind the story of this latest book that you wish to share? The ah-ha or lightning moment where the story inspiration struck?

B.L. For AFTER THE RED RAIN, I guess the moment was when Rob and Peter told me the basic idea of it and asked me to write it! I thought, "I bet I could write the hell out of that!" It's up to the reader to determine whether or not I did, of course!4. What’s the hardest part of being a successful, published author? (i.e. finding time to write, creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes).

You can get your copy NOW

Me: What’s the hardest part of being a successful, published author? (i.e. finding time to write, creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes).

B.L. I have trouble with this question because I don't entirely agree with the premise -- I don't think of myself as "successful." I think of myself as failing more gracefully, perhaps! For every book I've published, I can think of someway I failed it, either by missing a great moment or not pushing it out into the world hard enough. You come close with the idea of "creating new books that are of the same caliber as your other successes." I've always wanted each book of mine to be better than the one before it. Sometimes, I've managed to hit that goal, but other times not. Finding time to write is a problem only insofar as I'm now a stay-at-home dad and my first priority is my daughter. But even with that tiny, adorable, slobbering obstacle in my way, I've still managed to find time to write a new book this year. The hardest part of this life, truthfully, is the very real fact that once I've written a book, it's fate is pretty much out of my hands. The publisher, the booksellers, and the readers will determine its fate, and there's pretty much nothing I can do about it at that point. A tough lesson!

Me: "Failing more gracefully" is going to go on my bulletin board. But if your other books are as riveting as Boy Toy I'll come by and disagree with you--nicely.

Thanks again. It has been great to read your answers. Hope others will glean help from them. And here's to your latest book--After the Red Rain--just out and getting fab reviews. 




******

Quote of the Week: 


What do you think about Barry Lyga's answers to my questions? Hope you'll take a look at what he writes. It's refreshing and bright stuff. How about you and rejection? What's your take on that part of life?

54 comments:

  1. That first book is only the beginning of the rejections that will come. Like you Barry, I've just tried to create a better story every time. It's all we can do.

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  2. What an inspiring interview. Thank you Barry and Lee. Those "No thanks" replies won't hurt so much when I remember what you've said.
    A great review, Lee. Adding this book to my TBR list.

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    1. It's a good book to read. I really enjoyed it even if it dealt with a disturbing issue.

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  3. Love this interview! I have a quote in my class that includes the phrase "fail better". Love the concept - and failing more gracefully is beautiful!

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    1. He has a way with words, and that was perfect.

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  4. I really enjoyed the interview. Some myths really need busting.

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  5. I'm so glad you stepped outside your comfort zone to ask Barry to visit your blog, Lee. I love "failing more gracefully" I might have to adopt that as well. I also love the idea of you being distracted by a tiny, adorable, slobbering obstacle. Solid priorities, Barry.

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    1. His answers to my questions were great! Glad you stopped by to see what was happening today.

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  6. Fantastic interview. I'm adding that quote to "fail better" to my board too.

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    1. Those two little words do seem to help.

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  7. Ooh, I love this cover.

    I completely agree about the myth of never hearing no once you hear a yes. No matter what stage you are at with writing, you will continue to hear no.

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    1. Isn't that the truth. Hearing it from a successful writer helps.

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  8. Good interview. As long as we're alive we're gonna hear no at some point or the other. Totally understand that success means different things to different people. As long as we're trying, we're still in the battle.

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    1. Indeed we are! Glad he shared this with us.

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  9. What a down to Earth, regular guy. He seems to have the perfect balance of confidence and humility. I'm going to check out his books.
    Susan Says

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    1. He is, and quite easy to "talk" to. I like him for his books, but also for the fact that he writes and is a stay at home DAD!

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  10. Rad interview. I like the line "failing more gracefully." Very humble:)

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    1. It was a gracious comment. I like him.

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  11. What a great interview, wishing Barry every future success. Proof it's worth stepping out of our comfort zone sometimes, well done, Lee.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne. I'm such a shrinking violet when it comes to asking strangers for things. Maybe it's time to stop shrinking.

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  12. Hi, Barry! No matter where you are in your career, you'll still get no's. It's something we all have to get used to. I do think there's an author can do to help along a book's fate though. Nice interview, C Lee!

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    1. He obviously gave my questions some thought. I really appreciated that.

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  14. I love this interview! It is reassuring (and also not) to know that even after so many published books, including a NYT bestseller, he still hears "No." That makes me feel better (and also not) about my own rejections.

    Does that make any sense?

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    1. It makes perfect sense to me. Off to bang my head against a wall, then write a chapter. See? I do understand.

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  15. Very true, for ever yes will come another dozen no's.

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  16. Great interview, no matter how many times those questions are asked the answers are always different and interesting. "Failing gracefully" I can get behind that, feels much softer.

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  17. That's great he agreed to answer your questions- and I loved your "conversation" if you will. It's always good to remember that success doesn't mean you will never fail again or get a rejection. You just have to focus on the positives! :)

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    1. He was very gracious to accept my invitation. So glad he did because I loved his answers.

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  18. So many things are out of our hands and I've heard that even highly successful authors continue getting rejections. Great interview. I really enjoyed Boy Toy and hope to read more from the author.

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    1. I have to get this one. I'm sure it's a good read.

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  19. What a humble guy. I love novels that engage boy readers. Definitely intrigued by Boy Toy and others. My son is now in his early 20's, so I'm not as able to influence his reading, but I hope he checks out Barry's books. I know I will. I love the "don't rest on your laurels" approach. It makes the playing field more level and challenges us all to be our best all he time.

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    1. I love books for boys, too. They're great to read and I love writing them as well. Guess that's because that's all I ever had. . .boys! I figured that no matter how many children I'd have, they'd all be male.

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  20. Excellent interview! I see how even writers who have been on the best seller's list still are rejected so one must have that thick skin. The other part I noticed is the perfectionism that shines through. Many will rewrite and rewrite and are still not pleased. You are right that once it is done and sent, it is in someone else's hands which must be tough

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    1. That's the scary part. I'm always self-doubting once I have a manuscript out to readers.

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  21. How reassuring to hear a successful author confirm that he still gets rejected. That makes me feel a whole lot better! There's no doubt about it: we just have to keep plugging away and accept success and rejection with the same good grace.

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    1. Isn't that the truth? Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment today.

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  22. Hi Lee and Barry ... love the "tiny, adorable, slobbering obstacle" - who be your daughter - hope she gets a chance to read this in 16 years time ... and what you'll write when she's a terrible two year old I look forward to reading!.

    Good luck - and as you say ... you've written your book and with a little bit of a continued push and pull ... it's up to others ... sounds like you're in a good place ... cheers to you both - Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary! I loved that part about his being a stay at home dad. That makes me admire his writing even more.

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  23. What an awesome interview! I loved how Barry was so honest about everything, even that he doesn't consider himself successful after a dozen books and being an NYT bestselling author. On FB I see authors crowing about being up in the ranks on Amazon and think, What am I doing wrong? But I guess if I'm failing gracefully, there's still hope!

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  24. I love Barry's theory of handling rejection. Nice interview!

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  25. Great interview! One acceptance doesn't mean the end of rejections - that's worth remembering. It is hard to quantify success, there's always something else to aim for and we won't get complacent.

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  26. Enjoyed the wonderful interview made excellent reading.
    Yvonne.

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  27. Nice interview and nice advice! Haha, that's quite the coping mechanism for rejections, but it's definitely true that you have to find /something/ like that when you decide to become a writer. :p
    And "failing more gracefully." That is lovely.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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  28. I took the punt once and invited Mark Pryor (the author of the Hugo Marston series I reviewed last post) and he surprised me by being willing to be interviewed. Sometimes we put these authors on too much of a pedestal. They're just regular people like us (or mostly they are) and are willing to plug their books wherever they can. It's taught me to respect certain authors who are willing to communicate with their 'gushy' (I used this word too) readers/reviewers. (Now I get all Mark Pryor's books free and before they're published!)

    Loved the interview and loved this book cover. Awesome! :-)

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  29. What an awesome interview! I really enjoyed learning about Barry and hearing his words of advice about rejection. Writers definitely have to have thick skin- or develop it as they go. Great cover!
    ~Jess

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