Name Raymond Embrack
Raymond: Past 40. For the first Star Wars picture I bought my own ticket. Just saying that old.
Where are you from
Raymond: Washington DC, USA
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Raymond: This interview.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Raymond: 1978 + to get rich + famous + laid.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Raymond: When I bought my first typewriter.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It didn’t happen quickly. At first it was only short fiction. The first book was a series of higher rock piles left over years until I had an actual first book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Raymond: I want it visual and cinematic. I want reading my stuff to be like watching a movie.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Raymond: I pick titles that combine two unrelated words in a way I like. THE BLACK OPERA is one of those. Plus it fits a novel about “black operations.”
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Raymond: There is but you can’t tell them what it is. Readers have to find it on their own. And the smart readers will tell you what it is.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Raymond: This is my one book of sheer realism. But anything I write bends reality.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Raymond: It’s never that direct but sometimes I draw upon first-hand emotional experiences when it provides useful tips when you’re writing about humans.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Raymond: No book has influenced my life but as a writer E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime probably the most I think.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Raymond: Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell, a neo pulp action novel.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Raymond: I’m taking a break. My current project is to make it as a writer. After writing 12 books now I want them read. Then I will have some idea what to write next.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Raymond: Entity? ZERO. I am a self-made self-publishing independent author with every publishing entity opposed to my career. What I do I must do entirely on my own in the Darwinian real world with zero support, as it should be. But I do appreciate your giving me this interview, Fiona. That is supportive. But an indie writer is on their own and only now do we have the power to make it on our own without the entity of the middleman in our way. You have to cut it.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Raymond: I see it as a career and my life’s work and everything else. Yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Raymond: I’m a compulsive rewriter anyway. Maybe make it longer. I did change it, pulled it for a rewrite once. I wouldn’t rule out doing that again, but I like it the way it is.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Raymond: Must have been the comic books. I grew up a comic book junkie.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Raymond: I know that my next 12 novels need to be better. At this age I need to be as good as I ever get.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Raymond: No, but I draw upon places I’ve been. Or what I pick up from people from other places, or the fake travel of Internet Airlines.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Raymond: I designed my covers. I love saving the expense of a designer but I try not to create a lousy cover either. A lousy cover makes all indie authors look bad.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Raymond: For me, it’s always the second half that’s hardest. The first half the book writes itself then it leaves the second half for me to finish.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Raymond: I learned a lot about what readers respond to. My other books are hitchhiking on a remote Nevada highway toward Las Vegas while this one just took off.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Raymond: Me? Please.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Raymond: That is up to them.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Raymond: It may have been a John Shaft paperback, the Shaft from the movie Shaft. That was a series of paperbacks. This one I bought in a supermarket.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Raymond: Laugh? Hardly anything.
Cry? Barely something.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Raymond: Hunter S. Thompson. Try to imagine that.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Raymond: No head stone, just an EXIT sign.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Raymond: There are hobbies I want to have. Those hobbies would make me way more interesting.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Raymond: Been into Extreme Homes lately, watching those with a literal design for living. Lately doing way too much Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Raymond: Foods: greasy awesome pizza + subs. Color: green. Music: EDM and the Peter Gunn theme.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Raymond: Film director. I definitely should have been the first Spike Lee except Spike Lee beat me to it. Maybe I will get around to that one day and be the second Spike or the second Tarantino or the third Kubrick or something.