Name Evan Bollinger
Where are you from Maryland
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I had two siblings growing up: one older brother, and a comfy brown teddy bear I named “Brown Bear.” I know, I was uuuber creative. As for education, I went public school all the way till college. I was the first class to go through my Elementary School, and arguably the fastest kid in my elementary school. I mean, I won the sprint contest on ‘Field Day,’ so… needless to say I was kind of a big deal. I mean, like practically an Olympian—can I say that?
Actually, more than anything I was a timid, pale-skinned, fair-haired introvert. When I got to college (Dickinson), I became a little more outgoing but not exactly by leaps and bounds. I was naturally drawn to understanding people and writing about it, which probably explains why I majored in English and Psychology.
Throughout my life I’ve found writing easier than talking, so… I guess that’s why I’m doing this thing 😉
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well, right now I’m pregnant so that’s kind of been intere… haha honestly, I have nothing too exciting to report. I’m working on my 3rd full novel called “The Lights in the Sky” and I’m getting pretty psyched about it. I think people will find it interesting and bizarre in its own special way. I hope. It’s about, uh, it’s.. well to be honest, it’s a lot of mystery so I can’t really tell you what it’s about. I’m making it good though (hopefully) so I think fans of scifi/horror/mystery/suspense will find it to have elements of all those things.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing because it was always just sorta ‘my thing.’ I found talking for long periods almost painful, and I always liked to be alone more than with others. This is how I’ve always been, content to be a sort of loner but occasionally needing that interaction to keep me grounded. Getting lost in your head can be great for writing, but you don’t wanna get swallowed.
I love telling stories, I like making people think, “what the…” and I like dreaming. Writing seems to fit that mold pretty well.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
You know, I’m honestly still in the process. I mean, obviously I write so I am writing so in that sense you can call me a “writer.” But I think that being a “writer” is about making it an earnest job and achieving a certain level of success. I’m slowly getting better at the craft, slowly getting more readers, but it’s a process. No matter what, it’s a process.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was just excited about an idea, and loved getting lost in the world I envisioned. I just kept going with it and thought ‘what the heck’ and didn’t really worry about what people might think, feel, or say. I just wanted to kind of spew out the stuff in my head and give it some semblance of form. Grabbing a computer and repeatedly clicking the keys was my solution.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Ya know, I’ve tried different styles. I suppose it’s up to my readers to say which one I’m best at. I think that I prefer shorter, more staccato stuff that gives a sense of horror. I’m trying to find a blend because I used to focus a lot on long-winded expositions and descriptions, all this flowery language that overgrew and became burdensome. I’m focused less now on pretty literary tricks and more on just telling the story. You just gotta tell the story sometimes.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my most recent release “Ice Cream Man,” comes simply from my love of ice cream. I wanted people to know right off the bat that the novel is atypical, that it’s dark, that it has strong characterization and perverts (and subverts) the mundane.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are probably several messages in “Ice Cream Man.” I want people to relish the everyday things, because they never know how what they missed might come back to haunt them. I want people to shudder at the thought of nefarious forces, of the unknown, and at the destructive—but also constructive—power of man. I want readers to feel, I want readers to think. And yeah, I definitely want to scare them a little in the process 😉
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
I think it’s a healthy blend. I tried to blend the scifi elements with the horror in a way that was plausible. I did research on the pharmaceutical companies, on some places and locations, on how different professions and professionals work. “Ice Cream Man” is about way more than an ice cream man. In fact, it’s only peripherally about an ice cream man, and no, that ice cream man is not a serial killer or rapist.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I do incorporate a lot of my experiences into my writing. I’ve also enjoyed taking bits and pieces from numerous people I’ve seen and met, and will try to infuse those aspects as well. Basically, you end up writing what you know, whether you actually know it or think you know it. Now who knows, maybe I’m the reincarnation of something else and that’s partially what I’m writing—knowledge from a previous existence. What I say, though, is that I write about what I find exciting and try to never force the issue.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Dream Catcher, The Stand, Harry Potters, Sword of Truth series, The Giver, Catcher in the Rye, The Stranger, Hallowed Isle, Master of Earth and Water (what an alpha male cover), Fahrenheit 451, The Godfather, The Matarese Countdown and many others.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve been reading Lovecraft’s ‘The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales’
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve been reading authors new to me but they’ve been in the game for a bit. I’ve been reading some Jeff Menapace horror and some J. A. Konrath too.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Aside from my new novel “The Lights in the Sky,” just working to promote and market. And just generally being myself (ie; really, really cool 😉
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Aside from the voices in my head? I’d say professors, friends, and the occasional glowing words of a happy reader.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That would be awesome, but it’s too early to say. Just gotta keep plugging.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m a perfectionist, so there’s always something to change. Nothing is ever up to snuff, so to speak, but that doesn’t mean I’m not satisfied. I think my recently published “Ice Cream Man” is a good story. If I had to go back, I’d maybe extend it a bit, develop a few of the characters more and possibly have some court/legal scenes for a different conclusion.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Just being me. Just seeing people and reflecting, and wanting to daydream and school, thinking of dragons when I was supposed to be thinking of triangles. I was always pretty good at writing and encouraged from a young age, so I sort of just followed my natural calling.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“The Conduit” and “Ice Cream Man” are two novels that are quite different. One posits the question, ‘What would you do if your wishes could come true?’ and another one challenges us to consider the consequences of even the most seemingly innocuous decisions.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Oh yeah, staying motivated, believing in yourself, knowing where the story is going, understanding your characters and keeping them consistent and true to themselves. Understanding interactions, picking scene order, crafting dialogue—basically all of it. It’s challenging and that’s what makes it fun. If it wasn’t sometimes unbelievably difficult, I probably wouldn’t be doing it.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King, because he’s so weird and creepy (and then there’s his writing!)
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not at all.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed all the covers using free software and readily available images.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The knowing when to end. Once I had a vision of what it was all about, I didn’t know when to call it quits. Or how to tie it together in a way that was satisfying. Some readers want more of a pretty bow, others may like cliffhangers, and some don’t mind a messy finish.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I’m getting better, to keep the story moving, to know your characters, to do it first because you enjoy it, because once you stop enjoying it, there’s really no point—even if you’re making oodles.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Again, make it interesting. The best way to get yourself through writer’s block is to keep writing. Keep writing by keeping it fresh and surprising yourself. If you don’t enjoy writing it, why should your reader? And you can’t find your voice until you’ve been speaking for a while. In other words, the best and most commonsense solution to most writing problems is to keep writing. Certainly reading a lot helps, but readign and writing are different animals. Do both a lot, but writing more. Oh, and know your genre. Read similar authors who are successful and try to understand their sense of pacing, subject matter, how much characterization they do or don’t, the dialogue style, the general themes. Think how you can appeal to similar readers but stand out. What in your unique experiences can you portray in your characters? How can you tell an old story in a new way?
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for reading, and keep reading!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t. Though I imagine it had something to do with the moon being made of cheese…
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The absurdities of everyday life. Serious situations. Sad circumstances; unfair happenings. I laugh a lot at Family Guy, and I could probably cry if I let myself when I see those child cancer commercials. I could also cry when I go to get ice cream and the ice cream of my choice is all out. That’s tough
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d chill with Gandhi, see Hitler up front because I can only imagine the absolute horrors of watching him reign, Jesus, Stephen King, Ken Griffey Jr, Michael Jordan, and some others. Mainly because they’re either famous (or infamous), amazingly talented, eccentric, or some combination.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Yeesh… uh, how about: “Show off.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Oh yea, I like running, being out in the sun, cruising the internet, mari-mari-juana, eating new foods, drinking odd teas, playing basketball and many others.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Family Guy, Seinfeld, Rick and Morty, I like the Bourne trilogy, the Godfather trilogy, I really just like a ton of different genres and subjects. I could probably watch any movie of any type depending upon my mood. I do like the darker stuff though.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Italian food like chicken marsala, parmesan anything, cold cuts. I like mexican food like enchiladas and guacamole, I like Irish food like dumplings and smoked salmon and the list goes on… I like the color blue because, I mean, the sky is just so cool. As for music, I like a little hip hop, a little of this, a little of that. I like rock, I like alternative, electronic I like a lot of stuff I can’t classify. I actually don’t listen to that much music anymore though, since I lost my iPod… 😦
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I do some substitute teaching but probably a full-time teacher, like a special ed teacher. Or a really timid stripper
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Oh. Yes. I haven’t updated in a bit, so bare with me… http://meandermin.blogspot.com/
Here are my links: