Interview with Cory Clement
Tell us about your latest book.
The latest, is infact my debut novel titled Farewell Keystone. It deals with Owen Reilly, a lost and worried soul struggling with sobriety, depression, financial grief and a dwindling relationship. He always daydreamed of getting away from his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he gets a chance to infact make that a reality in the form of a stranger named Sonya, whom is headed to Ohio to perform at a small pro wrestling show. The two head out on the road and as miles stack up, Owen begins finding himself and figuring things out more and more, not without some bumps in the road though of course.
Who are your favourite authors?
Henry Rollins, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk and Haruki Murakami. Jay McInerney too.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Just make it happen, go for it. Don't stress about every little thing, don't lose your cool if you find a typo or two in your book after its out. Don't worry of what others will think or say. Don't be set on making millions. Just make the dream merge with reality. Don't look back and regret never having done it.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“All writing is an antisocial act, since the writer is a man who can speak freely only when alone; to be himself he must lock himself up, to communicate he must cut himself off from all communication; and in this there is something always a little mad." - Kenneth Tynan
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
I hope this doesn't come off too arrogant, but I got so connected with all of them, even the bad and villainous ones. Maybe its just because it was my first novel, I guess I won't know that for sure until I put out the next novel. But I got and feel so connected to them all, and they all spoke or expressed things regarding me in reality. Not sure how other writers feel or view their characters, but I kind of agree with the idea of all the characters being some sort of expression of the writer doing the story.
How long did it take you to write your book?
I tried writing it many times over the years, and would always just feel unhappy with the result and trash the attempts. This go around where it finally clicked and felt like the story it was intended to be, it took about two and a half to three months, not including the editing.
Who designed the cover?
Jenny Laatsch, and she is incredible. Couldn't be happier with the end result. She was super easy to work with and talk to, and affordable. I have a very odd and weird way of explaining things and she got it right away. I highly recommend her services if you are looking for a cover design. Seeing the first rough sketches from her still remains such an amazing moment for me. I was so giddy and ecstatic when I received them. And just seeing them little by little getting finished was just such a blast. Thats when you know you're doing what you love, when you are capable of feeling like a little kid on christmas morning again somehow over something like rough sketches and such.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Thats a great question and I'm actually kind of stumped with that one. I think the biggest thing I learned was more of a assurance, a kind of pat on the back from life letting me know "yeah, you're right. this is what you love to do, this is what you're meant to be doing. this is what you need to keep doing". I always knew I wanted to write, but getting it done little by little and releasing it, the assurance was a bit more overwhelming in a good way then expected. So if anything, thats the closest answer I have for this question.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Head over to http://amzn.to/2cUSgj0
Who inspires you?
There are too many people to mention...so many writers of film and literature. Composers of great instrumental music that sort of paint scenes out in my mind while listening.
How do you research your books?
I don't do much research unless its to solidify a fact in terms of travel and such. Like, I looked up how long it would take to drive from Philadelphia to Ohio roughly, to help map out things realistically in Farewell Keystone. I also did a lot of research for the dream scene in the book, which I feel will get overlooked, but I hope and urge anyone who reads Farewell Keystone to look more into that dream scene. Its not just a random time passer type deal. Theres much being said and noted in that scene. I was having lots of wild dreams at the time of early sobriety, and even more-so when I was detoxing and taking certain medications. So I got a little interested in dream interpretation, and that dream scene in the book is a big signal of such.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Its called Clean Slates, and I've mapped out and laid out enough of the story, as well as did my mental casting to the point where its 'go time'. Just been super busy with non-writing commitments like working, paying bills and saving up to make an out of state move to finally get out of Philly myself to live out my own personal little Farewell Keystone. I'm super excited, and I think I've learned a lot from this debut release of Farewell Keystone to where it will help make this next effort even more solid and legit. Its sort of a reverse telling of Farewell Keystone. All new characters but deals with having to come back to a place you can't stand and despise, rather than leaving it. And it will showcase caving in to temptations of addiction rather than putting up a fight. Will be a lot more brutal and dark.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I want to write and put out books, so I do. I make it happen. I get help from cover designers, editors or proofreaders and some others, but I'm not sitting around waiting forever to get someone to tell me my books worthy. I'm also not looking to have someone tell me what to erase or get rid of, or focus more on. I want my stories done the way I see them, and then I want them out and about. End of story. From there I want to focus on trying to get film adaptations done of my stories. If some publisher offered me something or came my way, or met me in the middle half-way, of course I'd be ecstatic and open to the opportunity. But bottom line is I want my stuff written, then out. And self-publishing makes that happen. If my style or structure doesn't qualify in your views, or some big firm or company, I can't say I care.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
Horror movies specifically were the biggest influence. Low-budget, cheesy 80's horror movies...the slashers, the creature features. It lit up my imagination and for some reason or another I ended up trying to write little stories as a first grader with me and my brother or father fighting off monsters or masked maniacs of movies I watched. As years passed, it wasn't just fun but an outlet, a therapy for me. It became and is the purest and top way for me to express myself and explain things. I feel much more comfortable writing than talking. So those two avenues collided and turned into me enjoying writing, as far as coming up and creating things, but also feeling like I need to write or should to explain and release emotions and feelings within, or things I've done in the past. Enjoyment and necessity are one in the same for me when writing.
Does your family support you in your writing career?
Yeah, my mom expresses how proud she is of me quite often and even offered to help proofread my next book as she did that for a living in the past. It feels refreshing and solid to have her be proud instead of disappointed that I did something dumb in relation to alcoholism and addiction. My little step-brother did a huge amount of work for me with banners and advertising related aspects. We lost touch for a while so it was neat to sort of connect again over the writing passions, he got to show off his awesome graphic design work in return. I also got to show my grandfather whom is in a home for veterans and not in the best of health my book and hear him tell me he was proud which I cherish. In the end I have the mentally of doing this for me and nobody else, if someone or a bunch of someones wants to tag along on the ride and support or encourage or collaborate, great. If not, so be it. But I absolutely am thankful for the support I have gotten from family and friends alike.
What are you currently reading?
I can't say I'm reading anything honestly. I'm not a huge reader actually. I write in novel form because it feels right and best, but I write with the outlook and intention of screenplays and film in mind. I write my stories as if they are movies, I cast characters out in my mind and keep them saved in folders too. I just like and write better in novel-form as opposed to screenplay formatting. Theres a handful of books I love, but I'm not an avid reader to be honest.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Henry Rollins and Bret Easton Ellis are the top ones, for sure.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Unfortunately, working the full-time job to pay bills. If not that, listening to music, watching movies, watching wrestling and or hanging with my cat.