Set goals. It’s different for everyone, but it’s helpful to have a word count or a page count that you work towards whether it’s every day or even monthly. I try to write a certain number of pages every month and I set the bar low so I will always be pleasantly surprised at how great things seem to be going.
As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Trevor J. Houser, author of Pacific. Trevor J. Houser is an advertising copywriter living with his family in Seattle, WA. He has published stories in dozens of literary journals including Story Quarterly, Zyzzyva, and The Dr. TJ Eckleburg Review, among others. Three of his stories were nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
I used to write stories in elementary school and then pass them around the class at lunch. If five or more classmates gave it four stars it became a “best-seller.” I remember one of them was called, I STRUCK IT RICH!, which, of course, on the title page had a picture of a limo with someone defiantly holding a gold nugget out the sunroof. I suppose creating something, specifically writing for an audience appealed to me early on.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I always subscribed to the idea that writers should have colorful life experiences to draw on for their work. To that end, I got a job as a private investigator in San Francisco. That was pretty interesting, to say the least. Got to meet all sorts of characters and see parts of the city I’d never seen before. My first day I was tasked with finding a man named Skillet. I went to one of his favorite dive bars in the Tenderloin at ten in the morning, ordered a scotch, and asked the bartender if he’d seen Skillet lately. I think that was my best first day on a job ever. I actually ended up using some of those experiences…