Posted by Ognian Georgiev
When you understand if an interview is good or now? In my experience when you finish it with a smile in your face and your mind is start to think about some of the answers it’s definitely a quality one. Harry Whitewolf is our next guest, so enjoy his answers. Harry is the first author in our interviews section, who don’t want to show himself in a picture, but I will try to get one just for us!
– What is your last book Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol about?
– Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol – a beat driven, spiritual travel book with sex, drugs and reggaeton!
– How you decide to write the story?
– I didn’t really. It just fell out of me- the words wanting to be written. Although it somewhat reads like fiction, it is a true story of my backpacking trip around Argentina, and over the borders of Chile, Paraguay and Brazil, newly single, broken hearted, consumed with cigarettes, alcohol, girls, parties and loneliness- told with humour and stuffed full of fresh smelling prose.
It began as just scraps of demanding-to-be-written writing, some of which turned into articles, one of which was published, and then somehow or other I found I was writing a whole book!
– What us the biggest challenge during the write up?
– Spending so many hours re-reading the same words and passages again and again, drinking too much coffee, smoking too much, forgetting to eat, forgetting to sleep, unable to function in the outside world because I’m absorbed in my writing that’s slowly sending me insane in that maddening pocket of time!
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– The protagonist of Route Number 11- the nameless tourist- is indeed me, although in some ways he’s a caricature of me, whilst in other ways, he’s as unflinchingly honest about himself as he can be. And yet, in Route Number 11, he becomes so many other people, as he blends into others’ ways of being. And there’s enough of a cast of contradicting characters he meets along his journey- blending in with girl mad Sean in alcoholic Asuncion days, sharing the same spirit with his Norwegian friend Jack, superficially nearly falling in love with Rosa Esperanza, watching Neil Skywalker acting like a chica predator, and so many others.
– Who are you and what is your real name?
– Good question! But are you suggesting Harry Whitewolf is not my real name? Well, I’ll give my answer as this: I’m only thirty eight, but I sometimes feel like an old man in the way that the internet/digital age happened and I blinked and missed it. And the one thing that’s come up in this brave new i-world is that everyone gets to have online friends and show themselves to the world with pictures of them and their cats and interacting on every social site going. I’m not knocking those who live that way. I can see the goodness of community in it. It’s just never been for me.
I like the old days, when you only knew what an author looked like if there was a photo on the inside sleeve, and there often wasn’t. Just as there was often little information about the author in terms of biography. I like those days. Where you could be a famous writer and yet still have privacy. Where the reader would only get to know you through your book. That’s what it was all about! That’s what it should be about. Everything seems to have to have a story attached to sell on an emotional level to the consumer these days. We vote for the sob story act on shows like X Factor because we feel sorry for them. And sometimes we buy books based on readers having gotten to know their authors first.
Well, I’m more than happy to get to to know my readers, as I am indebted to them, and I’m starting to enjoy meeting wonderful people online- and it’s led me to discover different authors for one thing- so I’m happy to engage with people, but who the hell really cares what my real name is and where I was born and raised? If you want to get to know me, reading my books will allow you to do that in such a more personal way.
– What are your writing habits?
– Hmmm… Let’s see. Well, I suppose I write prose unconventionally, with a bebop, beat hop kick to my writing before rushing off on strange tangents to talk of mystic beliefs, before it’s back to the beat of the heat of hot girls and weather.
Hmm… I’ve certainly got my own style, and although the words fall out of me, it’s clear they’ve been influenced by the likes of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and the rest of those cool cat, old dog, cheap trick beatniks.
Route Number 11 is also cut up in time frames in a Burroughsesque way.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the books and do you plan the next one?
– When I was first writing Route Number 11, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to try and get it published. It seemed like such a personal story, and it was told in such an odd way, I wasn’t really sure readers would get it. After getting some incredibly positive feedback from people, I decided to just put it out there, see what happened, and that was that. Facebookless. Twitterless. Online-Friendless. I didn’t want to get involved with that world, just to publicise myself. I thought I’d feel like a fraud. However, in the last few months, I’ve found Goodreads.com and realised what a great community it is, and have slowly crawled my way into twenty first century living. After all, I’m doing an online interview, ain’t I?
So- to actually answer the question!- I had several sales in the first year without any publicity at all, and since I’ve been getting involved with actually promoting myself, giving away copies of my books, doing review requests and bloggers writing about Route Number 11, I’m starting to see the sales go up and up.
The next book is nearly ready to go: The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash. It’s a post-modern, pot smoking, Egyptian pilgrimage! (And another true story!) Coming soon.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your books?
– See above! I’m trying to mostly focus on having a presence on Goodreads, as that’s the community for me. The more I’m involved with that community, the more people, groups and competitions and so on I’m finding. So I’m now continually trying and doing different things, and new opportunities come all the time. I guess I don’t believe in over-promoting oneself, but at the same time you have to let people know your book exists. Be proud of it. Go with the flow. “If you write it, they will read!” is my Field of Dreams inspired motto!
My website is fairly new, and some changes’ll be coming in the future. Keep an eye.
And I have a couple of promo videos for Route Number 11 on my YouTube Channel, which is devoted more to my conspiracy beliefs than to my writing (but that’s another story…).
Other than online things, I’m just telling everyone, who might tell everyone to tell everyone! You never know. We’re all only six degrees of separation after all! I even got chatting to the guy doing a blood test on me, who was a big beat fan, and he bought and loved my book!
– In your bio file you are saying that in ethereal world you are spiritual warrior. Please explain what is to be a spiritual warrior?
– Spiritual is goodness, laughter, love, compassion, music, truth, freedom and peace. I am a warrior because I oppose all injustice in this world. Look around. There’s a lot of hate in the world right now. Only when people’s hearts are open and loving, only when their third eyes are shining, only when they give instead of take, will the world be a better place. That’s what I’m fighting for. World peace and truth. In the ethereal world, and in this, I fight for that every day.
– Do you believe that every man’s fate is already known?
– Ooh, tricky. To quote a passage from Route Number 11: “Destiny and creating your own reality may seem like they’re contradictions, but the tourist’s starting to understand that they actually go hand in hand. The more you become your higher self, from being on your Soul Path, the more you can use the Law of Attraction (making things happen for yourself) for more beneficial purposes than the ego’s selfish desires.”
Yes, I believe our fates are known and given, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have free will and choice along the way. We all live in a multi-persona, multi-universe where every infinite possibility is played out at a quantum level anyway. Do what you wanna do, or do what you feel Fate is telling you to do? If you start the journey to really knowing yourself, you’ll realise there is no contradiction, because you’ll want to choose Fate.
– When the Apocalypse will happen?
– It already is, just look around you. Though I don’t like the word Apocalypse. The end of the world is no more than a new world coming. Changing patterns is a turbulent time, as we see all around us in so many ways, but we’ll come out the other side to make a New Earth of love, truth and beauty. Although there had better still be some damn cigarettes and a pint of Best still around…
Check out Harry’s web page
Look for his intriguing novel
Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol