On the Beach
By Steve Schmale
Genre: Literary Fiction
Lenny Decker is fleeing the American Dream while trying to comprehend its reasons and rules after being rattled from an exposure to its possibilities. Set in the mid-1990’s in a quiet California beach town, populated with a cast of unforgettable characters, and replete with examples of some of life’s crueler—yet hilarious—ironies, ‘On the Beach’ is story of what happens when one young man’s dreams bump up against reality.
About the Author
Steve Schmale is the author of the book of stories ‘Nobody Bats a Thousand’ and the novel ‘On the Beach’. He is a native of California where he still resides.
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From the author
Tell us about your genre. How did you come to choose it? Why does it appeal to you?
Literary fiction. I did a lot of reading as a kid, mostly history and biographies, I didn’t really read any serious fiction until I had to read one of Hemingway’s novels to pass English to get out of high school. I wondered why people made such a big deal out of it, it didn’t seem that hard do, but when I gave it a try I found it quite a challenge to do well. It’s what I consider the most demanding type of fiction to do properly, something, if done correctly, is more than just a story, it’s something that hits people at more than one level, where the reader brings their life experiences into play to help create something unique and meaningful. To some people that type of writing is very worthwhile.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
The biggest challenged to me is finding the discipline to write. Procrastination is easy, and there is always something to do in lieu of the pain of sitting still and focusing, digging deep to create something you are proud to let someone read. I haven’t deal with it well, I probably should have done more, but I’m proud of the work I’ve done.
When and where do you write?
If I have something in mind I’m taking notes 24/7 whenever things I might use come to mind, but the actually writing and re-writing is done at the computer. What used to be staring at the blank page is now staring at the blank screen.
What have you learned about promoting?
The beauty of indie publishing is anyone can publish a book. The bad thing about indie publishing is anyone can publish a book. There is a lot of stuff out there so it’s hard to get noticed. All you can do is try your best to get the word out. You can’t make people like your work, but when they do it’s very heartening.
What are you proud of as a writer?
Writing a novel which draws praise from most critics, a piece of work which puts readers into a world and holds them there for 80,000 or so words is tough, it’s like climbing Mt. Everest. No matter what the future holds, I’ve climbed that mountain once, and no one can take that accomplishment away.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about ?
John Sayles. He is a filmmaker and actor, but his first big break was winning a major award for a short story published in Atlantic magazine, and he is still publishing innovative books so I’ll always look at him first as a writer. We’d talk about literature, his films, and I’m sure a lot about baseball. He’s definitely a fan, and I wouldn’t doubt if he played. His film about the Black Sox’s scandal is terrific.