Exclusive Interview with

Andy Kumpon

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

When did you start writing?

I started in my late teens, and wrote a lot of bad poetry. I got a little better at writing as time went on and got some of my poetry published in local anthologies. I even won an award for one of my poems titled “Refrigerator Opera”, so my writing, like most people’s writing, improved in time.

What makes writing your passion?

The written word is just a great way to express yourself to others. From when you have an idea for a concept or story, and finishing that while world building is a very satisfying achievement.

How long have you been writing?

Again, since my late teens, so almost thirty years.

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Well it was kind of bittersweet, because my initial intent was to make Day Crosser into a film. I come from the video and film world and have written several feature length screenplays, many which will most likely never be made into actual films. So it was brought to my attention by someone much wiser than myself, why not adapt those screenplays into books? It’s all intellectual property, and you get it out there instead of the scripts just collecting dust on the shelf. So “Day Crosser” was my first, but it won't be my last. And the feeling of seeing it published and available was wonderful. Just to get it out there. We’ll see where it goes from there.

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

The initial idea for the story was inspired by the co-author Greg Leib. Greg took a course at The Writers Studio Tucson, and as part of the curriculum he wrote a short story titled “Good Thing, Bad Thing, Who Knows?” It was just a two page treatment and Greg wanted to do something more with it, so he commissioned me to write a screenplay. So I took a kernel of the original idea which was migrants crossing the Arizona border and being shot at by border agents, and developed my story. And as with any good story, the characters needed to be thoroughly developed. So I made up characters based on regular, everyday folk, the same people you would read about in your news feed on the internet. People anyone could relate too, because those people in reality, are just like you and me.

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Well writing, though rewarding, is work just like anything else, but people just don’t think it’s actual “work” because it’s not physical like landscaping or roofing. Now when I lived in New York City, it was not unusual to see writers tapping away in a coffee shop at a manuscript, screenplay, or stage play. But in a place like Spokane, people just assume you’re wasting time or your just stupid, which is actually fine with me because, well, we’re all a little stupid every now and then, aren’t we.

How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

Simple, you just write anything you can, even if it’s just a sentence or two. Or, just take a little break, a road trip, but just be sure to bring a laptop with you because you never know when you may be inspired to start writing again.

We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

I keep writing and creating because it’s part of my DNA. And my end goal for all of my scripts and books, no matter how ambitious or asidine this may seem, is to adapt them into a movie. So, that drives me… for other writers, I would just say my advice is to just write. No matter what. Talking about it isn’t writing, it’s talking.

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Hey, I want you to trademark this name: GOOGLE. I know it sounds weird and goofy, but trust me, you won’t regret it.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

Oh sure, in the beginning, don't we all? And movie reviews too. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad ones? Everyone has an opinion and different tastes. Don’t take it personal.

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Greatness! And I think to myself… “That’s one smart person!” ;)

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Not yet… but the night is still young.

Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

No. Story is always the most important thing. But an awesome book cover does help. Combine the two, you have a winner!

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I have no problem connecting and chatting with readers. Our fans in general. But first, I have to get a few readers, then I’ll get back to you on this. ;)

How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

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Who is your favorite author? Why?

R.A Salvatore. And the main reason for this choice is I love Drizzt Do'Urden and the Dark Elf Trilogy. My all-time favorite!

What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

Well, writing is rewriting. But for me, since I’m adapting my screenplays - and I kid you not, I have 12 completed, plus a plethora of treatments and outlines - and turning them all into books. So I have my work cut out for me. My current “rewriting” project is a zombie epic titled “Seeds Of The Dead”. GMO meets zombies…

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

For one day - Stephen King. Just to see what flows through that guy’s head. Must be an amazing place!

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Oh, kill them with kindness. They only exist to make other people miserable, because in reality, they are miserable too. So if you respond nice to them and don’t engage in their BS, or just ignore them entirely, they slip away into the “interverse” shadows to lurk for other unsuspecting prey.

What would you say to your readers?

Thank you! For taking a chance and spending your hard earned money, and more importantly, your time in reading my story. Hopefully, you get something out of it.

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

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What is your day job if you have one?

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What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

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Did you have a happy childhood?

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Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

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Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

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What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

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If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

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What is your favorite music?

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Share a secret with us 🙂

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Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!