Exclusive Interview with
Jeffrey Pipes Guice
When did you start writing?
When Covid first appeared in the United States, and we were told to stay inside, I decided to use the downtime to do something positive, something that I’ve always wanted to do and that was to write a book.
What makes writing your passion?
Growing up as a child, I suffered from severe ADHD, which inhibited my ability to develop a passion for reading. Because I felt less than other people, I decided to focus on writing down my most personal inner thoughts, and I soon developed a passion for writing poetry and short stories.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve only been writing for the last three years, so I consider myself a newbie.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
As a person growing up with a chip on my shoulder because of my inability to enjoy reading, I actually burst into tears of happiness when I received my first book, in the mail, one that I actually wrote myself. I then realized I could accomplish anything I set my mind, too, no matter what my limitations were.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I started out by using different themes and images that had a New Orleans slant to them, as opposed to any specific characters. Today, I broadened my thoughts and writing to different places I've visited and other writers and poets that I now listen to on Audio Books.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
This is an interesting question, because I actually don’t write in order for people to necessarily buy my books, even though I like to receive the checks. I actually write for myself, and for my friends and family, so that they can appreciate my true abilities to express myself through poetry and short stories.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Truth be told, I’ve never actually experienced writers block, at least not up until this point. I see inspiration in so many exciting images, as well as other people’s songs and poetry.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I realize that my only obstacle in writing is myself. In other words, I challenge myself to write something new every day. I look for the inspiration that exists all around me. My advice to new authors is to never stop writing. Challenge yourself to write something new every day.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Keep a journal about your personal thoughts and write in that journal every day of your life. Take a photograph every single day and use that photograph as inspiration to help remember your thoughts.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I try to ignore reviews because Im still limited because on my lack of reading comprehension skills. When I do receive a negative review, I just simply laugh to myself because I am now working on books #six and #seven. I love to write, and now I am off to the races. I love what I do and someone’s opinion of my writing, no matter what, will never hold me back.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Whenever I receive a review, whether good or bad, makes me realize that they actually took the time to read some or all of the book, and I do appreciate that they took the time to even read some of my poems or short stories.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes, of course! Most of my poems and short stories are written based on photographs and images, or actual situations that have occurred around me throughout most of my life.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Most of my poems and short stories are written about situations and family members or friends that I’ve known throughout my life and growing up in New Orleans.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
When it comes to choosing an image for my front cover, I try to find an image within each book the best represents the spirit of the book itself.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
My goal in writing my poems or short stories is to reach at least one individual that I might be able to connect on a deep, personal level. Just one person. I know that sounds like a simple goal, but I really feel satisfied in knowing that I may have had a profound effect on just one other person.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I have to admit, it cracks me up when someone actually asks me to sign one of my books. It’s a weird feeling to know that someone actually wants my autograph. Deep down inside, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I refer to it as my imposter syndrome.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
Hemingway, hands down. I feel a special connection to Hemingway because we are both challenged, as well as alcoholics. It took me 12 years of sobriety to start writing. One can only imagine what masterpieces Hemingway would have written if he had only gotten sober years before he took his life.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
My only dream is to write more books than Walker, Percy, and then maybe I’ll start feeling like I’m a true poet or writer.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Nope! I keep getting better and better with each book that I write, and because I am totally self-taught I feel that each book is proof of my progression.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Hemingway. I would love to be a sober Hemingway.
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.
Trolls crack me up! Instead of judging other people's work, they should spend more time, focusing on their own insecurities and lack of self-confidence. They should go and write a book themselves.
What would you say to your readers?
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read my books.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I suffered emotionally from the effects of ADHD for most of my childhood and adult life. To escape my depression I drank for over 35 years. That cost me two failed marriages. Once I finally reached my bottom, I decided it was time to grow up and to be the man that I wanted to be, to be the father that I wanted to be, to be the son and friend that I knew I could be. And eventually, to be the writer I always dreamed of being. Today, I have three beautiful children, a beautiful girlfriend, and a lovely relationship with my friends and family.
What is your day job if you have one?
After a 30 year career of magazine advertising sales in New York City, I finally decided it was time to retire.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Exercise, prayer and writing.
Did you have a happy childhood?
In hindsight, my childhood was excellent, other than my own self-created hell and depression. But the bright side of my childhood was always beaming.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Covid was a wonderful excuse to start…
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I’m currently working on three new books at the same time:
My Higher Power: Surrendering To Win
New Orleans Cemeteries: A Celebration of Life
And my first novel The Library Card
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Not every square peg fits into the round hole. Schools need to understand that their uniform educational process does not fit every child, which means some children will indeed be left behind.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
Peace on earth!
Good will towards each other.
More patience and grace.
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂
I can't because it's a secret.