Today’s author in the spotlight is somebody that I’ve got to know while working numerous signing events together. He writes fast and furious with over 15 published titles to his name, and he hustles just as hard, scheduling signing events all over the central region of Indiana and even in his home state of New York. He is a multi-genre author, with pretty much something to share for everyone. I won’t waste anymore time here, so let’s jump right in and learn a little bit more about him. Enjoy!
George Kramer started writing early in his life. In fifth grade, he started dabbling with his pen and paper. It was instrumental since his writing would serve as a crucial outlet later in life. The venting allowed him to get a handle on his trials and tribulations in growing up with eight other siblings.
George spread his wings and embraced writing in all genres. As it stands, he has over one hundred and fifty articles published online for various websites. He has written two books of unconventional poetry, countless short stories, and eight books of the popular Arcadis series. Additionally, George has written a medical horror book called Blind to Blood and its sequel, Blind to Blood 2: The End Game. He has written a screenplay on both Blind to Blood and Arcadis: Prophecy. Moreover, he wrote a murder/mystery/love obsession book called, ‘To Some it’s Just a Rose’, which is now a screenplay. He is currently writing the sequel.
George was born in Brooklyn, NY, raised on Long Island, is one of nine children, and is a natural born triplet. Currently he resides in McCordsville, Indiana with his wife and precocious daughter.
How important is research to you when writing a story?
To a certain extent I do research for every book. Some subjects more than others. With my medical horror books Blind to Blood and Blind to Blood 2: The End Game, I knew a great deal about the subject, but asked a friend that is still in that field to make sure I was medically correct. Additionally, I asked a hand surgeon and a spine surgeon questions regarding some of the scenes in my books and they told me what was right and what was wrong. When writing based on the medical field, I felt it extremely important to be accurate. For my Arcadis fantasy books I did very little research because as long as the story line was relative, you can write about purple dragons spitting out trees and it would be fine. For my two poetry books I did not do any research as it came from my soul.
How particular are you with spelling, grammar, etc? Do things have to be perfect from the beginning, or are you more worried about getting the idea on paper, then leave the proofreading to the editing?
That depends. If I am writing and the ideas are flowing out of me like a whirlwind, I don’t bother with the grammar until I finish the thought(s). When I am writing and struggling to articulate what I want to say, I am more prudent to the grammar. However, I always read and re-read what I have written right there and then. Sometimes I will leave the story for a duration (a few hours to a few days dependent upon my busy schedule) and re-read it. The latter one is where I catch mistakes. Ultimately it is up to the editor to catch anything I have not because writers don’t often see their own mistakes.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since fifth grade I enjoyed writing. But realizing I wanted to be a writer came much later on. I used to snail mail a couple of family members my short stories and they would either mail me back their response or call me. It wasn’t until the advent of the internet that compelled me give writing a try. I joined a writer’s forum in January of 2008 and periodically they would have writing contests with small cash prizes for the top three winners. I won honorable mention once or twice and came in third place in another one, which I thought was awesome! And it wasn’t all about because I had won, it was because I had never taken a writing class and a great deal of authors on the forum were, in my opinion, better writers than myself. After that, the writing bug bit me.
What inspires you to write?
The first and foremost thing that inspires me to write is the positive reactions I get and have gotten from people. Had I not had the outpouring of awesome responses from complete strangers, I would still write, but I don’t think I would have published as many books as I have. It is heartwarming when you receive emails from people that loved your books and ask when the next one will come out. Or, when I am at a signing and people come up to me and tell me that I had inspired them to write. It is such a natural high it’s hard to describe.
How often do you write, and how long is a typical writing session?
That question is so hard to answer because it depends on what is transpiring in my life at the time. I work three twelve hour shifts so I rarely, if ever, write on those nights. Sometimes I pick up shifts too. On my days off, after I do the things I have to do, I write. Family life plays an important role too. There are instances when my wife asks me to get off the computer and spend time with the family. And, of course, I do. (There are times I tell her after I finish typing my thought I will hang out.) And there are other occasions she and my daughter will go out and I will write feverishly. There was one case when my family went to visit her family in southern Indiana. I wrote seventy pages that weekend.
Do you write for a certain time period, or do you set a word count and write until you reach that goal?
I never write until I reach a certain word count. If I wrote thirty words or three thousand words, I am happy. I don’t write for a certain time frame except if I have to do something, then I will set my alarm on my phone a few minutes earlier in case I am in a middle of a thought and writing. Oftentimes when I am writing, I am not cognizant of the time that has elapsed. There are many instances where I will look up at the time on my computer and I am astounded at how long I have been writing, but to me, it seems only minutes have gone by.
Do you outline an entire plot, or have a few highlights in mind then let the action dictate the rest of the story?
I don’t usually outline an entire plot. I had tried that and it never works out because the story line I envision will almost always change. And that change could be monumental to the plot based solely on one sentence or one paragraph. However, if I want any of my characters to say something, or do something, I usually write the gist of the thought directly below where I am writing so when the time comes, I will have an idea where to insert it.
What do you think is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing about writing is finding the time to actually write because I never run out of ideas.
What is the easiest part of writing for you?
The easiest part of writing for me is the never ending ideas that come to me out of nowhere. Once I have a basic concept in my head, and can find the time, then the easy part is to just start writing.
What are your thoughts on “writers block?” Do you think it’s a real thing? If so, how long does it usually last and what methods do you use to get past it?
Normally, I don’t get writers block. Actually, I have never gotten it. I do, at times, don’t know where I want to go with the story and stop writing and come back later. But to stare at the blank screen without knowing what to write about doesn’t occur.
If you took the chance to rewrite one of your books, which one would it be and why?
I would rewrite the first Arcadis book. A number of people have told me they could tell a difference between books one and two of Arcadis. My writing style and character development were evolving and it is apparent.
Do you read any of your own work? If so, are you a harsh critic, or do you get wrapped up in the story?
I do. When I am writing a sequel to one of my books, I like to re-read them for a few reasons. I put what I call insertion points in all of my books. The insertion point is relative to the story line, but it can be used for later in the same book or the latter books. Another reason is I like to see how my writing style has, or has not changed, how the characters differ than when I first wrote them, etc. When I was re-reading book seven of Arcadis because I wanted to write book eight (I actually always read the prior books before writing the sequel) I happened to say out loud: “Wow!” My wife asked me what was wrong. I told her I couldn’t believe how well book seven was written. I wasn’t giving myself praise, it was just that I noticed a marked difference between each subsequent book.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into any of your stories?
Lol… funny you should mention that. In my medical horror books, Blind to Blood and Blind to Blood 2: The Endgame, it was based on tissue procurement, which I had done for years. While the medical parts are true, the story line was fiction. It’s what people call faction whereas you merge the facts with a fiction story. Another story which I am going to write deals with the next question:
What are you currently working on/What’s your next project?
After I complete the sequel to my murder/mystery book, To Some It’s Just a Rose, (currently titled Burnt Tidings) my next project is about a meat cleaver I found in a southern town in Indiana off the beaten path of rail road tracks. The meat cleaver was buried under leaves and dirt. It was so old the wood had rotten away. My creativity when into overdrive. What was a meat cleaver doing in this remote place? Why? So, when time allocates, I am going back to the small town and do research.
Which of your books would you most like to see adapted into a motion picture?
All of them! That is, to me, the culmination of an author’s dream come true. I have a screenplay written for To Some It’s Just a Rose and Arcadis: Prophecy. The latter one would be awesome, but very expensive, to see as an animated film.
Have you ever Googled yourself? What was your reaction to the results?
Yes, I have googled myself, but not for vanity reasons. Strangers have asked if I am available online. When they’d type in George Kramer I show up sporadically. When you google author George Kramer, I am one of the first people on page one, which is a coveted position. In search engine optimization, an extremely small percentage of people look past page one or two. Therefore, people and companies try to have a page presence, especially on page one. I was actually quite surprised when my name appeared on page one.
How can fans reach/find/follow/contact etc?
Big time thanks to George for taking a break from writing long enough to answer my questions about the craft. (Side note, even though he’s lived in Indiana for a good part of his adult life, he still maintains his New York accent, which is fantastic. So if you ever get the chance to stop by one of his signing events, be sure to let him know I said to tell him that!)