SIX MINUTES WITH JOSH LIEB:
Today LitPick is joined by Josh Lieb for Six Minutes with an Author! Josh is the author of Ratscalibur (just released!) and I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I want to Be Your Class President. In addition to writing books, Josh is also the Producer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and the former Executive Producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
How did you get started writing?
I was one of those kids who was always writing. If you'd asked me what I wanted to be when I was 6, I probably would have said writer. That was kind of the extent of my skill set. But I really loved reading, and writing followed naturally from that.
Who influenced you?
I had a number of good teachers, but I was most influenced by certain writers -- Daniel M. Pinkwater and Edward Eager and Louise Fitzhugh and Ellen Raskin.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I like "dummy that no one thinks anything of becomes a hero and shows them all." Is that the hero's journey? I never read those books. I just find such delight when all the parts of the hero's fate slide together to put him or her on top. I enjoy those old Horatio Alger books for the same reason.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
This is going to be very boring, because they've heard it before, but they just have to write a lot. Maybe this is new advice: but don't be precious. If someone you respect tells you that your writing stinks, or this paragraph isn't working, then that person you respect is probably right. You should throw that out and write something different. If you are just starting out as a writer, it's unlikely you got it right the first time.
Where is your favorite place to write?
In bed, with lots of coffee so I don't fall asleep
What else would you like to tell us?
Try to focus, so that you can write anywhere at any time, and you don't need some special set-up. That is a very useful discipline.
Josh, thank you for spending six minutes with LitPick! That’s excellent advice for everyone about focusing, especially today when we all seem distracted by electronics. You’re right that it’s a useful discipline.