Please welcome my friend, Neil Plakcy–
1. Tell us about yourself. I know you teach, Neil. What do you teach and where? How does that work with your career as an author? What sort of impact has this had on your writing schedule? What have you learned through teaching that you apply to your work?
Though back in 1988 I signed up for the new Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Florida International University just to learn to write better, I can see that my classes also taught me how to teach writing. Taking workshops with great writers like Les Standiford, James W. Hall and Lynne Barrett forced me to write and rewrite. I also learned how to take a more analytical approach to writing as I came to understand the basics of character, dialogue, scene, plotting and so on.
Today I teach writing at Broward College, #3 in the country in the number of associate’s degrees granted. (My campus is halfway between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, with a very multi-cultural student body that ranges in age from teenagers to mid-life career changers.) Over 60% of our students enter lacking basic writing skills, so I teach two levels of developmental writing
Terry Odell says
Waving Hi to Neil. Great interview, and of course, SleuthFest rocks.
Alan Orloff says
I'll second Terry's enthusiastic "review" of Sleuthfest.
Thanks to Neil for helping to organize that conference.
Neil Plakcy says
And congratulations to Alan– saw you've moved up to an active membership with MWA based on your new Midnight Ink book. Way to go!
ryan field says
Good interview. I also know many older gay men who read. And, from what I'm hearing everywhere, there's a huge readership just beginning for straight women who read m/m fiction. I have to wonder if these book chains are keeping up with the times.
Joanna Campbell Slan says
I think the mark of an educated person is the willingness to try new things and step outside his/her well-trod path. Reading offers all of us the chance to get to know each other, to see the world from another person's perspective with no risk, no long term involvement. It's the ultimate in empathy! And although I've met readers who won't vary from their usual suspects, I think that people who read are, in general, more curious about the world than their non-reading counterparts.
Welcome, Neil. I hope that more booksellers will get to know your work!