Q&A With Jeff Pollak
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Q&A With Jeff Pollak
This holiday weekend I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with award-winning author Jeff Pollak. I contacted him and he had a lot to tell me about his novel “First Second Coming,” becoming a TV series. If you want to read Jeff’s book its available to order on amazon here is the link to it https://www.amazon.com/First-Second-Coming-New-God/dp/1947392956 . Also if you have read his book here is his Goodreads page so you can review it https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57208263 .
Q: At what point in your life did you realize that your calling was to be a novelist?
A. In 2015, I started to mull over how I’d spend my time in retirement 3-5 years ahead. I love to read fiction and I’d honed my writing skills as a trial lawyer, so I challenged myself to write a novel to see if I could. I had no interest in publishing; this would become only a hobby. However, friends who read the manuscript badgered me to publish it, so eventually I acquiesced. Getting a book award or its adaptation into a TV series? It never crossed my mind that this would happen.
Q: What advice do you have for anyone wanting to pursue a career in being a novelist? What advice do you give for anyone struggling with writer’s block?
A. Making a career of writing is hard to do. There’s competition.
Literary agents only sign 2% of writers who cold-call them. You’ll have to build your own following, spending a lot of money for an uncertain outcome. Make writing a hobby first. Learn the ropes. The internet contains tons of free helpful advice articles and websites. Attend writer’s conferences. Find and join local critique groups for advice. As for writer’s block, well, I haven’t yet experienced this. The usual advice I’ve overheard is “put your project aside for a month or more; come back to it with fresh eyes.” Does that work? I don’t know.
Q: How does it feel knowing that the final draft of the pilot episode of “First Second Coming” is finished?
A: I’m pleased to have collaborated with producer Michael Chamoy and screenwriter Ryan Patrick to complete this screenplay, but it’s only the first step in a long process. So now it’s on to the next step.
Q: Where did you get the idea to write “First Second Coming”? While I am a devout Catholic, the idea itself intrigues me.
A: Everyone occasionally has random thoughts that come and go. One such thought occurred while TV news showed us the World Trade Tower’s collapse on 9/11. This was the thought: “Earth needs a new god; one who is a planetary turnaround specialist.” I haven’t the slightest idea where that came from. Nor can I explain why, instead of exiting my mind, this thought burrowed in and announced itself to me fourteen years later, when I sat at my computer’s blank white screen with no preconception of what the novel I’d write would be about.
Q: Are you writing the sequel to “First Second Coming” now? Or are you writing a totally separate novel?
A: Yes, I’m working on First Second Coming’s sequel. In it, having determined whether humans could help or would hinder his work, the new god starts to fix two of the many global issues caused by mankind. A “spin-off” book I’m also writing features the new god but all other characters are new. In the spin-off, I’m writing blind – without a pre-determined plot. I don’t know where the story’s going or how it will end. I’ve surprised myself several times already – it’s fun!
Q: If you were to collaborate with another author, who would it be with and why?
A: There are so many I’d love to collaborate with, but David Mitchell is the one I would choose first. The writer of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas among many others, his plots are often astonishingly creative, his writing unique and so extraordinary that it’s as though your eyes are eating calorie rich chocolate cake, page after page. The characters are fully fleshed out, the dialogue every bit as good as the highly-detailed narrative. I’d learn tons from him to enrich my own skills considerably.