Ruben Guzman, our featured writer for June, generously shared his thoughts with us about his writing processes and work. Ruben completed an M.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He currently resides in Orange County, California, and is a community college Registrar. The Fountain in Forsyth Park is his first novel.
What gave you the idea for the book? I was inspired to write Fountain In Forsyth Park while on a trip to Savannah to help my best friend open a furniture and design store. I was so intrigued with the city and was charmed by its history, architecture, culture, and traditions. While it was really that first trip that inspired me to write my novel, I made several trips back during the writing process to do my research. Each visit allowed me to discover more layers about Savannah that worked wonderfully as literary context about a man in search of himself.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your writing process? I don’t let the notion of writer’s block bother me too much. I know my creative process well enough by now to intuit that even those periods between writing spurts happen for a reason. At times, I’ve even been prompted to write during those lulls. Oddly, I can find great material in writing about nothing sometimes.
How did you get the work published? At the time I finished Fountain as a thesis project for grad school, I wanted to self-publish it. So I did through CreateSpace.com. Self-publishing has expanded into a viable way of getting exposure and is at a point where it’s quickly gaining respectability. I wanted to experiment with self-publishing for the sake of getting immediate feedback from others outside of academia. Landing a publisher is incredibly difficult; it could take years or not happen at all. I didn’t want to wait. Much like the writing process, I pursued an unconventional way of publishing. Self-publishing was attractive and was timely and cost-effective for me. I even blogged about it on my novel’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thefountaininforsythpark. The down side is the reality that I am the marketing department. So connecting with websites, reviews, contests, and blogs are my marketing strategies. As a writer, I’ve also had to put myself in a marketing frame of mind with my product.
To thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and work with us we would like to have you select a cause for us to highlight and support this month. Which cause do you recommend? I do have a charity close to my heart: www.cureduchenne.org. CureDuchenne.org is a support organization for families with sons diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition that degenerates muscle tissue and has no cure. Most boys with this condition aren’t able to live to enjoy their fifteenth birthday. I work with a mother whose son has Duchenne. She’s educated and inspired me with her activism to find a cure. I’ve known her 13 year-old son since he was diagnosed at age 3. You can visit her personal page on the charity’s website at: http://www.cureduchenne.org/site/TR?px=1019653&pg=personal&fr_id=1070&et=4wXXLX1Zv3riUswvyeHhQw&s_tafId=1151
To learn more information about Ruben, you can follow his blog at: http://literophanes.com/ or become a fan of his novel on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/thefountaininforsythpark.
Fountain In Forsyth Park is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Fountain-In-Forsyth-Park/dp/1463599978