Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Interview with Shawn Klomparens

Having just read and reviewed his new book,
Two Years, No Rain, I'm honored to present an exclusive interview with the author, Shawn Klomparens.

Shawn, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please tell us a bit about your background. Have you lived in San Diego, where we really do have a scarcity of rain?

SK: I'm originally from Michigan and Ohio, but I worked for a company for a while here in Jackson headquartered in La Jolla, so I was traveling to SD quite a bit. When I went back a couple years ago for a friend's wedding (right when
Two Years, No Rain was coming together in my head), it struck me that that part of the country would make an ideal setting.

2) What inspired you to write Two Years, No Rain?

SK: When I worked for that same company above, I was also going to New York here and there, and ended up going out one evening with a group of people including a minor TV guy who stayed with us for about 15 minutes before leaving with some swooning woman. That stuck with me (though Andy is quite a bit more sympathetic than that guy was). I've also always been interested in meteorology and old kung fu movies, so those worked themselves in there, too.

3) Was this book more difficult to write than your first, Jessica Z. (which I haven't yet read, but would like to), or easier? Or was it just a different kind of experience?

SK: It was significantly more difficult to write. I was doing it on a deadline, and dealing (not very well) with some distractions in my "real" life, all of which were pretty hard. And I think I put quite a bit more of myself into TYNR and the character of Andy, and that was, at times, not so pleasant. The characters in Jessica Z. were mostly based on people I knew, and were great to write. Writing about the shortcomings and insecurities of your friends is one thing; exploring them in yourself is another trip entirely, and not always very fun.

4) Did you follow a writing schedule, such as writing every morning for a certain length of time? What helped you to stay motivated? What words of advice do you have for aspiring writers?

SK: I did follow a schedule, but not one I'd recommend to any sane person: I'd get up at 7:30 in the morning, go work my day job, get home around 6:30 at night, hang out with my family for a little while, then write from 10 in the evening until 3 am or so. If a deadline was approaching, I'd take vacation time and just write for as long as I could until I couldn't see straight anymore (I ended up needing glasses by the third draft). I imagine there are far better ways to write a book.

As for advice, I'd tell someone trying to write a book to not listen to anything anyone tells you about how to do it. But keep in mind that the only way to have a book is to write it.

5) How much research did you do for this book? Do you mostly use Google, the library, or something else?

SK: Wikipedia is a pretty fantastic invention; it's my go-to for quick fact checks (but I will always look elsewhere to verify). I did some research on typhoons and the impact they have on Hong Kong, and I read a number of books about the Apollo program to get the details with Mr. Nelson right (mostly for a bit of dialogue that I ended up cutting out). I did go to the library a bit, but more just for a peaceful place to write, and it was nice to stroll through the stacks if I just needed to clear my head.

The thorniest thing for me was tracking down the actual name of the mesh guard that goes in front of a studio microphone -- it's called a pop screen.

6) I can imagine Two Years, No Rain as a movie, because it has comedy, drama, and romance--and mostly takes place in Southern California. What songs or music would you want included on the soundtrack?

SK: I listened to Bon Iver's wonderfully melancholy For Emma, Forever Ago quite a bit while I was writing the book, and Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot while editing it. Both of those albums play in my head when I go back to read it.

7) What's in the forecast after Two Years, No Rain? Are there other books in the works?

SK: I do have something outlined that I've been starting to work on (and it doesn't take place in California!) -- so maybe, someday, there will be another book.

Shawn, thanks again! I look forward to reading
Jessica Z. and your future books.

Special thanks to Lisa from TLC for helping to arrange this interview. Your comments are appreciated.


  1. Kudos to the author for his tenacity and hard work. I want to read the book as I've not read contemporary fiction in ages. Thank you both for your support of literary achievement!

  2. What a fabulous interview. Imagine working all day and then writing all night. He must have been exhausted. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I shall definitely be popping back to yours.

  3. I read your review and then this interview. Since I love anything having to do with Wyoming (home of the author) I may just have to check the book out. What impressed me most was his work schedule and what Rudy referred to as his "tenacity and hard work." He deserves great success with this book.

  4. The book does sound very good. Great interview!
    It's always interesting to hear about the author behind the book.

  5. great interview Susan! love this author's voice. will be checking him out!

  6. Great interview! I like the fact that he was so persistent in his writing of the book. I read it, and thought it was wonderful and really inventive. He sounds like a really interesting guy, and that is something that really comes through in his writing.

  7. This is a fantastic interview. I loved the review that you previously wrote and am glad that you were also able to do the interview.

    Wow! I applaud the author for all the hard work that he put into this book. I wish him all the best.

  8. Great interview! I hope the author has much success with his books!

  9. Thank you all for taking a moment to share your thoughts.

    More comments are always welcomed!

  10. Great interview and I love the title of the book!


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