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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Larry Duberstein

author Larry Duberstein smiling at the camera, holding a sleeping baby and an image of his book The Hospice Singer

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Of course, the written word is the greatest potential conveyor of truth, of reality, in a world where those two touchstones are increasingly under challenge from disinformation and “alternative” realities. But we try. “We work in the dark, our doubt is our passion…”) I also feel, as someone who needs and is always looking for something good to read, that it is a service to the world simply to provide good novels. A sort of giving back–other writers have contributed to the treasure chest of literature, and so should I.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block

Sorry to report I have never suffered from this ailment. In fact, I have an essay entitled “On Not Writing” that explores a few different obstacles that can stand between me and my writing studio, but none of them are writer’s block. I do sometimes employ a trick learned from Mr. Hemingway, which is to stop each day’s work in mid-paragraph or the middle of an episode, as a way of knowing exactly where to start the next day’s work.

What is your favorite time to write? I am a 9 to 1 guy. After breakfast, after walking the dog and feeding the chickens and anything else demanded of me by animals or humans, I get going at 9 and keep at it until I get hungry. Not that I go four hours without coffee…

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? It’s too simple, this advice: you just have to get to work. You have to do it. Think it through when you are not doing it, sure–when you’re walking or swimming or half-awake–but get on a schedule and do it religiously, even if you have to cast pages aside in the aftermaths.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? It’s the one thing that keeps me sane, or not sane but feeling in control, capable of catharsis from all the horrible things we can’t control. Terrible politicians, wars of invasion, mass shootings, racism on the rise… Even a letter to the editor can bring a little dose of catharsis.

Larry Duberstein’s The Hospice Singer is out now with Rootstock Publishing.