Q&A With WriteByNight Consultant Joel Weinbrot
Joel Weinbrot (Austin, Texas) earned his PhD in English (with a Creative Writing dissertation) from Florida State University. His work has appeared in Barrelhouse, Golden Handcuffs Review, Caketrain, The Portland Review and elsewhere.
Where are you from?
New York City.
Where did you study?
Florida State University.
How did you get your start as a writer?
I’m not sure what would count as a” start.” How about this? I separated from the Air Force in 1999 intending to enter the computer industry even though I had a secret desire to pursue a life as a writer. After a few interviews with various companies I knew I wouldn’t be happy as an IT professional so I screwed up my courage to change course. I went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and then promptly applied to some MA and MFA programs. I ended up at the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Who are some of your influences?
There are really too many but if I had to list a few: Robert Coover, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is maintaining the energy and discipline necessary to see a piece though to the end. I seem to have no trouble beginning a fiction but I have to fight through a phalanx of nasty personal demons to bring it to a conclusion.
Word association: Literature.
What’s the last book you read and what did you think of it?
What’s the last movie you saw that was based on a book and how was it?
True Grit, by the Coen Brothers (based on the Charles Portis novel). An excellent film. Jeff Bridges made a fine “Rooster” Cogburn but I was especially impressed with the way Hailee Steinfeld handled Mattie Ross’s strange diction.