Interview mit Michael Rubens

Do you also write songs, like Austin in your story? And are you able to finish them or do you just write a couple of sentences?

Yes, I do write songs! Or at least, I TRY to write songs. So Austin and I are very similar — I also have lots of bits and pieces of uncompleted songs. I’ve always wanted to be a singer-songwriter, which is also similar to Austin, but unlike Austin I’m completely untalented at it. So instead of writing and singing songs, I write books.

Do you remember the very first time to make your own Music?

I don’t really remember the first time I tried to write a song, but I remember very clearly the first time that I ever showed anyone else any song lyrics I had created — because they’re the lyrics that appear in The Bad Decisions Playlist. Perhaps some people will read them and think that I should continue writing song lyrics, but more likely they’ll agree that I should stick to writing books.

How and when did you start writing?

I didn’t try to write anything until I was in my twenties — and didn’t finish anything worthwhile until I was in my thirties.

How does a normal writing day at your home look like?

I don’t really have a normal writing day right now, because I work on a TV show and it has disrupted my schedule a lot. What I really like to do is write for a few hours before lunch, take a break to eat or exercise, and then write for a few more hours.

Is there a special author who influenced your writing-Projects?

There are many authors that I love, but the writer who made me want to write books when I was a kid was Ursula K. LeGuin — I read her book A Wizard of Earthsea and decided I wanted to be a writer (I already suspected that my dream of being a singer-songwriter was going to end in tears).

Are there any tips you have for young kids or teenagers who have the dream to become an author one day?

My tips:

a: When you get an idea, WRITE IT DOWN. Don’t wait. You will forget it.

b: When you’re working on a idea and trying to develop it, sit down and write everything that comes to mind about the story, almost like you’re having a conversation with yourself: who is this character? What does she want? Why does she do what she does? What happens next? Don’t worry if you repeat yourself or contradict yourself from sentence to sentence — just write it all down stream-of-consciousness style, and (if you’re lucky) the story will reveal itself bit by bit.

c: Try to average one page a day. That’s easy, right? One page a day. Sometimes you write three, sometimes more, sometimes you’re stuck and need to take a break.

Can you describe yourself with 5 adjectives?

I keep trying to figure out five adjectives to describe myself and can’t decide. So maybe just one: indecisive.

Your newest book is “The bad decisions playlist”. Can you describe the book in five sentences?

The Bad Decisions Playlist is a story about love, and family, and music, and about the difficulty of achieving your dreams — especially if you’re the one stopping yourself from achieving them. It follows the misadventures of 16-year-old Austin Methune, a talented musician who is equally adept at sabotaging himself. All his life, Austin has wondered about his mysterious father, who died before Austin was born — a father that Austin’s mother refuses to talk about. Then the supposedly dead father reappears, and turns out to be a semi-famous musician that Austin idealizes. Rebuilding the relationship with his father could be the key for both of them to get their lives back on track — or just the start of more bad decisions.

Do you know any real people who are represented in the characters in your book?

As is the case with many writers, the characters in my books are often mixtures of different people that I know in real life. I also have a terrible time coming up with names for characters, and will often create names that are similar to people I know, or I mix and match names (different first and last names), so sometimes people will ask if I was writing about them when I was really just using their name because I couldn’t think of one.

Where do you usually work?

Although I sometimes write at home, I usually like to go to a cafe or someplace similar — it actually makes me more focused, and certainly helps me feel less lonely. I live in Brooklyn, which probably has a higher concentration of writers than any place in the world, so there are times when I’m writing and I’ll notice several famous writers typing away at other tables. It’s very intimidating.

What do you think about E-Books?

I like the convenience of e-books (especially if you’re about to get on a plane and think of some book you want to read), but I much prefer actual books (especially because I like bookstores, particularly independent bookstores).

Do you play to write new book in the future?

I have another book coming out in America in June called „Emily and the Spellstone,“ which is a humorous adventure story with magic. It’s for a younger audience — readers between eight and twelve years old.

Thank you for the interview! And good luck with following Projects!

Thank you, and I hope this is helpful!