Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Alec Cizak! Alec is a prolific author who writes the types of works that mainstream publishers are often not willing to take chances on. In our interview, we got the chance to discuss Alec’s inspirations for storytelling. If you want to check out some of Alec’s works, you can do so on AMAZON!
Thriller Magazine: Thank you for the interview, Alec! You have a very accomplished interesting career as an author, filmmaker, and the editor of Pulp Modern. How did your career in the arts begin, and what attracted you to this career?
I never had much of a choice. Writing was something I was good at as a kid and I wasn’t good at very much else. What keeps me in the arts, despite the total lack of respect our current society has for independent creativity, is the idea that someday something I’ve written will comfort someone else the way books I love (written by other people) have comforted me throughout my life.
TM: How do you find that being an editor helps you as a writer and vice versa?
I don’t know how much it helps me as a writer. My approach to editing Pulp Modern is to publish stories that are well written, hold my attention, and do something interesting I haven’t seen before. If my writing influences my work as an editor, it is probably in the way I expect both myself and writers who submit work to Pulp Modern to be aware of basic craft rules (i.e., don’t get psychedelic with POV in the same paragraph, etc.).
TM: For your novel, Down The Street, what were some of your inspirations to creating that story? Is it completely fictional, or was it based on things you heard or experienced?
Down on the Street draws quite a bit from my own life. Obviously, I can’t get into too much detail because a lot of nasty stuff happens in it. I drove a taxi cab when I was younger, so the details of that profession are accurate. The anger of living in poverty is very much drawn from my adult life. The basic premise was spawned many, many years ago when a woman I was involved with said she believed I would make a good pimp (I still have no idea how she came up with that). I always thought that scenario would be both comic and tragic. This probably explains why some people find the book humorous and some people find it deadly serious.
TM: Lastly, what are some of the obstacles you faced as a new writer, and how did you overcome them?
I don’t think I’ve been a “new writer” since I was about nine years old and wrote my first story! I face the same obstacle all writers who aren’t Stephen King face–the obstacle of getting people to read my work. I don’t believe I’ll ever write something the “Big Publishers” find acceptable. Like Hollywood and the music industry, it seems to me the Big Publishers are not going to take any risks at this point and therefore will only publish safe stuff they know won’t offend anybody. This is, of course, disastrous for all the arts. If art doesn’t challenge the status quo in some way, is it really worth a damn? In my opinion, the answer is no. I’m lucky that ABC Group Documentation gives me a lot of freedom to write what I want, but I’m sure for other writers who don’t write mainstream stuff and don’t have a publisher, this environment can be very challenging. I would love to see one of my books on a rack at a local drug store, but I’m certain that’s never going to happen. So I guess the most frustrating thing about writing today is pouring all my passion and fury into a project and knowing only a small number of people are ever going to read it. In the long run, however, that’s okay. The people who read and enjoy my work are obviously of a like mind and hopefully, together, we demonstrate to each other that we are not alone amidst the complacent masses who prefer the sanitized fiction offered by the Big Publishers.