FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Buck answers questions—some related to writing, others not—from fans. He always enjoys receiving questions about writing but loves some of the off-the-wall stuff he gets, too. So please, keep them coming. Check out the "lightning round" questions at the bottom (completely off the cuff).
How much time do you spend per day writing?
Since I am still immersed in my career as the Director of Engagements for an IT company, I spend most of my time writing either early in the morning or in the evenings. On average, I will spend anywhere between 3-5 hours per day writing. Now, that doesn't mean I am furiously pecking at the keyboard the entire time. I spend a fair amount of time jotting notes in one of the dozens of legal pads or journals I have strewn around my office.
What are your hobbies outside of writing?
When I'm not actively writing, I enjoy playing golf, fishing, and working on my artwork (drawing and painting, primarily). I also enjoy working out 4-5 days per week, listening to various types of music, and driving fast.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Good question. While I cannot point to a specific time, I suppose I've always known. Even as a child, I remember creating characters and worlds in my head. At the time, I didn't have the vocabulary or drive to put my thoughts on paper. That came later. I really began thinking about it seriously in the early 2000s and wrote my first book in 2007. From there, I read a lot and worked on my writing skills before self-publishing my first book in 2020.
Top 5 movies of all time?
So you know, I love random, off-the-wall questions like this. Believe it or not, I've given this one quite a bit of thought over the years, and reserve the right to change these at any time (as new movies are reproduced). But right now, if I had to narrow the list to five, it would go something like this: 1) Fried Green Tomatoes (love, love, love this movie) 2) Steel Magnolias 3) The Shawshank Redemption 4) The Green Mile 5) The Count of Monte Cristo.
Okay, I know, two of those five (and the top 2, in fact) are what many would call chick-flicks, but so what? These movies are classics, and there's just something about them that speaks to me. For fun, I'm going to include a few movies that almost made the list. Here goes:
Tombstone, Crimson Tide, Gladiator, The Truman Show, Goodfellas, The Wizard of Oz (because the first time I watched it, I remember vividly the scene when black and white transitioned to color. I was, and am still, amazed), The Godfather II, Silence of the Lambs, and Jaws (because it scared the hell out of me).
Do you have a favorite author/novel/short story?
Well, that's three questions in one, so let's take them one at a time. Favorite author? George Orwell and Robert Louis Stevenson. Favorite novel? 1984 and Animal Farm (both by Orwell, oddly enough). Favorite short story? it's a tie between The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgard Allan Poe. I absolutely love both of these stories.
Do you have any words of encouragement for aspiring writers?
Write. A lot. Every day. Often, I read articles or watch interviews with authors, and most of the time they will tell you the same thing—read and write, a lot. This is true. Think about it like this: In order for you to perfect something, you can't simply give it a try one day and hope to be successful. There are techniques you must learn, skills you must develop, and so on. The best way to perfect anything is by first failing. And the only way to fail is to try and do. Therefore, read authors who write in genres you are interested in. Study them, their words, the way they put their stories together. Then, write. Develop your style. I think one of the most dangerous things an author can do is mimic another author. Inevitably, if you read, you will pick up pieces from other authors, and that is okay. I draw the line at using their phrases over and over, or simply copying their story, while only changing the names of the characters. Learn who you are as a writer, then go for it. Like I always say: Everyone has a story to tell. Go tell it! Oh, and one final thought (and perhaps the most important thing to remember). When others try to drag you down (say you can't, or give you a bad review), ignore them and plow ahead. When it comes to writing and story-telling, the only person who can stop you from being a writer is YOU.
What is your favorite book you've written?
Hands down, without question, my favorite book is Evergreen. I knew from the opening lines of that story that I was onto something special. Since releasing it in 2020, I've received a ton of reviews, comments, and feedback from fans. When compared to some of my other stories like The Long Road Back to You, or Between Your Heart and Mine, Evergreen appears as something of an anomaly. However, it is exactly the type of story I enjoy writing. It has action, suspense, religious overtones, and a captivating love story, all in a small-town setting. And it's told from a teenager's point of view. Despite the praise for many of my other stories, Evergreen still holds a special place in my heart.
What is the one thing that scares you when it comes to writing?
The blank page; the story left unwritten. Inevitably, there will come a time when an idea for a story will never make it out of my head, never grace a printed page, never see the light of day. This, above anything else, frightens me, because it reminds me of my mortality.
What is your favorite color?
How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
My initial reaction is to reach out to everyone who leaves a negative review and explain. However, the best advice is to simply ignore them.
What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
Scenes, like those from movies, appear in my head. These may spark an idea for a book. This is why I keep a notebook close at all times, so I can capture these one or two-line scenes (sometimes more) before they disappear. Sometimes, I'll write an entire book around one scene. For example, The Long Road Back to You was written entirely around the cemetery scene. If you haven't read it yet, do so, and you'll see what I mean.
How do you celebrate when you've finished writing a book?
By starting the next one.
What is your kryptonite as a writer?
Do you play music while writing? And if so, what is your favorite type of music?
I don't necessarily play music while I'm writing, but music plays a major role in my books. In fact, most of the inspiration for my books comes from song lyrics, titles, etc. In terms of favorite music, I like a little of everything, but 90's alternative (Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Garbage, Foo Fighters, and Collective Soul, among others) is my favorite.
What's your favorite snack or drink?
Favorite drink - Bai Water (Molokai Coconut)
Favorite snack - if I'm cheating on my diet, KitKat and peanut M&Ms. If I'm being good, reduced fat wheat thins and carrots.