Newport, Oregon, has an active literary community. This Saturday, May 21, ROB YARDUMIAN will read at the Nye Beach Writers Series in the Nye Beach Visual Arts Center. at 7 p.m.
Rob is a fiction writer living in Portland, Oregon. The Sound of Songs Across the Water is his first novel, and Sing With Me, Brother, For We Have Sinned is the accompanying album of original music. His short fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, The Antioch Review, The New Orleans Review, and other literary magazines. He has an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, and he is currently working on his second novel, Rider Keene.
Here are some things you may not know about Rob.
1) Why did you become a writer? How did you get started?
When I was in my twenties I worked at a record label in Los Angeles. I was asked by one of our graphic designers to contribute a couple of pages to an art project they were putting together. I wrote two one-page stories as my contributions. Although the book was never published, it kindled my interest in fiction, and I kept writing from there.
2) What is your writing routine? How do you discipline yourself to keep at it?
I write all day on Saturdays and Sundays, and a few hours on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Discipline is not a problem for me, as I’d rather be writing than just about anything else I could do on a weekend.
3) How many drafts before you feel the book is finished?
I typically write two complete drafts, then ask my readers to review the book and give me feedback. I’ll do another draft or two after that.
4) What was the best thing that happened with regard to your writing career?
Getting an MFA helped me learn how to edit my own work. I’d say that’s a critical skill any serious writer must learn fairly early in the process.
5) What do you like to read? Favorite authors?
Jim Crace, Glen Duncan, Denis Johnson
6) What was the best advice you received as a writer?
“Get black on white.”
7) What’s next up for you, writing-wise?
My second novel, Rider Keene, is in its third draft. I hope to begin shopping it this fall.
8) What advice would you give beginning writers?
Take notes on the books you read. Write down what you liked or didn’t like about them. What worked or didn’t work and why? What would have made it better? What kind of choices would that have required from the author? Why do you think he/she didn’t make that choice? What would you have done differently? Even if the book wasn’t a success, pick out one or two things about it that did work and explain why you liked them.
9) Something we don’t know about you?
My family has two boys, two dogs, and four cats. And next year we’re getting chickens.
10) If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Probably a criminal mastermind with houses on three continents and a stable of flashy cars. Or a doughnut maker. I like doughnuts.
For more information about Rob, go to http://robyardumian.com