20 Questions with Kevin Bohacz, author of ‘Ghost of the Gods’
I am Kevin Bohacz the bestselling novelist of Immortality and a lucid dreamer… Welcome to my dreams. I am also a writer for national computer magazines, founder and president of two high technology corporations, a scientist and engineer for over 35 years, and the inventor of an advanced electric car system – the ESE Engine System (circa 1978). I was also a short order cook for I-Hop, flipped burgers at McDonalds, and delivered Chicken Delight. All of those careers and more are behind me now that I am a full time storyteller, a catcher of dreams. Thank you for reading my stories and making this all possible.
His latest books are Immortality and Ghost of the Gods.
Visit Kevin’s website at www.kbohacz.com or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kevinbohacz.
1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I am a #1 bestselling fulltime writer. I write all the time, morning, day, and night. Writing is my essence, my passion. It is my very life. To me writing is like breathing—it is vital sustenance for my soul. A day without writing is… well… unimaginable. I never have writer’s block and writing without exaggeration has actually saved my life. Not very long ago I was widowed at a young age. My wife, my best friend of 17 years died in my arms while we looked into each other’s eyes. In the time that followed when I was drowning in grief I could hear my wife whispering to me, “Write my love… Write.” And so I wrote with tears blurring my eyes… I wrote so hard that I made my arms sore… I wrote so hard that I began to heal my soul. My writing saved me from grief that was dark enough to crush the life from me. I completed my forth novel Ghost of the Gods in a very short period of time while also simultaneously working on my new novels.
2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?
Hummm… I do both but ultimately I write by the seat of my (muse’s) pants. All my novels develop following the same basic ritual and all come from my muse. When I am writing it really does not feel like I am creating the material. It feels like I am watching daydreams which come from somewhere other than me and I am merely typing as fast as I can to capture the daydream that is unfolding before my eyes. For all four novels I have written, I first created thousands of pages of meticulously detailed background material. Once I feel the characters have become like friends to me, I sit down and start writing. Invariably in a short time the characters stage a revolt and the story takes on a life of its own veering off in directions I never planned. In the end I typically use about 1% of the meticulously detailed background material. Thousands of years ago the Greeks and Romans thought that all creative people were merely channels for muses. I truly cannot figure out where my stories come from. Out of a process of elimination I have decided they come from some Jungian collective awareness that we might as well call a muse!
3. Which comes first – plot or character?
For me a great story has to have both engaging characters and a mind blowing plot. So I think the plot is very important but for me the characters are even more important. If you do not identify with at least one of the main characters in a story then everything that happens becomes less personal. For the characters to be real three dimensional people, carefully crafted time must be spent to illustrate their background and personality. After all if you, the reader, does not care about the characters then why are you going to care about the victories and losses they experience in the plot? So for me everything starts with the characters except for the initial idea for a story, and that comes from my dreams (muse?).
4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
My home in Santa Cruz sits on a cliff overlooking the ocean, well technically it’s overlooking Monterey Bay. Fifty feet blow my windows and doors is a pounding surf along with noisy seabirds and seals. So quiet is not on the menu. That’s said, if there is unnatural noise then I can be distracted if I am not immersed deeply enough into the dream I am writing.
5. Favorite TV show?
I don’t watch broadcast or cable TV! I do watch Amazon pay per view to catch an occasional movie using a Roku box or Apple TV hooked up to a TV.
6. Favorite type of music?
Hmmm… different moods result in different favorites. If I am energized then I like something with a deep beat that wakes up the soul and makes you want to dance. If I am feeling romantic then something slow or jazzy. If I am feeling nostalgic then something from the 60’s or 70’s even though I was really too young to absorb the 60’s as first hand smoke.
7. Favorite craft besides writing?
Hmmmm… I consider writing an art and not a craft. The definition of the term “The Arts” refers to the following three creative activities: literature, performing arts, and visual arts. Sooooo the other forms of art that I indulge in are the visual arts of photography and painting. I don’t have any favorite crafts.
8. Do you play a musical instrument?
I tried learning how to play the electric guitar when I was teenager. I had high hopes of becoming a rock star. When I learned that I was no musician I sold my guitar and bought a stereo.
9. Single or married?
I am widower. I was married for 17 years. Everything in the universe change for me when Mazelle, my life, my best friend died in my arms with us looking into each other’s eyes. They say life wrenching crisis can transform us or break us. First I was broken by grief and emotionally dismembered then I was transformed and reassembled but not completely.
10. Children or no?
My wife and I decided that our love affair was the most important thing to us. So we opted to not have children.
I do not even own a house plant. I am free to travel when ever and wherever I choose at a moment’s notice.
12. Favorite place to write?
For the past five months I was on a quest to find the perfect place to write and dream. The quest was both spiritual (though not religious) as well as for my art. I put almost everything I own in storage or gave it away. I simplified my life. I sold our home of 20 years and so I was homeless. I wandered up and down the California coast living in magical oceanfront vacation homes for a month at a time looking for the best place to dream and write. I let intuition lead me from place to place. I find that my intuition is far more reliable than my left brain in these kinds of decisions. The quest was exciting, creative, and beyond my comfort zone. I felt like I was in one sense homeless and in another sense at home. I was uprooted… and this was all very good…. very creative. Pushing beyond my comfort zone caused all sorts of emotions to bubble up to the surface and those emotions were then imbued into the written pages of my newest novels, Dream Signs and The Bridge.
My quest ended in Santa Cruz… I felt déjà vu when I first drove down the streets of this city… I felt like I was home when I walked in the front door of the house I rented for 18 months on a snap decision base purely on intuition. As I mentioned this old oceanfront house is perched on the edge of a rocky cliff overlooking Monterey Bay. I can see a panorama of the bay from every room of the house and hear the waves crashing. So any room of this house or the backyard is an ideal place to write and dream. The Santa Cruz area itself is a wonderful meritage of Esalen, art, and natural beauty. There is a rich history of writers in the Monterey Bay area from Steinbeck to Heinlein and it has some of the cleanest seawater and fresh air in the country. I do truly feel like I am home… and for a recently early widowed person like me that is an enormous feeling to have.
13. Favorite restaurant?
Hmmmm… My favorite local restaurant in Santa Cruz would be Laili. In all the world, my favorite restaurant would be Five Feet in Laguna Beach though they closed their doors a few years ago.
14. Do you work outside the home?
I am a fulltime writer… So I work everywhere I happen to be!
15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?
16. Favorite outdoor activity?
I walk for about 2 hours a day. This walking, typically while carrying hand weights in the form of dumbbells, is a form of meditation called originally enough, walking meditation. When I am walking I am communing with nature, stimulating my body so that my mind is awake, and I leave myself open and quiet for my muse to speak through me. I get a lot of great stuff while walking and use my iPhone for dictation.
17. Pet peeve?
Global warming but I would consider it more than a peeve. Small things do not bother me and go unnoticed. Big foolish irresponsible things like unchecked global warming bother me a lot.
18. Your goal in life?
To keep everything going the way it is… Even with all the tragedy and triumph that has marked my life, I feel like I am the luckiest man alive.
19. Your most exciting moment?
The day I was married! We eloped and were married at the Surf & Sand hotel in Laguna Beach. The next most exciting would be the day my novel Immortality became a #1 bestseller and the critics gave the novel glowing reviews. After that would be the day the sequel to Immortality, titled Ghost of the Gods came out and became an instant bestseller. So I had two bestsellers at the same time and then Amazon listed Ghost of the Gods as the #1 hottest new techno-thriller.
20. The love of your life?
My wife Mazelle… a distant though very important second would be my art, my writing.