AMBER LOVE 24-APR-2013 Today’s VODKA O’CLOCK episode features writer THOMAS PLUCK, aka @TommySalami who has recently been part of some impressive charity anthologies of short stories that benefit Superstorm Sandy families and the organization Protect.org. Tommy also discussed his writing background which started early in the second grade. Tommy regularly interviews other authors on a regular basis which are posted on his website. We also discuss really important topics such as how we picked the names for our cats.
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“Well, with the way young adult books have become, some say that they’re too dark, but I think that kids need an outlet for this. There’s kids are going through stuff that can get in touch with books that are a little rougher around the edges and sometimes it’s better to read about it than to dream about it in your room while you’re stabbing a voodoo doll or something.” ~TP
Referring nostalgically to cartoons and movies of our youth, Tommy agrees that today’s entertainment targeted to children is sanitized. If you think about how polarized the entertainment world is, it can be hard to figure out what is appropriate for what age group. Violence is still more widely accepted than sexual content (no matter how lovingly portrayed).
Tommy is an advocate of the author career path that allows one to maintain a non-writing job while writing on the side. As I recall from my comic workshops, former IDW editor Andy Schmidt said he loved writing but didn’t want to “write for food” when he needed a paycheck that would be stable to take care of his family and being an editor provided that balance. There are different beliefs in this topic. Lawrence Block felt like he nothing to fall back on so he had to succeed as a writer but Stephen King spent years in mills and teaching before the money truck backed up.
The way that Tommy chooses to approach his inner demons is different that what I usually hear from writers. His childhood with a stern father and bullying by peers drives him to write to keep his inner demons in rather than allow any behavior to act out. I think it’s the same thing that I’ve heard other writers do as a process but phrased differently. People write to get something out of their systems; for non-writers than could be playing video games, practicing martial arts in an appropriate center or driving fast cars. It’s a process of taking the pent up energy troubling you and releasing it in safe way.
When Tommy begins a story, he starts with the character first including what gender fits the idea he needs for that time not having trends dictate it. We cover our favorite examples of women in action roles and whether or not they could be interchangeable with men. After anyone’s story is completed now, there are all different new media ways to give readers bonuses like making your own playlist inspired by the story, commentary where you can discuss the process, and let’s not forget cosplay.
Tommy’s charity anthologies are OH, SANDY to benefit families still affected by the aftermath of the superstorm that battered the east coast but handling the trauma through laughter; the other is LOST CHILDREN PROTECTORS to benefit Protect. “PROTECT is a bipartisan pro-child, anti-crime lobby whose sole focus is making the protection of children a top political and policy priority at the national, state and local level. (Protect.org Mission Statement)” There are readings planned for OH, SANDY at Watchung Books in New Jersey.