Writer’s Toolbox

Author Q&A

Here we present our exclusive collection of Q&As with a long list of illustrious authors.

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Michael Gruber

Michael GruberMichael Gruber is the author of The Book of Air and Shadows and was a ghostwriter for Robert K. Tanenbaum.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

I don't overcome writer's block. I just wait and it goes away. Basically, if you have writer's block that doesn't pass off in a short time either you're thinking too much about what people will say about your work, or you're writing the wrong kind of stuff, or you're in the wrong business.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

I'm not sure what a writing prompt is. If I can't write I take a break, get out, see people, read, play video games. The main writing prompt I have is that I like to write and when I don't write for a while I get faintly nauseated and headachey. When I start writing again it goes away. In general, if you don't feel bad when you're not writing you are (again) probably in the wrong business.

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

When I was a kid I worked for Classic Comics, a publishing house devoted to producing comic books based on great literature. The editor was named Roberta Strauss Feurlicht. She taught me that you could convey complicated ideas in simple language (a necessity in the comic book business) and that the point of writing was not to demonstrate what a wonderful writer you were but to convey a thought to a reader.