Car here. This is a series of interviews I’m doing for my author, Rebekah Webb, for the participants of the 2016 Brain to Books Cyber Convention. (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-2016) Since I only interview inanimate objects, I have used the power of booze and lack of sleep to transform my interviewees into assorted objects of their choice.
Today I am going to interview a broom named Zachary P Chopchinski. When he isn’t sweeping across dirt, being stuck in a supply closet, or being used to usher away stray cats, he’s the author of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle.
Book: The Curious Tale of Gabrielle
BARNES & NOBLE http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-curious-tale-of-gabrielle-zachary-paul-chopchinski/1121445311
Gabrielle is driven by her will to explore and see new things. When she moves to the small town of Envisage, she is drawn to a hidden antique shop and its mysterious owner. When Gabrielle is given a strange gift, she suddenly finds herself in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil.
Follow Gabrielle as she ventures through the lives of many with the experience of only her own. It’s a journey through history, life, and love unlike anything that could be imagined—except perhaps by a curious young girl.
Zachary is 27 and lives in Florida with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their 4 fur-children.
Zachary received an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Southern Maine. He had two short stories and a poem published by Ohio State University.
Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, he decided it was time to give his other passion a chance.
Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.
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What made you start writing? As a broom, I bet your writing was influenced by all the things you’ve noticed swept under the rug over the years.
You could say that I’ve had a dusting of inspiration throughout the years. It’s been often that I’ve been swept into my own thought. Ever since I was a kid, I always enjoyed writing stories and telling tales. It’s something I always wanted to do, and then one day my lovely wife said “guess what I started for you” and she showed me an author website that she put together for me. Ever since then, I have been on this sweeping journey.
How does a broom write? Do you spread dust and debris over a floor in shape of letters? Topple over onto a keyboard? Or is there another way to be able to put words to paper/screen?
As a broom, I find that creating individual letters is a huge challenge. Now a days, people can hardly comprehend the issues of calligraphy in the life of a broom. I can tell you, it is no tidy task.
Do you hang out with other cleaning apparatuses and if so, what are they like?
I have to say that one of my best friends growing up is my good buddy Pan. He really helps me clean up my thoughts and collect my ideas. Nothing’s perfect, our relationship has had its messes, but in the end we always seem to pull together and get the job done.
Tell us about your inspiration for The Curious Tale of Gabrielle. Did it involve staring into the sun until the afterimages turned into an interesting story? That’s how I come up with interview questions.
One day, I was sweeping by an old antique shop near where I worked in Portland, Maine, when I stumbled across a really cool silver bracelet. The shop owner told me that the bracelet was 500 years old and I remember thinking to myself WOW, 500 years, that’s a lot of dust under that rug!
What made you choose to write a fantasy novel? I always imagined brooms writing poetry about dust bunnies.
Once upon a time, my people were a proud people. We danced with mice, we flooded vast castles with buckets of water and cast magic spells, so I just felt like fantasy was the way to go (for those of you who don’t know, that was a Fantasia reference).
Is it true that brooms like to push the boundaries and sometimes bristle at the sight of a dirty floor?
Sometimes a mess can prove a last straw, but in times like this you must push forward and trust that things will all pan out. As for pushing boundaries, I cannot confirm nor deny that this is a broom characteristic, however I have swept open several doorways in my day.
Is there a special broom in your life? Or are you currently unattached?
There is a special broom in my life, though sometimes, she may prove hard to handle, I wood like to spend the rest of my life in the broom closet with her (Beauty and The Beast innuendo intended).
What else have your wrote and have you ever been used in a synchronized broom dance?
Presently, I am working on two novels. The first is the second in the Gabrielle series and the second is a steampunk fantasy novel called Webley and The World Machine. I hope to have Gabrielle #2 available sometime this summer. As for Webley, although he is eager to grace the world with his presence, that will have to wait for another day.
What hobbies do you have? Are you a member of a curling team?
I am a card holding member of the North American Rub Beating Society and I volunteer with The Last Straw Broom Re-Bristling Charity. However, I like to spend the majority of my time, leaning up against the wall, threatening to fall over and pondering story ideas. Oh I also like to scare cats off of porches, when I’m feeling adventurous.
Do you have any advice for young brooms out there who might want to try their hand at writing?
Yes, I just want to say never give up on what you love, treat your creations like that unswept corner in a den, that hasn’t been touched in three years, pure and untainted. Try not to get swept up in the day to day, give yourself time to write and to think. Most importantly, never settle for anything less than what you want. Some might say that the floor isn’t clean enough, they may threaten to go out and get one of those fancy vacuums, but always stay true to yourself and your art…be proud of what you create.