Digressing with Michael Seidlinger

I had a great conversation last month with Michael Seidlinger, a prolific author, professor and onetime indie lit publisher. During our podcast, Seidlinger shared his strategy for writing fiction and keeping his head above the poverty water line. We also discussed the current state of the book publishing industry, and how the independent presses are trying to forge a new direction that is more modern and responsive to writers who aren’t established yet or who are writing in new ways. 

Here’s the thing about Seidlinger, who looks like he’s about 23. He’s incredibly insightful and truly, truly a force of nature. If you write and worry about getting published — don’t. Just listen to Seidlinger and take comfort in knowing that the indie press world is growing and maturing.

I think the thing that impressed me the most about our chat is that he seems totally comfortable with the precarious nature of the business we’re in — and the precarious nature of the life he’s built for himself. He’s written — and published — a lot; he hasn’t gotten rich, realizes he probably won’t, and that’s okay. It’s more than okay — he seems positively jazzed about it. His new book is about the brave new world of writing/scurrying/social-media-flagging we live in, and it’s a great read.

Seidlinger describes himself as a Filipino-American author; he has written My Pet Serial Killer, Dreams of Being, The Fun We’ve Had, and nine other books. His byline appears in such publications as Buzzfeed, Thrillist, and Publishers Weekly, and has led workshops at Catapult, Kettle Pond Writer’s Conference, and Sarah Lawrence. He is a co-founder and member of the arts collective, The Accomplices, and founder of the indie press, Civil Coping Mechanisms (CCM). He teaches at Portland State University and lives in Brooklyn, New York. His most recent book is RUNAWAYS: A WRITER’S DILEMMA, from Future Tense Books, and you can order it here.

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