i'm doing a school report on you, where can i find the information i need?

You can take a look at my Goodreads & IMDb pages for biographical information. Here is my press page, with information on my work. You can read through the blog or immerse yourself in any of my projects to get a feel of why & how I do what I do. &, of course, my inbox is always open if you have any further questions (but please get in touch very early before your report is due, as it's difficult for me to respond promptly to these emails!).

are you really 18?

Yes. (I am not sure why you think I'd deceive you about this. But yes, I am really 18.)

why do you write under a pen name?

For privacy & discretion, more than anything else. If you disagree with this, I am sorry to be the one to tell you, but there have been just a couple of authors throughout history who have made the same choice. I would suggest you take up your case with them before coming to me. I'm sure there aren't too many to go through.

when is your birthday / may I send you a gift?

My birthday is on September 25th & it makes me ceaselessly happy that you care enough to ask. I'm not comfortable with putting my address online & alas, I am a broke college student & therefore cannot afford a P.O. box, so I’m afraid all gifts must remain virtual unless we know each other personally. But I hope you know it means the universe & more.

tell me more about your mental illnesses?

You can find all that I'm willing to share with you right now about my illnesses here & here. Thank you for respecting my privacy.

who is that fluffy person that keeps showing up in your photos?

My dog is called Hachii & he loves you.

do you have any writing advice?

Read everything. Write everything. Keep a journal. Collect plane & film tickets. Be curious. Understand the experiences of those less privileged & those more privileged than you are. Watch snails. Make up stories about people on the subway. Copy your heroes & do not be afraid when you surpass them. Be someone else's hero & do not be afraid when they surpass you. Watch for patterns. Keep things. Throw things away. Treat the universe as your classroom. Find beauty in ugliness. Follow the cats & the ghosts. Glue things together. Pull things apart. Critique others' work. Ask others to critique your work. Be giving. Be patient. Be humble. Be kind. Read things that make you feel deeply uncomfortable & examine your discomfort. Read things that make you feel unfathomably whole & examine your wholeness. Try foods you do not enjoy. Eviscerate poems. Take long baths. Don't be an asshole. Put words together that you do not understand, then try to understand them. Read everything. Write everything. Read everything. Write everything. Read everything. Write everything. Listen for more.

do you have any more specific writing advice?

I probably do. Perhaps you could email me, or leave a comment on the blog. I cannot promise to answer all questions, simply because I don't know everything there is to know about writing - how boring that would be! - but I can do my best. (Please note that, for more in-depth questions, I offer ongoing mentoring services. Feel free to get in touch if you're interested in receiving more information.)

may i feature you on my blog / website / newsletter / journal / podcast?

Certainly! More information here.

will you look over my manuscript / make a personal introduction or recommend me to your publisher(s)?

Unfortunately, I do not read manuscripts or recommend authors to my publishers upon request. However, I have had truly beautiful experiences with both of my publishers (Platypus Press & Math Paper Press) & they accept submissions year-round, so I highly encourage you to submit!

i have a mental illness too. may i talk to you about it?

Yes. Yes. Yes. I have very few Internet-based triggers, so please email me if you need to talk. I don't ever want you to be alone in this. (Please note, however, that I am not a licensed professional & cannot provide any medical advice - only love & support. If you are in a crisis, please call a free, anonymous helpline or make an appointment with your local therapist. I promise it will be worth it.)

why haven’t you answered my email? do you hate me?

I try to answer every email, but I receive a great many & find it difficult to keep up, so please don’t be hurt if it has been a few weeks & I have not responded yet. I promise it isn’t because I hate you - more because I am sometimes bad at life. (Unless the email is unnecessarily rude &/or spam. In that case, I have probably deleted it &, by extension, you.)

where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere.

(I know that is the worst answer I could ever give. It's also the only answer I could ever give.)

may i get a tattoo of your writing?

I am unspeakably honoured if you’d like to do that. I ask that you please get in touch with me before doing so in order to request permission, but I will nearly always say yes.

who is your favourite author / musician / poet?

Have a look at this page & this tag. Or, just ask - I have endless recommendations at any given time.

i hate you & want to yell at you through the internet. you’re the worst writer i’ve ever read. i wish you would stop writing & disappear.

Oh dear, I’m sorry you feel that way. May I offer you some tea, & perhaps refer you to my therapist? I hear she is excellent with anger management cases.

are you single?

Yes, happily so.

if i see you in real life, may i talk to you?

Most certainly. You are always welcome to say hello - but please remember that I do have multiple anxiety disorders & it's rather nervewracking when strangers speak to me. I would so appreciate it if you could be gentle & not shout. I am incredibly excited to see you as well, but perhaps we could be excited quietly.

Also, please don't take photographs of me without my permission. That is rude, violating, & anxiety-inducing. I promise I am a friendly human, & usually open for a selfie if you ask.

 

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(More questions? Feel free to take a look at the interviews I've done, or contact me long-form at topazwinters@gmail.com.)