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Bill Janovitz

Bill Janovitz

Bill Janovitz is a singer, guitarist and songwriter in the band Buffalo Tom. He has also released four solo albums. He wrote Exile on Main Street about the iconic Stones album and has written extensively for the All Music Guide online site. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.

1. What inspired you to become a writer?
 
Reading others, I suppose. And this constant, ingrained need to express myself. I wish I would just shut up sometimes, take a vow of silence. For at least a weekend.
 
2. What keeps you motivated as a writer?
 
I am always impatient to get things done and to accomplish what I set out to do. That keeps me motivated to finish. But inspiration comes from many sources.
 
3. What’s your favourite book, and why?
 
I guess, gun-to-head, The Great Gatsby, for its poetry, economy, and evergreen quality. I can read it yearly and still have it affect me deeply. I read it aloud to my daughter when she was 13, which is probably younger than I was when I read it. It was a very emotional experience for me. As far as music-related books, I love stuff where the writer’s voice and P.O.V. is heavy, like Stanley Booth’s The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones; Nick Kent’s The Dark Stuff; and Lester Bangs’ Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung.
 
4. Do you have a routine when you’re writing (ie silence, a particular genre of music, only working in the morning, only working in your underpants?)
 
No. I get a lot done in the the morning, but inspiration can also come in the evening, especially after a glass of wine.
 
5. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a writer?
 
Nothing that they haven’t already heard, except for maybe, don’t look at it as a potential career or profession. Same as music. I do it for the love.
 
6. How easy was it for you to find a publisher?
 
Easier than I thought it would be.
 
7. What’s the best experience you’ve had while writing a book?
 
Interviewing some great artists, and people responsible for the art in my life and libraries.
 
8. Who are you generally writing for?
 
People like me, I guess. 
 
9. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
 
Well, I am not primarily a writer. I am more of a musician. But I wear a few hats in life.
 
10. What one thing would improve your life?
 
Money almost always helps. But life is pretty grand for me at this point in time. No complaints or needs, good health, fantastic family. 
 
11. Where would you like to be right now, anywhere in the world?
 
Hawaii. It is currently February in Boston. 
 
12. Are any or your characters based on yourself or people you know?
 
Yes, in Tom Perrotta’s novel, The Abstinence Teacher, there are some characters loosely based on a poker game in which we both are regulars.
 
13. If you weren't a writer, what would your 'dream' occupation be?
 
I live two of my dream jobs: writer and musician. 
 
14. What are you reading right now?
In anticipation for an event in which we are both participating, I am reading a book by Paul Myers called A Wizard, a True Star, about Todd Rundrgen. I am reading more books by people I know lately.
 
 

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