1. What made you want to become a writer?
I really think that I have always wanted to be a writer. I have notebooks from elementary school in which I proclaim my future self to be a “rich and famus auther” or something to that effect. The author part of that statement has come true, still working on the rich and famous part.
It was in my early twenties, midway through my undergrad, that I think I really decided to pursue the writing path. It was then that I first started submitting and doing the real work of writing, rather than just the dreaming, yearning, pining kind of writer stuff (which I am a professional at).
2. What is your genre or writing style and has it changed over time?
Currently the genre I write most in is flash fiction. I started off writing short stories that were mostly rip-offs in elementary school, this evolved into god-awful teenage poetry, which gave way to slightly less painful poetry and short stories.
In the last decade or so when I have become a “serious writer” I found myself going through many genre phases. Like a parent with his children, I can’t pick a favorite genre. I love short stories, I love fiction, creative non-fiction, science fiction, fantasy and all general speculative fiction. I still pick up the poetry pen now and again, I write children’s books, and I am also undertaking a few manuscript-length pieces as well.
3. What has helped you the most in the writing pursuit?
Writing itself has helped me the most in the writing pursuit. I know that sounds trite, let me explain. The act of writing, but more so the act of creation, are the greatest payoffs in my little world. Intrinsically, I really feel that writing is not a choice for me. I would quite literally succumb to all manner of mental illnesses without the therapeutic/cathartic/pressure releasing qualities of writing. For me, writing is as much a part of life as eating and drinking coffee. Writing is the very means of my survival.
All that said, the outside help I have received in writing has been most essential. The first line of help comes from my wife, my friends and my family, who mostly offer nothing but support, encouragement and crucial, but not overdone ego stroking. The second line comes from the writer friends I have in my life. These people inspire me mostly through the works they write that I adore, and sometimes they offer me insight or praise, which helps me keep going. The final saviors are the workshops, mentors and writers that I consider to be the greats of our time. These writers and the workshops I have attended challenge my comfort and beliefs in writing and help me grow and become a better writer.
4. How would you describe your writing practice?
Though I have no musical training or knowledge, I could probably best describe my writing practice in musical terms. I’d start by describing it as arrhythmic, ranging from melodic to cacophonous, and extremely subjective. By genre the range of my practice goes from death metal, to gangster rap, to folk, to ambient instrumental. There is very little cohesiveness to my writing practice except for the passion. That’s what stays constant and holds it all together.
I try to write every day. I try to rewrite or edit, or make an old piece new once a week. And I try to write mostly new works, without forgetting about chipping away at old works all the while. There’s no real “normal day” for me. On a typical workday I’ll come home, have a beer and try and write a flash fiction piece. I might have a day off during the week, or take a weekend day and devote at least half the day to writing and submitting. Wherever I can squeeze it in, I try and make writing a part of every day.
5. What are you writing now?
Right now I have a few dozen new flash fiction pieces that I’m trying to polish, submit and eventually compile into a manuscript. I am entering the Mile High MFA program at Regis University in January 2017, and for this I am prepping a speculative fiction manuscript that has been in the works for 3 years, as well as a creative nonfiction travel memoir manuscript that has been in the works for 5 years or more. Let’s see… in addition to that I am working on a pitch bible for an absurd comedy cartoon show, for which a friend and I have recently finished the pilot. I have a couple children’s books being illustrated by friends as we speak; one is for my children’s yoga company, Tall Tales Yoga. I also try to keep up on content for my podcast Rocky Mountain Revival. I recently picked up a gig writing massage blogs. And then there’s the daily dribble that comes out and may or may not become something.
It sounds much crazier than it is. And again, I write and create because I don’t know what I’d do without it. But as an indie/basically unknown author, I find myself having to hustle a lot more than the big dogs in order to continue successfully as a writer and as a guy just trying to pay the bills.
6. Where can someone find out more about your work?
My website (which desperately needs an update). My book website and publisher’s website. Facebook: Levi Andrew Noe, Twitter: @LeviAndrewNoe. My podcast Rocky Mountain Revival is where you can find me as a literary citizen trying to give back to the community by showcasing other indie writers and artist (it’s also on all major podcast platforms). And if you’re in Denver, look me up. We can grab a drink or coffee and talk shop.