Zachary Paul Chopchinski
I am 26 years old and live in Maine with my lovely wife, Layla, our two dogs and two cats. I currently work as the director of security at a local college. Working in a field like security, despite the fact that often I was a manager and in charge of sensitive situations, I found myself with plenty of time to dream up stories. Working primarily nights exacerbated this, since I was often left in solidarity to my own devices. This alone time allowed for me to create other lives, worlds, and times. Often, this led to fervid writings penned as I arrived home after long nights, my day supposedly ending, yet merely at its start. I received an Associates degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Southern Maine. Although I do not have a degree in writing, or its associated fields, I have always had a passion for it. I had two short stories published by Ohio State University when he was in elementary school, and a poem published when he was in high school.
I have always had two passions in my life, criminal justice and writing, and after spending nearly 5 years working in security, I have decided it is time to give my other passion a chance. When I am not writing, or dreaming up my next story, I can be found reading and studying about watches, playing video games or spending time with my family.
What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?
As a child, I did not live in the best community. Often I found myself sitting alone in my room and reading, about far away places. I began to write at a young age—albeit not very good pieces, but I tried my best—and I have to say that the mere thought of my earliest work still makes me blush. The first thing that I ever wrote and finished was a short story entitled “Never Been Kissed”. Sadly, this was a short story about my very first girlfriend and date. I still have it to this day and my family loves to pull it out of hiding and read it to me just to make me blush. It was quite cheeky, I thought I was the next romantic novel superstar, yet I still think of it to this day.
What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?
My favorite part of being a writer would have to be the ability to create something out of the most humble of things, or perhaps nothing at all. Whenever I find myself pondering hardships, boredom, possibilities or anything that may hit me, I throw a small story into the mixture and see what develops. I would have to say that my least favorite thing about being a writer is this little attention deficit problem that I have. I often find myself thinking over several possible story ideas at once and get overwhelmed, only to find myself nearly giving up on all of them. I generally am able to press forward, it is just frustrating at times.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?
Absolutely I believe in writer’s block. Writing, like any art form, is based out of the author’s creativity and inspiration. This is a very fickle thing and, like many things in life, writer’s can find themselves uninspired, not in the mood, or maybe even unable to push through a certain point in their piece, for whatever reason. My best tip for beating this is to think back to what you were experiencing when you first began working the piece. Focus on what sensations you were feeling and emerge yourself into that mindset. If it was a song, listen to the song again. If you were in a special place when the thought first roared through your mind, go back and shoot for it again. Finding ourself in the situation which first spawned your works will relaunch the story for you.
What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?
I am currently working on the second instillation of my novel, The Curious Tale of Gabrielle. The most challenging aspect of this piece is the base premise of it depends highly on historical accuracy. So, coupled with heavy writing, I know find myself doing more research than I did when I was in college.
What supports you in your writing?
Currently, there are two things that come to mind when thinking of what supports my writing. First thing would have to be music. I often listen to specific genres when writing that help me maintain focus in what I am currently working on. I use the music to channel the emotions and mindset needed to further my writing. The second is my lovely wife, Layla. She does what I have jokingly referred to as “mothering” me to make sure that I accomplish the goals that I set for myself. As I said, I do have a nasty little attention deficit problem, and she helps me keep that at bay when needed. For that, she is my greatest support.
What are you currently reading?
“War and Peace” by Tolstoy
Where can our readers find you and your books online?
One book that I would like to promote is The Curious Tale of Gabrielle, scheduled to come out at the beginning of March.