Self-Published Park Bench Writer Named WEbooker of the WEek05:41
The first I heard of michaeldeshazer was
through an email he sent to WEbook.
Michael said he spent his afternoons in Union Square Park writing and
promoting his self-published books. He’d
just discovered WEbook, and he wanted to know if we could give him some fliers
to hand out to folks he met in the park.
What a way to get noticed!
WEbook sent an emissary to Union Square Park to meet michaeldeshazer and
give him some schwag. Since then, I’ve
received no fewer than five (5) messages nominating Michael for WEbooker of the
WEek – a record for a single WEbooker.
So, who is this masked man?
To begin with, michaeldeshazer is the
author of Pieces, a “non-linear”
novel currently in contention to become the
next published WEbook. He is also
the project leader of Kick
the Bucket, a collection of imagined last words by WEbookers far and
wide. This project is also vying for
Michael has been writing poetry since middle school, and he
started writing fiction in high school.
He wrote his first novel the summer before his senior year. In 2006, he moved to New York City to attend
college, where he met author Karen
E. Quinones Miller. Karen advised him to live only to improve his
writing. Says Michael, “I did just that.”
What happened next is a little unusual. Michael moved in with five of his best
friends, “who just so happened to be strippers,” and started taking Karen’s
advice. The summer before his sophomore year, he wrote a book of
thought-provoking jokes called NC-17.
His novel Pieces
is his most recent work.
Because he writes and sells his books from a park bench in
Union Square Park, Michael calls himself the “Park Bench Writer.” However, he says: “Even when I don’t have to sell my books on
the streets and in the park, I’ll still be the Park Bench Writer, because the
park bench represents the lowest point of my life – when I slept on them – and the
greatest period of hope in my life – selling my words and my dreams on park
Speaking frankly about his experiences with self-publishing,
says, “It sucks. Don’t do it unless you
really believe in your writing and you absolutely can’t see yourself doing
anything else.” Michael hopes to get published through
WEbook, but, more importantly, he also hopes to improve his writing through
the community’s critiques, and to build relationships with and learn from
people who love writing as much as he does.
In the meantime, he kindly answered WEbook’s inane questions:
Q: What's the last funny joke you heard?
A: Waitress: What do you call a cow with
Me: I don't know (even though I did).
Waitress: Ground beef.
You had to be there.
Q: When was the last time you lost
A: I was doing
laundry at 3:00 a.m. a couple blocks from my apartment. After I put my clothes
in the washer, I decided to go home and twiddle my thumbs there as opposed to
the musty Laundromat. En route to my
apartment, I witnessed a drive-by shooting. When I arrived home, I called 911
and reported it. I knew the approximate location, but I wasn't sure of the
address of the house it occurred in front of. For this reason, the dispatcher
explained, she could not send any units to the scene. I lost my temper when I
realized I was trying to convince the police department to investigate a murder
Q: What are your daily writing
A: I take notes on
everyday occurrences, and then once a month or so, I sit down with those notes,
and create some form of prose. I also blog semi-regularly.
Q: What's your favorite WEbook
project not started by you?
A: 6 Word Stories,
Q: Describe where you see yourself
in 5 years – using only 5 words.
A: Eye wanna right
have a line on the wonderfullest writer on WEbook?
The fantastickest feedbacker? Or anyone else who goes above and beyond to make WEbook the best writing, reading, and
publishing community on the internet? Drop me an email, or visit my profile and send me a
message with the title "WEbooker
of the WEek" to nominate your favorite WEbooker and he or she will
have a shot at joining the ranks of the immortals -- and getting a free WEbook T-shirt to boot.