John Singer, Staff Writer
On August 18, the Original Pinkie Masters hosted a book release party for local author Zach Powers’ latest book, “100 Things to Do in Savannah Before You Die.”
Powers’ book hit shelves in stores and online August 16 with a release party on August 18 at local downtown Savannah bar, Pinkie Masters, where he elaborated about his successes in writing.
The sense of community is one of the biggest things Author Zach Powers, a Savannah native, said he misses about living here, while he recounted his experience of living between cities, Savannah, Ga. and Fairfax, Va.
Throughout the past few years, Powers has written everything from commercials for local TV station WTOC and short stories for literary journals to newspaper columns in Do Savannah’s monthly alcohol column, “The Proof”.
Powers lead the writer’s workshop at Flannery O’Connor’s Childhood Home for eight years. Powers’ previous book of short stories, “Gravity Changes,” recently won the BOA Editions Limited’s award for short fiction and was published in May of this year.
Powers says he really got into creative writing while working at WTOC, “I was part time at the beginning and had long breaks in between newscasts, like three hours, it was a little too far away for me to drive home and back, so I would stop in at [local coffee shop] Gallery Espresso and sit there for two or three hours writing or reading, that was the beginning of taking it a bit more seriously and thinking maybe this is the direction I should go.”
While he doesn’t follow a writing routine, Powers believes it’s important to set aside some sort of time to write every day. He notes,
“Pretty consistently I write in a coffee shop or someplace like that. Sitting in the corner is just the right level of distraction that keeps me from getting bogged down in boringness, and also pulls me out of my head enough to keep me moving forward, but sometimes writing means staring at the computer for an hour not typing anything. Sometimes failing miserably at putting words on the page is just what you got to go with. Inspiration isn’t always something that comes to you; you always have to be moving towards it, if you’re not, you still might get inspiration sometimes, but not nearly as often. I’m always sitting there, thinking, reading weird things about science, reading outside my genre trying to pull in ideas from different places, binging tv, anything can give you inspiration.”
When asked his best advice for young writers, Powers encourages writers to remember that “The first draft of anything you write is probably really far away from what the final draft should be. Everything you see in a book has been revised at least twelve times, I have a short story in my collection that has been revised 64 times, and even for a novel, I’ll probably do ten significant revisions. Study the craft, there’s craft and talent in writing, you need both, and both can be developed, but craft is centered in that revision process, in polishing up what you have on the page into something someone wants to read.”
Powers’ recommends that next week Armstrong students pick up some good reads at E. Shaver’s Books or The Book Lady Bookstore, visit Tybee Island before the Labor Day rush or grab some all-American grub at Betty Bombers.