For this interview, I asked questions to fellow blogger Alonzo Cortez.
He is a creative writer on this blog who you should check out for his short stories.
Who are you? What is your name? Where are you from?
Hey! My name's Alonzo Cortez, a current student here at the University of Michigan. Originally, I was born in the Philippines. However, after eight years, my family and I went to Singapore, stayed there for two years, and I am now proud to say we have been in the United States since 2010 and recently got our citizenship! I now plan to study Cognitive Science with a track on Computation and Cognition and either plan to work in the Sports Business Industry, Law, or Public Service.
What books have you written? What is your writing experience?
I have not really written any books, but I do have a lot of writing experience in the freelancing world. I have written music reviews for the rap genre, specifically with Eminem's most recent album. Now, I focus more on opinion-based articles in gaming as a freelancer for Moot Gaming. I produce about three articles a week on high-demand games and teach players how to succeed in gameplay, offer opinions on new updates, and give general news updates. I actually also recently started writing for Knup Solutions, where I write recreational pieces based on sports material. This can range from giving hot takes to more data-driven analysis in sports.
What genre do you write?
I don't really have a genre per se, but I do a lot of op-eds, fiction, and non-fiction pieces.
Do you write other things besides books? (blogs, screenplays, etc)
Other than writing articles for freelancing in the gaming and sports community, I am currently not writing other things as of the moment.
What are you currently working on? What is your major writing project right now?
How long have you been a writer? How did you get into doing it?
I only considered myself a writer for the past year or so, when I started freelancing. Before that, I really excelled in my English Courses and loved to write, read, and analyze text. Ever since I was a kid, I used to love RL Stine's work, and I think a lot of the principles he showed me then is what I use today in a non-horror sense. The way that he builds up character, suspense, and uses pace to create imagery still amazes me.
What do you like the most about writing? What do you hate the most about writing?
There are a ton of things that I love about writing, but I think getting my scrambled and passionate thoughts down into its most concise form is something that I cannot really get anywhere else. From writing articles to bullet journaling, writing is my channel of peace and productivity. The one thing that I do hate most about writing is that I sometimes get stuck in my own ways and have a hard time adapting to different styles. Not one author is the exact same when it comes to their flair, and you can see their personalities shine through on the paper. I want to experiment more with what that means for me.
What do you want readers to know about you and your writing?
I just want them to know that I really do love writing and hope that I can springboard one of them into doing the same.
What do you read? What authors/books have inspired you?
Right now, a lot of what I read are my textbooks for coursework. So, on any given day, I might be reading up on the Russo-Japanese War, Microeconomics, or Sociology, or Philippine History. Previously, I read a lot of productivity books, and highly recommend Chris Bailey's book. It has absolutely changed the way I view life and productivity and hands-down has been one of the most influential books I have read in my teen years.
Got any pet peeves that you have as a writer?
My pet peeves really have to do with grammar. I mean, Grammarly is a download away to double-check your work, and as a writer, it's almost an honor code to minimize mistakes in submissions.
How would you describe your writing?
When I am writing op-ed pieces, I'd describe it as a free-flowing state with some editing. When I get passionate about something, it intrudes on my mind for the entire week/day. Ever since I got into basketball, there never comes a day where I don't think about it. Now, more recently, I play for the Michigan Rugby Team in the Big10, and have gotten very passionate about the sport and am trying my best to learn and catch up with the veterans of the squad. Every time I get into something, I dive deeper and deeper. In turn, if you ask me to write about Rugby or anything else I am passionate about, I will essentially word vomit with some level of accuracy and then edit and then re-read to make it a bit more digestible. In terms of writing non-fiction pieces, I really just try to use RL Stine's principles I saw in his series when I was a kid and try to implement that into my non-op-ed pieces.
Do you have any good writing-related stories that you'd like to share?
My grandma is a really influential figure in my upbringing as a man in society. Every time she visits or calls, she always has a lesson at hand. When she got sick, and I saw her health not in the same state as it was eight years ago, I really went into a dark place. I still remember the frequent hospital visits. It felt like one long day worth two weeks. At the time, I actually had a paper due for a couple of my classes, one of which was a creative writing prompt. With writing as my own channel for communication, I poured out my heart and soul into that paper and was even pulled aside by my teachers for an awesome read. To this day, that prompt is shared between close family members as a reminder of the beauty of life.
About The Writer
Alonzo Cortez is currently a student attending the University of Michigan and resides in Bayonne, NJ, but has lived in both the Singapore and Philippines. He is currently planning to major in the Ford School of Public Policy with a Ross Business Minor, hoping to move into corporate law and business ownership. He writes on a wide array of topics, like video game content on Moot, Sports Betting previews for the New York Knicks, as well as freelance work for Dade Group, LLC. Other than writing, Alonzo spends his time managing the re-establishment of the Phi Delta Fraternity as one of the founding brothers. Further, he works with fitness and health-based organizations as a brand ambassador for Loyal Fitness, a fitness clothing line and Orgain, a plant-based protein shake.
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About The Blogger
Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. He uses Grammarly for his writing. He did not read Chris Bailey's book. He did read RL Stine as a kid. He enjoys interviewing authors about their writing careers.
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